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If you want your hair in the back to stand up and get noticed, it's going to take the right styling products to get you there. Whatever styling products you choose, be aware that to spike hair, and keep it there, you need some serious hold. Look for at least a medium-hold product, but strong or ultra-hold is even better, especially if you have thick or coarse hair. Better to have a little more styling muscle than you need instead of not enough.
Tried and true hair gel is probably the number one styling product used to spike hair. If this is the route you'll be taking, get yourself a strong-hold gel to make sure your spikes have enough staying power to last all day. To really lock in those spikes, apply the gel to damp hair and pull the hair out and away from your scalp while you blow dry it. That should seal the deal and keep those spikes sticking around for a good long while.
Hair clay is a pliable styling product that gives hold and shine to the hair. Use hair clay if your spikes are on the short side and you hate the hard crunchiness of hair gel. Apply the hair clay to damp hair and use your blow dryer and hands to spike it up. When your hair is dry, reapply just a tiny amount of the hair clay to define the spikes and give them some shine. The beautiful thing about hair clay is you can restyle your hair throughout the day into any spiky shape you want and the hair clay will play along and provide hold.
Want some seriously crazy hold for those spikes? Just as the name suggests, spiking glue is pretty much going to glue those spikes into place. Use it on either slightly damp or dry hair to cement in your spikes, even really long ones. A word of caution though, this is a seriously sticky hair product and if you're going to use it on a regular basis, invest in a clarifying shampoo and use it at least once a week to strip the residue this heavy hitter is likely to leave behind.
Don't underestimate the power of good old hair spray. Use it in conjunction with a hair get to define your spikes or to lock out moisture (if it's a humidity-proof hair spray), so your spikes don't limp out throughout the day. If you have really short hair at the back of your style, you might even be able to get away with just using a firm hold hair spray and nothing else. Either way, it never hurts to have a good hair spray around when you need it.