The Editors
Updated on December 08, 2021

Today’s hottest wet hairstyles are nothing like the crinkly, crispy, slightly greasy appearance of the infamous ’80s wet look. The modern update doesn’t make you think of bright neon colors, frizzy perms, and acid wash jeans. There’s something sleeker and more sophisticated about the new take on wet hair. Some of these looks might even be enough to make you hang up your straightener right along with your hair dryer.

Wet Hairstyles Suggestions

You may wear all of your hair wet-looking – simply sleeked back with a product, imitating the sexy “just from the shower effect” or use some wet accents. It’s, for example, when only the top layer of your hair seems wet. Remember also that wet hair needs a wet-look make up. So, prepare your illuminators, lip gloss and, maybe, glossy eye-shadow?

1. Demure, Damply Tousled Bob

If you have curly or wavy hair, you’ll be happy to know that there are dozens of wet hairstyles designed to highlight your lovely curls – even if you spend most of your time ironing them straight. The bob is a timeless cut that looks quite fetching when left damp and gently tousled. You’ll only need a little bit of product and, as you can see, no crispy curls.

2. The Haute Couture Slick-Back

You see this look on the runways quite often, and for good reason. It’s fast, effortless, and easy to pull off, even on busy mornings.

3. Chic Messy Chignon

Looking for a quick but sophisticated hairdo you can wear to work, school, or an upcoming date? Towel dry your hair and do not comb it. Take a bit of texturizing product on your fingers and run them through your locks, spreading the product. Create a messy but extreme side part, and pull it into a loose side chignon. Wearing a low bun to the side is lovely and a little exotic, especially if you play around with some large floral accessories.

4. Layered and Laid-Back Hair

See how great layers look with a damp ‘do? You get more lift and volume, which is also essential because flat, lifeless-looking hair is another thing you want to avoid with the wet look.

5. A Simple Bun with an Elegant Twist

Braided hairstyles were practically made for wet hair, and this one is especially easy. Braid your hair when it’s wet, twist it around into a bun, and voila! You’ve got a gorgeous hairstyle for the day. At night, pull the pins out of your bun, undo your braid, and you’ve got sexy waves for days.

6. Wet Pastel Pink Pixie

The wet look transforms a sweet and simple cut into something bold and stylish. Short tresses work well with this hair trend, not only because they require less product but also because they make the style appear more understated. A pale pink hue completes the charm of the cut.

Short Sleek Pastel Pink Hairstyle

Instagram / @hairstorystudio

7. Wet and Braided Faux-Hawk

Bring out your edgy side with the help of wet hairstyles. Braiding on the sides of the head creates the illusion of a mohawk. Greased back tresses enhance the rocker vibes of the hairdo. The straight strands are a sleek complement to the braids.

8. Tie the Knot

If you are wondering how to style your hair to create a hairstyle that is equal parts cool and practical, look no further than this modern take on the ponytail. Slick your dampened hair back with ample gel and then tie the end into a loose knot. The style is simple, but brings a lot of visual intrigue to your long locks. And looks runway-ready, by the way.

Easy Wet Hairstyle For Long Hair

Instagram / @ameliagrace85

9. Slicked Back Long Locks

Just because a hair trend is fresh off the runway, doesn’t mean it can’t be easy to achieve on your own. Recreating the wet and shiny look is as simple as brushing your hair back with generous amounts of thick product. Then tousle your hair slightly and tease the roots for an added effect.

Long Gelled Hairstyle

Instagram / @bluebrushdoha

10. Sleek Red Bob

Hairstyles for wet hair give your strands an irresistible sleek quality that is oh, so sexy. They also amplify the allure of your dye job, like make the balayage more prominent. The slick hair paired with a clean cut bob takes the classic short style from sophisticated to fashion forward.

Wet Burgundy Balayage Bob

Instagram / @dnosalon

11. Pearly and Glossy Updo

The wet effect boosts the dimension and texture of your tresses. Play up those qualities even more with a pretty voluminous updo for wet hair, accented by pearl pins. The different sizes of the pearls keep the ‘do from seeming too expected, while making the trendy style, formal.

Creative Twisted Wet Updo

Instagram / @allenthomaswood

12. Gelled Down Braid with Baby Hairs

Lay down your baby hairs for a throwback, 90s vibe. The slicked down edges enhance the sleek appeal of the Dutch braid, making it a sporty choice for any time of day. The look is bold, yet versatile enough to take you from a day of shopping to a night on the town.

