The craze over big hair is still there. Ladies (and gentlemen) with fine hair usually have a couple of tricks up their sleeves to get their hair to look lusher and fuller than it actually is.
For some, it’s curling their hair to get more volume. Others use a hair donut to make their bun seem thicker.
But one of the most popular ways to create the illusion of big and bodied hair is by teasing – also known as “backcombing” – your mane.
Some people have however expressed concern over the use of the backcombing method to get some volume. One question that is commonly asked is: Does backcombing cause hair loss?
What Is Backcombing?
Backcombing – also referred to as hair teasing – is a styling technique used by hair experts to give instant volume and bounce to hair.
During backcombing, the hair is brushed against the scalp.
This may sound strange to some readers, but backcombing is an ideal way to create an artificial lift or volume.
This technique is often used to create big hairstyles, such as a bouffant or beehive.
It’s however important to note that simply combing hair in the opposite direction is not enough to create volume.
Hair sprays and volumizing powders are an integral part of the backcombing process.
They are used to achieve a “big hair” look.
Since backcombing is relatively easy to do, both men and women have started doing it on their own to get bouncy hair.
However, if you are doubtful of your backcombing skills, it’s best to seek help from a professional stylist.
How Backcombing Is Done
As mentioned above, backcombing is easy. All you need is some practice.
If you are tired of running to an expert every now and then, you can start doing backcombing on your own.
Start by washing your hair with a volumizing shampoo.
While conditioning, focus only on the roots.
Apply the conditioner liberally on the roots and then wash it off.
Conditioning your hair is vital because it is easier to remove knots and tangles from conditioned hair.
Next, dry off your hair and then brush it properly.
You will need the perfect backcombing brush to get the ideal volume while backcombing.
Getting the right brush is essential to protect your hair from any damage.
Use the brush to comb your hair and gently get rid of any tangles.
Once you have created the perfect base, use a volumizing texturizing spray to achieve maximum volume, and reduce any hair damage.
Next, use the backcombing brush to divide your hair into small sections.
Take a small section of your hair and push it towards the hair roots in gentle and even strokes.
The strokes should start at the tip of the hair and move towards the scalp.
Do this with each section of the hair and finish by using a volumizing finishing spray.
The volumizing spray will add further bounce and volume to your hair.
It’s also great at helping to set the hair.
Does Backcombing Cause Hair Loss?
The backcombing technique, as well as its proponents, gets a lot of flak.
This hair-volumizing method is often seen as a way to harm hair and cause hair loss.
So, what’s the truth? Does backcombing cause hair loss?
The answer is that backcombing can cause hair loss and it can damage your hair for sure if it’s done frequently and in the wrong way.
See, the cuticle cells in your hair naturally face downward.
But when you tease your strands, you force these cuticles to go against their natural direction.
The more you push them upwards, the more lifted they will be.
And chipped, lifted cuticles only means one thing – damage.
Another side effect of backcombing is matting your hair.
When your locks are matted, they’re more prone to tangles and knots, especially if you wait too long to tend to your hair and smooth it out.
There are a few things you can do to minimize hair damage during backcombing.
First, never backcomb wet hair.
This is because wet hair strands are susceptible to damage and breakage.
Second, always work on small sections of hair.
Third, always brush your hair before you start backcombing.
This will help to minimize tangling and any resultant hair damage.
Fourth, always use the correct tool.
Use a fine-tipped brush that can be used to create small sections.
For hair teasing, use a brush with densely packed bristles.
Finally, do not just head into the shower and shampoo your hair after a day out with your big, bouncy, voluminous hair.
Instead, take some time out to properly remove any knots.
Brush your hair with a wide-tooth comb to remove any knots and tangles.
This will significantly minimize hair damage.
Is Volumizing Powder Bad For Hair?
The volumizing powder is the go-to product for all hair experts and professional stylists who do backcombing.
It’s quite popular in the hair industry.
Is it bad for hair? No, it’s not. It all depends on how it’s used.
If the volumizing powder is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it wouldn’t be an issue.
If for instance, the powder isn’t washed off from the hair after about three days, it could cause your hair to become dry.
You could also experience flaking and itching on the scalp.
The volumizing powder is used to give hair strands the grip they need to hold hairstyles such as twirls.
It adds definition to different hairstyles.
Moreover, volumizing powder makes hair more manageable, which leads to reduced damage during hair teasing.
Backcombing Men’s Hair
The process of backcombing or hair teasing is the same for men and women.
