Backcombing: A Beginner’s Guide

April 20, 2015 7:28 am

Backcombing is a great way to create volume and shape in the hair, particularly when preparing up-dos – however without practice it can just end in one giant knot! We’re going to advise you on the best tools, products and techniques for backcombing properly.


You can theoretically attempt backcombing with any brush or comb, however it’s much easier using a tool that has been specifically created with this purpose in mind.

Below is our top pick of comb and brush:


Travel Smoothing Brush:

This natural boar bristle brush comes in a handbag size, and is perfect for backcombing small sections of hair with precision.

How to use – Hold the piece of hair vertically away from the head, and place the edge of the brush at a 45 degree angle to the hair (starting halfway down the length). Gently brush towards the head for a backcombed effect – you can repeat this on the same piece of hair for a more dramatic effect.

Backcombing         Backcombing 2          backcombing 3

Tease Comb:

This comb has serrated teeth that catch the hair to aid backcombing – the metal prongs then help to separate and lift hair from the root.

How to use – Use the same technique as above, however take cake when smoothing the hair back over that you don’t remove any of the backcombing from the underneath layers. To use the metal prongs – insert from horizontally to the head, and then gently lift the hair to add extra lift.

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Products – the worst thing for backcombing is super silky hair. To avoid this, try using products that aid ‘grip’ to the hair, and make it feel thicker and grittier than normal. Any of the following used individually or together can achieve this: mousse, salt spray, texturising powder and hairdspray. You will need a lot more product than you think you do – so don’t be afraid to layer products until hair feels really thick and easier to style.

Styling tip – always work in small sections. If you pick up all of your hair and then just try to backcomb it you will end up with no volume, and just one area that is very knotty! You don’t want to backcomb the top section of hair, as this should sit smoothly over the backcombed under-layers. Use the edge of a smoothing brush to spread out the hair and add shine.