Over the past few years, the so-called "wet look" hairstyle has slowly been coming back into fashion. Famous faces including runway models and A-List celebrities have tried the style out, so of course, the rest of the population has gained an interest in it too!
The concept of the wet look is simple: you apply enough gel or pomade in your hair to give it the appearance of being wet. The style often takes a slicked-back, smooth form, and can be worn regardless of your hair type. Wet look hair can be poker-straight, have beachy waves, or feature smoothed-down curls- the possibilities are endless! No matter what your hair's length is, the wet look is easy to achieve with the right products.
But what are the right products, exactly? Is every hair gel and pomade suitable for this purpose, or are some better at capturing the wet look than others? If you've never tried the wet look before, finding the right gels and serums for your hair type can be a bit of a daunting task.
Fear not, though- we've got you covered! We've sourced some of the best hair care products out there for use in the wet look. Whether your hair is straight, curly, thick or thin, we've found a product that will help you nail this look.
To avoid getting seriously sticky hands when applying your wet-look product, it's best to invest in a wide tint brush.
This will not only make things a lot less messy but will help you to apply the product evenly throughout your hair, creating a sleek look like Emma Watson's above.
Luckily, acquiring a brush like this won't break the bank. You can get a jumbo tint brush from Sally Beauty for just $1.59! It's a good-quality product, too, getting an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 in its reviews. This cheap investment will make your wet-look application process so much easier, so it's definitely worth grabbing a tint brush before you get started.
If there's one thing that doesn't sit well with the wet look style, it's frizz. Your hair is supposed to look slicked-down and smooth like Ashley Olsen's above, not wiry and voluminous! Therefore, it's a good idea to invest in a good anti-frizz product if this is something that your hair is particularly prone to.
One option is the Redken Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk, which, according to Allure, is a powerful frizz-fighter suitable for use with all hair types. Allure's assessment of the product is largely positive: it's been an Editor's Favorite of the website in the past and is generally popular with consumers too.
Now, onto products that will actually help you to achieve the wet look. According to Elle, the best way to totally nail this style is to use a hair styling cream or gel on your hair when it's still wet.
Even when it does eventually dry, it'll still have that trademark highly-textured wet look appearance- just like Bella Hadid's slicked-back locks.
One of the products that Elle recommends to get the look is the L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art A-Head Glue. This powerful gel is versatile and long-lasting and will keep your wet look style looking fresh all day long- at least if the product's Amazon reviews are anything to go by!
Another gel option that could work well if you're hoping to achieve the Kim Kardashian-esque wet look is the Mizani Edge Taming Gel. If you run some of this product through your hair, not only will your locks get that fashionable slicked-back treatment, they'll be protected against any day-to-day damage.
According to Total Beauty, this gel contains numerous vitamins and minerals that help to strengthen and shield your hair. A word to the wise, though: a little of this product goes a long way. If you use too much, it can leave a white sheen behind in your hair, which isn't ideal!
Layrite's Original Pomade has been a popular styling product for some decades now, and for good reason. It's a versatile product that can help you to achieve all manner of different hairstyles- including a Taylor Swift-style rock-and-roll wet look!
According to Elle, Layrite is the product that so-called "rockabillies" used to achieve the wet look years ago, so it's been truly tried and tested.
It's incredibly easy to use- just smooth it into your hair, combing it through carefully with your brush or your fingers. We've only found one downside to using Layrite: according to Pomade.com, the product has a bit of a funky smell. However, its benefits definitely outweigh this slight criticism.
Once you've applied your wet look product, the styling process can begin. This hairstyle generally involves your hair being totally slicked back and smooth, like Demi Lovato's style above. If your hair is still a bit on the unruly side, it's time to whip out your trusty comb!
According to StyleCaster, simply combing a gel or pomade through your hair for a while will help to tame any curls that don't want to play ball and will make straight hair look even more sleek and stylish. Any comb will do, even if it's just a cheap one from your local drugstore! This simple tool will work wet look wonders.
