How to Back Comb an Inverted Bob

Inverted bobs like Chelsea Kane's flatter all face shapes.
... Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The inverted bob is a versatile take on the classic one length chop. The long layers at the front frame the face without making it look wide, while hair graduates into shorter layers that add volume at the back. Those who just took the leap from long hair will appreciate the turnaround their styling routine makes. While heavier cuts seem to require hourly doses of dry shampoo to maintain volume, a bit of back combing does wonders to shape and plump an inverted bob for the day.

Brush your hair using a paddle brush to provide a smooth base and make your layers visible.

Place one thumb above each ear and drag your thumbs back toward the back of your head until they meet. Pick up all the hair that falls above your thumbs and pull it to the top of your head. Use your other hand to clip the hair that falls below your thumbs together at the nape of your neck.

Divide the top layer into 3-inch-wide sections starting from the left side of your face, and working your way around the back of your head over to the right. Pin each section to the crown of your head with a hair clip. Working in small sections creates long-lasting volume, as your hair won't become weighed down throughout the day.

Release the 3-inch section closest to the left side of your face from its clip. Grasp it at the end and hold it straight up. Hold a can of dry shampoo 5 inches away from your hair and coat the 2 inches closest to the root on the underside. This adds volume and creates hold for the back combing.

Insert a teasing brush halfway down the section on the underside. Hold the end of the section taut and brush the hair toward your scalp. Reinsert the brush half way down the section and repeat until hair stands up freely. Teasing brushes are best for bobs as they create even volume without sparse areas. If you don't have a teasing brush on hand, natural-bristle paddle brushes are also suitable. Repeat the teasing process on all sections, working your way from your left side to the right.

Release the bottom layer of hair from its clip. Pick up a dime-sized amount of texturizing paste and pull it through the bottom 2 inches, while directing the hair outwards. This will add texture to blend this layer with the backcombed portion, creating a more natural look.

Hold a can of hairspray 5 inches away from the paddle brush and coat the bristles once. Place the brush at the crown of your head and gently brush the top layer of hair back into place. This smooths the hair and provides hold without removing the back combing.

  • To remove the back combing, spritz your hair with a detangling spray from root to tip and gently brush it with a paddle brush. Follow up with a deep conditioner the next time you wash your hair to prevent split ends.

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.