What to tell your daughter about physical changes

Explaining body changes during puberty

Puberty starts anywhere between 8 and 14 years old. This process is marked by several bodily changes, including:

  • The growth of body hair in the pubic and underarm areas
  • Acne
  • Greasier hair and possibly dandruff
  • Activated sweat glands, which can lead to body odour.

The process takes somewhere between 18 months and two years, but as all bodies develop differently and at their own pace, girls often worry that they’re the “odd one out.” Give your daughter plenty of reassurance that this is not the case and that her body’s timing is absolutely normal.

Tell your daughter that she needn’t be self-conscious about any of these changes, as all her peers will be going through the same thing. Also introduce her to the products – deodorants, skincare and hair care products – that may help mitigate some of the changes she doesn't like.

Pay attention to the changes your daughter is going through. And, if by the age of 14 your daughter has not experienced any of these changes, you might want to take her to a doctor to make sure everything’s all right.


  • Emans, Laufer, Goldstein's Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 4th edition, by S. Jean Emans and Marc R. Laufer