How To Backcomb or Tease HairBackcombing Basics: Building Up the Bulk
Backcombing the hair, commonly referred to as teasing is a technique where you can build-up the lower layers of the hair and can create a fuller, more-voluminous looking style. Backcombing is used in many up-style designs, in order to create a specific silhouette in the hair. The classic beehive hairdo would never have been possible without the use of backcombing.
Today’s use of backcombing tends not to be as extreme as the backcombed hairstyles of yesteryear, but the technique has remained useful and in many cases highly-fashionable. Even in hairstyles that aren’t formal, you can use backcombing techniques to build-up the volume in the top of the head giving a longer silhouette to the face by creating a bump from which the rest of the hair trails.
The act of backcombing the hair involves taking a segment of the hair and using a styling tool to comb the hair in the opposite of the direction in which it grows. This causes the hair to compress down around its fellows and allow them to stand up more. The backcombing is repeated until as much bulk is formed as is desired and then usually the forward edge of the segment is brought back and smoothed over the surface to hide what is a mass of hair.
Remember that you don’t want to hold the segment you are manipulating too tightly, because you want the hairs to be easily drawn down upon themselves.
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Tools for the Job
While all of the backcombing techniques serve the same purpose, there are slight variations in the tools used to create the amount of lift. The difference in the tools used can affect the amount of lift generated at once, by the amount of hair being manipulated at one time. Typical tools used are combs and brushes. Any comb or brush can be used and there are even specially designed combs for the purpose. These contain added teeth on the sides of the classic comb teeth to grip the hair more and press it down.
When a brush is used for the purpose of backcombing the process is called ruffing the hair. Since the natural bristles are so densely packed with a brush, a lot of hair gets manipulated in a single pass. This tends to create more lift and tighter compression of the hairs being manipulated.