Due to its’ hard-to-reach and hard-to-see nature back hair often manages to escape the blade unlike its counterpart – chest hair. How to remove back hair by yourself is a question that has plagued mankind since inception.
But those days are no more. Gone are the days where to rid yourself of a back rug you’d either need to be ultra-flexible or need an assistant. Through the use of modern tools, it’s now possible to reach even the most elusive of back hair patches with ease.
I was a man who used to shudder at the thought of someone’s hand gliding across my fur-riddled back. The embarrassment was too difficult to bear.
And yet I had no way of correcting it without having to bear even more embarrassment and ask for someone to be my assistant. Oh, the humiliation.
But after years of frustration, I’m thrilled to say that back grooming devices (I wish I’d invented myself) have made a previously monstrous task a lot simpler. Still difficult, however. But much, much simpler.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Before you read on, it’s important that you note that to do this safely, cost-effectively and by yourself, you will need some extra equipment. The essentials for this routine are as follows:
- A large mirror (eg bathroom mirror)
- Another mirror – this could be a large-ish handheld mirror
- A back lotion applicator
- A long-handled back shaver – manual or electric
I’ve devised the perfect, independent back shaving routine I’d like to share with you. I’ll explain it in a nutshell first, before going on to elaborate in more detail. I hope you’re as excited as I am.
So how exactly do you remove your own back hair?
The safest and most practical way to shave your back by yourself is to use a dedicated electric back shaver with an extra long handle and flexible head. This will enable you to navigate the difficult contours of your back with the least amount of effort. Before the shave, however, it’s important to exfoliate if possible, as well as use an appropriate shaving cream or gel to get as frictionless a shave as possible in a notoriously difficult area. Also, prepare yourself by allowing yourself enough time, by ensuring you have enough power for the shaver and by using mirrors to get a good view.
Now let’s go through it step-by-step and in detail. After reading this I want you to feel like that soft, silky, smooth back you’ve always wanted is finally within arm’s reach (no pun intended).
How To Remove Back Hair By Yourself: A Step-By-Step Guide
Step 1: Practice the mirror trick
Stand in front of your bathroom mirror (or any other large mirror). Ah yes, quite the revelation – you can’t see your own back. We’re going to need to do some special stuff.
Now the way they get around this curiously frustrating issue is by using an additional mirror – I like to use a handheld one.
Turn around so your back is facing your bathroom mirror. Then grab the handheld mirror and hold it up in front of you. You should now see your back in the handheld mirror as it reflects a reflection of your back in the large bathroom mirror behind you.
Just writing that made my head hurt. It’ll be a lot clearer once you demonstrate it to yourself. Being able to visualize your own back is a nifty little trick that’s going to make your quest for an independent back shave possible.
Step 2: Exfoliate The Day Before
So we’ve cracked the mystery of back visualization. Time to put it to use.
The reason I like to exfoliate the back before the shave is to remove any dead skin cells, oil and dirt that is most likely mattifying and clogging the bases of the hairs making shaving them more difficult.
In other words, exfoliating will get you a closer and smoother shave. Boom.
The problem with this is one you’ll get quite accustomed to as this article progresses – most of the back is difficult to reach. So how do we do this?
Well, there are long-handled back lotion applicators you can use to apply an exfoliating body scrub to even the most remote areas of your back (without having to dislocate your shoulder).
You can use the mirror trick to ensure you apply the scrub to your whole back, or you could do it by feel only.
The reason you’ll want to do this the day before is that exfoliating in itself is quite drying and irritating to the skin, despite being great for unclogging pores. So you’ll want to give it a bit of time to recover before going at it with a razor.
Follow it up with a nice occlusive moisturizer to prevent overdrying your skin with the exfoliant. You can use the same back lotion applicator.
Although this step might seem like an extra hassle you would rather do without, I’d still strongly recommend it to get the best results.
Step 3: Take A Warm Shower Or Bath
The warmth of the water will relax the skin, open the pores and soften the hairs, reducing the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs following the forthcoming shave.
As always before a shave be sure to use a gentle, soothing and moisturizing shower gel containing botanical ingredients such as aloe vera or shea butter.
Well moisturized back skin is less likely to become sore and irritated and better equipped to fight off infection.
Step 4: Trim It Down
If the hairs on your back are particularly long they need to be trimmed down to an acceptable length before you go in for the close shave. You’ve got two options.