Wet Braided Hairstyle

Instagram / @esjara92

13. Sleek, Long and Blonde

The simplicity of wet hair hairstyles defines their elegance and refinement. Perfectly smooth long and straight tresses fall down the back creating a very Kim K hair moment. It goes to show that you don’t need intricate or elaborate coifs to make an impact.

Gelled Hairstyle For Long Hair

Instagram / @jrgnbch

14. Wet-Look Undercut

The wet styles offer a quick go-to look when you want to make a statement but don’t feel like spending hours on styling. It’s especially easy for those with hair that doesn’t come past the nape of the neck. Simply distribute some gel through your hair. Lay down your undercut with any remaining product on your palms.

Slicked-Back Two-Tone Bob

Instagram / @melschaefers

15. Sleek and Chic Bob

The shiny gelled-up look lends itself to a bevy of beautiful hairstyles. The wet effect can be casual or more elevated. The picture below is certainly on the more elevated side of things. The polish of the bob conveys it a striking minimalist aesthetic.

Wet Bob Hairstyle

Instagram / @hairbynikki.b

16. Long Natural Wet Hairstyle

Don’t feel left out of cute hairstyles for wet hair if you have curly locks. You too can rock the trend. The sheen defines your coils and tames frizz. The less frizz, the longer and healthier your hair appears. Plus, you will look effortlessly stylish with the glossy finish.

Long Natural Wet Hairstyle

Instagram / @jewejewebee

17. French Braid Updo

Maybe you didn’t have time to dry your hair in the AM. Don’t worry because damp hair can work to your advantage. Team your freshly washed locks with some gel and a French Braid for a hairstyle on the go. Pin up the ends of the braid to create a cool and casual updo.

Blonde Braided Updo

Instagram / @fiimacd

18. Pin-Straight Ombre Tresses

The glossy trend for long hair works well because waist length locks have a bad habit of getting in the way of everyday activity. Throwing your strands up in a ponytail doesn’t always cut it. The gelled down hair not only stays in place but also is a sexy alternative to an updo.

Low Wet Ponytail

Instagram / @jrgnbch

19. Wet and Wild Orange Bob

Hairstyles with wet hair can bring a little edge to your appearance. You can opt for a messier hairdo for an added texture and a bolder style. When paired with dark roots and a unicorn shade, it creates a unique look that doesn’t skimp on style.

Gelled Pastel Orange Bob

Instagram / @colorbyjulz

20. Retro Finger-Wave Mohawk

Joining two iconic styles, the mohawk and short finger waves, this pixie is distinctively fabulous. The mohawk gives it a rocker glam feel, while the finger waves channel retro vibes. The wet finish creates a sculpted finish that boosts the sophistication of the hybrid coif.

Curly Mohawk With Side Finger Waves

Instagram / @i_got_you_206

21. Shiny Stacked Buns

Make messy buns polished with a touch of sheen. Stacking multiple messy buns on top of each other also takes your strands from lazy to lux. The fancy look is event-ready and fashion-forward thanks to the on-trend wet effect.

Messy Wet Bun Updo

Instagram / @e.ashley.o

22. Moist and Messy Bun

Wet hair styles compliment a fresh dewy face. With tresses effortlessly pulled into a loose bun and tamed flyaways, it exudes an angelic boho appeal. Play-up the hairdo with a pretty flower tucked into the bun. It’s feminine, and of course, chic.

High Wet Messy Bun For Medium Hair

Instagram / @aurumbride

23. Slicked-Back Brunette Waves

Go wet and wavy to bring the best of the beach with you wherever you go. Those luscious waves are full of body, yet the slicked back tresses keep the style put together and sophisticated. It is a great choice when you are looking to change up your routine hairstyle, but aren’t feeling especially adventurous.

Long Wavy Swept-Back Downdo

Instagram / @_ortiziris

24. Vintage Finger Waves

Travel back in time with the classic finger wave styling. A generous amount of hair gel can exaggerate the hairdo, enhancing its sculpted design. It modernizes the iconic short crop, while giving it undeniable elegance.

25. Braids and Buns

These aren’t your average school-girl braids. Three Dutch braids turn into buns conveying this wet hairstyle a chunky look and fun appeal. While braids can be sporty, the sheen of the dampened finish makes them more elevated.

