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Walking outside with wet hair isn’t usually recommended by the pros. Not only will it leave your neck and clothes completely damp; your head also becomes a breeding ground for breakage, as hair follicles expand and freeze (winter) or break off (summer), thus becoming less pliable and difficult to style. Not the best news to read if you’ve been wanting to pull off that effortless wet look sported on high-fashion runways and the red carpet. The good news is you don’t have to dunk your hair into the sink and freeze-frame that texture to make it work. In fact, the smartest way to do it is by creating the illusion of wet hair, as opposed to going the literal route.
“Surprisingly, you need very little water to achieve the wet hair look. Water’s main purpose here is to help distribute product throughout your hair,” says hairstylist Marc Mena, who counts Madelaine Petsch, Natalie Dyer, and Mindy Kaling as clients. Instead, you should be lightly misting it with a spray bottle or using stylers that can add texture and add shine. We’re talking alcohol-free gels, pomades, and texturizing mists.
If you have finer strands, Mena says to start with your hair freshly blown-out to give volume. Then lightly mist the hair with water and apply gel at the root. Comb down through to the ends, and if you want a slicked-back look, smooth out the top and sides with a soft-bristle brush. On the other hand, those with wavy/curly strands should start with out-of-the-shower damp hair, followed by even distribution of styling product from roots to tips. Also, be sure to emphasize your curl shape and texture with any of these finger methods. As far as textured or natural hair is concerned, start with dry hair and instead of a gel, use spray oil to get the wet effect.
Of course, taking on a trend is easier with a little inspo to get the wheels turning. So without further ado, here are 21 famous examples of wet-hair greatness.