By Ethan Merrimount
I’ve been a licensed massage therapist for over 15 years. In that time, every type of person has come my way: farters, people who forgot to shower beforehand, larger individuals, men who (ahem) accidentally drop their towel. Dealing with all of that is, for the most part, just a part of the job. There are other instances that seem problematic but really aren’t – people may be self-conscious about eczema or psoriasis, but a proper massage can actually be helpful, and the right hypoallergenic lotion can do wonders. Same with pregnant women (hey, you’ve EARNED this massage). Something else that’s totally fine? Back hair. I just use extra lotion or oil (depending on the client’s preference). For real, it’s no big deal.
Self-consciousness aside, one issue that several hairy clients have had is that afterwards they feel really oily. Some have asked/offered/suggested that they use a body hair razor to make their life and my job easier. My response is always no. It’s fine. For real.
It’s really not a problem when my hands run through your hair. We can find the right amount of oil to use so it doesn’t take so long to go from wet to dry. But you know what’s NOT great? The sharp bristles of a 5 o’clock shadow not on your cheek but all over your back. The back that I have to rub my hands across for a living. When you use a back shaver, it hurts me. It hurts my profession. It hurts the world.
There’s always the back or full body wax – but if you wince at the light pressure I put on your shoulders, then you may want something pain free instead. Hair removal pads sometimes work, but they can inflame the skin, and coincidentally a lot of my clients are allergic to body groomer creams and the like. I always assumed there was no such thing as a flawless back hair remover – that is, until a long-time client came in, got ready, and you’d think he’d never had a hair on his back his whole life.
I wondered how this was possible, and he told me about back hair removal for men that actually worked. The BAKblade back razor was the ultimate body groomer for this man: he told me about the razor extension and the long ergonomic handle, and I could see for myself this was no quick dry shave but rather some pro equipment that very clearly worked. He’d shaved and showered before he came, and this was a close shave unlike any attempt I’d seen before. That massage (and all the others with him since) has been easy, stress-free, and required a whole lot less oil than before. Every time he comes in he’s happier and seems more confident, and all in all just seems like a different kind of guy.
My job is fine if your back is hairy. My job is fine if it isn’t. But if you’re going to be a manscaper or try some back hair remover, make sure you get a male body shaver that actually works. Trust me, I’ve massaged a lot of backs in my day.