Too often, women grab a fine-tooth teasing comb as their tool. This can be more damaging to hair if not used properly. Your best bet is a teasing brush, which has gentler, serrated boar bristles that vary in length to give you friction without breakage as you tease. Try: Cricket Amped Up Teasing Brush.
Creating grip is the top priority on your prep list, and the way to do this is twofold: First, skip adding any conditioner or conditioning products from your roots to midlengths as these create too much slippage. (You can apply conditioner to your ends if you feel you need that extra TLC.) Second, use a texturizing spray, like Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, to add the necessary tack you’ll need to allow your backcombing to stick.
Concentrate your application at the roots only, since this is where you’ll be doing your teasing. To build body and create hold, choose either a mousse, volumizing or texturizing spray. Look for a product that isn’t heavy on shine; it should feel light and not sticky. Try one for fine hair, such as Kérastase Mousse Volumactive Amplifying, Perfecting Mousse for Fine, Vulnerable Hair. Or, trade in your texturizer, volumizer and hairspray for one of the new all-in-one products, such as Matrix Style Link Texture Builder.
Wherever you want to tease, section off the hair in front of that portion and clip it to the side. This will be the hair you use to cover your teased areas. Then, “take sections about a half-inch wide, and pull the hair tight and away from your head,” says hairstylist Antonio Corral Colero. Starting at the root, brush against the grain toward the scalp using short strokes. The amount of tension (how tightly you pull) you use on each piece allows you to create better friction with your teasing brush. Go section by section until you’ve teased what you want.
That separate part you clipped to the side? Release it and begin smoothing it over your teased hair. Run your teasing brush gently over this hair, smoothing it into place. If you need to maneuver your shape around, use the pointed end of your teasing brush to ensure that you don’t disrupt the tease. Hairstylist Jennifer MacDougall warns that you must always check the back of your head when teasing your crown. Look for gaps in your backcomb, and gently rework it until you can’t detect the tease.
Lock in your look with an aerosol hairspray, like L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray or Matrix Style Link Texture Builder. Mist at arm’s length in the direction you want the hair to lie, and keep a light hand since overspraying will collapse your volume.
Looking for a boost at the crown? Corral Colero shares this tip: “Often, women find it hard to stand up straight and tease their crown, so I suggest that they flip their hair over, upside down, and work their tease that way. It gives them more control, and actually encourages more volume.” If you just want to concentrate your tease at the crown, gather the hair you don’t want ratted into a ponytail off to the side so it’s not in your way. Looking for some oomph along your center part? MacDougall gives this wisdom: section out enough hair at each side of your part and clip it; this hair will be your backcomb. “Lift the section you want to tease on one side of the part and actually pull it slightly over and past the center part,” she says. “Then begin your tease on the underside of the section.” Do this about three times for each section, and then switch to the other side. When you’re done ratting both sides, release your top section and smooth the hair to disguise your tease.
Are you ready to try teased hair?
Carolina Herrera fall 2012 ready-to-wear. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
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