If you’re like me, then the idea of shaving your back is about as appealing as scrubbing dishes. Shaving your back can seem like a daunting task. But with the right tools and techniques, it can be reasonably easy and painless. I will show you how to shave your back yourself and I will also recommend some products that will make the process easier.
Should You Shave Your Back Hair?
Shaving your back is a personal decision: it’s not something that you should do just because someone else does it. You should only shave your back if you want to.
Some people think that shaving their back is a good idea because thick back hair may increase body heat and be uncomfortable during hot weather. Or it makes them feel cleaner and more confident.
From a cultural perspective, most women find thick back hair on a man unattractive.
Others think that it’s not worth the time and effort, especially if they have sensitive skin or are prone to razor burn. But if your skin tends to get aggravated, good after care can make all the difference.
Products You Will Need
The first thing to do is to gather all of the supplies that you will need–a back hair removal kit, if you will. You may have some of these items already but there are a few additional specialty products you should consider getting [Amazon and geni.us links are affiliate]:
Loofah Or Scrubber Suitable For The Back
A back loofah is a is a scrubbing tool that has a handle on either side. You grab it with each hand and swipe it back and forth along your back. You’ll be using it to wash and exfoliate your back (usually in the shower–more on that later) to remove any dead skin cells and dirt. Doing this step before shaving may prolong the life of your razor blade/cartridge and may also reduce the incidence of razor bumps and redness.
Back Lotion Applicator
A “back lotion applicator” for pre-shave, shave cream, and aftershave products is also a really good idea. You may be able to find suitable products locally.
Back Shaver Or Razor Extension
Your main tool for shaving the back is the razor itself. There are purpose-built razors just for shaving the back: they have a much wider blade area than regular razors, to get more of that “shaving acreage” of the back. Among the most highly-rated back shavers are:
- Bakblade: Probably the most well-known name in back shaving. A wide, single edge shaving blade highlights this product. Bakblade also offers a number of other products (affiliate link) designed specifically for easy back hair removal and other body grooming needs.
- Razorba Back Hair Shaver: The Razorba features an aloe strip on the razor head.
You may be able to use your existing razor by adding a razor handle extension like the Smooth Reach Long Razor Extension Handle–you’ll just have to spend more time “mowing down the acreage” because of the narrower width of normal razors. However I would not recommend a double edge (DE) razor for this purpose, as getting the right angle-of-attack is probably going to be problematic. A gentle, pivoting-head cartridge razor like the Gillette SkinGuard, a single blade pivoted razor like the OneBlade, or a more ergonomic (but stationary head) single edge safety razor like an Injector-style razor (Supply, Parker) is probably going to be a better solution here.
Optionally there are also electric back hair trimmers for knocking down the really thick stuff before using a blade.
Brushless Shaving Cream (+ Pre-Shave Oil?)
While using a traditional shaving lather is certainly do-able for the back, it is probably more convenient to use a good “brushless” product like Cremo Cream, Pacific Shaving, or even a good traditional shave cream without a brush (you will just need to use more of it than usual), applied with the back applicator.
Depending on your needs a pre-shave oil may give the other lubricating product a bit of a boost.
A good aftershave product is just as important on the back as it is on other shaved parts of the body.
If you’re going to be shaving in the shower it may be useful to have two relatively large fog-free mirrors. Mount each one on opposite sides of the shower stall so you can see yourself shaving your back.
How To Shave Your Back Hair By Yourself – Step By Step
Shaving back hair is one of the least expensive, not to mention the least painful ways (if done properly) to get a smooth, hairless back. Shaving your own back can be easier than it seems and with some practice you’ll be able to shave without any help or embarrassment.
Step 1: Trim (If Necessary)
If you have a really hairy back, use an electric back hair trimmer to knock down the worst of it. You need to trim your hair to about ¼ inch to get a better blade shave in a later step.
Try using a mirror while trimming and place old newspapers on the floor to avoid a mess.
