Whether you’re headed to work or a formal function or just want a look that’s sleek and sophisticated, a slicked back hairstyle can make an excellent choice. This classic style is a contemporary favourite amongst gents, and it’s easy to see why. Fashionable and dapper, the slick back is seriously cool and easier to achieve than you might think. For the perfect slicked back hairstyle, look no further than this expert guide.
Slicked Backed Hair
The slick back may be one of the oldest hairstyles around, but it’s still one of the most popular. The look, which features strands that have been combed back from the face, is a timeless style that can add a polished aesthetic to any gent’s appearance. With many modern variations, the style is also versatile and can work for any hair type or length.
How to Slick Back Curly Hair
You don’t have to miss out on rocking a slicked back style just because you have curly hair. To wear your waves in a sleek way, just start with damp, towel-dried hair. Then, blow-dry your locks away from your face while combing them back. Apply pomade all over your hair, including the roots, while using your hands to smooth back strands. Finish by neatly combing your hair towards to back of your head.
How to Train Hair to Slick Back
For a perfect slicked back look, you may need to teach your strands to sit flat when styled back away from your face. To do so, all you need to do is regularly style your hair backwards, so that your strands start to grow in that direction. You can do this by brushing towel-dried hair back. Then, use your hands to apply a small amount of styling clay from the front of your hair to the back. Now, comb your hair through and add more clay if needed. Use an oil-based pomade to add shine and manoeuvrability before finally combing once more.
How to Keep Your Hair Looking Wet
To keep your hair looking sleek and wet all day, you need to use the right hair products. A good quality pomade or mousse should do the job well. Just make sure you choose one that adds plenty of shine. If you select a pomade, remember to apply it to dry strands. If you decide to use mousse, you should apply it to damp hair.
Slicked Back Hairstyles
You can interpret the slicked back hairstyle in many ways. From the classic version to more modern varieties, this versatile style has an option for every gent. To help you pick the one that suits you best, we’ve rounded up the top slick back styles to try right now.
The Classic Slick Back
For a straightforward and traditional look, stick to the classic slick back hairstyle. To create the style, use a wet-look gel or pomade for the right amount of hold and a glossy finish. Then, comb hair backwards repetitively to create a smooth and neat appearance. As this 1950s favourite should still maintain a little volume, try to avoid products that excessively weigh down strands.
Slick Back Pompadour
The slick back pompadour is a traditional hairstyle that has seen a resurgence in recent years. As such, it’s an excellent style that’s both classic and on-trend. To create the look, you need to achieve a neat, smoothed back style that’s full of volume. To do so, try using volume-boosting products and blow-drying your hair upside down to direct roots upward.
Long Slicked Back Hair
Men with long hair can also rock a slicked back style. Perfect for formal functions, a sleek look is ideal for giving grown out locks a sophisticated touch. To nail the style, just comb your long hair back and tuck it behind your ears. Then, use a flexible hairspray for a soft appearance or a firm-hold mousse or wet-look pomade for a bolder aesthetic. Remember though; you won’t need to use a lot as the weight of your hair will help keep it in place.
Slick Back Undercut
The slick back undercut is another classic hairstyle that has seen a resurgence in recent years. The look, which features a short back and sides with the hair on the top left longer, is perfect for both formal and casual occasions. Thanks to its length and shape, it’s also seriously easy to style.
Slick Back Curly Hair
Curly hair can be notoriously difficult to style, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t rock a killer slicked back look. When your hair is damp, just use a blow-dryer and brush to help direct your locks away from your face. Then, if you wish to maintain your natural waves, add sea salt spray and choose a flexible hold product, such as a light mouse. Finally, comb your hair back using your hands and allow your locks to dry naturally for a great slicked back hairstyle with texture.
Slick Back Fade
A fade haircut, which features tapered sides and back, can add a modern twist to the classic slick back hairstyle. The contemporary cut is perfect for keeping hair with a long length on top looking smart and polished. To nail this look, just select the right level of fade to suit your style.
Modern Slick Back Hair
For a modern take on the slicked back style, be sure to loosen things up a little. By adding volume on top and plenty of texture, you can create a stylishly contemporary version of this traditional look. Also, remember to use a minimal amount of product to maintain a natural appearance and your fingers instead of a comb for a perfectly imperfect finish.
Combed Back Hair
A combed back look is a minimal and classic version of the slicked back style. It’s simple to create, requires little product and appears neat and stylish, making it a great option for busy gents. You can achieve the look by combing your hair back while using a small amount of pomade for a smooth finish. The result should have a natural volume and not appear flat or wet.
Products for Slicking Back Your Hair
To achieve the perfect slicked back style, you’re going to need to use hair product. Whether that product is pomade, wax or clay will alter the outcome of your style. As such, it’s important to know the differences between each of these options so that you can choose the right one for the look you desire.
Most barbers would advise you to use pomade when creating a classic slicked back hairstyle. All you need to do is select the right type based on your needs and desired look. It is available in natural, oil-based, and water-based varieties. Natural pomade is best for a matte finish with a subtle sheen while oil- and water-based versions offer more shine and are ideal for sleek styles.
Wax is a seriously versatile hair product and can easily be used to slick back hair. Although it won’t usually provide as much shine or manoeuvrability as pomade, it will offer extra hold. As such, it’s a good option for keeping unruly hair in place or achieving a textured style that won’t lose its shape throughout the day.
For a natural slick back style, clay is the best choice. As the product is drier than wax or pomade, it provides a more texturized finish and is perfect for messy and modern versions.
Comb vs Fingers
When styling a slicked back look, you can either use a comb or your fingers to smooth strands backwards. If you want a classic style that appears smooth and neat, be sure to choose a comb. The comb’s teeth will offer more control when styling and can help achieve a more defined style. For a more modern or textural slicked back style, your fingers are the ideal tool for the job. They will direct your strands back away from your face but leave you with a more natural appearance.
Slicked Back Hairstyle
- Wash or wet your hair before towel drying.
- Use a comb, brush or your fingers to pull your strands toward the back of your head.
- For a textural look, add sea salt spray to your hair.
- Blow-dry your hair back and up for a smooth and voluminous appearance or allow hair to dry naturally.
- Apply pomade, wax or clay to your hair and comb it through to complete the style.