Certain questions have puzzled the human race’s finest minds for thousands of years. How did the Ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids? Why did homo sapiens overtake all other species in the evolutionary race to intelligence? What happened at the beginning of the universe? And how on earth do you shave your own back?
At Wilkinson Sword, we’re home to the most innovative minds in shaving, with over a century’s experience in developing the very best technologies for a smooth, close, clean shave – but there are certain eternal questions that evade us, too. However, having supplied a how-to guide for manscaping just about every other part of your anatomy, it seems right that we have a crack at the back too, if only for the sake of completeness.
Shaving your back the right way
Whether you’re about to go on holiday and you want the full smoothed-off Love Island look, you’re looking to increase your speed in the swimming pool by a fraction of a second or you’re simply fed up of having the extra layer on hot days, there are many reasons you might want rid of your back hair.
Maybe you’ve never tried it – and we certainly wouldn’t blame you for steering clear. Some people don’t have enough back hair to bother with, while others might have a veritable forest back there but mistakenly believe you’d have to be a super-flexible yoga guru to even give it a go. What might surprise you is that in order to keep your back hair in check, you don’t necessarily have to contort yourself into a series of impossible positions like you’re playing Twister in the bathroom. With a little practice, it’s within reach of all of us.
The first thing to say, of course, is that if you’re lucky enough to have someone else to shave your back for you, you should ask them. While it’s far from impossible, it is tricky, and there are always going to be spots you can’t reach yourself. What’s more, if you’re concentrating fully on reaching the most remote places on your back, you’re more likely to go sloppy on the technique, which can result in razor burn or nicks and cuts.
Whatever your reasons for shaving your back, the key is to give this not inconsiderable task the time it deserves. Bleary-eyed in front of the mirror at 6 in the morning just won’t do.
The steps to a successful back shave
Shaving your back is, in theory, pretty simple. This means that approaching it like the rest of your manscaping routine, rather than building up to it like the finale of a circus act, is probably the way to go.
Whatever the size of your back, it’s probably a larger surface area than anything you’ve shaved before – whether you’ve got the body of Dwayne Johnson or not. So it’s important to tackle back hair one small patch at a time. Work methodically, as if you’re mowing the lawn.
- Start by softening your back hair. Take a hot, and ideally long, shower before you go anywhere near the razor – to give wiry hairs a chance to soften. Clean hair is much more easily removable without the oils, dirt and dead skin that can clog up a razor, plus a shower gives you the chance to identify any spots or moles that you need to tread carefully around.Dry off completely when you’ve finished. While it’s important for hair to be hydrated, you don’t want to start with wet skin as this can affect the glide of the razor and give you a shaving rash.
- Get your mirrors in place. The more, the better when it comes to shaving your back. Borrow that big ornate one from the hallway, move the full-length mirror from the bedroom into the bathroom… if it’s reflective, it’ll help. Position your collection of mirrors around yourself like you’re in a fairground fun house.Of course, some people prefer to stand in the shower when shaving their bodies, and no two bathrooms are the same – wherever you are, just make sure you’ve got a clear view.
- Trim your back hair if you need to. If you’ve got a particularly Wolfman-like back, it’s well worth shortening the hair to a manageable length before you go at it with the razor. Work slowly and carefully across the surface with a trusty trimmer like the Shave & Style trimmer. Your razor will thank you later when it’s not clogged up after three strokes, and you’ll find the shaving process more smooth and comfortable.
- Lather up with a generous helping of shave gel. Make sure your whole back is covered in order to help guide the razor smoothly across the surface. Our Hydro 5 Sense Hydrate shave cream is perfect for protecting sensitive skin from irritation because it’s formulated with vitamin E. Plus it’s non-foaming, which will save you from spreading excess gel all over the bathroom, and you only need a thin layer for it to work effectively
- Make sure you’re using a reliable razor. You’ll need the very finest blades to tackle the fuzz on your back, and at Wilkinson Sword we’re proud to be at the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to razors. Our Hydro 5 Body razor is designed with water activated gel pools and five bi-directional blades, giving you smooth motion and as much coverage as possible in those hard-to-reach spots on your back – all with minimum effort. The anti-slip handle ensures you’re in full control at all times.
- Always shave in the direction of growth. Now is not the time to go against the grain. Whatever direction you’re approaching from, shaving the right way reduces the risk of irritation and helps you to avoid ingrown hairs. Take it easy and work in small patches at a time – light strokes will help you to achieve the most comfortable shave and the best results
- Keep rinsing blades and reapplying shave gel. Keeping your razor clear of hairs and keeping your skin well-moisturised throughout the shave is key to having a smooth back when you’ve finished. The last thing you want is to be lounging by the pool two days later, only to notice a whole patch of sprouting growth where you obviously didn’t have optimal shaving conditions in place.
- Dry off properly and moisturise. Staying well-lubricated throughout your back shave is one thing, but keeping the skin hydrated afterwards is quite another. Having a soothing post-shave balm at hand will not only leave your skin feeling and looking its best but it’ll lessen the chances of any lingering irritation too.