How to Tease Hair (with Minimal Damage!)
From bump-its to sleeping in rollers, or even taking an entire bottle of hairspray to your head in order to keep your hair exactly where you want it to stay; there are no lengths we will not go to try to achieve the unachievable. It's no secret that we all want big, voluminous, model hair. Having gorgeous locks cascading over your shoulders, while not being too flat on top of your head, is the dream.
Many of the tactics we typically try cause a substantial amount of damage to our hair, causing breakage, oil buildup, and a plethora of other issues. Many of these issues can be caused by the most prevalent technique in creating more volume: teasing. As a dancer, I spent many years backcombing and teasing my hair and so much of my hair was breaking off that I was beginning to simply lose little clumps of hair in different parts of my head. After years of letting my hair settle, my hair is finally back to normal.
Recently, when I went in for a style and trim before an event, I asked my stylist if she had any tips for achieving the same look you get from teasing. She told me that there are alternatives to teasing, but that there is also a way to tease your hair while accruing much less damage. She broke it down into 9 steps for me and now I pass this knowledge onto you in the hopes that it will not only save your hair, but help you achieve that perfect look!
Start with Cool, Dry Hair.
Wet strands are far more susceptible to damage than dry ones, so keep your hair feeling its best & only try this technique with dry hair.
Be sure you are using the right tools.
As she explained that it is important to use the right tools, she pulled
out over 10 brushes from her station that would have been poor
choices. She suggested to me that you use a brush with bushier bristles
an a fine tipped handle. This serves a secondary purpose to aid you in creating even sections, and the bushier bristles will help create a fuller tease without having to go to town on your hair.
Get rid of any tangles or knots in your hair before teasing.
Always, always, always
get your hair as tangle free as possible before
you start to add in the texture you are trying to achieve. Though it seems counterintuitve, trying to tease a tangle is going to make you look like you just rolled out of bed; which unless that is the goal, is not a good look.
Work through hair in small sections.
Though it make take a bit more time, you will get a better tease affect if
you work through smaller sections. This will achieve the maximum lift and volume your hair is capable of.
Spray your strands before, not after you begin.
Most think that you only have to use hairspray or a texturizing spray
after you tease, but actually you should spray your small sections with
texturizing spray or hairspray - dealer’s choice - before you begin teasing to add hold. This will create a foundation for volume and will actually strengthen your hair to prevent excess damage.
Be sure you are applying the technique properly.
Place your comb behind your section, and SLOWLY comb the hair back
towards the scalp. The worst you can do here is get super aggressive with your strands. This method will not only cause less damage, it will also prevent your hair from tangling up and breaking off as you move through your day; while still keeping its shape.
Don’t forget about the back!
This was the number one mistake I always made back in the day.
Oftentimes people will forget about the section behind the crown of their head, and when you do skip this section, you won’t get a super even, realistic looking style. Be sure that you always do this section before you move on to set your creation.
Once you finish teasing, take the comb and smooth down the top
sections of hair, otherwise you may look like you were just struck by lightning!
Here’s where you get to act like you are in a hairspray commercial and
spray away. Granted you aren’t going to want to waste an entire bottle
of hairspray on your look, but use at your discretion.
This step for me is honestly the greatest. It's like that feeling of removing your false eyelashes after a long day and you get that sweet relief as you feel the adhesive separating from your skin. Don’t simply try to run your hair underwater though, as trying to run your fingers through wet hair to try to break up the tease and hairspray will often end in breakage, take a wide tooth comb and begin slowly brushing out the tease. Starting from the bottom - similarly as to how you would brush out a wig
- and working your way up, you will notice that the damage done to your hair will be minimal.