Back Shaving Explained: Q&A Packed With Useful Info

In this post, Back Shaving Explained, I will answer many questions regarding back shaving and clearing the mud from the water. I have over 20 years of dealing with back hair. I have been reviewing back shavers since 2017. With all this experience and knowledge, I would like to help other men forgo the pitfalls and also help build their confidence.

Having unwanted hair is a real problem for some men, and these products help with this problem. Thankfully, there are straightforward ways to handle a beaver pelt on your back.

back shaving explained

Back Shaver: What To Buy?

For a list of my five best manual back shavers, head to my post here: 5 Best Back Shavers.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Back Shaver – What Does It Take To Make The Best Back Shavers List?

I have highlighted a whole page concerning many issues one would face in choosing the right back shaver for oneself on this page, Which Back Shaver Is Right For Me? Different Back Shavers Explained.

This will explain all the positives and negatives of each type of back shaver and get you started on the right foot. Most people want

A Curved Long Handle Is Mandatory

You never…ever want a straight handle for shaving your back.

It just doesn’t work unless it is curved. A curve allows you to get to every spot on your back more easily. Most of today’s back shavers know this, but not all do. So make sure it has some curve. A straight-handle back shaver wouldn’t allow you to shave every area of your back. That slight curve will enable you to cover the entire back with minimal effort.

blue and black back shaver
Notice the curved handle. This is what you want in a back shaver.

Long Term Cost

Right after the performance of a back shaver, the long-term cost is the second most crucial factor in determining what type of back shaver you want. It is all up to you, the individual.

There are four types of back shavers.

  • Cartridges Manual Back Shavers – Cartridges are assembled at a factory and contain safety razor blades (usually 2 or 3) encased in plastic. This is more expensive in the long run, and you don’t get to choose what type and brand are used in the cartridge; the manufacturer decides that. This is a faster and easier method of replacing than changing safety razors.
  • Safety Razor Manual Back Shavers – This type of back shaver is one of the cheapest in the long run. You can also choose your razor or brand, giving you more options. It uses standard double-sided safety razor blades, which are considerably less expensive than replacement cartridges. Double-sided safety razors can be bought in packs of 5 or up to packs of 100. Check out my article on Best Safety Razors For Shaving Your Back.
  • Electric Back Shavers – This uses a trimmer and or foil head shaver. Please remember that the foil head shaver will eventually need to be replaced. I haven’t been impressed by the shaving ability of any foil head shaver either; they are often smaller in width, which means it will take a lot longer to shave your back, and they don’t shave as well as a manual back shaver. Most manufacturers state that the foil head needs to be replaced every six months. Another critical area of owning an electric back shaver is that the battery will eventually die on you. Also, the small parts of the motor could wear out over time, resulting in you having to buy another one.
  • Extension Handle – This uses a standard beard or leg razor attached to a handle. These types of razors are not the most efficient at handling back hair. They often clog fast with hair and take considerable time to shave the back. I don’t recommend these for shaving your back, but it can be done. Extension handle shavers are best for legs and other areas that are hard to reach for mobility-limited people.

Nicks & Cuts

Some back shavers are sharper than others, depending on the double-bladed safety razor used. Most companies don’t advertise what brand they use; they pick and use a brand. Believe it or not, different razors have different types of sharpness, from mild, sharp, and very sharp.

Moles, acne, scars, and skin tags can be a problem for some, as these protrude above the skin and are the obvious sources of most nicks and cuts. I don’t have any moles on my back, but I have experienced cuts from being sloppy or not taking my time when shaving with a fresh razor. But this only happened when I was brand new to using a back shaver nowadays, and I never nick myself.

Some sound advice would be to slow down around problem areas and avoid moles. Take your time and shave right up to the problem skin area. Pull the back shaver straight in short strokes, never turning the blade when pulling.

Rushing through shaving your back, especially for newbies, is not a good idea. Focus on proper technique, pay attention, and just be methodical.

man shaving

Product Warranty

This is something always to consider when buying anything. So, why not a back shaver as well? I have had only one back shaver break on me during my years of reviewing back shavers, and I own almost 60 different back shavers now. If you buy a back shaver from Amazon, Amazon usually allows you to return it within a reasonable time from the time of purchase.

