Ultimate Back Hair Removal Guide of 2019 (Pros & Cons of Each Method)

Long gone are the days of “stylish” hairy backs.

Instead, both men and women have unanimously agreed that smooth backs are the in thing.

But getting rid of your back hair isn’t quite as easy as shaving your face!

You’ve got to twist and stretch and use creativity to get the job done.

So what are the best methods of back hair removal?

How can you tell which one will be the right for you?

Let us help you with that; we’ll go through the best ways to remove back hair along with their pros and cons.

Some methods are more expensive than others while others are better for sensitive skin. That said, no matter what your personal needs are, we will find a way for you to achieve a perfectly smooth back just like you’ve always wanted.

Let’s dive into it!


Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.

Table of Contents

Back Hair Removal

Things to Consider when Removing Back Hair

Before we explain the different back hair removal methods, let’s go over some key considerations as you read through each option.

By having these answers ready to go, you’ll be able to identify the best back hair removal method for your particular needs.


1. Pain Tolerance


If you have sensitive skin or are particularly vulnerable to pain, you may want to avoid some of the more painful back hair removal methods like waxing.

There are pain management methods no matter which method you choose, but some back hair removal methods are way better for sensitive skin than others.


2. Budget


Some back hair removal methods are pretty expensive when compared to others.

If you don’t have the budget for the more permanent and doctor-assisted methods, you may have to settle for the less permanent hair removal methods just because of the upfront cost required.

Consider lifetime costs as well.

Shaving your back will always require you to buy replacement razors, while permanent hair removal costs more initially, but you won’t have to pay more thereafter.

3. Time


Different back hair removal methods require different time investments on your part.

Shaving, for instance, is pretty quick to accomplish each day but requires you to do it as part of your morning routine.

More permanent back hair removal methods may have a large upfront cost in terms of time but once done, you won’t be going back there.

Think about the time you want to spend maintaining your back hair as you read through the different options.

4. Permanence


Some back hair removal methods are more permanent than others.

Make sure that you know how long you want to go without back hair before you make a final decision; with electrolysis, for instance, there’s no going back.

Consider whether or not you want to put up with having to deal with your back hair for the rest of your life or if you don’t mind having to do some maintenance for years to come.


Methods of Back Hair Removal

Shaving

Shaving Back Hair

Shaving your back involves the use of shaving cream and a back shaver, which is essentially an extended razor with a wider blade than the type you would use to shave your face.

Suggested Article: 8 Best Back Shavers of 2019 (Ultimate Hassle-Free DIY Back Shavers)


Specs


Who Is It Best For?

Shaving is the best method for removing back hair for men who don’t want to spend a lot of money on the process, or who are more comfortable shaving themselves rather than relying on a medical professional.


Key Aspects

Shaving is by far the most common method of back hair removal and is also considered to be the cheapest.

It’s a great pick for men who don’t mind having to tend to their back hair more often than not, as shaving only removes back hair for a few days or up to a week depending on how fast your hair normally grows normally.

Shaving your back requires only a little bit of prep time and is relatively easy to start doing as soon as you have the necessary tools and equipment.

You also don’t have to learn any new skills if you’ve been shaving your face for some time.

Back shavers tend to have extended handles to allow the user to reach every part of the back skin, including the shoulder blades and the waist.

Speaking of which, we’ve already reviewed the best back shavers if you’re interested.

Shaving your back is relatively easy and doesn’t require a lot of prep time.

All you need to do is apply shaving cream, which can sometimes be applied with the use of the back shaver itself, and then shave.

We’ve already found the best shaving creams, by the way. Check it out if you’re looking for a good brand.

There are a number of preparatory steps that you should take to make your shaving experience more effective and comfortable.

For instance, you can shave your back in the shower, and the warm water will help open up your pores and allow your back shaver to cut your back hair more smoothly.

On the other hand, you could use special shaving creams that are particularly good if you have sensitive skin.

Shaving your back will grant you smooth skin for a relatively short period, on average a few days before the hair grows back.

You’ll have to shave once again as soon as you feel the back hair starting to grow.

In terms of lifetime costs, shaving your back is relatively cheap.

You only have to buy one back shaver and you can use it for several years, the only thing that you will need to buy is shaving cream and replacement blades.

Shaving your back is also quicker when compared to many other back hair removal methods.

Depending on how tall you are or how well you can reach your back, you might be able to shave your entire back within a few minutes.

Shaving your back hair can also be smoothly integrated into your morning routine.

Why does this matter?