Using a hairspray to set your finished wet look hairdo can be a bit of a risky business. A lot of hairsprays are very drying and will make your hair look crusty rather than wet! As you can see from Cara Delevingne's style above, the wet look is anything but crusty.
Instead of using this type of product, it's best to opt for a moisture-filled finishing spray instead.
According to L'Oreal, any finishing spray that has a glossy effect is the perfect candidate to complete a wet look style. One option is the Redken Wax Blast 10 spray, which is popular among the consumers of FeelUnique.com. The spray apparently helps to add a finishing touch to your hairstyle without leaving it feeling dry or crusty. That sounds ideal for the wet look!
Considering just how popular the wet look has become over the past few years, it's perhaps unsurprising that specific wet-look-targeted products have started to spring up in the haircare industry. Who doesn't want to get the Beyoncé style shown above? One of these products is VO5's Wet Look Styling Gel, which does pretty much what it says on the tin!
According to VO5, the gel is designed to keep your wet look looking fresh for 24 hours, even in very hot or humid weather. This gel is suitable for use with all hair lengths and types, and seems to be popular with customers: it gets 4.8 stars out of 5 on BeautyBulletin.com.
Achieving the wet look can be a little bit trickier if you've got curly or tightly-coiled hair. Finding a product to keep your hair tamed while also giving it the wet look can be a bit of a struggle!
According to The Cut, finding a good straightening product to apply before you even add your wet look product is a must for all of the curly-haired people out there.
One option is the Aquage Straightening Ultragel. Its purpose is somewhat self-explanatory: this gel will help to tame and straighten curls or waves! It'll add shine and gloss to your hair, just like Zendaya's style above. According to consumers at Ulta Beauty, its effects will last all day.
According to L'Oréal, the key to nailing the wet look is to find a gel or pomade that's non-sticky, high-shine, and strong enough to keep your hair in place. Of course, they also advise the use of one of their own products that apparently meets all of these criteria!
The L'Oréal Lock It Extreme Style Gel promises to keep your wet look hair in place for 24 hours without any stickiness or residue getting in the way. L'Oréal recommends that to get the best wet look effect, you should apply a lot of this product to your roots- like, A LOT- and work a medium amount through the rest of your hair.
Now, as we've previously mentioned, using hairspray to keep a wet look style in place can be a bit risky. A lot of hairsprays are so dry and shine-reducing that they'll make your style look more crusty than moisture-packed!
Luckily, though, there are a couple of hairspray products out there that can be used in moderation to keep your Selena Gomez-style wet look in place all day long.
For example, L'Oréal's Elnett Precious Oil Satin Spray is light enough to prevent your hair from becoming "crunchy" but still effective enough to keep your style looking perfect. L'Oréal themselves advise that you should use hairspray before your gel or pomade has fully dried, as this is the best way to maintain moisture.
Another hair treatment that could be suitable for use on a Gigi Hadid-style wet look style is the Living Proof Smooth Blowout Concentrate. This oil product not only helps your hair to stay protected against heat and styling tools but also adds extra shine and softness. It's also great for making curly or frizzy hair a bit more manageable, so it could be a good product to use to tame your hair before you've even started to apply your gel or pomade product!
According to reviewers on Influenster, this oil is totally worth purchasing if only due to the smoothing effect it'll have on your hair. Even when you're not looking to achieve the wet look, it'll help to keep your locks healthy and shiny.
While the majority of wet look products on the market are gels or pomades, there are other options for those people who to use other types of formulas.
For example, Paul Mitchell's Sculpting Foam is a deep-conditioning mousse that can be smoothed through the hair to achieve the wet look within minutes!
Speaking to E! Online, celebrity hairstylist Suzie Kim highly recommended this foam, stating that it's possible to achieve the wet look using just this product! No pre-treatments or hairsprays are required- just divide your hair into sections, work through some of the Sculpting Foam, and leave your hair to set. Easy, right?If you have shorter hair like Kristen Stewart, this product will make the wet look process especially quick.
