How to Master the Wet-Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

How to Master the Wet-Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water
Photo: Jamie McCarthy, C Flanigan,Karwai Tang /Wire Images/GC Images/Getty Images. Design: Allison Kahler.

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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.

wet hair allison williams How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Allison Williams

wet hair amandla stenberg How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images.

Amandla Stenberg

wet hair camila belle How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts/Getty Images.

Camila Belle

wet hair ciara How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Ciara

wet hair gigi hadid How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Stuart Weitzman/Getty Images.

Gigi Hadid

wet hair jenna dewan How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images.

Jenna Dewan

wet hair jennifer lawrence How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Philip Rock/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Jennifer Lawrence

wet hair jennifer lopez How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Jennifer Lopez

wet hair kim kardashian How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage/Getty Images.

Kim Kardashian

wet hair kristen bell How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Barry King/Getty Images.

Kristen Bell

wet hair kristen stewart How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE/Getty Images.

Kristen Stewart

wet hair kristen wiig How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Stefania D’Alessandro/WireImage/Getty Images.

Kristen Wiig

wet hair margot robbie How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images.

Margot Robbie

wet hair megan fox How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images.

Megan Fox

wet hair rihanna How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The New School/Getty Images.

Rihanna

wet hair selena gomez How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images.

Selena Gomez

wet hair shay mitchell How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images/Getty Images.

Shay Mitchell

wet hair taylor swift How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Ian Gavan/Getty Images.

Taylor Swift

wet hair vanessa kirby How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images.

Vanessa Kirby

wet hair yara shahidi How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images.

Yara Shahidi

wet hair zendaya How to Master the Wet Hair Look Without Dousing Your Head in Water

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV/Getty Images.

Zendaya

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