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10 Effortless Products to Achieve the Glossy, Slicked-Back Hair Seen on Supermodels and Celebs

Zendaya and Selena Gomez are fans of the TikTok-approved trend.
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The beach waves and undone-done hairstyles pioneered by the likes of the Olsen twins in the early aughts lasted a long time in the beauty zeitgeist, but a new wind is blowing. Glass hair, liquid hair, glossy hair — there are many names for it, but they all describe the same ultra-hydrated, smooth, lustrous mane. And now, the 2022 progression of this trend is the slicked-back, wet hair look. 

Sally Hershberger, celebrity hairstylist and founder of 24K haircare line, tells InStyle that the trend is "fresh off the runway and gives hair a super glossy, silky, and sleek shine." Along with making waves all over TikTok in the form of the Olaplex bun, it's recently been seen on supermodels at fashion week as well as celebrities like Selena Gomez and Zendaya on red carpet appearances. Not to mention, Hailey Bieber basically owns the slicked-back bun style (it's even known as the #haileybieberbun across HairTok). According to Hershberger, it's an extension of the wet hair look that made its mainstream debut in 2018 as the style du jour of celebrities like Bieber,  Kim Kardashian, and Jenna Dewan, among others. 

Slicked-back hair is lower-effort than the previous iterations. "It's glossy hair minus the crunch for a softer look and feel," Hershberger says, adding that it's the "styling equivalent of throwing hair into a quick bun, only with a super slick and ready-to-wear look that lasts all day long." Although the preeminent take on this trend involves a bun, ponytail, or braid, it could also work on hair left down with just the part closest to the scalp slicked back, a la Zendaya

While getting a glossy hair treatment used to be something reserved for in-salon visits, brands have finally caught up by creating easy and affordable DIY solutions; Hershberger agrees that it's "so easy to do now" with the right glosses and oils at home. These products fall into two categories — in-shower, semi-permanent treatments, or temporary hairsprays that wash out after a single rinse. 

Generally, these styling products work by "sealing the hair cuticle to leave strands silky soft, frizz-free, and totally touchable," Hershberger explains. "At-home gloss treatments also work to condition and strengthen strands, leaving a glossy, lacquer-like finish while nourishing and hydrating the hair." Plus, many of these products are formulated with amino acids, which are proteins that can help strengthen hair.

My own experience with this trend came when a bottle of Hally's Fluffy G gloss — a wash-out hair glaze that promises to heavily moisturize and reduce frizz — made its way onto my desk at work. I wasn't especially invested in the trend, but it's such a simple in-shower treatment that I figured it couldn't hurt to try. 

Hally Fluffy G Hair Gloss
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Shop now: $15; hallyhair.com

I used it that night, but honestly forgot about the treatment until a few days later when I saw some friends. "Did you dye your hair or something? It looks very rich." After they pointed out the change, I did start to notice that my locks looked shinier and healthier,  and the frizziness was, in fact, sealed.  

Below, shop 9 more easy-to-use products that can help you achieve the slicked-back, glossy hair look from the comfort of your home (or shower). 

R+Co Bleu's Reflective Shine Hairspray

REFLECTIVE SHINE HAIRSPRAY
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Shop now: $39; violetgrey.com 

Drybar Liquid Glass Instant Glossing Rinse

Drybar Liquid Glass Instant Glossing Rinse
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Shop now: $34; sephora.com

L'Oreal Paris Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water

L’Oreal Paris Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water Lamellar
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Shop now: $9; amazon.com

Color Wow Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray

COLOR WOW Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray
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Shop now: $29; sephora.com

Kérastase Chroma Absolu High Shine Gloss Treatment for Color-Treated Hair

Kérastase Chroma Absolu High Shine Gloss Treatment for Color-Treated Hair
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Shop now: $53; sephora.com

Unite 7 Seconds Glossing Hair Spray

Unite 7 Seconds Glossing Hair Spray
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Shop now: $30; amazon.com

dpHUE Gloss+ Semi-permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner

dpHUE Gloss+ Semi-permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner
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Shop now: $35; sephora.com

Igk Expensive Amla Oil Hi-Shine Topcoat

IGK EXPENSIVE Amla Oil Hi-Shine Topcoat
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Shop now: $29; amazon.com

Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss

Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss
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Shop now: $30; ulta.com