Hair Trend: Slicked Back

When it comes to hair trends, it often feels as though face-framing, beachy waves, tousled bobs and long layers never go out of favour. We can see why - these are pretty much universally-flattering styles that are practical and maintainable. But as a new season begins, we’re pondering a hair and beauty shake-up. At the recent SS20 catwalks the slicked back look was seen everywhere as designers such as Emelia Wickstead, Roland Mouret and Molly Goddard sent models down the runway with glossy, gelled back locks that made the most of their facial features. Slicked back hair might crop up more on the catwalk than in everyday life, but we think this directional look deserves the attention it garners.

Whether it’s a full on wet look, matte or glossy; hair that’s slicked back and swept off the face is a great style to experiment with when you’re after something bold and sophisticated in equal parts. The beauty of this look is in the simplicity - it might take a bit of effort to achieve (although not as much as you might think) - but the result is well worth it. For daytime it works wonders at accentuating a fresh-as-a-daisy-face (and a minimalist’s wardrobe), and after sundown it’s the ideal partner for a strong makeup look.

Image: Sans Ceuticals
Image: Sans Ceuticals

The red carpet has been a who’s who of slicked back hair for a while now - everyone from Emma Watson to Tilda Swinton has given the brushed back style a whirl. Although this hairstyle lends itself to going ‘out out’, it shouldn’t solely be seen as just as party look. In fact, it can be as understated as you want to make it. To find out more, we turned to our senior stylist Mel for some pointers.

“A slicked back hairstyle can work on short or long hair - as long as the layers aren’t too short and there’s enough hair to scoop back and stay put then you should be fine” explains Mel, “A good place to start is making sure you’re not trying to create this look with squeaky clean hair, you want a bit of grit for the best possible result.”

This is a style that’s heavy on product and requires the right type of formulas for it to succeed. Mel recommends something for volume and texture, and a product that will give you the glossy hold you need.

“I like to prep dry hair with Oway’s Sea Salt Spray - spritz plenty in from roots to ends and begin to brush backwards, starting from the sides first and spraying extra in as you go if you need it. This will give you a bit of height on top, avoiding a completely flat final look” says Mel.

If you have some sneaky flyaways at this point - don’t fear - your second product is going to give you all the slick you need.

Organic Colour Systems Control Glaze has a great gel-like texture that is ideal for a wet look in the hair and works really well for this style” explains Mel, “Rub some together in your palms and start running your hands through your hair, starting at the sides again and progressing to the mid-lengths and ends. Grab a trusty comb to tackle flyaways and distribute the product evenly.”

You probably want to leave your ends a little more natural and Mel recommends spraying a lightweight hairspray to finish, if you feel as though you need extra hold. Organic Colour System’s Control Finale will do the trick without leaving a sticky-residue.

This look is certainly a little out of the ordinary, yet easy to achieve and super flattering. We find it’s also the perfect way to spruce up your hair with minimal effort if it’s looking a little greasy on the second or third day.

For more hair trends and inspiration, head to the Beauty section of the Journal here.

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