If you buy from a website, you might want to check out their warranty before purchasing. Be careful when buying from Aliexpress and other websites, as they have different return policies.

Common Questions On Owning A Back Shaver

Step-By-Step Guide To Shaving Your Back

I’ve written an article highlighting critical aspects of how to shave your back. If you want more information here, How To Shave Your Back Yourself.

  1. Where – The ideal area to shave your back is in the bathroom, but any room with a big mirror will do. Using a mirror to shave your back is unnecessary, but it helps, especially if it is your first time. Some people like to shave their back in a tub or shower without water, making it easy to clean up.
  2. Tools Needed – All you need is a back shaver. So, no shaving cream or gels. I highly recommend dry shaving your back. It is the easiest and has the best results.
  3. Know The Proper Technique -With a back shaver, you want to pull the back shaver in short, straight lines. Do not pull at an angle or swerve mid-pull; keep straight pulls. Also, pull slowly, especially if you are a newbie. It should also be said to follow the specific instructions from the manufacturer. This can be found in the instruction pamphlet and online on their website.
  4. Arm Positions – Shaving your back is easy, but the different arm positions can be tricky when starting out. There are many arm positions you use to shave your back. This is where using a mirror comes in handy. There are three arm positions to know: over the shoulder, behind the middle of the back, and behind the lower back. Remember to switch hands, too, as frequently you must shave with your non-dominate hand to get every area of your back.
  5. Be Methodical – In order to get all of your back hair shaved, you are going to have to take a systematic approach to shaving your back. I usually start at the top of the back & shoulders and work downward. You can focus on one side first or work from the top down. Also, don’t forget to shave the back of the arms, too, if they are beastly.
  6. Clean Up – I usually shave my back in front of the mirror in the bathroom. So, clean up is quite simple; I use a broom and dustpan to sweep up the hair afterward.

Is Shaving Your Back A Little Scary At First?

It was for me at first, too, but trust me, it is easily mastered. Just take your time and don’t rush it. Once you realize how great a back shaver works (depending on the manufacturer), you will quickly get over your concerns.

After a couple of times, you will become a master at it. Trust me, it’s easy.

man scared

How Long Does It Take To Shave Your Back?

The answer can vary depending on what back shaver device you use to shave your back. It should take about or under 10 minutes to shave your back fully with a quality back shaver. I routinely shave my back in under 10 minutes with the #1 Manual back shaver (see above) and, for that matter, with all of the back shavers in this best back shavers post.

If it takes longer, you have the wrong back shaver or are new to back shaving. Beginners should always take it slow when first using a back shaver. Pay attention to technique.

Can You Cut Yourself?

You can cut yourself with any razor, but you will be completely safe if you read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them.

I’ve never cut myself badly; I just made minor cuts when I first started. I’ve cut myself worse shaving my beard than I have with shaving my back. So, it is very safe.

It would help if you tried to be careful shaving around moles, acne, and scars, as these tend to be raised, and you can cut yourself by shaving over them. Shaver right up to but not over these features.

Does Shaving Your Back Cause Ingrown Hairs?

I’ve been shaving my back for over ten years now, and I have never had one ingrown hair on my back. This, of course, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Anytime you remove hair, shaving, waxing, epilation, or tweezing, it can potentially cause ingrown hair. In my opinion, it is not something to worry about.

Alternatives To Back Shaving

You have options, not just shaving. There are quite a few methods of ridding your back of hair. I will list them below with the positives and negatives of each technique.

  • Waxing
  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Chemicals (Nair, for example)
  • Electric Back Trimmers
  • Epilator

Waxing

This can be an excruciating and expensive procedure, as you will generally have to pay a salon to perform this on you unless you have a partner to help you out. You are ripping the hair out from the root and doing this in large chunks, which doesn’t feel good. Then, have the procedure again when the hair grows back.

The positive is you are getting the whole hair follicle out and not just shaving the hair above the skin layer. So, hair takes a lot longer to grow back compared to shaving.

Laser Hair Removal

This has the potential to have a permanent result over time and is the main positive of this procedure. It would take quite a few sessions to complete this. Very little pain is associated with laser hair removal.