It doesn’t require you to alter your schedule or make any significant lifestyle changes to accommodate its needs.

Using a back shaver is fairly affordable.

The worst that can happen is that you accidentally nick yourself and that will be a little uncomfortable for a few days.

This concludes the fact that shaving your back hair is a great choice for men who are just starting to manscape.

In addition, the fact that your back hair will grow back shortly thereafter allows you to experiment and see if you like the smooth skin feel before you fully commit to a longer-lasting method.

Need to learn how to hand shave effectively? We can teach you how to effectively shave your back in no time at all!



Depilatory Creams

Depilatory Creams for back hair removal

Depilatory creams are a method of back hair removal where you rub a hair removal cream into your back hair, which dissolves the hair at the roots to allow it to be rubbed away.

Suggested Article: 4 Best Hair Removal Creams, Sprays & More for MEN (2019)

Specs


Who Is It Best For?

This method of back hair removal is good for men who experience frequent irritation or small cuts from shaving but who don’t want the pain or time-consumption that’s associated with waxing.


Key Aspects

Depilatory creams are a perfect compromise between shaving and waxing.

They work through a chemical process whereby they break down your back hair proteins, specifically one called keratin.

By breaking down this protein, each hair follicle base to which the cream is applied eventually becomes thin, dissolves and allows the hair to fall off easily.

when your hair gets weak from the chemical, it is then easily wiped off together with the cream, in a process that you would compare with wiping off dust or debris.

Depilatory creams are made of certain alkaline chemicals or other materials that are specifically made to break down proteins without harming your skin during the process.

Men with sensitive skin can use most depilatory creams, although if you do have sensitive skin you should look for one that is specifically made for sensitive skin because the exact chemical formula between creams can vary greatly.

Testing the cream on a small patch of skin before you spread it across your entire back is usually a good idea, a good spot to try would be the inside part of your elbow where the skin is soft, and a lot more sensitive.

Because these creams dissolve the roots of your hair, you’ll be able to enjoy smooth skin for a little longer than if you had shaved.

Generally, using depilatory cream to remove body hair will allow it to regrow within a few days.

You can use these creams on your back pretty easily using your hands, you don’t need any special tools or equipment.

Using depilatory creams is also relatively pain-free.

While certain creams may have a chemical composition that upsets your personal skin chemistry, you could keep experimenting until you find the right cream that is free of irritation and be able to be completed at any point in your morning or evening routine.

Some creams can be used in the shower, making the cleanup process even more pleasurable because you can just wash off the cream and her hair down the drain.

Furthermore, most creams only need to be applied for a few minutes before they can be wiped away, so using depilatory cream takes about the same amount of time as shaving.

Of course, longer or thicker hair will take a little longer to break down then thinner or shorter hair.

Unlike shaving, you run no risk of razor burn or small cuts when using a depilatory cream.

What makes this great?

If you’re a man who frequently gets razor burn or who has more sensitive skin than others, you’ll enjoy the ease-of-use.

Depilatory creams are also inexpensive.

You should be able to find them in most local drugstores and you don’t need a prescription to buy them.

However, there are a few downsides that you should be aware of before making this your final decision.

Depilatory creams have an odor, and not in a pleasant way.

This odor can often be thought of as “generic chemical” or synthetic, like with a lot of medical products.

While this downside can be negated if you apply the cream in the shower and wash your skin thoroughly, keep this in mind so that you don’t accidentally go to work smelling like depilatory cream rather than a sweet fragrance.

As mentioned before, you should always try to find a depilatory cream that matches your skin’s inclinations to avoid redness and or irritation.

This may take some trial and error before you find the perfect depilatory cream.

This only applies to men who have naturally dark hair, and it will look much like the 5 o’clock shadow that you sometimes see immediately after shaving.

There’s no way around this since depilatory cream doesn’t remove hair as deeply or permanently as the next hair removal methods.

If you do decide to use this back hair removal, we’ve already done some research and found the best creams for body hair removal.



Waxing

Waxing Back Hair

Waxing is the process of using a wax formula or material to remove your back hair from the root.

This works as the formula or material (usually a strip) attaches to your hair and is then removed, effectively pulling your hair out as you would with tweezers. One thing that you need to note though, is that this is much faster due to the greater skin surface area that is covered with each waxing session.


Specs


Who Is It Best For?

Waxing is best for men who don’t want to have to shave or use depilatory cream every few days but who don’t want to permanently or semi-permanently remove their back hair.

Key Features

There are different types of waxing methods that you can use for different results.

For instance, there are soft wax strips that are generally painful but are good at removing fine hair.

