Back combing also called teasing simply
means creating a tangled base of hair on which to support a style.
It's great if what you are after is either height or volume to build up those big hair looks. This
hairdressing technique was used in the sixties to create the high crowns
and quiffs sported by the likes of the Supremes and James Dean. It is an essencial part of most up styles, wedding and prom night hair do's and for those wanting to create something in hair that is alternative like a punk look you will also need to master the backcomb.
It is not something that we would
recommend you do every day as it can lead to hair breakage and surface
damage of the hair due to the stress you put your hair under.
How to do it:
- Taking small sections of your hair at
a time, you hold the ends or tips straight out from the head
with one hand.
- With a fine toothed comb in the
other hand you run it down the hair towards the scalp in short
sharp strokes, this will tangle or matt some most or all of the section depending on how many strokes and what you want.
- The smaller the sections you do
at a time the longer the shape will last because it makes the
whole thing more condensed.
- Short hair can be made to stand
out on end this way.
- Long hair will get more volume
and some of those great messy catwalk, just- got-out-of-bed
looks, are created in this way.
- If you are backcombing curly hair,
you will get masses of volume but it can be a nightmare to remove
To remove backcombing, use a cushion
or paddle brush, starting at the ends of the hair and getting
closer to the scalp as the tangles are removed. You need patience
with this so don't get frustrated and start tugging as you could
snap your hair.
I would not recommend that you back-comb your hair if it is very fragile from chemical treatments like relaxing or bleaching as it can be easily damaged by this method of styling leading to it literally snapping off.
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