How to properly backcomb your hair without damaging it

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  • Learn how to backcomb hair to add extra volume, but without the split ends.

    Backcombing your hair is the best way to create volume and body on even the thinnest locks, but it can be a difficult technique to get right at home. Get it wrong and not only will your style fall flat in minutes, but you could do permanent damage to your tresses. Learning how to backcomb hair is actually a bit of a gamechanger, as most styles are based around a little bit of backcombing.

    ‘Take the arm-work out of creating volume by learning how to backcomb properly,’ says celebrity stylist Ben Cooke. ‘You don’t have to be vigorously back-brushing the hair for hours on end as this is only going to lead to damage.’ Instead, follow our tips to ensure you learn how to backcomb hair without ruining your luscious locks.

    1. The first step is to make sure you have the right tools. Invest in a specifically designed backcombing brush, such as the BaByliss Back Comb Brush. Look out for boar bristles and a pintail handle, to help tease and set any backcombed style. A decent backcomb brush will create tension against the hair, so your style will hold better than it would with a regular hair brush.

    2. If your hair is freshly washed and void of product, no style is going to hold. Start by washing your hair with a volumising shampoo and conditioner – we love the Kérastase Volumising Duo, which will create a soft and bouncy base to start your style. Then apply Redken’s Style Connection Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Lift Finish Spray to give hair instant texture, hold and lift, making light work of teasing and backcombing.

    3. Simply section the hair into manageable portions and, using your new comb, gently but firmly push the hair back towards the scalp right down to the root in one fluid motion. This will help you to achieve a uniform effect, rather than a lumpy or uneven look. Start at the crown with a section no bigger than two inches – make sure you comb each section through before backcombing, so you don’t end up with a tangled bird’s nest at the back of your head. Work back and down the sides, repeating the same technique on each section.

    4. When you’ve achieved your desired shape and height, smooth out the top section to cover the backcombing, add a little dry shampoo to add bulk and spritz with a little hairspray to set.

    When it comes to brushing out your backcombed style, start at the ends and work your way up to the crown. Don’t rip through the hair with a heavy hand – this will create as much broken and damaged hair as a bad backcomb would in the first place.

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