There was a period, lasting too long, in the late 1980s, during which every girl at my school would drench her morning hair in water before slathering on fistfuls of Wella Shockwaves wet-look hair gel to trap in the moisture, leaving behind a barnet akin to a gull’s in a oil spillage.
I never dared imagine the look would one day be reinvented and made fashionable again. But as with everything Fendi does on the catwalk currently, wet look is now very much the thing.
And it’s oddly versatile. A great way to disguise unwashed hair, tame unruly hair and give elegance and structure to floppy hair, liquid locks add a touch of sophistication to autumn/winter party looks.
A far cry from the textured, beachy, saltwater waves of summer, liquid hair is sleek and glossy, combed either back off the face in a crop or low bun, or parted downwards as though one has just tripped under a precariously balanced bucket of water (see supermodel Bella Hadid at A/W 22 Fendi).Naturally, water alone is neither sufficient nor practical – merely wet hair dries quickly to a dishevelled frizz. The key is to apply the right hair products to mimic the effects of a downpour, but adding just enough polish to seem deliberate.
Despite not having a good head shape for wet-look hair, I sport it nonetheless on holiday, slathering my locks from root to tip in either Olaplex No3 Hair Perfector (£28) or Kerastase Elixir Ultime (£20.90 for 30ml, which is pricy but it will last for many months if used with appropriate restraint). I then scrape everything into a scrunchie. This has the benefit of keeping hair looking sleek while protecting it from the elements, and adding back in some moisture.
Aesop’s Sculpt Hair Polish (£23) goes further by acting simultaneously as a light hair perfume (the botanical smell is glorious). For dry and frizzy hair, Wella Deluxe’s Dream Smooth Nourish Oil Infused Lotion Spray (£3.99) is a doozy. This can be used like the others, but also works brilliantly in adding succulent, wet-look gleam to a ponytail or braid, as well as lasting moisture.
Pantene Pro-V Forever Glow Finishing Oil (£9.99) is another terrific bargain for mirror-like shine. Apply sparingly to dry hair after parting, before combing through with a tail comb such as Kent’s (£5), which is the best for backcombing – when you’re all done with the wet trend.