Hairy Back? Here's How to Get Rid of It
Many men have hairy backs. Many don't. It really is pot luck – and down to genetics – as to which side you fall on. For those stuck with the former, having a hairy back is by no means a cause for concern. While some will take great pride in their hirsute aesthetic, we understand that for others it may be a cause of discomfort and perhaps even affect their confidence and self-esteem.
Back hair is an odd thing. If feels as though it's been ingrained into our minds, through social media, pop culture, what we read and what we see anecdotally that women love a man with stubble, a hairy chest and furry forearms, yet, for many, the sight of a hairy back is seen an immediate turn off.
In truth, the only thing that really matters is how you feel about your hairy back. If you love it, then wear it loud and proud. If you want to get rid of it, then you've come to the right place.
Stick around for our complete guide to how to get rid of back hair, with expert advice from professional beautician Sarah Louisa O’Looney. For a quick snapshot of products you can buy to remove back hair, see our guide below.
What Causes a Hairy Back?
For the majority of men, a hairy back is largely down to genetics. So you have your father and grandfather to thank. But for some, there may be other reasons, such as hypertrichosis, a rare disorder that causes excessive hair growth. While you can, and should, talk to your doctor if you think have hypertrichosis, a hairy back isn't a medical concern and there's not much a doctor can do.
That being said, there are definitely advantages of a bald back – beyond just aesthetics. 'Once the back hair removal is complete, the sensation on your back is so much better when wearing clothes and after showering,' says beautician Sarah Louisa O’Looney, who instructs therapists on hair removal techniques. It can also help to reduce sweating, which, in turn, can help to reduce the appearance of spots on your back. Plus, it could save you from ruining your favourite t-shirts.
How to Remove Back Hair
So, how exactly do you free yourself of fuzz?
Shaving your back is the simplest and least expensive option, but it's also one of the trickiest. You will need a helping pair of hands and the results, much like an X-Factor winner’s career, are rather short lived. What’s more, you’re likely to be plagued by itchy regrowth.
If you opt for the razor, ask your partner, or a friend (a close one), to do it in the shower (the steam will soften the hairs) and, as with the hair on your face, make sure they only ever shave in the direction of hair growth or you’ll end up with irritation and risk painful ingrown hairs.
Even if you have a willing spouse, a back hair removal depilatory cream is a better option. These work by dissolving the hair at skin level and deliver results lasting around twice as long as shaving. They can be tricky to apply by yourself though, so ask for help.
2. Back wax
By far the easiest solution is to have a professional back wax – also know as depilation. This, says O’Looney, will keep you smooth for up to two months at a time and should also improve the overall look of your body, especially if you also have the top of your arms and shoulders done at the same time. 'Even if you haven’t much definition on your shoulders you’ll be amazed at how different your outline looks,' she says. Incentive indeed.
Professional back hair removal waxes vary in price depending on where you live, the salon doing them and whether you want shoulders or any other body parts done at the same time, but expect to pay between £30-40 a go. The process can be eye-watering and your skin will smart afterwards but the results are impressive.
3. Back waxing at home
Professional back waxing, isn't for everyone – cue Steve Carell's very real waxing scene from the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin. If you'd prefer to be in control of your own fate and don't want to shave, you can also wax your back yourself at home.
A cheaper option to getting it professionally done, and if done well, the results are the same. However, waxing at home is very difficult and, like shaving, you will need help. If it's not done correctly, you also run the risk of skin rashes and developing ingrowing hairs.
4. Hair removal cream
Using a hair removal cream is perhaps the cheapest and easiest method for removing back hair and, unlike, shaving, there's no risk of cutting yourself in the proces. Getting the job done in under five minutes, depilatory creams such as this one from Nad's For Men are the perfect choice if you want a quick solution to back hair removal. You'll still need help applying it, though you'll find most partners are experts in the art. Simply rub it on it, wait for three minutes, then remove.
5. Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is by far the most expensive option on this list, but for good reason. Whereas with waxing or shaving you'll have to regularly keep on repeating the process, which can be painful and damage your skin, laser hair removal damages the hair follicles, which stops or delays future hair growth. Plus, once you've completed the course of treatment, the results are permanent.
While laser hair removal will never completely prevent hair growth, the back hair that you do grow will be thinner, lighter and, most importantly, require far less frequent, if any, management.
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