Backcombing is a powerful weapon in any DIY styler’s armoury. It’s a go-to recipe for impact, lift and volume. But, if the handling goes awry, it can easily look a mess. And it can be damaging for your hair, too.
So, how to approach this most delicate of styling techniques?
Everyone’s aware of the basic premise of backcombing, but we’re not all familiar with the one accessory that smooths the process: a custom brush.
Using a brush that’s been specifically designed for backcombing will work with you, paving the way as you go about building body and movement.
“When it comes to backcombing your hair, it’s essential you have an appropriate backcombing brush specifically designed to help tease the hair and to set the backcombed hairstyle,” explains Leah Durrant, director of the Leah Durrant Hair Salon & Beauty Retreat.
“Use the backcombing brush around the crown of your scalp, firmly pushing the hair towards the scalp in one motion. Once you have reached your desired shape and height, be sure to smooth over the top section of the hair to cover the backcombing.”
Karen Thompson, owner of KAM Hair and Body Spa, adds that a combination of brushes work to achieve the optimal effect.
“Flip your parting when the hair is wet, the use a round brush around the roots of your hair as you blowdry,” she says. “This will keep the roots lifted and the great advantage of this tip is no product is necessary. Finish by using a backcombing brush to backcomb sections of the hair where you desire a bit more volume, for your hair to appear and feel thicker and fuller.”
As well as working to accelerate lift and volume, a backcombing brush will also minimise damage – as Dean Jones, owner of Dean Jones Hairdressing, points out.
“Backcombing your hair can deliver instant impact and volume but it can also be quite damaging,” he says. “Always be gentle and be sure to use a backcombing brush, as it will cause less damage and less friction to your hair.”
After you have the correct brush lined up, the rest – he says – is easy:
“Hold hair in sections and begin backcombing the underneath sections first for a little extra oomph. Be sure to add the most volume to the crown of your hair and smooth over the top to avoid that bird nest look.”
So, there you have it. May the backcombing bonanza commence...