The only thing to note is that women usually have long hair which gets tangled easily.
Men have shorter hair that does not tangle that easily.
Therefore, when it comes to backcombing men’s hair, a little bit more aggressive back and forth movements (as opposed to gentle movements in the case of women) are preferred.
However, do not get too aggressive, or else you will end up damaging your hair.
Additionally, women can backcomb their hair using either a hairbrush or a comb.
Men should look for a brush with densely packed bristles.
This kind of brush design manipulates a lot of hair in a single stroke, which leads to a dense lift and tighter compression.
Alternatives To Teasing Hair
While teasing provides your hair with extra height and volume, it’s sadly not as giving to the health of your strands.
Teasing regularly can end up giving you hair damage.
The good news is that teasing isn’t the only way to add volume to your tresses.
There are other hacks out there that you can try out, some of them easier than backcombing.
Here are four alternatives to teasing your hair to get your locks that coveted volume and thickness.
Use mousse to make your tresses look thicker and more bodied
Instead of putting your hair through the stress of teasing, use nourishing hair products to give you the same lift.
Mousses are excellent at giving your hair thickness and volume.
All you have to do is choose a volumizing mousse and apply it to damp hair.
Focus the mousse on the roots first, slowly spreading it downwards to the rest of your hair.
Then, scrunch it all up to create luscious, tousled waves that have insane body and movement.
Mousses also help keep frizz and flyaways at bay, leaving your hair smooth and shiny instead.
If you’re lucky, your mousse will even boost curl definition.
And when your curls hold their shape, they’ll give you natural volume without you even trying.
Try dry shampoo to lift your roots
A major culprit of flat, limp hair is a weighed-down scalp.
When there’s too much oil and grime in your roots, volume is pretty much impossible.
That’s why your hair looks thinner and less lifeless the dirtier your hair gets.
But you don’t need to shampoo your hair every day just to get those nasties out.
All that will do is dry out your tresses.
Instead, turn to dry shampoo to refresh your hair and lift your roots in just a few seconds.
A holy grail dry shampoo loved by many is the Batiste Dry Shampoo.
Its waterless formula is stored in an aerosol can to make spraying it into your scalp easier.
It releases a light mist that absorbs excess grease and impurities from your scalp.
All you need is a couple of quick sprays about six inches away from your head, and all the oils will be sucked up.
This then adds volume and texture to your strands, lifting the roots to make your hair look bigger and fresher.
Let your hair fall in the opposite direction
When you change your hair part, your roots will have an automatic lift.
That’s because they’re used to facing a specific direction, so when you change up where your strands point toward, you get more volume.
This technique starts when you get out of the shower.
When doing your hair, blow-dry it in the direction opposite where you usually do.
Focus your drying on the roots to give them an even bigger lift.
You can even take it to the next level and create a deep side part aligned with the outer corner of your eye.
This will add height and crazy volume to your hair.
It also makes your face look more full and youthful.
Get a flattering haircut with layers
Our final tip for adding volume to your hair without teasing it is by getting a haircut that will give you texture and weightlessness.
Many people think that if they allow their hair to grow very long, it will look bigger and fuller.
But it’s the complete opposite.
The longer your strands, the heavier they get, which leads to a flat and limp look.
Get a texturized haircut to give your hair an instant lift.
Layers are excellent for making your hair look thick and full, especially if your stylist focuses their snips on the crown area of your head.
A shaggy style and side-swept bangs also help.
Play around with curling wands and flat irons to give your new haircut some waves and curls.
This will also add extra movement and body to your mane.
Backcombing is done to create the illusion of more volume and taller, thicker hair. It was all the rage in the 60s and is still quite popular amongst people who are looking to add some volume to their hair.
If done the right way, backcombing (or hair teasing) can really transform people’s hair, especially those who have super fine hair strands.
However, if it’s done frequently and in the wrong way, it can cause hair damage that may lead to weakened and broken hair follicles.
If you are new to backcombing, it’s advisable to professional advice.
If you are doing it yourself, check if you are using the right technique.
Make time to detangle your hair after backcombing.
Finally, please backcomb in moderation.
Doing it once in a while won’t affect your hair.
However, doing it every day can lead to irreversible hair damage.
If you’re scared of the potential damage that backcombing might bring along, try using any of the alternative methods listed above.
They’re healthier for your hair and are a lot less complicated than learning how to backcomb.
They’re simple, take way less work, and yet give you the same volume and fullness your hair gets from all that teasing.