Hollywood red carpets, mahogany paneled board rooms and university campuses – it doesn’t matter where you are – this look is everywhere. The slick, “wet look” hair style is universal and rapidly growing in popularity so we decided to give you the low-down on this up-do for men.
What is the “Wet-Look”?
Reminiscent of the Gatsby look of the American 1920’s and “greaser” look in the 1950’s, this hairstyle has made a major comeback. It is basically an extremely sleek, uber-stylish coiffure that makes your hair look like you just came out of the shower (or the rain!) – a very sexy choice for gentlemen everywhere. Unlike the single purpose “greaser” style of the 50’s thoughmen today are utilizing the wet-look in every hairstyle from the pony-tail and man-bun to the crew-cut and faux-hawk.
As with all great (and excessively stylish) looks, this one takes some upkeep and a lot of preparation. There are a few different ways to accomplish this debonair hairdo, and they are a bit more complicated than the lather-rinse-repeat you may be used to. But like all things that take effort, the fruits of your labors will show, giving you a confidence you wouldn’t have without some groundwork.
The Mousse Method
Your first option for sporting the all-day wet hair style is to use hair mousse. This is a product that will not only give you that wet look but also provide a certain volume to your hair making it perfect for guys with thin or thinning hair.
Step 1: Take a shower – shampoo AND condition that hair of yours getting all that grime out but also treating and nourishing
Step 2: Pat your hair dry – not completely dry, we need it to be a little damp
Step 3: MOUSSE – take a dollop (yes, a dollop) of mousse in the palm of your hand
Step 4: Massage – work the mousse into your hair by massaging it all the way down to your roots
Step 5: Style – using a comb (or your hands) style your slightly damp, moussed hair according to your preferences, hands are fine to style with as mousse is a great product for that slightly messy, “devil-may-care” wet-look
Step 6: Admire – take a step back and regard that handsome gentleman in the mirror
Our favorite mousse is Got2Be Fat-tastic Mousse by Schwarzkopf – perfect hold and great size. Now, the mousse option works well, and gives off a volumized wet-look but has a little less sheen than some of the other product options to choose from. For this reason, we highly recommend the mousse option for thinning hair, but if you want more shine… go with a pomade.
The Pomade Process
Pomades provide arguably the best wet LOOK hair style, they just provide a little less hold than a gel or a mousse. The upside is that with a pomade you can re-style your hair throughout the day without reapplying more product or risking flakes (as with gel and mousse). Applying a pomade is a slightly different endeavor compared with the mousse method above – so pay attention.
Step 1: Take a shower – this stays the same… no matter what always take a shower, we shouldn’t even have to tell you this
Step 2: Dry hair thoroughly – we would even recommend using a blow dryer as this will add some extra volume to your hair that you may otherwise lose after the pomade is applied
Step 3: POMADE – take three fingers and dab through your pomade jar (we are not looking for a dollop this time… more like a “touch”), a little product goes a LONG way here
Step 4: Work it – work the product into your hair with the TIPs of your fingers, you can use your three fingers like a comb as you drag the pomade through your luscious locks, just be sure the pomade is spread evenly throughout your hair
Step 5: Comb – the pomade process is best styled with a comb, using your fingers can leave your hair looking messy and greasy (not the good kind either… the homeless kind), a comb runs through the pomade properly leaving you looking like a dapper gentleman and not a dirty derelict
Step 6: Swagger – this is the hottest look right now, so sport it accordingly, wear it with confidence and make others aware of your self-assurance with that manly swagger and strut
Best Pomade Products
Our favorite pomade for that ULTRA sleek shine is Layrite Super Shine Deluxe Pomade, a water and oil based pomade with surprisingly strong hold that gives your hair the sexiest sheen you’ve ever seen. If you are looking for slightly less shine but still want a sleek pomade another great option is Black & White Hair Dressing a definitive pomade favored by James Dean himself – you can never go wrong with a classic.
The Gel Gaffe
Gel is perhaps the most well-known of the men’s hair styling products and that is probably because this is what most of us started out with back in elementary school – and that is where we should leave it. Gel is a fine entry level product but most gels contain a plethora of harmful alcohols that can dry out your hair and leave it damaged. Not to mention, gel tends to start fading into the night and can start to flake if it becomes mussed.
Know Your Products
There are tons of other products out there to choose from when trying to achieve the ubiquitous “wet-look” hairstyle for men. Hair waxes are great if you are looking for a stronger hold but tend to give off less of a shine than traditional pomades. If the “wet-look” is what you are wanting you should stay away from hair clay and hair fiber as these are particularly matte in their finish and will provide little to NO shine.
Our two favorites are the Mousse Method and the Pomade Process above. Now if we had to pick one we tend toward the pomade. This is because pomades provide considerably more shine than the mousse will. In addition, pomades (especially oil based products) are extremely healthy for your hair and will nourish strands from the follicle all the way up the shaft as you wear it throughout the day.
First, you need to consider your hair type to get the right look. If your hair is thicker or coarse, then you can get away with an extra hold product, and if you have curly hair, you may want to check out a product with anti-frizz ingredients.
One other important consideration to make is the quality of your product. It’s essential that you buy one that works well with your hair type, but non-flake formulas are essential. Who cares about the wet hair when you’ve got dandruff?
Even if your style might make it look like your hair is a touch mussed, that doesn’t mean you should be slicking your hair back when it’s dirty.
More useful products to choose from:
• Wildroot Original * The Natural Looking Hair Groom 15 Oz
This product keeps hair in place and gives a great wet look.
• Lucky Tiger 3 Purpose Hair Tonic With Fine Oils 16 Oz.
Lucky Tiger is a great barbershop tunic that will condition itchy scalps.
• Groom & Clean Greaseless Hair Control
Groom and Clean works with water for a non-greasy effect. The hair control product also benefits from cleansing properties, so it’s a little bit like a shampoo and gel in one. After applying it to your hair, you can rinse dirt and grease out of your hair in the shower or even with a wet comb.
• Vitalis Hair Tonic, 12-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2)
This liquid makes hair manageable, but it’s not greasy.
• Brylcreem Hair Groom, Original, 5.5 fl oz (162 ml) (Pack of 3)
Brylcreem is a great choice for classic men, with very deep shine.