- Ask someone to do the first trim for you using an electric trimmer. Considering the point of this article and the fact that you’re reading it, this probably isn’t your ideal solution.
- Use an electric back shaver with a long-reach handle and wide groomer blade capable of cutting long hairs in large areas quickly. This is my personal favorite one and comes with another head you can use for the closer shave later on in this routine.
Trimming the hairs down first will prevent long hairs clogging up a blade designed for the close shave only.
Once you’ve trimmed adequately, remember to wash the loose hairs off your back as these will just cause friction when you shave later on. Remember, friction leads to irritation and irritation leads to inflammation.
Step 5: Apply The Shaving Cream Or Gel
Yes. The aim of this tutorial is for you to learn how to remove back hair by yourself. But doing so safely and with minimal irritation is even more important than aesthetics is. It’s essential.
Essential! The hairs on the back are not only hard to remove from a practical perspective, given that you can’t see them or reach them without extra preparation.
The hairs also tend to be thicker and therefore shouldn’t be shaved dry. The more lubrication, the better.
Friction leads to irritation.
Apply a nice and even layer across the entire area to be shaved using the same back lotion applicator you used to exfoliate the day before. Be sure not to leave any important areas un-lathered by using the same handheld mirror technique we discussed earlier.
Having exfoliated the skin should have helped reduce friction as well, but using shaving cream or gel should hopefully make the process even easier.
Any shaving gel or cream would technically do, but there are those that are less likely to cause irritation and subsequent razor burn because of their ingredients.
For example, this one is great because it contains several soothing plant extracts which have anti-inflammatory properties that help protect against the force of the blade against the skin.
Step 6: Go in for a closer shave
You’re so very near the finish line. You’ve prepared this to the tee, taken steps to reduce irritation as well as trimmed down the excess for perfect execution. It’s time to bring it home.
The mystery of how to remove back hair by yourself is about to be solved in spectacular fashion.
So this is the point where your long-handled back shaver first comes into play – although having said this you may have already used it for the first trim.
These shavers are specifically designed for shaving even the hard-to-reach corners of your back, using extra-reach handles and usually flexible heads.
There are two broad categories of these shavers – manual and electric.
- Manual back shavers – essentially just your standard manual cartridge razor with a specially designed long handle. They’re great because you can always use them wet as well as dry. But of course, because you don’t have electrical support you’ll be doing all the work yourself.
- Electrical back shavers – either corded or cordless (i.e battery powered). I prefer cordless because they’re less restricting in an already relatively awkward procedure.
The specific shaver you use may come with different heads with blades designed for different hair lengths – if so, be sure to use the one designed for shorter hairs now.
In addition, make sure the blade you use isn’t dull or blunted. Fresh blades are vital in preventing irritation and of course getting as close a shave as possible.
It’s showtime. Remember – take it slow or you will cut your back. There’s no rush because you’ve set aside enough time to do this.
Using your second mirror to get as good a view as you can, reach over your shoulder and start shaving with the grain (i.e in the direction of hair growth) to reduce the risk of razor burn.
Also, remember to wash the blade after every few strokes to avoid the razor clogging and producing friction.
As always, avoid too many re-strokes. In other words, don’t shave over the same area too many times – this isn’t necessary and is just going to cause pain and irritation.
Step 7: Second Shower
It’s done. Before you start celebrating your newfound independence, there are just a couple more steps you need to take.
With lukewarm water, wash off all that shaving gel but avoid using any soaps or body washes – the skin is raw at present and we need to make sure we treat it gently.
Use a lower pressure setting on your shower so as not to be too forceful on your back skin.
Step 8: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
As always, shaven skin is dry and irritated. Providing moisture to the skin will reduce irritation and speed up the healing process. You’re strengthening the skin barrier and keeping the skin happy and healthy.
Once again, use the mirror technique (you’re likely an expert at by now) and the back lotion applicator to ensure you lather it overall shaven areas.
Well, there you have it. A no-nonsense guide on how to remove back hair by yourself.
I’d be lying if I said my first time shaving my own back wasn’t emotional. I felt like I’d graduated from the dependence of youth, to the independence of adult manhood.
I hope you found this useful. It’s important to note that as with anything there’s no shame in asking for help. It just feels so much better when you DIY.