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You’ve seen it walking the runways and red carpets, plastered on the front of magazines, and even strutting down the street. That’s right, we’re talking about the season’s hottest hairstyle—slicked-back hair. Whether it’s slicked into a ponytail or left cascading down the back of your head, when you slick back hair, it radiates sophistication. In fact, the super-sleek look can be quite the refreshing change from your normal beachy waves, bouncy curls, and expertly-woven braids. That’s precisely why we’re such fans of this trend! Not for the faint of heart, slicked-back hair brings all attention to your face, allowing your bone structure to be the star. Does this sound like a hairstyle you’d want to try? Below, learn how to slick back hair into eight different hairstyles for women.
Whether you want to wear it up or wear it down, getting slicked-back hair is easy with the right products on hand. Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you’ll be ready to slick back your hair into one of the following hairstyles.
What you’ll need:
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Extreme Style Gel
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold
If you like to keep your hair off your shoulders, a slicked-back ponytail could be the right option for you.
Get the look:
Slicked-back hair is all about making strands look really sleek. To create the perfect base for your hairstyle, spray your strands with a heat protectant and flat iron your hair.
Once your hair is straight, evenly apply a dollop of hair gel from your hairline back to the crown of your head. Use a fine-tooth comb to distribute the product through your hair.
Brush your hair to smooth out any lumps and bumps, then use a clear elastic to tie it into a high ponytail.
To conceal your hair tie and give your look a little extra detail, wrap a small strand of hair around the base of your ponytail and use a bobby pin to secure it in place on the underside of your pony.
Spritz your ‘do with a strong-hold hairspray and go about your day with a secure, slick hairstyle.
If you’re feeling extra-bold and want to show off your length, why not mimic Hollywood’s favorite hairstyle at the moment? Give long slicked-back hair a try for a red carpet-worthy style.
You know the drill: Help protect your tresses with a heat protectant spray before breaking out your flat iron.
Using a fine-tooth comb, tease your hair at the crown and on the under layer of hair nearest to your hairline.
For this look, you want the sides of your style to be completely slicked back and close to your head. After you’ve smoothed your hair back, use a flat bobby pin to secure the sides in place without taking away from the volume you’ve created up top.
To achieve the famed slicked-back look, evenly distribute gel on the topmost layer of hair. Use your fine-tooth comb to smooth the hair back.
To help make sure your hair stays in place, spray it with a strong-hold hairspray, then follow up with a shine mist.
Want to keep things sleek and professional? Consider rocking a slicked-back low bun. Perhaps the most intense of our slicked-back hairstyles, this option truly makes your face (and makeup look) the center of attention.
The end result may be different, but this slicked-back hairstyle starts the same as all the others. Get started by spritzing your mane with a heat protectant, then straighten your strands.
When you’re finished straightening your locks, reach for a hair gel to slick things back. Distribute it throughout your mane, taking caution not to apply too much product (this can create the appearance of greasy hair—yikes!).
Brush back your hair and pull it into a low ponytail at the base of your neck. Be sure to smooth out any bumps or knots. Secure with a clear elastic.
Twist the length of your hair and wrap it around the base of your ponytail, creating your bun. Pin the bun into place with a few bobby pins that match your hair color.
Almost finished! Give your style a quick a spritz of hairspray for a slicked-back style that lasts.
Love a good braid? This slicked-back take on the intricate hairstyle has being your next Instagram post written all over it.
Reach for your heat protectant before straightening your strands to perfection with a flat iron.
Get some hair gel in the palms of your hands, rub them together, then work the product through your hair, slicking it backward and down toward the nape of your neck.
Gather your length at the base of your neck and weave it into a tight, neat braid of your choosing. Use bobby pins as needed to tame stray hairs. No messy, carefree braids here!
Tie off your braid to ensure no strands come loose.
Spritz on a hairspray to give your slicked-back hairstyle the staying power it needs. All done!
We covered its alternative, but what if you’re more of a low ponytail gal? Well, follow the steps below to bring your slicked-back low pony to life.
Use your flat iron to straighten your mane—after applying your heat protectant, of course.
Rub hair gel between your palms, then work it through your mane, slicking your strands backward and downward.
Gather your length at the nape of your neck to create your low ponytail, securing with an elastic.
For an elegant touch, take a small section of hair from underneath your ponytail and wrap it around its base, disguising the elastic. Secure underneath your pony with a bobby pin or two.
Seal in your style with a few spritzes of hairspray before showing off your slicked-back ‘do.
Why not take a walk on the nostalgic side? While pigtails may have you reminiscing about your childhood days, this slicked-back version has an upgraded, edgy twist perfect for your adult hairstyle arsenal.
Apply a heat protectant, then use a flat iron to give yourself perfectly straight locks.
Smooth a hair gel throughout your hair, focusing on your roots and mid-lengths to slick it backward.
Split your length into two equal sections at the nape of your neck. Then, create two traditional braids, making sure to keep them as neat as possible.
Like we said, it’s important to keep your braids neat for this slick look. If you notice any stray hairs poking out, secure them with a bobby pin that matches your hair color.
You know what to do! Spritz on some hairspray before heading out the door.
Take your bag of hairstyle tricks to the next level by adding a slicked-back high bun to your wheelhouse. Here’s what to do.
After applying heat protectant, straighten your hair with a flat iron.
Apply hair gel to your mane, slicking it backward and upward in the process.
Gather the length of your hair into a high ponytail and position it where you want to base of your bun to be. Secure with a clear elastic.
Wrap your length around the base of the ponytail to form your high bun. Secure into place with bobby pins.
Seal the deal with a spritz or two of hairspray.
You could say we saved the best for last—and by best, we mean the most intricate. Don’t worry, though; it’s easy to recreate!
You know what to do: Apply heat protectant and straighten your hair.
Apply hair gel to your strands, slicking them back in the process.
Smooth your hair into a high ponytail, making sure there are no bumps or knots in sight. Secure with a clear elastic.
Once your ponytail is secured, braid its length into a traditional three-strand braid.
Finish the look by misting your slick style with some hairspray.
If you're digging these slicked-back hairstyles, we have a feeling you’ll love the look we’re sharing next, too. Here’s How to Get the Wet Hair Look.
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