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8 Tips on How To Recreate The Wet-Look Hair Trend At Home


Bella Hadid at Ambush. Photo: Getty

Nothing says runway ready quite like wet-look hair – the style dominated the catwalks this season. There were lacquered lengths at Balenciaga, Ambush, and Fendi, and slicked-back or side-swept moments at Burberry, Miu Miu, and Schiaparelli. Meanwhile, at Giambattista Valli, hairstylist Cyndia Harvey took things up a notch, completely drenching models’ hair for an ultra glossy, just-emerged-from-water look.

“The high-shine finish is super impactful on the runway and always feels modern if done well,” says Harvey. “It adds a point of view without being too conceptual, [for example] the feeling of rebirth was a key reference on the runway this season for the Giambattista Valli show.” It was a similar trope that Harvey evoked at Simone Rocha a season earlier, where the theme of the collection was baptism and holy communion. But it doesn’t always have to be so literal. “It’s a look that can feel sexy, glamorous and expensive, or equally hard and masculine,” says Harvey. “It’s definitely a bold look, but it can be surprisingly wearable.”


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But what about life away from the runway? How best to ensure the results are directional, not drowned rat? “The key to making it cool is to keep it feeling effortless,” says Harvey. Not convinced? Here, Harvey shares her top tips for nailing wet-look hair at home.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

“The wet look is surprisingly versatile. You can wear it pushed straight back or over to one side, knot it in an effortless-feeling low bun, or tie it back in a sleek pony. You can also play around with different partings, for example the ’60s parting we gave the girls at the Valli show, to stay in keeping with some elements of the collection.”

Avoid the drip

“A true wet look can get messy! When being worn off the runway and in real life, it’s important to use a product that looks more wet than it actually feels. Depending on how far you want to take it, you probably don’t want hair dripping wet with gel, so a product like Colour Wow Pop and Lock, or a high-shine serum, is great for creating a super high-shine finish that doesn’t feel sticky.”

Cyndia Harvey slicked models’ hair into sculptural shapes at the Schiaparelli autumn/winter 2022 show. Photo: Getty

Add a wet look element for the day

“For daytime, consider adding just an element or suggestion of the wet look. For example, if tying hair back, use a high-shine product to slick back the sides or back.”

Go high impact for nighttime

“Lock down the underneath sections of your hair with a dryer product, such as a super strong hold hair spray. Once you get to the top layers of your hair, then begin applying the gel. This keeps the look high impact, but more comfortable and less messy.”

Choose the right products

“On set, we use a combination of things depending on hair type, the style, and the type of wet look we want to achieve. Often this will be some kind of gel product such as L’oreal Fix Max or Wella Pearl Styler. I usually add in some DIY alchemy by loosening the gel with a conditioning product. At home, your regular conditioner could be used as a more wearable, less heavy-duty alternative for caucasian hair types. For Afro-textured hair, a high-shine gel or wax product that doesn’t revert texture works a treat.”

Cyndia Harvey drenched models’ hair at Giambattista Valli autumn/winter 2022 show. Photo: Getty

Keep it well moisturized with glycerine

“For guaranteed moisture all day, add a layer of glycerine on top to stop your wet look drying out!”

Add detailing

“To create some detailing, use a wide tooth comb on the sides.”

Rinse first before using shampoo

“Pretty much all hair products these days are water soluble – so the key is to rinse, rinse, rinse with warm water until you feel like the product has fully broken down and washed away. Then, and only then, should you add shampoo! Adding shampoo straight onto the gel will end up making things more tricky.”

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