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8 Easy and Chic Slicked-Back Hairstyles to Try

All you need is a little hair gel and some patience.
December 05, 2022

A slicked-back hairstyle is chic, striking and anything but greasy when done correctly. The trick is to keep the hair gel to a minimum and you can truly have yourself a gorgeous, modern and heatless hairstyle in minutes. For those that sport them often, there’s definitely something to be said for slicking your hair back with some gel and not having to worry about it. 

With that said, slicked-back hair is the perfect addition to your holiday beauty look so consider this your sign to rock the sleek style for your next festive outing. Check out eight of our favorite slicked-back hairstyles that deserve a spot in your routine, stat.

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8 Slicked-Back Hairstyles to Try This Season

If you’re ready to slick back your hair and forget about it, check out our favorite slicked-back hairstyles for inspiration.

1. Slicked-Back Bun

While the slick bun is not a new hairstyle, it’s really regained traction with TikTok’s clean aesthetic and the Y2K renaissance. You’ll be pressed to go on social media without seeing a celebrity, model, influencer or even a friend rocking some version of the ‘do, including the spiky bun. The style is unbeatable when it comes to simplicity and ease, plus, in minutes it conceals greasy hair that needs to be washed.

Once you’ve created your bun, take a clean toothbrush and hairspray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented, and spray the toothbrush with hair spray and gently brush the slicked-back strands to smooth any frizz and flyaways. Grab a hair gel like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Clean Gel and an edge brush to comb the baby hairs around your hairline. 

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2. Slicked-Back Bob

A slicked-back bob is an ultra-chic ‘do for short strands and it keeps your hair out of your face. Since you’re going to be applying gel on your hair from the roots to the ends, feel free to rock this look with day five — the oils from your roots are only going to make the slicked-back look easier to achieve. Once you’ve saturated your hair with gel, take a comb and brush your hair backwards, towards the nape of your neck. 

3. Slick Pixie Cut

A slick pixie cut gives your cropped ‘do an entirely new look. Style your pixie in a side part and use your comb and hair gel to sculpt your strands towards the opposite direction of your part. For an effortless, slicked-back pixie, use the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty because it adds subtle texture and holds the hair with a matte finish. If you prefer a wet, slicked-back pixie style, reach for the high shine L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel.

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4. Slick Half Up, Half Down

Half up, half down hair is consistently pretty for all hair types and textures. Level up the look by smoothing your crown with hair gel to banish frizz and flyaways. Add some volume to counteract your sleek crown by adding some waves with a curling iron or embracing your natural texture with a leave-in conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner

To make the look holiday ready, play around with accessories like sparkly barrettes, velvet bows and hair tinsel to add a hint of charm. 

5. Slicked-Back Crown With a Puff Ponytail

Slicked hair with a curly, puff ponytail lets your natural curls flex their gorgeous, springy texture and volume. After you’ve created your ponytail, use a hair gel and an edge brush to smooth your crown, removing any sign of frizz and flyaways. Then, spray the length of your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape Leave-in Spray to reshape and moisturize your curls. 

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6. Slick Braided Ponytail

Much like the simplicity of a slick bun, a slick, braided ponytail is another variation that allows you to show off your length. This style’s sleek finish is versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your outfit and makeup. Plus, since this style brushes the hair away from your face, it’s great for pairing with a dramatic, vampy lip or dangling, statement earrings. 

7. Slick Bun With Baby Braid Twists 

This look is a spin on face-framing layers, baby braid twists and antenna bangs in one. Part your hair down the middle with a wide tooth comb and separate a quarter-inch section on each side of your part, at the hairline, for your baby braids. A quarter-inch seems small but like the name suggests, you’re creating baby braids, not regular size braids. 

Start by braiding or twisting one section, directing the hair downwards and securing with an elastic. Repeat this step with the other piece of hair. Once your braids are complete, pull your hair back into a low bun, leaving the braids out. Finish by smoothing the pulled back section of your hair with gel.

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8. Slick, Wet Hair 

The slicked-back, wet hair look is sported by many celebrities and models at various awards shows and red carpets. It’s gorgeous for a holiday party and allows your makeup and outfit to be the highlight of your look.

To start, grab a max hold hair gel like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel. Since this one has a high shine finish, it’s perfect for achieving the wet look. 

Apply the gel only to the crown of your hair and brush the hair back — this will help blend the gel with the rest of your hair while keeping the length dry. Doing this allows you to achieve the slicked-back, wet look without applying hair gel from the roots to the ends of your hair. 

Next: How to Bedazzle Your Hair in 3 Easy Steps

Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Katy Andrascik, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Model: Adrianne Kiara

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