The Wet Hair Look Is Alive & Well For Fashion Month — Here's How The Pros Do it
If the thought of getting ready in a couple minutes and running out the door with wet hair sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck. As it turns out, fashion designers and hairstylists also want you to embrace this minimal hair routine. You could blame it on the lack of motivation in the blistering cold New York winter temperatures or the low-maintenance nature of the style, but slicked-back wet hair, as seen on the runways of New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022, is back with a vengeance.
At some shows, like 11 Honoré and Bevza, it took a glamorous turn, while at other, like Altuzarra, the look was an ode to the clothes’ water-heavy theme. “The Altuzarra collection is inspired by nautical exploration,” says key hairstylist for the show James Pecis. “To compliment that, we went for hairstyles that were wet, slicked-back and appeared to have been submerged under water.”
And while the shows at New York Fashion Week proved it is a perennial favorite for the city, Milan and Paris also saw their fair share of chic wet looks on the runways. Hermès, Sacai, and Jil Sander in particular stood out for their European renditions of the style.
While the slick wet look is a longtime fashion favorite on the runways, this season’s renditions put their own spin on it — and proved that it might not be so hard to recreate for everyday after all. Ahead, five designers who embraced this chic, perfectly undone hairstyle at New York Fashion Week F/W ‘22.
At 11 Honoré, lead hair stylist Nai’vasha wanted to create a look that was quintessential high fashion that could both compliment multiple outfits and be photographed at any moment. “The collection is quintessentially high fashion, so I wanted the hair to mimic that,” the expert shared via a press release. “I created a sleek, straight-hair look perfect for a high fashion runway — elevated but nothing that distracts too much from the designs themselves.” To create the minimalist four-step routine, the pro used TRESemmé One Step Style Smooth, TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray, TRESemmé TRES TWO Mega Control Gel, TRESemmé TRES TWO Freeze Hold Hair Spray.
To recreate at home, start by applying TRESemmé One Step Smooth from roots to ends and blow out the hair, brushing away from the hairline and straight down using a paddle brush. Next, spray hair with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray to prevent damage and split ends before straightening. Nai’vasha says to straighten in small sections at a time to avoid any bump in texture, for a sleek stick-straight look. Then, without combing your hair, use your fingertips to work in TRESemmé TRES TWO Mega Control Gel through the hair, creating finger-spacing throughout. Lastly, finish with TRESemmé TRES TWO Freeze Hold Hair Spray to keep the style in place, leaving the ends untouched to allow for natural movement and texture.
Debuting on Valentine’s Day, hairstylist Jimmy Paul sent a range of wet hairstyles down the Carolina Herrera runway that were as romantic as they were dramatic. Models wore either a super sleek ponytail with a high-shine base or brushed back look with no part tucked behind the ears — both allowed the show’s exuberant jeweled earrings and colorful ruffled pieces to take center stage.
Then there was Altuzarra, which debuted on Sunday February 13. Show lead James Pecis created the wet hair look and featured flat, textured waves reminiscent of a siren emerging from the deep sea. For the sea-swept waves, Pecis started by creating S-waves throughout the hair with a 1-inch curling iron. (If you’re re-creating at home and want a deeper curl, feel free to opt for a wider curling iron).
Next, hair was sprayed with Oribe Foundation Mist for the fine to medium textures and Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray for the thick to coarse textures. Prior to styling, the hair was shaped away from the face with a wide tooth comb and the fingers for a perfect undone, sea-swept look. When trying this at home, make sure to leave the edges around the face and neck loose. Then, create a rather loose zig-zag part to push the hair back and to the side — keeping the shape tight to the head. Lastly, spray on Volumista Mist for Volume and use fingertips to set the edges around the face.
At Peter Do, long, sophisticated, slicked back hair was in fashion. Key hairstylist, Jawara, created sculpted hairstyles as counterparts to the dramatic runway. “The collection has really cool lines and details so we decided to make it pretty simple with the hair, yet still semi-sexual,” the pro told TZR backstage. “The hair here is really clean and sexual — replicated both on straight hair and braids for the girls with natural hair.”
To achieve the looks, Dyson products were used. First, a wide tooth comb was used to detangle natural hair and then smoothed out with the Supersonic Hair Dryer. Next, the Corrale hair straightener was used to flatten out the hair for a ‘dramatically straight’ aesthetic. Lastly, the hair team used göt2b Flex Insta Hold Hair Spray and Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel to really sculpt the hair into a streamlined wet look. Paired with the sharp tailoring of the collection, the effect was striking and positively high fashion.
To compliment their graphic, black and white collection, Bevza also chose to send slicked back hair down the runways this season, with lead stylist Kien Hoang creating the look. He used Oribe Mystifying Restyling Spray followed by a hefty dose of Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray to create the wet-looking sheen. Next up was the Oribe Gel Sérum, a hybrid between a gel and serum that provides a flexible and light hold to make the hair extra shiny. To give the illusion that the models were coming out of the ocean, he hand raked the top of the hair before pining down the sides and allowing natural flyaway strands to be free. A final coat of Oribe Gurl Gelée was then added to help the hair look even more doused in moisture.
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