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Summertime In Madison: What To Do With That Hairy Back Fellas


MADISON, NJ - With summer approaching, everyone is talking about those adorable pastel rompers for grown men, but according to Humberto Wispe, co-owner, Waxing the City in Madison, what we really should be talking about is male back hair.

 According to anyone who has ever been to a beach along the Jersey shore, hairy backs are very common. Sometimes it seems as if a full 75 percent of men suffer from the affliction. And while we, as a society, can now accept -- or, even embrace -- a less than perfect body shape or size, we still universally recoil at the sight of a hairy back.

 “I don’t know a single guy who has not been made fun of for his hairy back,” said Wispe. “You can be the CEO of a tech start-up with 14 vintage cars in the garage and a six-pack of well-defined abs, but we’ll skewer you over your back hair. That’s how guys are.”

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 Beyond the teasing, most men will admit that they don’t talk about back hair as a legitimate problem and they certainly don’t know how best to remove it. In fact, before he was the co-owner of Waxing the City, Wispe was using a cheap hair removal cream he found at his local grocery store.

 “It was the most humiliating thing,” he said. “I would strip off my clothes, crouch in the bathtub and call to my wife. She would come in, lather me up, and I would have to stand there naked by myself for 15 minutes breathing in the harsh fumes of the cream. Then, she would come back in and wipe up all my hair with a small hand towel, leaving me with a mild chemical burn. Not fun.”

 Of course, shaving is always an option, but according to Wispe, that is equally as humiliating. “Most wives I know would rather give themselves a root canal than shave their husband’s back,” said Joy O’Meara, Wispe’s wife and business partner. “Also, you run the risk of your wife missing a spot, and she’s likely to have some trouble with the transition areas of the shoulders and the sides of the torso.”

 O’Meara said that although no one is talking about them, back waxes are one of the most popular services offered at Waxing the City. On average, the studio sees 25 male clients a week for a back waxing, and they run the gamut from corporate executives to police officers to professional athletes. “If you think you are too manly for a back waxing, you aren’t,” she said.  “Back hair doesn’t discriminate so why should you?”

Together, Wispe and O’Meara have gone to great lengths to make Waxing the City feel as welcoming to their male clients as to their female clients. “Our aesthetic is unisex metropolitan,” said Wispe. “You won’t find any flowery wallpaper here, and our cerologists have all been highly trained to make sure your experience is as discreet and professional as possible.”

 Finally, to those men who may be reluctant to get their backs waxed because of the pain, Wispe urges you to reconsider.

“We use a proprietary blend of soft wax that is made exclusively for us in Spain, as well as special mapping techniques and number of high-quality post-wax products that will soothe the skin afterwards,” he said. “Combined with an over-the-counter pain reliever an hour before, the pain is nothing you can’t handle, and it hurts way less than your ego does standing naked in the bathtub completely vulnerable and dependent on your wife.”

 The cost for a back wax is $62 (shoulders included) and will last 4-6 weeks. To make an appointment, call Waxing the City at 973-845-9700 or visit


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