Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guide to Backcombing Your Hair

(Drew Barrymore's photos by Elleuk.com)

Big hair and even bigger hair it's probably the number one trend among perhaps not the hair fashionistas amongst us but definitely in the majority of women. There are many methods to inject some volume into your hair, whether it be Velcro rollers, tongs, straighteners, skillful blow drying, a whole load of hairspray and the usual accompaniment backcombing.

Backcombing is simple and effective giving your hair great volume and some much needed texture to those who have fine hair and don't want it laden with product. Backcombing is also useful for giving hair some 'purchase' like for instance when applying hair extensions the clips need something to grip onto and backcombing is great for this. Backcombing is also the basis to many a structured up do, from chignons to bee-hives there is bound to be backcombing involved somewhere. It is good for updo's as it easily introduces great lift into the hair.

So far it sounds like we have stumbled upon the cure all for flat lifeless hair, possibly not. Like all styling techniques, tools and products we use on our hair there is a downside and when it comes to backcombing that's damage. How can it damage your hair, the next how to section will explain.
If you want to backcomb your hair you could just start off by focusing on the crown of your hair to give good lift and volume. Take sections of the hair and using a rat-tail comb or a brush where the bristles are quite densely situated. Focusing on the root of the hair and about a quarter up the length of the hair, hold the section up and on the stated area brush down. Essentially you are brushing in small strokes against the natural line of the hair.

Once you have done this on all desired sections it should look a bit like scarecrows hair? Don't worry you are on track, now here's the tricky bit you get a natural bristled brush or a comb with a really light hand smooth over the top of the backcombed sections to lay and flatten it (slightly!) and smooth over the top of it. Tweak your hair if there are some unruly bits, you may even have to backcomb some other section, just remember to smooth over the top of the hair but with a very light touch. You don't want to flatten out all of your hard earned volume. 

The final step is to secure your hair with a spritz of hairspray, I would recommend not a freeze hold spray as you don't want to have or look like you have crunchy hair; elnette is the best for this job.

To recap all you need to achieve this look is a brush or a comb and some hairspray, backcombing for an up do would probably be more successful on hair that is a day or two after being washed so that it is not exceptionally soft or flyaway. Another tip is if your hair is flyaway and you want to backcomb try using a dry shampoo even if you have just washed your hair. Spritz it all over and work it in with your fingers, it's a great way of quickly adding texture to the hair.