If you've ever dreamed about nailing the wet hair looks that dominate the runways, but feel intimidated or have no idea how to start, you're not alone. The wet hair look might look challenging to achieve, but it's actually easier than you might think.
"The wet hair look basically recreates the way your hair looks when it's wet, but with product," explains Paul Cucinello, a celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Cucinello Beauty. "I think the reason why the wet hair look has become so popular is that it's pretty easy to achieve on your own, and it's really flattering. It creates an effortless look, that when paired with any outfit, replaces a standard blowout look into effortlessly sleek, sexy, summer poolside vibes."
While it is possible to create the wet hair look on most hair types, Cucinello notes that the look works best on wavy hair at any length, and also looks great on short, straight hair.
How to Create the Wet Hair Look
According to Cucinello, there are two standard, easy ways to achieve the wet hair look. If your hair has a fine to medium texture and thickness, you want to start the look with damp hair. "First, add a frizz reducing serum, like Cucinello Product X Perfecting Blowdry Serum ($68; cucinellobeauty.com) or Sachajuan Shine Serum ($33; amazon.com) and evenly distribute it through the hair from roots to ends," explains Cucinello. "Next, layer a medium to firm hold styling spray or a wave defining spray gel, like the R+ Co Freeway Defining Spray Gel ($29; amazon.com) or Paul Mitchell Soft Sculpting Spray Gel ($15; amazon.com), on top of the serum and evenly saturate hair again without disturbing the natural wave pattern. Allow your hair to air dry."
If your hair has a medium to coarse texture or is thick, you want to start with dry hair. "The reason you want to start with dry hair is so that your hair can absorb more concentrated product without it mixing with water," says Cucinello. "First, choose a moisturizing leave-in conditioner that comes in a spray formula, like Briogeo Farewell Frizz Light Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20; amazon.com), Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray ($12; ulta.com), or It's a 10 Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($38; ulta.com) and saturate the hair with product until it feels damp."
After that, you want to layer a firm hold wet styling spray or curl defining spray gel—Cucinello recommends trying the L'Oreal Studio Line Mega Spritz ($14; amazon.com)—on top of the conditioning spray, and evenly saturate hair again without disturbing the natural wave pattern. Then, allow your hair to air dry.
What to Avoid for the Wet Hair Look
According to Cucinello, there are a few things you want to steer clear of when going for the wet hair look. "The idea here is to condense the hair, not fluff it up, so avoid running your fingers through your hair," he explains. "Instead, apply product to the surface of all of your hair and let it separate naturally as it starts to dry."
Additionally, Cucinello suggests being realistic with the amount of product you use when creating this look. "If you want your hair to look wet, it must be saturated with enough product to make it look wet and keep it that way," he says. So don't be afraid to apply the products generously!