This would also need to be performed by a salon or a pricey at-home laser hair removal gun. Salons are expensive to get this done—lots of long sessions between 6 to 20.

Chemicals

Also called depilatory creams, they can be used to remove back hair. Nair is a big household name everybody recognizes. The chemicals dissolve the hair right at the surface level. This generally takes roughly about 5 to 15 minutes, but be sure to check the directions and follow them.

This can be messy to apply, and not to mention they stink, too. Plus, applying to your back evenly without a partner is hard. People with sensitive skin should avoid depilatory creams as they will probably react to them.

This is a pretty cheap method of dealing with back hair, and a bottle of cream can cost around $5.00 to $25.00.

Electric Back Trimmers

This uses an electric hair trimmer with a long handle. Some people don’t like shaving and prefer trimming back hair. This method has zero pain, and with a quality back trimmer, it should take under 15 minutes.

This would require you to purchase a back trimmer with regular usage that should last a few years.

The negative is that the results last the shortest as you leave back hair longer than any other method.

Epilator

One of the more painful methods of dealing with back hair is very similar to waxing, as you effectively pull the hair out from the root. Epilators mechanically grab multiple hairs and then pull them out. This method is also going to require you to have assistance too.

The results of using an epilator are good, as hair has to grow all the back before needing to use it again.

Does Shaving Your Back Hair Make It Grow Thicker?

Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with how often or how fast your hair grows back. So, shave as often as you want. It doesn’t make your hair grow any faster or fuller.

How Often Should I Shave My Back?

This is dependent on your personal preference. If you prefer having a smooth dolphin skin back and going shirtless often, I would say every 2 to 3 days. If you don’t mind having stubble, I would say every 2 to 3 weeks.

Is There A Lot Of Maintenance With Back Shavers?

No, other than changing cartridges or razor blades and occasionally cleaning after each use, there is little maintenance. A tiny brush helps clean the razor’s blades and teeth and keeps everything neat and clean. Nowadays, most back-shaving companies provide a cleaning brush with a back shaver. Most back shavers are pretty rugged and low maintenance.

Can I Shave My Own Back?

Hell yeah, you can. This is great for shy, do-it-yourself kinds of men. You would have to be pretty close to someone to even ask for them to do this. With this relatively newer health and hygiene product (back shavers), you can do it all by yourself and, I might add, do a great job at it, too. Granted, you buy an excellent back shaver. (see below)

Should I Shave My Back Wet Or Dry?

I like to dry-shave my back.

I find it faster to shave it dry. But others might disagree, and I can conceive that point as long as you have tried both methods and still hold fast to that belief. I have light back hair, but if you have a carpeted sasquatch beaver pelt for back hair, I would maybe consider shaving after a shower or in the shower. This would help soften the back hair and prep the skin for shaving. But both methods work.

Also, when back shaving is wet, I find the hair clumps and clogs at the razors as opposed to dry shaving, where the hair falls to the floor. I never have a problem with clogs or clumps when dry shaving, and I recommend it, but feel free to try both if you want to see one for yourself.

How Long Does Bakblade Shaving Cartridges Last?

The number of shaving sessions you will get before changing the razors is highly variable. There are many factors, like the thickness of back hair, but on average, you will get between 5 and 7 shaves before replacing the shaving cartridges.

Do I Need Shaving Cream Or Gel To Shave My Back?

No, I have only shaved my back once with shaving cream, and it was such a pain in the ol’ arse. It makes a real mess of things trying to get the shaving cream on your back and staying there. Also, the shaving cream will fall on the floor while you are shaving.

You do not need shaving cream to shave your back. Most back shavers actually work better without using shaving cream. Trust me…skip the shaving cream.

What Is The Cheapest Back Shaver To Own?

For those frugally-minded people…

The cheapest manual back shaver to own over the life of the back shaver is a back shaver that uses replaceable safety razors. Safety razors are super cheap. For example, you can order a box of 100 safety razors for under $15.00, and this would last you years of shaving.

As opposed to using a manual back shaver that uses replaceable shaving cartridges, shaving cartridges are quite a bit more expensive than purchasing safety razors. But using shaving cartridges is much simpler and doesn’t require you to take apart the shaving head.

I will list the best back shavers that use replaceable safety razors below.

