If you think shaving your own back is impossible, you’re wrong. It’s only mostly impossible. Unless you have a constantly updating 3D map of your back and the fine motor skills of a brain surgeon, it will always, always be easier to have someone else do the shaving for you, whether they’re a professional esthetician or someone you’ve been quarantining with, with whom all social barriers have crumbled.
But again, it’s not completely impossible! You can use the razor you already own, with a little help from a razor extender (a sort of pole that the razor will clip onto). However you achieve it, if you have a razor that can (safely!) reach your back, you can technically shave your back. But you’ll need to do a lot more than that if you want even a chance of doing it well… and, again, safely.
If you have a lot of back hair, you’re going to need to trim it first to give your razor a fighting chance, just like you’d trim your beard before shaving it off. Once that’s done, take a hot shower to loosen the pores and soften the hair. Next, grab your shave butter or shave lather, as you want something designed to make the razor glide easily on your back, rather than scraping across it — you most likely have moles and other bumps on your back that you need to be careful of, and that includes the ridges on your spine (if you think shaving your back by yourself is tough, try applying a Band-Aid).
Now, get yourself positioned somewhere you can see what the hell you’re doing, whether you’re holding a mirror behind you or watching a live-feed from a security camera trained on your back. A back that has random tufts of hair you missed is arguably less attractive than letting it all hang around.
Once you’re set, apply your shave butter (or lather) to your back generously. This is not the time to skimp. Assuming you don’t have someone to put it on you — because if you do, seriously, just pay them to do the full shave for you — there are applicator sticks designed specifically for this sort of work, but failing that, you can use our guide to putting sunscreen on your own back. Once it’s on there, you can start shaving, and the real work begins.
First and foremost, you need to be patient. This is not something you can rush, assuming you want to do it well and without injury. Work on small sections of your back one at a time and reapply your shave product whenever you feel it’s needed. Your instinct is going to be to reach over your back and pull up, and that’ll be necessary for some parts of your back, but you’ll still be shaving against the grain, which is more likely to leave your skin red and bumpy. Try to do as much work as possible by reaching around your sides. Oh, and it should probably go without saying, but rinse your razor free of hair often. Again, you want this shave to be as smooth as possible.
Once you’ve shaved your back to your satisfaction, get back into the shower and take a merely warm rinse, because there’s a very good chance your back will feel slightly raw, and all you really need to do is remove your various shaving lubes and knock off any loose hairs hanging around. Dry yourself thoroughly but gently, then grab your post-shave moisturizer to hydrate your back to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps (we personally recommend a moisturizer with aloe in it, which will also help soothe the aforementioned raw skin).
Ta-da! You’ve shaved your own back! And now you have a few hair-free weeks during which you can search for someone to do it for you next time, because that’ll still be a million times easier than what you just put yourself through.