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Back Hair Removal Tips - How To Remove Back Hair

Updated on February 15, 2011

This article takes a look at the different back hair removal methods that are available, all of which have their pros and cons.

Back hair is common among men, who often develop back hair in their 20s, although in some men it appears as early as the teenage years. Some men only have a light smattering of back hair, whereas in others it grows very thickly. But while leg, chest and arm hair are socially acceptable in most circles, back hair carries more of a stigma, and is often regarded as unattractive. For this reason many men prefer to get rid of their back hair, and obtain a smoother appearance, and this trend is increasing as more and more men become concerned with their appearance. Let's look at the most common ways of doing this.

Why Remove Back Hair?

Men remove their back hair for various reasons, a common one being, as mentioned above, that back hair is often regarded as sexually unattractive in this culture. Other reasons include a personal preference for smoother skin (just as increasing numbers of men are also removing hair from their chests and other areas), feeling cleaner without so much body hair, a desire to keep cool, and to avoid looking slobby in their own or others' eyes. Some men also find that their back hair causes itching and irritation (particularly when warm), and in some cases, can lead to infection in the hair follicles.

Back Hair Removal Methods

There is a variety of ways to remove back hair to choose from, including both temporary and permanent hair removal techniques. Since it can be awkward to reach the back, some methods involve assistance from another person, such as a beautician.

Temporary Ways To Get Rid Of Back Hair

Removing back hair temporarily is usually easier and less expensive than permanent hair removing methods. The downside is, of course, that the hair grows back, and you may have stubbly hair for a while if you allow it to grow back. Still, if you're willing to put in a bit of regular maintenance time, these temporary methods can be a good way to keep back hair under control.

1. Shaving

Shaving is probably the most common method of general hair removal, and all men will be familiar with shaving at least the hair on their face, so many turn to the razor as first port of call when it comes to eliminating back hair. On the plus side, shaving is quick, cheap, painless and (so long as you're careful) harmless. On the downside, the hair grows back quickly, some people are prone to shaving rashes, it's easy to cut yourself, the regrown hair may feel stubbly and thicker, since the end will be blunted by the razor, and when it comes to shaving back hair, using a razor can be very awkward, since this area is usually hard to reach. The solution, for those who wish to shave their back hair, is to use a razor that's especially designed for the job. Back hair razors (which may be electric or manual) have much longer handles than normal razors, and are often adjustable to make the job easier. Hair regrowth normally starts within a couple of days, so this hair removal method needs constant upkeep.

2. Waxing

Waxing is another option for getting rid of hair on the back. This involves placing hot wax covered by a piece of fabric or cold wax strips on the hairy area (hot wax is more effective, and is generally used in salons, whereas cold wax is safer, and used for waxing at home), and pulling it off in a quick motion, rather like pulling of a plaster. The advantage of waxing is that the results last longer than shaving, as the hair is pulled out at the root, and the skin is left smoother for longer. The hair also grows back with a natural tapered end, rather than the blunt, stubbly end created by shaving. On the downside, waxing is painful, and more expensive than shaving. You'll also need assistance for waxing the back area – many men visit beauty salons for this purpose – don't feel self-conscious about this, as it's a very common procedure. Some men also opt to have the buttocks and genital area waxed at the same time (a so-called 'back, sack and crack' wax). A back hair session normally takes up to about 30 minutes, and will involve several applications of wax to gradually treat the whole of the back. Some men find that the pain lessens after a while, as the area becomes numb. Hair normally regrows in about 4-6 weeks, so you should plan on making a monthly visit to the salon if you want to stay hair-free.

An alternative to hot waxing at the salon is using cold wax strips at home, with the help of a partner or friend. This is cheaper, but cold wax is less effective, especially if you have a lot of back hair, so the procedure might take longer and result in greater discomfort than a salon visit. Whatever type of waxing you use, you should avoid exposing the back to hot water, chemical toiletries or sunlight for 24 hours afterwards, as the skin will be very sensitive.

3. Depilatory Creams

Another option for temporary back hair removal is the use of depilatory cream. These creams are applied to the skin, and left in place to work (dissolve the hair at the root) for several minutes, before being scraped off and taking the hair with them. The advantage of using hair removal cream is that it's relatively cheap, and can be done by yourself if necessary, although it'll be easier if you have help to apply the cream. The hair takes longer to grow back than with shaving, although not as long as with waxing – usually you'll see regrowth within a few days. The negative aspects of using a cream include skin sensitivity (you should always do a patch test on a small area before trying a cream), and some creams have a strong smell that some people find unpleasant. The skin can also absorb chemicals from substances that are placed on it, so some people avoid creams for this reason. Nair and Revitol are popular hair removal cream brands, although there are many others to choose from too.

More Permanent Back Hair Removal Methods

If you want to remove back hair permanently, there are other options to explore. These, unsurprisingly, involve more of an investment (of both time and money) than the temporary solutions, but once the hair is gone, you're less likely to have to worry about it again (that's less likely, because even these 'permanent' methods are not always foolproof – hair can and does grow back, but it's less likely to).

1. Laser Hair Removal

Light-based hair removal techniques have been commercially available since the mid-90s, and are increasingly popular. The lasers are used to destroy the melanin in the hair follicles – without this, the hair cannot grow, and hairs will shed naturally from treated follicles. This is a fast, efficient method of removing back and other body hair, although several visits (spaced about 3-12 weeks apart) to the clinic may be needed before the back is clear of hair, and sometimes follow up visits may be required. The downside of laser removal is that it works best with dark hair and pale skin, although new lasers are making the treatment available to those with darker skin also. Newer technology works with blond and lighter coloured hair, but if you have light hair you must take care to seek out a practitioner with the appropriate training and equipment, as traditional laser removal machines only work with black or brown hair. Some clinics also offer pre-treatment which involves dying the cells of the follicle, so light hair can be targeted effectively. The effectiveness also varies according to the skill of the technician performing the treatment and the type of laser(s) used. Laser hair removal is also relatively expensive, and possible side-effects include acne and skin breakouts, skin discolouration and burning. It is also not completely permanent – results vary between in individuals, but in general, about 80% of the hair is eliminated in about 80-90% of people undergoing the treatment. Overall though, it's an effective method of removing back hair in the hands of a skilled practitioner.

2. Electrolysis

Electrolysis involves inserting a tiny needle into each individual hair follicle, which them emits a mild current which destroys the follicle, preventing the hair from growing back. Electrolysis should be performed by a qualified person – while you can get home electrolysis kits, these can be ineffective, and aren't really designed for large areas such as the back. This method should – in theory at least – prevent the hair from growing back. In practice it can be difficult to target every single follicle, so you will need to make multiple return visits. It's also relatively expensive and very time consuming, and can cause a lot of discomfort. Despite these disadvantages however, it is the most reliable permanent back hair removal method, and unlike laser treatment it is suitable for people will all skin and hair colours.

You might need to experiment a bit to find the best back hair removal method for you, so don't give up if the first thing your try doesn't work out.


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    • howtoremovehair profile image


      7 years ago

      Growing hairs in your face, legs and other body parts is really scourging. thanks for these methods though, hair removal does not have to take your entire day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Some good points are made here about the benefits of removing back hair. In addition to itchiness and irritation, back hair can also contribute to retaining body odour. Personally, I've had back hair since my mid-twenties and generally just give it a regular trim.


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