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
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Photo: Jamie McCarthy, C Flanigan,Karwai Tang /Wire Images/GC Images/Getty Images. Design: Allison Kahler.

Walking outside with wet hair, especially in the dead of winter, is a big no-no. 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, 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.

MORE: Amandla Stenberg Masters Wet Hair with the Help of Jumbo Bobby Pins

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 a 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.

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STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Allison Williams
Allison Williams
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Camilla Belle
Camilla Belle
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Ciara
Ciara
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Stuart Weitzman/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jenna Dewan
Jenna Dewan
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
Photo: Philip Rock/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell
Photo: Barry King/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig
Photo: Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie
Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Megan Fox
Megan Fox
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Rihanna
Rihanna
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The New School/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez
Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Shay Mitchell
Shay Mitchell
Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Vanessa Kirby
Vanessa Kirby
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Zendaya
Zendaya
Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Amandla Stenberg
Amandla Stenberg
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images.

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  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Allison Williams
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Camilla Belle
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Ciara
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Gigi Hadid
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jenna Dewan
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jennifer Lawrence
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Jennifer Lopez
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kim Kardashian
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Bell
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Stewart
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Kristen Wiig
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Margot Robbie
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Megan Fox
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Rihanna
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Selena Gomez
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Shay Mitchell
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Taylor Swift
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Vanessa Kirby
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Yara Shahidi
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Zendaya
  • STYLECASTER | Celebrity Wet Hair Looks | Amandla Stenberg

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