From hair breakage to hair loss: Reasons why you should stop backcombing NOW!

Backcombing is one of the worst things you can do to your hair! Read on to know why you should avoid it as much as you can.
Reasons why you should stop backcombing your hair. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Arushi Bidhuri Published on: 30 November 2022, 18:00 pm IST
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In a quest to make our hair look flawless, we tend to experiment with them a lot. Teasing your hair to get massive volume is one trend that never goes out of style. How often do you backcomb your hair? This hair trend dates back to the 1980s when it was a popular go-to hairstyle for every celebrity. It is one hairstyle that gives you instant volume and makes you look stunning. However, backcombing involves a lot of teasing, which is not such a good idea for your hair.

Healthshots reached out to consultant dermatologist and dermato-surgeon Dr Rinky Kapoor at The Esthetic Clinics to understand how backcombing damages your hair.

How does backcombing damage your hair?

If backcombing is your go-to fix for every time you are short on time to style your hair, stop now!

“Backcombing can damage your hair follicles and even cause hair loss. In this type of hair styling, the hair cuticle gets scaped, and the cuticle from the shaft. The more cuticles are lifted the more volume your hair will get, which can be harmful to your hair” explains Dr Kapoor.

How backcombing leads to hair problems? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

She also shared other ways backcombing can damage your hair. Apart from damaging the hair follicles, backcombing can also:

  • Backcombing can cause matted knots and hair breakage
  • The hair never returns to the original flat arrangement, and eventually, the hair cuticles become loose, and split ends begin to form.
  • The basic integrity of hair gets damaged, which does not repair till new hair grows out.
  • It can cause traction alopecia.

Dr Kapoor elaborates, “traction alopecia because of backcombing is a form of hair loss because of excessive pulling on the hair follicles. A forceful styling technique such as backcombing causes chronic traction, leading to weakened hair follicles. Keep in mind that the hair cycle change as we age, and therefore it takes more time to reverse or treat the damage.”

Tips to minimize damage caused by backcombing

Here are some simple tips to minimize hair damage caused by backcombing the hair:

  • Use the correct technique, and do not try to pull your hair. Here’s the right way to do it to minimize damage:
  • Start with clean and combed hair
  • Divide the hair into small sections.
  • Take a small section of hair and backcomb down gently using a thin comb. Make sure that your comb goes to the bottom before you take it out. Then start from the top again.
  • Don’t use an up-and-down motion, and be very gentle with your hair.

When you want to bring your hair back to normal, Dr Kapoor suggests that you should use a soft brush to comb back the hair. Do it in small sections. You can also try a deep conditioning mask to soothe the hair.

How do minimise damage caused by backcombing! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Alternates to backcombing

There are some safer alternatives to backcombing that you can try such as:

  • Use crimpers to style your hair
  • Use voluminizing and root lifting products and stylers, but not too often
  • Use a thickening serum that gives fuller-looking hair. Make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients
  • Take a good protein and nutrient-rich diet to boost hair health

Caution: Make sure you talk to your doctor before trying new things.

About the Author
Arushi Bidhuri

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 6 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas in different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, etc. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people.

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