What’s your skin type?
This will help us personalize your experience.

How to Get the Wet Hair Look in 4 Easy Steps


The wet hair look is a red carpet classic that hair stylists have relied on for generations. No matter if you're walking the red carpet or walking to lunch, the wet hair look is an always on-trend hairstyle that's easy to pull off without hot tools or a ton of time.

In recent years, every icon from Queen Bey and Miley to Kim K and the Hadids has reinvented the wet look with different product mixes, proving this is one hairstyle that's a hit for every hair type and texture. We're going to show you how to pull it off step by step.

R+CO WALL ST Strong Hold Gel

What You’ll Need

The key to the wet hair look is layering hair styling products that you can mix to build up moisture that'll stay throughout the day, plus a few go-to tools:

  1. A Wide-Tooth Comb: Use a comb like this one from R+CO to define your part and pull products through evenly.

  2. Hair Gel: It's the essential base ingredient for slick-backed looks on any hair texture. For long-lasting, crunch-free definition and hold, use R+CO's WALL ST Strong Hold Gel. It makes your hair healthier and shinier with natural ingredients like vitamin A, glycerin, and hydrolyzed soy protein.

  3. Hair Cream: Cream-based formulas create a smooth, natural sheen with tons of nourishment for split ends. They're especially helpful for those with dry hair, wavy hair, and curly hair. Try product cocktailing your gel with ANDALOU NATURALS' Argan Oil & Shea Moisture Rich Styling Cream to add moisture and reduce frizz. 

  4. Glossing Spray: Consider this the hair equivalent of the glow-boosting mist you use to set your makeup. A glossing spray like AVEDA's Brilliant™ Spray-On Shine enhances your wet look's shine, movement, and softness while taming flyaways.

  5. Hairspray: A medium-hold mist is all you need to lock this look in place. Look for one with light-reflecting particles, like IGK HAIR's 1-800-HOLD-ME No-Crunch Flexible Hold Hairspray, to highlight all the dimension and texture.

How to Get the Look

Step 1. Wash & Towel-Dry

The key to achieving a wet-looking texture is locking down your hair when it's actually halfway dry. Sopping wet hair won't absorb the products you use to create definition and hold.

If you have straight hair, towel dry first. If you have wavy, curly, or coily hair, use a T-shirt to blot out moisture and prevent frizz.

An image of Bella Golden with a wet hair look holding her temple with her index finger

Step 2. Mix & Apply

Hair gel gives you the ultimate hold. Hair cream gives you the ultimate body. When you combine them, your style stays put, looks touchable, and shines healthily. Just mix a quarter-sized amount of each in the palm of your hand.

If you have short hair: Run the gel-cream mix through from root to tip to keep your hair smoothed down against your scalp.

If you have medium to long hair: Concentrate on your roots and mid-lengths to maintain body and mimic the way your hair naturally dries from the roots up after a swim.

If you have fine or straight hair: Go easy on the cream to maintain volume, especially at your roots. 

If you have curly to coily hair: Using more cream all over will help maintain movement and avoid crunchiness.


Step 3. Comb & Add Shine

For an extra sleek slicked-back look, use a fine-tooth comb to smooth down your baby hairs and roots. For a more natural and beachy feel, use a wide-tooth comb to rake your hair away from your face and define your waves. 

Once you're happy with how the gel-cream cocktail is sitting, give your whole head a once over with glossing spray to add more shine and make your hair look wetter than it really is.

An image of Hannah Rose Masi sporting a wet hair look

Step 4. Spray & Style

Laying hair gel, cream, gloss, and spray onto wet hair in rapid succession is what keeps it looking damp. Mist your head lightly with hairspray before the previous products dry fully.

Depending on where and when you're rocking this look, you can lightly blowdry your hair to set the style even further or leave it be for a more relaxed, undone vibe.


Want in on all the Glam Bag fun? Take the beauty quiz now to get started. And don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

About the author
Seetha Sankaranarayan
Ipster, gym rat, highlighter obsessed
Share Article
Article Last Updated January 5, 2020 12:00 AM