Triple Braided Bun Updo

Instagram / @vannatasutherland

26. Intricate Braids with Wet-Look Shine

The wet look is ideal for hairstyles with micro braids. You can get so intricate with the designs, as you can see, and the sheen can either come from water or specialized products that will also keep your braids from looking fizzy and frayed.

27. Short, Sexy Side Part Hairstyle

This is an outrageously sexy androgynous look, plus it proves that wet hairstyles are just as ideal for short hair. The sleeked back long fringe, and sharp side part create a debonair look that pairs beautifully with feminine details, such as bold eyes, a bright red lip, or a femme-cut suit. Yum!

28. Long, Slicked Back Style

Naturally, wet styles are marvelous for long hair, as well. On days when you don’t have the time or inclination to dry your hair, gently towel dry it, finger comb it for texture, sleek it off the face with a product and head out the door. It’s quick but absolutely stunning.

29. Wet Shaggy Hairstyle

Hairstyles for wet hair manage to look both effortless and sexy – when they’re done correctly, of course. If your hair has layers, you get even more texture, which helps to keep your wet look from appearing greasy. That’s important for girls with black or brunette hair, especially if it’s thick or coarse.

30. Braids to the Skies

A high braid, beginning up on the crown, looks great no matter what. Keep your hair damp, create an artistic braid, and everyone you meet will want to know who did your hair and how they can copy this cute style.

31. Short and Glamorous Hairstyle

This is another adorable androgynous look. In fact, this is some straight-up Ruby Rose hair inspo. Short hairstyles for wet hair help to shape the cut, give it new definition, and draw attention to your stunning features. If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and try a pixie cut, check out a photo gallery or two and pay attention to models who share your bone structure and facial shape.

32. Vintage-Inspired Finger Waves

Embrace the elegant, feminine flair of the 1920s with your wet look. Finger waves typically look best with short or medium-length hair because it holds the complicated curls better. The sheen is actually a signature part of this ravishing retro ‘do.

33. Long, Loose and a Little Damp Hair

Many wet hairstyles don’t require any work at all. Instead of fiddling with your long hair for hours, leave it damp, comb it out, and wear it any way you feel appealing.

34. Smoothed Back and Flowing Tresses

Here’s another wet hair look that frequently shows up on the catwalks. It’s simplicity itself. You may need a little help keeping your hair slicked back so smoothly. Without product, it’s apt to fall forward as it dries.

35. Flawlessly Wavy Downdo

This is a similar style, but it’s much more sculpted. There’s structure to this style, along with plenty of interesting details. Slick your hair back, then create loose, shapely waves for a gorgeous look that will keep all eyes on you.

36. A Royally Wet ‘Do

More than a few wet and wavy hairstyles make use of braids, partly because they create such a gorgeous, curly profusion when your hair dries. Braids are also welcome when you want a bit more complicated look with wet hair. This picture gives us a cool idea to section out some hair along your centre part and braid it toward the forehead, then split the braid and finish the two ends as a sort of chain hair accessory.

37. Temptingly Tousled Crop

Just because you have a pixie cut doesn’t mean your desire to try a wet look has to be swept back. Tousle your locks naturally with a bit of mousse, run your fingers through them while they’re damp, and you’ll end up with a cute ‘do like this one.

38. Curly High Ponytail

Long hair looks so good when it’s wet. If you have black hair, the wet look creates a gorgeous blue sheen. Even if you need to invest in a good weave to get this kind of length, a high ponytail with long, loose curls is always on-trend.

39. Sleek, Straight, and Sophisticated

Again, remember that hairstyles for wet hair don’t have to be complicated. To pull off something this flawless and sleek, it helps if your hair is pin-straight in the first place.

40. A Ponytail with a Surprise

This is simply beautiful. Wet looks work wonderfully with simple ponytails, but who wants something simple all the time? Section out a piece above your forehead, pull the rest of your hair tightly up and then feed the front section into the pony. Wrap one sleek strand around your elastic, and suddenly you’ve got an elegant and sophisticated pony update.

Maybe you’re making a statement with your wet ‘do. Maybe you never have time to dry your hair or simply hate using styling tools. Whatever the case, wet hairstyles come to the rescue in a variety of situations. Do you think you’ll be embracing the modern version of this retro favorite?

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