The Best Cheapest Back Shavers To Own Over Time

What Is Right For You? Electric Back Shaver Or Manual Back Shaver???

I have laid out an entire article on this question: Which Back Shaver Is Right For Me? Different Back Shavers Explained. This goes into the differences between each method, plus the positives and negatives, and will help you decide.

The simplicity of using and owning a manual back shaver is where it is at.

Nobody will tell you that an electric back shaver will fail over time, like the battery or the small moving parts, not to mention the foil shaver, which needs to be replaced every six months. I have run this website since 2017, and some of the electric back shavers I have purchased no longer work… mainly because the battery has died. I want a product that will last a lifetime without having to buy it repeatedly.

Warranty

Depending on the company that made your back shaver will determine the warranty of your back shaver. Most of the big names in back shaving have some warranty on their products. But there are a lot of shady back shaver companies, too, that don’t have any type of warranty. Always be sure to check out their warranty before purchasing.

Can A Back Shaver Be Used For Body Hair?

100% yes! Most back shavers can also be used to shave body hair as well not just back. Sometimes, it is best to choke up on the handle and use it with a shorter grip. This allows you better control of the back shaver. But a back shaver will most definitely work for body shaving as well. Just take your time doing it.

A great body hair shaver is the Bakblade Bodblade. It is a short handle with the same great blade design as the Bakblade 2.0 Elite Plus (the best back shaver IMHO). You can read my full review here: Bodblade Review.

What I Use!!!

I love using a manual back shaver, one with actual razor blades to cut the back hair. I prefer it over using electric back shavers. If you don’t know or want a quick answer, I recommend using a manual (razor blade) back shaver. These work great and are simple to use with no fear of worn-out parts; just replace the razor blades or cartridges.

Think, the simpler, the better.

What is a Manual Back Shaver?

Answer: Any back shaver with a cartridge or safety razor installed in the shaving head.

What is an Electric Back Shaver?

Answer: Any powered electric back shaver that is plugged in or battery operated. Electric back shavers will either have just a trimming head and/or a foil shaver head.

Pros & Cons Of The Different Back Shavers Explained

Pros Of Using A Manual Back Shaver

  • The closest shave you will get is using a manual back shaver with an actual razor blade.
  • It is easy to replace blades with either cartridges or razors.
  • There is no need to charge or replace batteries.
  • Very easy to clean.
  • It is super travel-friendly as most models fold in half for easy travel or storage.
  • Manual back shavers that use replaceable safety razors (instead of cartridges) can be very affordable to replace the razors.
  • The fastest method of removing back hair.

Cons Of Using A Manual Back Shaver

  • A potential to nick or cut yourself.
  • You must be aware of moles, scars, or skin tags on your back and avoid shaving them.
  • Manual back shavers that use cartridges can be slightly more expensive to use over time.

Pros Of Using An Electric Back Shaver

  • A lot less likely to cut or nick skin when trimming or shaving.
  • Some people don’t like shaving their back but just trim the back hair shorter.
  • Less skin irritation.

Cons Of Using An Electric Back Shaver

  • Leaves hair longer on the back compared to shaving.
  • Requires batteries or charging.
  • There are higher chances of mechanical issues potentially occurring. As these have more moving parts, parts wear out over time.
  • Slow. It is a slow process as oftentimes you have to go over your back multiple times as an electric back shaver has two head attachments. A trimmer head and a shaving head, as this translates to going over your entire back numerous times more than using a manual back shaver.

You can read more questions and answers like this on my page: Common Questions About Shaving Your Back Answered.

Brands To Trust

It might seem weird, but don’t buy the well-known household grooming brand names for any back shaver.

Why is this?

Well, because they suck for back shaving. They might work great for beards and such, but most, if not all, of the big names that I have reviewed for back shaving were not even good back shavers. It hasn’t happened yet for those big names like Philips Norelco, Braun, Gillette, etc.

None of these household names have made it on my best backshavers list.

The names in the back shaver world you should trust are:

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Final Thoughts On Back Shaving Explained

The deeper you dig into back shaving, the more information you find. I have laid out the information I gleaned from years of experience. If you have any questions about back shaving, I would be glad to help you; leave a comment below.

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