This is local celebrity Jenni Hogan, before I back combed her hair and after. What a difference a little rat can make! (Image: Tommy-Gene Harlow / Seattle Refined)


Ratting. Back-combing. Teasing. It's all the same!

Back-combing is key in creating volume or BOOF! You can add a little or a lot.

This is what clients all want to know: how do I get more volume? My answer? RAT IT!!! My work with news anchors, beauty queens and models all have one thing in common. Back-combing! You can use a brush or any standard comb, but a rat tail comb is great and ideal for back-combing the hair.

Let's look at the design. The 'rat tail' is used to section the hair. If you look at many of these combs you will see the teeth are really close together. This helps to pack the hair down at the root, which results in a rat (or tease or back-comb) which acts like a little push-up bra for your hair.

Here are some tips for beginners.

  • Use a rat-tail comb!
  • Take a 1/2 section of hair using the "tail" end of the comb
  • Starting 2 inches from the root, comb downward toward the scalp
  • Repeat 2-4 times and pack the hair down tight (this helps the hair not to "fall")
  • Make sure to lightly smooth the hair over your back-combed section
  • Spray to set

These are just the basics! You'll be ratting like a pro in no time.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Event Updates

Want all the latest on dining, fashion, travel, events and more delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to receive exclusive newsletters and special offers from Seattle Refined! Enter your email address below to receive the latest updates.