These are usually made of cloth or paper and are applied by pressing firmly to adhere the strip to your skin.

These must then be torn off quickly to remove your hair and, because of this, they are very uncomfortable compared to other waxing methods.

Hot wax is another method of back hair removal.

It utilizes wax beans or beads which are melted in a specialized heating pot or stovetop pan.

Once heated, the wax is applied to your skin and allowed to cool.

Once cooled, it is peeled off and takes your hair away with it.

This type of waxing is great for virtually all thicknesses and varieties of hair.

This makes it a good choice for men, who tend to have tough and course body hair compared to women’s body hair.

However, using hot wax takes some time because you have to heat the wax up, then apply it and allow it to cool before removal.

There’s also some significant cleanup time that you have to account for.

Because of all of these drawbacks, hot wax isn’t a good pick for men who have busy morning routines.

Instead, it’s best applied as a sparing experience that is reserved for the spa or when you have a free weekend.

So what are the benefits?

The plus side to using hot wax is that it’s generally painless when compared to other waxing methods.

You’ll be able to apply the hot wax and remove it without getting  too uncomfortable, so it might be a good pick for men who have sensitive skin or who are afraid of the pain that comes with waxing.

There are also waxing creams that you can use to remove hair on large swaths of skin.

These creams are relatively easy to apply and work quickly, although they aren’t as extensive more effective as other waxing methods.

When it comes to pain, waxing doesn’t come with excruciating pain.

Generally, most men will be able to handle waxing pain.

However, there are pain management methods.

For instance, you can take some mild painkiller beforehand or apply wax hair removal pain management.

These creams are applied to your skin before you apply the wax, numbing the skin and lessening the potential discomfort.

One advantage with waxing is that the more you do it, the more your skin gets used to it.

Waxing, therefore, becomes a better hair removal as you do it repeatedly.

Compared to shaving, waxing has a higher start-up cost in terms of time and discomfort but eventually, your hair removal will longer and result in smoother skin as compared to shaving.

This is because waxed hair takes between three to five weeks on average to regrow. Some of the higher-quality hot wax kits can even prevent hair regrowth for up to six weeks.

If you’re a man that wants to remove his back hair for a longer period but don’t want your hair removed permanently, waxing might be a good middle ground.


Laser

Laser Back Hair Removal

The removal of your back hair using laser is a medical procedure that uses heat from a laser powered light beam to stop your hair from growing.

This is a technical back hair removal method compared to the two previous methods.

Specs

Who Is It Best For?

Laser hair removal is best for men who are tired of constantly removing their back hair but who also want an efficient, quick and affordable hair removal method.


Key Aspects

Basically, using a laser beam to remove your back hair involves disrupting your hair’s ability to reproduce or repair itself, technically killing it.

The laser shreds the reproductive part of the hair to prevent it from growing back and weaken it at the root.

In doing so, the hair becomes weak and brittle and eventually falls off or crumbles.

Once that hair is gone, no further hair will grow where that follicle once stood.

Obviously, because of the technical equipment needed to execute this hair removal method, you’ll need to visit a laser hair removal clinic and go through several appointments to reach your desired smoothness and overall skin feel.

Laser hair removal doesn’t, especially when compared to waxing.

The exact experience will vary from one man to the next, and men who have sensitive skin will probably be a little less comfortable.

But overall you should not expect your laser hair removal treatment to be painful.

In the event that you do, your chosen clinic will probably have pain management creams that will help to make the experience more bearable.

Remember that your skin shouldn’t hurt at all as the skin is not being damaged by the laser one bit.

In terms of treatment time, you can expect that removal of all the hair on your back will take about 4 to 6 weeks.

This time period will be raised or lowered if you want more or less hair removed.

The reason that you have to go for so many treatments is because of the surface area to cover and the fact that the lasers have to target hairs that are currently growing, not hairs that are already grown.

To make sure that all of your back hair is caught by the laser, you’ll several laser treatments to ensure that all of your back hair’s growth is arrested.

Each treatment of your back hair will take around a half hour to complete from start to finish.

Most clinics will also probably provide you with a soothing cream or ointment that alleviates any post-treatment discomfort or soreness.

Laser hair removal can be a great choice if you’re an athletic man.

Cyclists and swimmers, in particular, will appreciate the speed boost that they get from removing their back hair.

It’s a well-known fact that hairy men are slower in these speed at dominated sports than men without a lot of body or back hair.

By removing hair in this manner, you’ll also save yourself a lot of time that you would otherwise dedicate to grooming.

