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Bad Hair Day? Think About Slicking It Back.

First the runways, now the red carpet: why does slicked-back hair feel so right?
Bad Hair Day? Think About Slicking It Back.
Photo: Alicia Vikander, Xposure; Brittany Snow, Startraks; Leigh Lezark, Getty Images; Camilla Belle, Billy Farrell Agency; Jennifer Lawrence, X17

If slicked-back hair conjures up images of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” music video you aren’t alone--it’s an undeniably ‘80s style. But in the past year it’s popped up on runways--rag & bone, Balmain--and red carpets, where Jennifer Lawrence, Leigh Lezark, and Alicia Vikander have all made 1/2 wet, 1/ 2 dry hair look sophisticated.

The key to this look relies on a product you haven’t thought about in at least a decade, maybe more. We’re talking about gel, of course. But Camilla Belle’s hairstylist says it’s less about which gel and more about how you use it. “Smooth a small amount of gel over the top of the hair with your hands,” says Gio Campora. “Use two alligator clips to secure the hair on each side of the head, then blow-dry on the lowest setting to dry the gel.” Whatever you do, don’t brush it out! You’ll end up with separated, clumpy hair instead of a sleek finish. Try Phyto’s Professional Strong Sculpting Gel ($24) or Supremo’s Magic Move Soft Pomade ($30), the latter of which was used by legendary hairstylist Sam McKnight at Balmain’s F/W 13 show. Leave the rest of your locks untouched, or go the Jil Sander F/W 13 route and pull the ends into a low ponytail. We may not be addicted to love, but we are seriously jonesing for this hairstyle.

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