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photo of woman with slicked wet hair and wet finger waves hairstyle

How To Pull Off A Wet Look Hairstyle On Any Hair Texture

Wet look hairstyles are trending for summer 2021. Want to try one for yourself? Read on for 12 wet look hair ideas for every hair texture.

It’s summer, and while beach waves and messy buns are (as always) having a moment, wet look hairstyles have also become one of the season’s hottest trends. Celebrities and influencers have been spotted with wet look hair all over Instagram. Not only do wet look hairstyles help tame frizz and keep flyaway strands away from your face during those scorching summer days, but they’re also super easy to achieve—no matter your hair texture. 

Wondering how to make wet look hairstyles work for you? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know whether you have pin straight strands, waves, or curls

How can I make my hair look wet all day?

First things first: When it comes to wet look hairstyles, your hair shouldn’t actually be wet. Rather, your strands should be damp. Make sure that your hair is about 60 percent dry and that all excess moisture is removed with a microfiber fiber towel before you begin styling. Then, it’s all about choosing the correct products to bring your style to life. 


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Which hair products make your hair look wet?

If you want to achieve a long-lasting wet look hairstyle, you’ll need styling products that help create that all-day wet appearance. Depending on your hair texture and length, you’ll need a combination of hair gel, hair cream, mousse, pomade, hairspray, and shine spray. Layering these formulas together will keep your hair moisturized and keep that wet look locked in throughout the day. 

Wondering how to achieve a wet look for hair? Keep scrolling for 12 wet look hair ideas for every hair texture. For all of these looks, you’ll have to begin with damp hair. You can start styling your hair right after you’ve washed and gently dried it or fill a spray bottle with water and spritz your locks until they’re damp. Alternatively, use a spray leave-in conditioner like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk: The liquid formula will dampen your hair while ensuring that it feels hydrated.

Wet Look Hairstyles For Straight Hair 

Woman with slicked back roots hair

Slicked Back Roots

For this look, you need to begin with clean, damp hair. Part your hair horizontally from ear to ear and secure the hair from the bottom section with a hair elastic. Next, part the front section of your hair on the right or left side of your head.

Working in small segments, evenly distribute a hair gel like Biolage Styling Gelée All Purpose Styling Gel throughout the front two sections of hair, applying gel about an inch from the root. Once your roots are completely saturated in gel, untie the bottom section and comb your hair straight back. Allow your clean, dry hair to flow down your back to provide a nice contrast against your wet roots. Allow the gel to dry completely to set your look.

Photo of biker woman with a mini-pompadour hairstyle

Mini Pompadour

If you have a very short haircut with a bit of extra length at the top, create a mini pompadour wet look. To begin, part your hair on the left or right side of your head. Work a medium hold gel like Redken Brews Holding Gel throughout your locks until they are completely saturated, and the gel is evenly distributed. Then, comb the smaller section of hair straight back and the larger section of hair up into a mini-pompadour. Use a jumbo hair clip to secure your pompadour in place until the gel completely dries. Once dried, remove the clip, and your look is set.

Good hair day by @caroline_erikssonrobach.

Classic Chignon

Chignons are one of the easiest styles to pull off, and they look particularly stunning when styled wet. Gather your damp hair at the nape of your neck and secure a ponytail with a hair elastic. Then, wrap the ponytail around itself until it begins to form a bun, secure in place with several bobby pins. Complete your look with a few spritzes of shine spray like Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray

Good hair day by @kamillahesselholt.

Rope Ponytail

If the thought of a damp, limp ponytail sends shivers down your spine, spice things up with a few hair accessories. We love this rope ponytail. Simply gather your damp hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck and secure it with a hair elastic. Then, take the string of your choice and wrap it around your ponytail beginning at the base and continue wrapping until you almost reach the end, leaving about one to two inches of hair out. If you really want to make your look out of this world, pair your rope ponytail with glittery roots!

Wet Look Hairstyles For Wavy Hair

Woman with a classic wet look red hairstyle

Classic Wet Look

If you have natural waves, this classic wet look allows you to show off your texture. This style looks great with a center part, side part, or slicked straight back. Once your hair is saturated (but not soaking wet), work a light hold gel like Matrix Vavoom Hold My Body Forming Hair Gel through your hair to set your texture. Allow your hair to dry before walking out of the door, and it’ll look chic and shiny all day long.

Good hair day by @dontemitchellhair.

Saturated Beach Waves

Take your go-to summer style and turn it into an on-trend wet look. Begin by preparing your damp hair with a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner. Then, apply a quarter-sized amount of mousse like Pureology Style + Protect Weightless Volume Mousse throughout your hair from root to tip. Use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to help maintain your texture as you dry your hair. Once your hair is dry, use a dime-sized amount of hair oil like Redken Oil For All Multi-Benefit Hair Oil for a boost of shine. 

Good hair day by @deyckeheidorn.

Wet Look With Deep Side Part

Wet look hairstyles are a top choice on the red carpet—particularly when paired with a deep side part. This sophisticated, sleek ‘do looks stunning with wavy hair. 

Photo of woman with a braided slick chignon

Slick Braided Chignon

To begin, work a light hold gel through your locks. Part your hair down the middle, on the side, or brush it straight back, gathering your damp hair at the nape of your neck and securing a ponytail with a hair elastic. Using the hair from your ponytail, create a classic three-strand braid, and fasten it with a clear hair elastic. To complete this look, wrap the braid around itself until it forms a bun and secure the style with several bobby pins.

Good hair day by @tamas_zsidro.

French Roll

Looking for a wet style that’s equal parts undone and sexy, look no further than the French roll. To begin, apply a light hold gel like Redken Brews Clean Gel throughout your mane. Sweep all of your damp hair to one side and place bobby pins at the back of your head to hold your hair in place. Then, sweep the loose hair back over the bobby pins and begin to twist and tuck the hair to form your French roll. Once you achieve your desired shape, use several more bobby pins to hold the roll in place—no need for hairspray, your gel has already got you covered.

Wet Look Hairstyles For Curly Hair

Good hair day by @marcelcurlsyouon.

Wet Wash And Go

You don’t have to craft your mane into an elaborate style to take advantage of the trendy wet look for curly hair. If you want to showcase your naturally curly texture, simply wet your hair and apply an anti-frizz styling gel like Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel. throughout your hair liberally. The best part is, you don’t even have to wait for your hair to dry to reap the full benefits of this beach-inspired style.

Good hair day by @yd.beauty_.

Pinned Back And Natural

When creating this look, follow the same steps as you would for a classic wet look hairstyle—only this time, allow the lengths of your hair to remain curly. You can even use a few bobby pins to hold your hair in place. 

Pro tip: To sculpt the sections of hair around your hairline, be sure to use a hair gel like Mizani Edge Taming Hair Gel. This formula tames baby hairs while protecting your edges from damage. 

Photo of woman of color with a finger waves hairstyle

Finger Waves

For this look, you’ll need medium hold gel like Redken Brews Extreme Hair Gel and a fine-tooth comb. Begin by parting your damp hair to the left or the right and applying a liberal amount of gel to the larger section of hair. Comb the gel through your hair until it is completely saturated, and the product is evenly distributed.

Starting in the middle of your head, brush a 1-inch section up towards your forehead. Using your comb and a little help from your fingers, create an S-shaped wave. Continue to the next section, creating another S-shaped wave until you’ve completed the entire side. Tuck any extra pieces behind your ear before repeating the process on the opposite side. Allow the gel to dry completely to set your look.

Interested in more expert styling tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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