Three Ways to Wear Wet-Look Hair

Like diamanté-trimmed tiger-striped caftans, wet-look hair is usually filed under ‘Things Best Worn at the Beach’.

However, the been-swimming-all-day style has just resurfaced on the red carpet – most notably at the recent amfAR Gala in New York. Models Shanina Shaik, Behati Prinsloo and Lily Aldridge (above) all looked as though they’d come straight from splashing in the waters of St Tropez – having had enough time to quickly slip into an après-beach dress and slap on some gorgeous maquillage, but not enough to style up their hair in any serious way.

But the edgy look worked. Paired with a glamorous gown and pitch-perfect evening makeup, wet-look hair balances out the high-octane factor, giving things a just-enough touch of laidback chic.

Okay, I hear you: isn’t this one best left to models only?

Well, you sure do need confidence (and perhaps some nice bone structure) to carry it off (for most of us, a good hair moment is about swingy, shiny strands). But it’s worth the effort. Because here’s the real sell of the wet-look style: it’s a great go-to for those days (and nights) when you don’t have time to wash your dull, dirty hair.

Inspired to try it? There are several ways you can spin the look.

Shanina’s style is the most extreme, as it verges on looking dripping-wet, even ultra-oily. But if it’s an all-over dewy effect you’re going for, this look can set things off beautifully. For starters, work a high-gloss gel through hair at the crown, pulling it back as you go, and then work a heap of serum through the lengths. Finally, mist on hairspray to set, and to also give an extra shiny boost. It’s that simple.

But if that’s all too producty for you, consider Behati’s semi-wet style. To achieve it, rough-dry hair. Then take a water mist (even a facial kind will do) and spray all over crown. Comb hair back at the top and sides, making sure there’s no partline, and mist on a few layers of super-shiny hairspray to keep hair atop in glossy place. Your mid-lengths and ends of hair should be left dry and loose – making for a great contrast between slick and textured, shiny and matte.

If you prefer a style that’s as chic as it is slick, Lily is your poster girl. All you do here is blow-dry hair smooth and straight, then run a heap of serum throughout the top layers. Yes, it seems like a backward step putting all that product into freshly washed hair but, you see, the serum will help give your hair stretch. So as you pull it back into a low bun or ponytail, you’ll get the sleekest effect possible.

What do you think of wet-look hair?

Tempted to try it?

Written by Katrina Lawrence

Katrina Lawrence has specialized in beauty journalism for more close to 20 years. After starting her career as the beauty and lifestyle editor of Cleo magazine, she then went on to help launch SHOP Til You Drop magazine, where she held he reins as deputy editor/beauty director for several years. Next came a freelance role, based in both New York and Sydney and writing for titles including madison, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan and Sunday Life and The Carousel. Katrina is one of Australia’s most awarded beauty writers, having won over ten industry awards. She now lives in Paris, France.

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