Best “Wet Look” Hair Gel that Money Can Buy

Cop that runway-worthy slickback with the right products.

One of last year’s biggest beauty trends was the wet look, which, as the name implies, featured seemingly wet, shiny, glistening hair. The most popular way to wear it was combed away from the face, with no part. Exactly how you would naturally step out of the showers (only more glam, and with less actual water droplets). This unmistakably fazhun hairstyle, though not new by any respects, is fierce and very D.I.Y.-friendly. We’re ready to give you the scoop on how to create this look at home. We’ll share some of our fave products and tips to achieve the wet look hair gel moment. It’s incredibly easy and perfect for any occasions you want all eyes on you.

The best wet look hair gel has to have a shiny finish, and provide a strong but not sticky control. Your style should have enough hold to stay in place throughout the day: This trend looks its most on-point when molded in a slight fauxhawk shape away from the face, without any stringiness.

wet look hair gel with hairspray
Finishing with hairspray gives a more molten finish. Photo credit:

For this look, we love an alcohol-free gel, so it doesn’t dry hair out. TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Firm Gel is an alcohol-free formulation that offers strong control perfect for sculpted looks, making a fashionable, brushed-away style a cinch to recreate.

Suave Max Hold Sculpting Gel also helps mold hair and locks it in place for 24 hours (!)—all the while delivering humidity resistance, brilliant shine and extreme control. Definitely a great choice for any outdoor events you attend.

How to Use

While models backstage have come down the runway dripping in oils and leave-in deep conditioner, we concede that this might not be a realistic option. For everyday, it’s best to start on hair that’s been washed and partially dried (yes, we know—the things we have to do). Prepped with a small amount of hair oil, try Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil to help lubricate and nourish your strands. This is key before shellacking them in place.

wet look hair gel on super slick hair
Prepping damp hair with oil maximizes the wet effect. Photo credit:

To apply your wet look hair gel, squeeze a small-sized a dime-sized amount onto your palms. Next, rake some of the gel throughout your hair from the front to back, then refine with a fine-toothed comb to distribute product more evenly. Add on as needed—some find that they need more hold on the sides and temple area. Finish off any leftover product by applying them to your ends, and finish with a light misting of shine spray, like Bed Head by TIGI Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray, to seal it all in.

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