9 Looks That Will Change How You Feel About Slicked-Back Hair

Updated 01/27/18

Slicked-back strands might have connotations of greasy "man hair," but let us paint a new picture for you. A slicked-back hairstyle, when done right, can instantly transform your look into something that feels much cooler, fresher and totally modern. And it's not just us that thinks so—celebrities including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kristen Stewart have all dabbled with a slicked-back look. The great thing about this look is you can make it super sleek with a wet-look finish, or something a little looser and less severe, which can be more flattering.

Keep scrolling to see what we mean, we may well have just found your NYE hairstyle.

slicked back hair: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley with sleek hair
Getty/ Rune Hellestad—Corbis /Contributor

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

To re-create this look, pin the side panels (just above the ears) at the nape of your neck. Blow-dry the top section of your hair back with a brush, and fix with hairspray.

slicked back hair: Emily Ratajkowski smooth and sleek half up 'do
Getty/ Jon Kopaloff /Contributor

Emily Ratajkowski

Seriously sleek, a combination of shine spray and hair spray will help you achieve this level of smooth. 

slicked-back hair: Jennifer Lawrence with wet-look hair
Getty/Mark Cuthbert/Contributor

Jennifer Lawrence

Not a fan of seriously slicked-back hair? You can still dip your toe into the trend by using your fingers to comb some wet-look gel through the roots like Jennifer Lawrence.

slicked-back hair: Kendall Jenner with slicked-back hair at Cannes
Getty/ Ian Gavan /Staff

Kendall Jenner

The key here is to blow-dry the hair with a big round brush to get that lift at the roots. Finish by applying strong-hold gel onto a brush and smoothing it through.

slicked-back hair: Chloë Moretz with a slicked-back side parting
Getty/ Jennifer Graylock /Stringer

Chloë Grace Moretz

If you tend to wear your hair in a side parting, make like Chloë Grace Moretz. Get the look using Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine (£22) worked through damp hair to give it that grungy, slept-in look.

slicked-back hair: Gigi Hadid with slicked hair
Getty/ Frederick M. Brown /Stringer

Gigi Hadid

Dual texture can look seriously cool—work a strong-hold gel into your roots and mid-lengths, letting it fade into dry ends.

slicked-back hair: Adriana Lima with a slicked-back bun
Getty/ Gisela Schober /Contributor

Adriana Lima

A sleek bun or high ponytail will bring all the drama to your look. 

slicked-back hair: Sofia Richie with slicked-back curly hair
Getty/ David M. Benett /Contributor

Sofia Richie

Got curly hair? A slicked-back style can look seriously cool. If you can't be dealing with flyaways discreetly pin the hair back from the face.

slicked-back hair: Kristen Stewart slicked back French twist

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart knows, a slick finish instantly gives the classic French-twist hairstyle an edge. 

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