17 Smart and Easy Styling Ideas for Wet Hair That Don't Look Messy

The wet look hairstyle is the belt bag of the beauty world; it makes an appearance season after season, you’re a bit timid and unsure how to style it, but when it’s done right, it completes your look. Often seen as a wildcard amongst popular hair trends, wet hair styled outside of the norm can be deemed unruly and frankly, sloppy. Fortunately, the wet look has been flawlessly executed enough times, there are plenty of how-to tips to be considered.

From Miley Cyrus and Zendaya to the Hadids, celebrities have mastered how to rock the wet hair look with an effortlessness ease looking polished and refined. Enhance your natural curls or opt for a sleek ‘do, there is a handful of specific techniques to try. While wet hair’s popular appearance is on the red carpet and rather glamorous, the hairstyle can be translated into an everyday look. The ultimate benefit? Going with an easy wet hair look not only looks stylishly cool, but relieves damaged hair of hot tools. Discover the below hairstyle ideas on how to manage wet hair while also looking sophisticated. 


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Bella does the silky slick back the best. Layer a considerable amount of gel to the crown of your hair to smooth it back leaving your ends loose and free. 


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Tame wet curls by parting your hair down the middle and securing one side behind the ear. The simplicity of the one ear tuck elevates this look from soaked curls to sleek wet hair. 


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Embrace Sofia's incredibly glossy style by playing with this half-up pony. Add extra product at the roots to create the ultimate wet illusion. 


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Accessorise the gelled-down look with fashionable hair pins. This look easily translates from day-to-night and also gives the wet hairstyle a more playful look. 


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Go glam by side sweeping your hair to one side while maintaining a faint curl. Polish your look with an old Hollywood glamour curl in your bang. 


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This gives me major early 2000's vibe when everyone was obsessed with the art of scrunching. It saved time and honestly, looked professionally done—a la Ashley Graham here. 


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Don't want to over-do the gel? Loosely work the gel into your middle part creating the wet illusion without completely weighing your hair down. 


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As the queen of wet hair, Kim nails this 'do by opting for thicker, fuller curls rather than loose beach waves. By alluding to a fullness in her wet curls, Kim's hair is far from unruly. Scroll threw a few of Kim's hair must-have products to create the ultimate sheen to her hair. 


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Proof that your hair does not need to be down to pull off wet hair. First, comb gel through your straight middle part smoothing down your hair to each side. Complete the look by pulling your hair back into a low bun. Does it get any easier? 


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This is a simpler wet look for Selena, however, she reveals that your hair doesn't have to look drenched in order to dabble with the trend. Opt for more of a damp look by gently wetting your natural hair texture and simply, letting it go. 


(Image credit: Getty Images/Edward Berthelot)

Like Bella, heavily gel your bangs back and allow your ends to be loose. Take a cue from Zendaya and go for curl to dress up your look into the evening.


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Another glossy ponytail to flaunt wet hair. Try calming the ponytail with a fashionable braid and complete this hairstyle with a final pass of oil to add shine. 


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Short hair? No problem. Strategically comb your bangs back, creating defined lines on the sides. By doing so, you create a tamed wet look. Pro tip: gently brush out a few fly aways in the front as Kaia does to loosen the look. 


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Adding a headband is always a good idea. It's an easy trick to update wet curly hair. 


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Another master of wet hair, Miley has been a true stan of the style. Her look is easy to execute, yet still refined. Gel your natural hair until it begins to look wet. Once you achieve the wet look, make sure to go back through and make sure there are no fly-aways. 


(Image credit: @sofiarichie)

Ditch the middle part and slick your hair all the way back to create that 'middle school swim team hair.' Wear this wet hair look like Sofia in a cozy sweatshirt or dress it up with gold hoops and sequined number and you're ready for a night out. 


(Image credit: Getty Images/Darren Gerrish)

Though similar to Kaia's other wet hairstyle, if you have short hair, sometimes the smallest tweaks can make the biggest difference. Here, Kaia's bangs are softly gelled to the side, making for a softer wet style. 

Up Next: The one mistake stylists wish people with coloured hair would stop making.

Freelance Editor