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How To Tease Hair In 9 Steps

Teasing Hair
Of all of the hairstyling techniques out there, teasing may just be the most confusing. Unlike techniques like flat ironing and curling, the name doesn't really explain much. In the hair world, teasing is far from negative—as long as you know how to do it right.

We teamed up with Cassi Pinder, L’Oréal Professionnel artist, to break down everything you need to know about how to tease hair. Whether you have a medium length hairstyle or a pixie haircut, you’re going to want to take notes if you love big hair.


What does it mean to tease your hair?

Teasing, also known as backcombing or ratting, is a combing technique used to create volume at the root of your hair. The technique involves using a fine tooth comb to gently comb the hair downward toward your scalp, causing the hair to slightly tangle and create a voluminous final look. While you can tease your hair to make just about any hairstyle appear larger-than-life, the technique is the foundation for many popular styles including the iconic beehive hairstyle.


Does teasing ruin hair?

The answer to this question is a bit tricky. If you leave the teasing to a professional or follow your stylist’s instructions to a T, teasing likely won’t ruin your hair. If you use an improper technique or tease your hair too roughly, however, there is a chance teasing can lead to matted hair and breakage.

The state of your hair can also help determine whether or not it is safe to tease your strands. If you have thick, healthy hair and experience minimal breakage, it is likely perfectly safe to tease your hair. If you have thin hair or fragile strands, however, you may want to consult with a professional before adding a teased hairstyle to your list of go-to styles.

Teasing Hair For Volume

Now that you know what teasing is and whether or not it is safe for your strands, it’s time for you to learn how to tease your hair. Pro tip: Teasing is best achieved on day-two hair, since it has a little more grip than freshly washed hair. If you recently washed your hair, don’t fret. Just spritz a texturizing spray like Redken’s Triple Dry 15 at your roots before you begin.

When you’re ready to begin styling, start by using a fine tooth comb to part your hair down the middle from your hairline to the crown of your head. Section off a 2-inch segment of hair at the crown of your head, then hold the section taut and comb the hair down toward your scalp three times. Allow the first section to hang forward as you create another 2-inch segment directly below it and repeat the teasing technique. Continue teasing 2-inch sections of hair until you’ve teased all of the hair at the crown of your head.

After teasing the crown of your head, lay the sections back down and use your fine tooth comb to smooth the surface of each section. Once you’ve completed teasing and styling the crown of your head, move on to the right side of your head. Create 2-inch sections on the right side of your part and repeat the teasing technique, then move on to the left side and repeat the teasing technique.

Once you’ve completed teasing your whole head, use your fingers to fluff the teased sections gently for even more volume. For a final touch, lock your look in place with a firm hold hairspray like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni.Art Infinium 4.

Looking for a personalized tutorial about how to properly tease your hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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