Step 2: Take A Luke-Warm Shower
Showering in lukewarm water may be the best way to begin the process of shaving your back. It helps to hydrate your skin, it softens the hair, it avoids stripping your skin of its natural oils, and it makes it less likely that you’ll cut yourself. Staying in the shower while shaving makes rinsing off and cleaning up much easier.
Related Post: Do Skin Pores Really Open And Close? The Science
Step 3: Apply Pre-Shave (If Desired) And Shave Cream
Here is where a “back lotion applicator” can come in really handy. Shave cream and/or pre-shave oil will help lubricate your hair, soothe your skin and allow the razor blade to glide more effortlessly. Apply your shave cream generously to your back lotion applicator and try your best to cover your entire back (don’t forget the back of the neck) before shaving.
Step 4: Shave Your Back
First and foremost, be patient. This is not something you want to rush. Work on sections of your back at a time and don’t be hesitant to reapply shave cream if you think it’s needed.
The classic technique of shaving by paying attention to “the grain” of the hair may be difficult to determine on your back, so don’t stress over it. Most back shavers are designed with this in mind. But if you can determine “the grain” shave in that direction to reduce the risk of irritation or ingrown hairs. Be gentle with yourself, using light pressure on your razor. Remember to be careful of the ridges of your spine, skin tags, and moles.
Your instinct may be to be to reach over your shoulder and shave upward, and that may be necessary for some parts of your back, but try to do as much work as possible by reaching around your sides.
Take your razor handle in your dominant hand and reach across the front of your body to access the opposite side of your back. Shave horizontally, pulling the back shaver towards you with each stroke. Hold the back shaver with the opposite hand and repeat on the other side.
Finally, transfer your shaver back to your dominant hand and reach over your shoulder to get the upper part of your back.
Rinse your razor often.
Thoroughly rinse shave cream off your back in the shower after shaving. Towel dry gently.
Step 5: Back Shaving After-The-Shave Care
The final step in your back grooming routine is take care of the skin afterwards. Applying a good aftershave balm, body lotion or moisturizer will help keep your skin hydrated and reduce the risk of irritation or razor burn. Make sure to use the same technique you used to apply pre-shave oil and shave cream, gently massaging the lotion into your skin. Let it sink in for a few minutes before putting on your shirt.
Avoid swimming, sunbathing, and excessive exposure to water for at least 48 hours after shaving. This will help prevent skin irritation and allow any cuts or nicks to heal properly.
Exfoliating (If Necessary)
It’s generally a good idea to exfoliate your skin once a week or so to remove dead skin cells, and apply moisturizer every day. Exfoliating before shaving is important to prevent ingrown hairs and pain during the shave.
A back scrubber or loofah can help you exfoliate and work the product into your skin .
Exfoliate for at least a minute: make sure you cover the entire back.
After exfoliating thoroughly rinse off any remaining exfoliating product. This is important because exfoliating products can cause tears in the skin when used against a razor!
The Right Exfoliating Product
Body scrubs are gentle enough to scrub away these impurities while still keeping the natural levels of oils and pH in the skin. So be sure that you are using a product that is meant for your back!
Also, make sure you are using only a small amount of exfoliant. You can place the product directly onto your back scrubber or loofah, and then gently massage the loofah in circular motions.
Other Ways Of Removing Back Hair
While shaving the back by yourself is the topic of this article, there are other ways of removing back hair. Two common ones are waxing and laser hair removal.
If you are considering having your back professionally waxed, find a salon that offers body waxing, and make an appointment. It is generally considered “safer” than shaving–it lasts longer and it shouldn’t cost too much. Waxing removes hair from the root and it’s often somewhat uncomfortable. If done well, a back wax may last as long as six weeks – much longer than any shave.
Waxing your back at home isn’t recommended. If you do try it, make sure someone is there to assist you, and that you are both knowledgeable about the methods being used. Waxing gone wrong can be even worse than a botched shave.
Laser Hair Removal
This is a permanent solution to removing back hair. It is typically a very safe and professional method, although it may be more expensive than the alternatives. Think whether a permanently hairless back is worth the cost.
Shaving your own back is a relatively easy process that can be done in the comfort of your own home. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a smooth and comfortable shave without having to go to a professional salon.