Waved Flapper Bob

Rodarte Soft Waves and Stars

DKNY Sleek Side Hair

Side Part Waves

The Wet Look

Hair you can go outdoors with. From slick to textured, pulled back to side-swept, wet-look hairstyles continue to have an impact into 2013.

Perfectly slick or unceremoniously textured, flowing free or tied up high. A vast number of styles across the runways had one thing in common: they all had a wet-look finish. With oils, sea-sprays and gels aplenty dominating the runways again for spring, it would be neglectful of us not to count wet look hair amoung the list of hairstyle trends – and to look at how the style in its many forms can translate to everyday life.

One can’t help but think of a wet look hairstyle as decidedly modern. Take any style – no matter how classic or vintage – and alter it slightly to look as if it’s just stepped straight out of the shower, and all of a sudden it has a newfound effortlessness. That’s what’s at the core of wet hair as a style. It’s all about looking like you’ve just thrown the hairdryer aside and let your busy lifestyle draw you from the beach or the pool (or even the gym) to the next activity without pausing to give your locks more than a nonchalant towel-dry.

The exception to the carelessly effortless rule is the half wet, half dry hairstyle. It’s one we saw gracing the runways of Victoria Beckham, Rag & Bone, Barbara Bui and others for spring, and for the most part it’s the elegant sister of the wet look family. More about keeping the face the focus and the hair slicked back, the dry ends give this type of style a more deliberate feel.

Wet look hair: the styles

Slicked back top / half wet, half dry

While fully wet styles were prominent it wont to take it back to a more wearable, semi-wet level. A multi-textured look of half-wet, half-dry is one of the key ways to do this.

This style can work for any length of hair from short (e.g. chin length) to very long. The hair is kept out and slicked back, but while the crown has a wet look, the rest of the hair is left dry.

Straight or wavy hair is perfect for this style, but if you have very curly hair you can still achieve it by straightening the hair first.


Half Slick Wet Hair

Half wet look hair at Barbara Bui


How to achieve it

There are a number of ways you can create this style, so you might like to experiment with what works best for you, or what works best with the particular look you’re going for on the day.

At Rag + Bone’s spring 2013 show, Redken’s Guido Palau created a look that contrasted soft and tough elements of wet and dry. He used a volume spray on damp hair and roughly blow-dried it. Next, the bottom half of the hair was lightly curled with a large-barrel curling iron. To get the wet look on top, the front section of hair was slicked back with gel (in this case, Redken’s hardwear 16 super strong gel) and blow-dried to just behind the ears


Half Wet hair

Half wet half dry hair at Rag & Bone


At Victoria Beckham’s spring 2013 show Redken’s team blow-dried the top section of the hair to just behind the ears then sprayed on forceful 23 super strength finishing spray to hold it in place an give it shine. To contrast the slick, firm top, the rest of the hair from the ears down was misted with dry shampoo to create an airy, texturized effect on the lengths.

Semi wet with side part

Side part hairstyles in their various forms are another trend for 2013. So it’s no real surprise that several spring 2013 runways opted to give their wet look hair a deep side parting.

Elie Saab’s spring 2013 runway was complimented by a slick, side-parted ‘do, where the hair was pulled back with a wide barrette. Rather than being drenched through, the hair was only lightly wet for a slick, shiny finish.


Slick Side Pony

Side-parted slick pony at Elie Saab


Carven’s semi-wet look had a similar effect: side-parted and slick with more shine than overt wetness.


Side Part Slik Hair

Side-parted slick hair at Carven


At Mugler spring 2013 the wet-look hair with side part was a bit more pronounced. Hair stylist Sam McKnight left the hair to dry naturally, then parted it diagonally from the side to the crown of the head. To get the wet look, a holding spray (McKnight used Phyto Phytolaque Soie Hair Spray) was applied to the top of the head and combed through, the ends left dry.


Half Wet Side Hair

Half wet hair with side part at Mugler


Wet Look how to styling guides and tips

Click below to find out more

Freshly Wet

Freshly Wet

Looking like you’ve just emerged from the sea – a Goddess amoung women – is one way to work a wet haired look. That’s what the models on the Alberta Ferretti catwalk were channeling with this oceanic goddess hairstyle.



Slick Wet Ponytail

Slick wet look ponytail

The wet-look ponytail on the runway at Anthony Vaccerello complimented a sleek, sexy collection. With a military strictness and pristine finish, this style is all about going strong or going home.



Textured we look ponytail

Textured wet look ponytail

In contrast to the sleek and slick wet-look ponytail, this style is all about rough and messy texture. As seen on the runway at Reed Krakoff, it’s a personification of urban elegance.



Slick half tuck

Slick half tuck

A surprise stand-out amoung hairstyles, the half tuck is small but significant. This variation takes the idea and gives it a wet-look finish.