What Type of Brush to Use to Tease Thick Hair

Brush out tangles before teasing your hair.

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Backcombing or teasing form the basis of 1950s retro hairdos like the bouffant and beehive, and give modern styles a little lift so your updo or pony has that oh-so-sexy bedhead look. The key to successful teasing lies in prepping your hair for this aggro style and using the right brush to get your look on. Teased hair amps the appeal of any look, so let your imagination run wild!

Types

To get the high hair needed for teased or backcombed looks, you need a teasing brush, which has narrow rows of bristles that are closely set to get you the volume you need. A narrow brush helps you get in there to tease the hair, and rounded or large brushes just don't let you get down to the roots.

Warnings

Before you can tease your hair, you must remove all the tangles. Otherwise you really will create a rat's nest. Use your favorite detangler spray or leave-in conditioner and a natural bristle brush to work through all the tangles in your hair before proceeding. Textured hair does not tease well, notes Karen Marie Shelton. She suggests straightening curly or kinky hair before teasing it to prevent excessive tangling of the hair follicles.

Alternatives

If you don't have a teasing brush, you can give this look a go using any flat, densely-bristled brush, which is what top stylist Kevin Ryan uses. If you don't have narrow brushes and need a quick tease now, try a metal comb or a rat tail comb. Do not substitute any old hairbrush, since the narrow size and densely set bristles and comb teeth really make this look achievable.

Process

To get this look, pick up a 1- or 2-inch section of hair and hold it up toward the ceiling. Take your teasing brush and run it through your hair the wrong way, so you're pushing the roots back down toward the crown of your head. Work in small, short strokes down the hair to achieve volume. When the hairs stand up on their own, you know you've rocked that section and can move onto the next one. Keep going to create a teased base for a retro bouffant or sexy updo.

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