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What is a Teasing Brush?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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A teasing brush is a hairstyling tool similar to a teasing comb that is used for teasing or backcombing hair. The process of teasing hair is used to give hair that is otherwise flat more body and volume. This can be done to produce hairstyles such as a bouffant or a beehive, or just to add volume and size to a plainer hairstyle. A teasing brush is used instead of a comb when hair is delicate and might be more easily damaged by a comb; the bristles of the brush are less likely to pull as hard on the hair.

Though teasing hair into large hairstyles was perhaps most popular during the 1950s, such hairstyles have survived in certain regions and maintained popularity. In other areas where big hair is less desirable, the process of teasing still remains popular for adding volume to other hairstyles for increased body and texture. Among celebrities or models looking for a unique style, a retro hairstyle may be seen as adding flair to their appearance.

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The bristles of a teasing brush are typically natural and will sometimes be referred to as a boar’s head brush or bristles. While other brushes for general hair maintenance are often wide and able to brush through large bunches of hair at a time, the brushing area on a teasing brush is usually narrower and meant to be used on small amounts of hair at once. The brush will often have a plain or textured handle for easier and more comfortable gripping. A teasing brush will also sometimes end in a tapered tip or a few long teeth, like a rat tail comb or pick, to allow easier for separation of hair during styling.

Teasing is typically accomplished by first straightening the hair, ensuring there are no tangles. The stylist will usually take small sections of the hair, separated by hand or using the tip of the teasing brush, and pull them away from the head. These sections are then brushed in quick, sharp bursts using the bristles of the teasing brush in the opposite direction from normal brushing. Volume and body are created in the hair by brushing from the tip of the hair toward the head.

Firm hold hair spray or other styling products can then be used to ensure the hair holds its shape and body for an extended time. This process is repeated with each section of hair until the entire area or all of the hair is properly teased, depending on the desired outcome. Experts usually recommend that such teasing should not be done every day, as it may damage hair over a long period of time.

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