14/08/2014 12:46 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Bikini Waxing For Children: A Beauty Trend Gone Too Far

Beauty salons are offering cut-price bikini waxes for girls as young as nine, say reports.

According to charity Jeena International, some salons are prepared to slash their prices by as much as £30 when treating young girls because they were "likely to be less developed than older people".

Shockingly just one in 25 salons refused to carry out the intimate hair removal procedure on a child, with Jenna claiming it has uncovered "a form of cultural-driven abuse", reports Metro.

"This raises further questions of normalising girls to culturally harmful practices, objectifying them and girls not being allowed to celebrate their bodies changing," charity founder Founder Rani Bilkhu told the news site.

Rani was spurred to launch an investigation into child beauty treatments after hearing the shrieks of a nine-year-old having a bikini wax at a salon near her home in Slough.

She called salons posing as a mother trying to book in her nine-year-old daughter for a "Hollywood" full wax.

Only 4 refused to treat any child under the age of 12.

While many would be left in shock by these statistics, Deborah Morris, Education Officer at BABTAC says, argued that waxing a girl so young could help those who hit puberty early.

"When it comes to treating minors, the responsibility actually lies with the parent or guardian in the case of low-risk, non-invasive treatments.

"We advise our members that they should be comfortable carrying out the treatment, that they should assess the client on the basis of need and that they should always have written parental consent."

She added: "Treating a minor should never be done just for the sake of it, however each individual can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Some girls reach puberty before others and with that comes excess hair growth; if that then becomes the basis for bullying, the parent may decide to visit a salon for support to help alleviate the problem.

"We would always encourage therapists to suggest other methods of hair removal before turning to waxing; however given the lack of long-term effects and the low-risk nature of the treatment, there are unlikely to be any harmful physical side-effects if the parent/minor wish to go ahead."

However, as columnist Linda Mintle argues, "How does a young girl learn to like her body, flaws and all, when her mother is taking her for 'treatments' [so young]?

"This is beauty obsession gone wild! Children are already bombarded with repeated images of what they are supposed to look like and know they will never measure up. Every day, they face a culture obsessed with cloning Barbie."

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