How to get the slicked-back hair look (and make it last all day)

This one's for all the frizzy-haired sisters: We know what it's like to try and get that sleek ponytail or bun—only to have it ruined by unruly flyaways or humidity. (Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized. 🙋🏼‍♀️)

Slicked-back hairstyles are trending rn (hello, clean girl aesthetic), so we did some investigating to figure out the best way to get this look and make it last. Get ready for some seriously smooth hair, bb. 


First things first: You need to get the front of your hair smooth and controlled. Here's how to do it...

1. On dry hair, create a center part with a comb. Take a styling mousse (like Function of Beauty Zero Gravity Styling Hair Mousse, $13) and run it through the front of your hair with your fingertips. Then, use a brush to start slicking back your tresses.

2. Pull your hair into a ponytail. Then, add a little bit of gel (we heart TRESemme Tres Two Strong Hold Hair Gel, $7 for maximum shine and frizz control) onto the tips of a smoothing brush (like this Diane Smoothing Brush, $11) and apply it to the bottom and sides of your hair. 

@daisrobinson Slick my hair back w me👱🏼‍♀️🎀 My go-to hairstyle🤍 #hairtutorial #domyhairwithme #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound - user54218508731

3. Take your hair out of the hair tie and begin brushing until you've smoothed out any bumps. Then, put your hair back in a ponytail (or bun or braid). 

4. For extra control, use a hair-taming wand (like The Smooth Company Smooth Stick, $17) to further slick down those locks. 

5. Finish with a strong-hold hairspray. TRESemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray ($8) is humidity resistant—without the stickiness.

Tag us in your slicked-back hairstyles on Insta @girlslifemag for a chance to get featured!

For more beauty inspo, check out these posts:
💅🏻 The ultimate guide to glasses makeup
💅🏻 The pale girl's guide to makeup
💅🏻 Blueberry nails are our new fave manicure

Top and slider image: @samiclarke


by Samantha Bothwell | 8/28/2023