Laser hair removal doesn’t remove all of the hair from your back in one session, sadly.

Because the lasers are so targeted and precise, they’re best used for thinning out your back hair and making it more manageable or finer.

You can eventually remove virtually all of your back hair using the laser method, although this will probably take several treatment appointments due to how much the laser has to work to cover all of the surface area of your back.

Men who have really coarse or stick back hair will appreciate being able to thin out their hair to feel more comfortable or perform better in their chosen sport.

Laser hair removal also is not permanent in the truest sense of the word.

It delays and it decays hair growth so much that you won’t ever have to shave that area again, although very fine hair may still grow slowly over time.

If you decide to get laser hair removal, keep a few preparatory steps in mind.

  • You should shave beforehand to lower the amount of time that you have to be in the clinic.
  • You should also stay out of the sun for about three weeks before your appointments.

Why does this matter?

The lasers work better on lighter skin rather than darker skin.

This does mean that, depending on your skin tone, you’ll discuss different types of lasers with your laser treatment clinician to find one that works best for your skin type.

After your treatments, you’ll also need to avoid working out or straining yourself for about two days.


Electrolysis

Electrolysis Back Hair Removal

Electrolysis is the process of permanent hair removal through the use of an electrically charged needle which destroys your back hair’s roots.

Specs

Who Is It Best For?

This is the best solution for men who are sure that they want to permanently remove their back hair and you have the time and money to afford it.

Key Aspects

Electrolysis works through the insertion of a very fine or microscopic needle right into the shafts of hair follicles.

Each hair is individually targeted by this needle, one at a time, and a tiny electrical current is pushed through the needle to destroy the growth of cells of each individual hair follicle.

By doing this, your hair is permanently removed and the method by which it could ever grow back is destroyed.

This ensures that your skin will be smooth forever.

There are three general types of electrolysis devices that commonly used by your medical professional.

  • Galvanic electrolysis provokes a chemical reaction in your hair follicles to eliminate any of the growth cells remaining.
  • Thermolysis uses heat to destroy the hair growth cells, and your electrolysis may use higher or lower intensity depending on how fast they want to go.
  • Then there’s the Blend method of electrolysis that uses both of the above modes for maximum effect and thoroughness.

Because this is such a permanent method of hair removal, it’s important that you are sure about your decision before you go through it.

While there may be ways to minimize the electrolysis treatment after the fact, you’ll have to make peace with the idea that your back will be totally smooth for as long as you live.

If you are certain about your desire, however, electrolysis can be a great choice because it allows you to remove your hair permanently.

This means that you won’t waste any more time as part of your morning grooming routine.

Due to the scientific and technical nature of this method, you’ll need to visit a specialized electrologist at a medical clinic to receive this treatment.

In general, you can expect each electrolysis treatment to take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

The exact time will depend on the area that is being targeted in a particular session.

For instance, if you plan on removing all of the hair of your back through electrolysis, you’ll probably need several sessions with several hours of work in total to achieve perfect results.

All of the sessions necessary to remove the hair on your back will probably require you to visit the clinic for up to a year or more.

Your hair’s thickness or toughness with also affect the electrolysis timings.

Electrolysis is also pricey, although the exact cost will of course vary depending on the volume or thickness of hair that you want to be removed.

In terms of pain, electrolysis is generally very comfortable.

While you may feel some tightness or heat, since your hair follicles are being destroyed, it will generally be a much more bearable experience than waxing.

Even men with sensitive skin should have nothing to fear from electrolysis treatment.

After any given treatment, you might find that you are a little tender or red but it should last for more than a few hours.

There are little to no long-term medical risks.

While there are occasional outliers where hair may grow back every once in a while or in isolated places, this is an unusual occurrence and you can assume that you will never have to deal with back hair again.


How to Get Rid of Back Hair FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is electrolysis back hair removal really permanent?

Yes, it is.

Removing your back hair and this method will ensure that it will never return.

Be sure before you settle on this option as you can’t go back.

2. Does my hair type matter?

It does.

While anyone with any type of hair can use any type of hair removal method, certain methods will be easier to accomplish with thinner hair than others. As we mentioned above in our section on when to change your blades, safety blades are surprisingly fragile.

3. Should I combine methods of back hair removal?

Only if you want to.

Most of these methods can handle all of the hair on your back alone.

But there might be some value to combining shaving with depilatory cream, for instance, to effectively remove back hair across all spots on your back.

Depilatory cream might be easier to apply for some men, for example. Disposing of blades safely can be a big concern.

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