Why Slicked Back Hair Is the Surprising, Understated Trend of the Season

With models wearing wild makeup in unexpected places and statement accessories all over the runway, simple and sleek hair is having a moment.

Written by Nada Abouarrage
Photographs by Nadya Wasylko

styled by Schanel Bakkouche. Hair by Ben Skervin for Oribe at Streeters, Makeup by Erin Parsons for MAC Cosmetics at Streeters, manicure by Tracylee for Dior Le Vernisat Tim Howard Management. Model: Caroline Reagan at Next Models. Produced by Biel Parklee. Casting by Erin Simon. Photography Assistants: Kaitlin Tucker, Kyle Thompson, Peter Freleng. Hair Assistant: Levi Monarch. Makeup Assistants: Dina Drevenak, Aya Watanabe.

This season, models at Giambattista Valli, Thakoon, and Brandon Maxwell‘s shows wore their hair in slicked back styles. It’s not a new look–slicked back hair was originally popular in the ’80s–but paired with the bold makeup, such as painted ears at Proenza Schouler, and statement accessories, like those at Gucci, that flooded the runways, suddenly it felt fresh and chic. Rather than compete with these loud trends, simple, sleek hair enhanced them.

Damien Boissinot, lead hairstylist for René Furterer, is on board for the understated style to have a moment again. “It’s a chic and cool look,” he says. “Year after year – you can count that this look will be in fashion.”

Boissinot, who is responsible for the effortlessly fabulous hairstyles at the likes of A.P.C., Vanessa Seward and Isabel Marant, insists it’s an easy look to get at home. “Simply blow dry your hair all the way back, with no volume on the roots and no side parting,” he explains. “This look is one that will work for every type of hair.”

Of course, success is all in the technique. “It’s really about drying the back of your head with some styling mousse. Then just add some wax to smooth out any frizzy hair on top. At the end, use hair spray like the René Furterer Laque Végétale for the final touch!” Boissinot also recommends using the brand’s vegetal mousse for blow drying and vegetal styling modeling paste for styling. If you do it right, your hair will hold from day to night.

And to enhance the simplicity of the look, take note from the runway and let your clothes and makeup do the work for you. Try an exaggerated hoop earring, or, if you’re feeling daring, a little ear candy. So, what are you waiting for? “It’s an easy look to create, and makes you feel chic, casual and trendy!” exclaims Boissont. “And who doesn’t want that, right?”

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