Let’s face it – nobody likes back hair.
It’s itchy, uncomfortable, and just plain unsightly.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from a hairy back, you might be wondering how to get rid of it.
While there are a few methods you can try, ranging from (potentially damaging) depilatory creams to pricey treatments like professional waxing or laser hair removal, shaving is usually the best solution.
In addition to being the most private, it’s the best way to get a smooth back without risking the skin irritation or dead skin cells that come with more invasive treatments.
But unless you have a significant other who can lend a helping hand (or a really intimate relationship with your best friend), shaving your own back hair can be a bit tricky if you don’t know all the ins and outs of back hair removal.
To help you get the best results, in this post I’ll show you a few quick, easy and effective ways to shave your own back while avoiding razor burn, ingrown hairs and other common missteps.
Go Bare Back There:
How to Shave Your Own Back in a Few Easy Steps
Choose the Right Tools
In order to get a close shave (while avoiding any close calls), the first step is to make sure you have a few key tools on hand to make the process as smooth as possible.
The good news is that most of them are quite affordable and can be used multiple times, so even after you pick up everything you need, it’ll still cost a lot less than an expensive laser treatment.
The first thing you need is the right razor for the job.
While you can try using a regular razor blade or body hair trimmer, the easiest solution is to use a dedicated back shaver with an extendable handle.
The trickiest part of the shaving ritual is reaching the middle of your back, and a regular electric razor or body groomer won’t be long enough to get those hard to reach areas.
(And if you think having a hairy back is embarrassing, imagine how you’d feel walking around with one small patch of hair on your spine, as if your back grew a little soul patch…)
But the best back shavers have an extra long handle that helps you get a good razor glide on the entire area of your back, resulting in a smooth shave all the way across.
There are two that we recommend.
If you want a traditional razor, the best option is the Bakblade 2.0.
In addition to an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to maneuver against the contours of your back, it has an extra wide blade that lets you mow through unwanted back hair quickly and effectively.
But if you prefer an electric back hair shaver, we recommend the Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 3100.
It also comes with an extendable handle that makes it easy to reach your middle and lower back, but it can be removed to make it easier to use on other body parts.
Plus it has multiple guards, allowing you to choose the right comb length for your chest hair, arms, etc.
The Bakblade will definitely provide a closer shave and leave you with a smoother look, but the Philips is good if you want to invest in an electric shaver that can be used elsewhere.
Unless you have eyes in the back of your head, your bathroom mirror isn’t going to cut it.
You’ll need a good hand mirror that you can hold in your opposite hand while your dominant hand holds the razor.
Your best bet is to get one that’s fairly wide, which makes it easier to see what you’re doing back there.
Shave Gel or Shaving Cream
Some guys skip the shave cream if they’re not shaving their facial hair.
But if you want a clean shave, I highly recommend it
Which kind you choose is up to you, but in my experience a sensitive shaving gel tends to work best (even if you don’t have sensitive skin) because it helps you avoid the nicks and cuts that can lead to unsightly razor bumps.
Shave Cream Applicator
It can be tough to get a good lather on your back, so you might want to consider picking up an applicator brush, which makes it easier to apply the shaving cream.
Pre-Shave Oil & Aftershave Balm
Some guys also like to treat their skin with either a pre-shave oil that helps soften the hair follicles, an aftershave that helps soothe the skin, or all of the above.
Shower to Soften Your Hair & Skin
Once you’ve got the right tools on hand, the next step is to prep your skin and hair for removal.
The best way to do that is by taking a nice hot shower immediately before you start shaving.
A warm shower helps soften your coarse hair and loosen up your skin, which allows it to better soak up the shaving gel.
A quick rinse with warm water will go a long way, and you don’t need to spend much time in the shower before your skin starts to loosen up.
But for best results you might want to consider using a gentle body scrub, which will exfoliate the skin and make your shaving cream even more effective.
(This is especially important if you have longer hairs on your back, which probably have deeper roots that need all the help they can get when softening.)
Apply Shaving Cream
Once you’re out of the shower, grab your shaving cream and work it into a good lather on your hands, then apply the foam to the applicator tool (if you’re using one).
Whether or not you’ve got an applicator, try to apply the cream as evenly as you can, and cover as much hair as possible.
You probably won’t be able to get it everywhere, which is totally fine.
Just try to make sure you’ve got some on or around each part of your back (upper, middle and lower) so you can still get a comfortable shave.
Get Used to the Two Mirrors
Stand with your back to the bathroom mirror while holding the back shaver in your dominant hand and the hand mirror in the other.
Before you start shaving, move the hand mirror around to explore all the different angles and find the one that gives you the best view of each part of your back.
This will help ensure you can see what you’re doing at all times, which is the best way to avoid accidental cuts and nicks.
Go Slow – and Be (F@¢&ing) Careful!
OK – it’s time to start shaving.
The best practice is to start small – don’t reach for the middle of your back right away – so you can get used to moving the back shaver in different directions.
Place the head somewhere near the edge of your back, so you’re not reaching too far and still have strong control of the handle.
Then slowly pull it across your skin in one slow, steady and smooth motion. Try to keep the entire blade in contact with your skin at all times.
Once you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, you can start placing the blade closer toward the middle of your back.
Try to do as much as possible with your dominant hand – especially those hard-to-reach areas in the center of your back – before switching to your other hand to reach whatever areas you couldn’t quite reach with your dominant one.
It may take a long time to do your whole back the first time through, but that’s ok.
You’ll get faster at it as you get more used to it, and it’s worth investing a bit of time upfront to teach yourself how to maintain a smooth, sexy back going forward.
Moisturize and/or Soothe Your Skin
Once you’re done shaving, the final step is to apply your preferred after-shave balm or moisturizer to soothe your skin.
Small nicks and cuts are a fact of life when it comes to shaving, and that’s especially true if you have particularly long hairs.
But those small cuts heal at a much faster pace than the natural growth of hair,
So don’t be too discouraged if your newly hairless back has a few red marks when you’re finished – they’ll be gone in a few days!
You’ll get better at back shaving the more you do it, and it’ll be worth it when people at the beach see a smooth back instead of a hairy man.
More Resources ↓
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Banner image: BakBlade; Illustration: Irreverent Gent