Haircare veterans Wella are one of the many companies in this industry to jump on the wet look bandwagon. In a blog post on their website, they not only lay out a step-by-step guide on how to achieve the look but recommend some of their own products in the process!
According to Wella, their Professionals EIMI Pearl Styler is the perfect candidate for a wet look gel. It will make sure to add plenty of shine and moisture to your hair, while also keeping your finished style set in place all day- just as Margot Robbie's wet look stayed put at the Goodbye Christopher Robin premiere. Wella suggests that working the gel into slightly-damp or towel-dried hair will achieve the best results!
Rubbing wax into your hair isn't always an inviting prospect. This kind of product conjures up ideas of stickiness, rubbery hair, and general mess! However, fear not- VO5's Soft Moulding Wax avoids all of these potential pitfalls. It's perfect for achieving the wet look!
According to All Things Hair, this wax will help to reduce your hair's frizziness and while also adding plenty of shine.
It's apparently especially effective in smoothing down the roots of your hair and taming any flyaway hairs that might crop up. Plus, it gives hair a smooth and natural finish, like Hayden Panettiere's style above.
If you're looking to achieve an understated, subtle wet look, using gel or pomade may not be the best option due to its totally saturating qualities. However, fear not- this is where the GHD Shine Spray comes in! This Grazia-recommended product is a light alternative to wax or gel that will help you to achieve the wet look in just a few quick sprays.
As its name suggests, this product will add plenty of shine to your locks while keeping a bit of volume in there too. It's especially useful for shorter hairstyles like Lucy Hale's that can end up looking overpowered by thick gels and pomades.
If you're looking to emulate the wet look styles of some of the world's top fashion models and runway brands, try the Alterna Haircare Caviar Style Sea Chic Volume & Texture Foam Spray.
According to Byrdie, this spray was used by fashion designer Jason Wu in last year's New York Fashion Week.
Wu used the spray in conjunction with other products from Alterna to give Lily Aldridge a "just stepped out of the shower" wet look. It helps to add a bit of extra moisture to your hair, while also keeping your style locked-in and secure. If you're going for a wavy or deliberately "messy" look, this product will help you to maintain that style all day long!
Just like plenty of their haircare industry rivals, Bumble and Bumble have jumped on the wet-look bandwagon and created their own tutorial on how to achieve the style. Their first recommendation is to use their own alcohol-free BB Gel on damp hair to slick the front sections of your locks back.
This gel will sculpt and shape your hair as it's gently combed through and keep your style in place. It's firm without being sticky and free from harsh chemicals like parabens and formaldehyde. With plenty of customers giving this product a five-star rating on Bumble and Bumble's website, it could well be worth a try if you want a simple wet look like Kendall Jenner's above!
If you've got super-thin hair, there's something you should know about the wet look: when your hair is thoroughly gelled-down, your scalp can become pretty visible. In fact, Good Housekeeping advises thin-haired people to totally avoid attempting the wet look altogether!
However, this might not be necessary: there are some tips and tricks that can assist thinner-haired folk and help you get a wet look as flawless as Shailene Woodley's.
To avoid your look from being ruined by an excess of visible white areas, make sure to invest in an eyeshadow that's the same color as your hair. You can use this shadow to cover up your exposed scalp area, thus creating the illusion of a thick mane of slicked-back locks.
So, you've gelled or waxed your hair until it's got the perfect wet look style. It's perfectly combed, beautifully shiny, and basically salon-quality. You're looking as stylish as Kylie Jenner does in the above look. What do you need to add that finishing touch to your hairdo before you head out for the day?
Well, Garnier's Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray could be a good option! This lightweight, high-shine spray contains nourishing Argan Oil to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy, and is pretty great value for money at just $4.29 per bottle. According to Garnier customers, it both smells great and does its job well. What more could you want?