Nothing can make a man feel more dapper than slicking back the hair with his favorite pomade or wax. Yep, slick back hair is one of those eternal styles that has stood the test of time and doesn’t need any advertisement.
In this article, you’ll find several slick-back techniques for straight hair and wavy hair, for guys with thin and thick hair, cool options for men with a receding hairline, greasy styles for those who wanna put on their favorite leather jacket and ride their motorcycle, and on the contrary – a tutorial on how to slick back hair without looking greasy.
In other words, we have something interesting for everyone who wants to keep hair slicked back.
Slicked Back Hair
Slicked back hair has made a long way from 18th-century France fashionistas to the modern glamorous Hollywood celebrity red carpet looks. It’s the solution for festive and formal occasions mostly but is often worn casually too.
The first mentions of slicked hair back come from the 1740s-50s, when an actress, singer, and primary mistress of king Madame de Pompadour wore her signature swept back haircut. Since then, men and women started copying this classic slick look.
At the beginning of the 20th century, short slicked back undercut was worn by representatives of different criminal gangs, and in the 1950s-60s, Elvis Presley made long slicked back hair a growing trend among American celebrities and later -among young men all over the world. Today, you can hardly find a famous guy who has never tried slick back hairstyles on.
Truth be told, not every hair texture can be slicked back in a proper way without extra efforts and tones of hair gel: straight hair is the best for this purpose.
Usually, the swept back hair is styled with a blow dryer to look naturally smooth, but often men opt for greased back hair with wet effect. Also, you can play with a taper or zero fade on the sides, separate strands falling down the face, side parts, or use the hair on top to cover the receding hairline.
How to Train Your Hair to Slick Back
You should bear in mind that a slicked back hairstyle is all about clean lines, so it’s extremely important to keep it fresh and neat to look perfect like David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Scott Disick, and Channing Tatum with their irresistible hairstyle slick back variations.
So, how to get slicked back hair? Is it possible to train your hair to slick back?
You might not have any serious trouble with making a classic slick back if your hair is fine and straight, but when it comes to thick, textured, and unruly locks, the styling can turn into a true challenge. Stubborn hair won’t lay flat against the grain getting spiky and messy, making it almost impossible to brush back.
Here is what you can do:
Every time after you wash your hair, slick back your hair with a comb and put a beanie on (works best on a bit damp hair.) Let it dry naturally or with a hair dryer in this slick back ponytail, after that, apply a styling product with a stronghold.
However, be ready that it’s a long-lasting process, and if your hair is unruly, it won’t probably stick back for a long time without a heavy hold pomade, wax, or gel.
Find more tricks in this video.
How to Slick Back Curly Hair
As we’ve already mentioned before, curly and wavy hair is twice more difficult to slick back and tame compared with straight hair. You’ll definitely need more pomade, hair spray, or gel and it should be stronger as well.
And even if you do your best in styling, be prepared not to get that ideal slick back comb-over. However, you can get an unboring slick back fade with a cool wavy twist on top. And who said that slicked back hair can’t have some texture?
How to do slicked back hair for curly locks? Follow these grooming tips:
- Shampoo your hair and soak it with a towel.
- Pull back the hair with a brush.
- Use a stronghold wax or pomade on wet hair, applying it all over the crown with hands.
- Spread the styling products evenly with a comb, pulling back the hair. Try to make the
- Curly hair as straight as possible, but don’t worry about a small wave twist.
- Blow-dry the hair from the forehead to the back and smooth the surface with a brush while drying it.
- Enjoy your classic slick back style with alluring waves on top.
How to Slick Back Long Hair
Long slick back undercut keeps being one of the most popular male styling options… Even despite the fact that the longer the hair is, the more difficult it is to manage it. Especially if you want perfectly pulled back hair.
On the other hand, long hair is heavier, which means that the whole hairstyle is anchored back with its weight and no spikes or unwanted side parting will occur. Still, separate strands of long hair can fall down on the face.
If you’re ready to spend a bit more time in front of the mirror to upgrade your appearance with a fresh trendy style, follow a simple instruction:
- Wash your hair and wrap it with a towel so that it absorbs the moisture by wicking.
- Use a brush and a hairdryer at the same time to lay back the crown.
- Apply a light product for a smooth finish.
- Use hairspray to make the style solid.
- Congrats! You’re your personal hairdresser and a slick back haircut specialist.
How to Slick Back Short Hair
Typically, short hair is in an advantageous position compared with long and medium length as it’s usually much easier to style. But when it comes to slick back hair style, guys with short hair will probably suffer most of all.
But don’t worry, we have a plan even for your unruly rebellious short locks.
All you need is to apply enough pomade on damp hair and comb it back thoroughly. After that, blow-dry the hair, moving the hairdryer from front to back and combing the top section of your hair along. Let the hair cool down a bit and don’t touch it. Control the dryness of hair and fix it up with hairspray.
Slicked Back Hairstyles
Combed Back Hair
Let’s start from the most traditional and simple slick back long hair variant – the combed back style. It existed many years ago and is still popular with modern guys. This timeless hairstyle is not so slick and glossy as a typical Scott Disick hair, however, its versatility and simplicity of styling and maintenance pay off. This disconnected and relaxed look works great in combination with various outfits and for casual, everyday occasions.
A classic slicked back style is perfect for men with ideal oval faces, but what if your skull is not proportional, and the head has a round or square shape? That’s where a retro-inspired slick back pompadour along the lines of James Dean comes in handy. The volume on top has lots of upsides: it corrects the head shape, balances the image, and adds up a couple of extra inches of height. Just keep it high and smooth.
Slicked Back with Side Part
If you’re bored of trivial swept-back greasy men’s hairstyles, consider adding a side part twist to rock the whole image. You can try a non-significant side part like in Don Draper's hair from Mad Men or a sharp and edgy hard part like in the picture above.
Slick Back with Fade
A high or low fade always adds a modern vibe to good old slicked back undercut. You can vary the density and the height of the fade to make your hairstyle maximally unique. Undoubtedly, a taper fade or a classic fade is the best detail to ask your barber for.
Undercut slick back is probably the most typical and recognizable version of men’s hairstyles nowadays. With short, buzzed sides, and long, disconnected hair pushed back, such a slick back hairstyle doesn’t require a lot of hair products and is easily combined with different beards and ‘staches (if you’re into all that hipsters movement.)
Best Products for Slicked Back Hair
If you want your perfect slicked back undercut withstand all the challenges of the day, pay thorough attention to the choice of an appropriate high- quality slick back hair product. Depending on what effect you’d like to achieve, you can choose from gels, pomades, waxes, and clays.
Pomade is the most frequently used product during a slick hair back styling process. It features the right balance of not greasy look and a strong hold. Water-based pomades look more naturally, while oil-based pomades give extra shine to dry hair.
Hair wax works great holding the hair back, but it doesn’t add any shine at all. Hair clay is recommended to men with oily hair, as it masks that extra gloss allowing for a natural texture with a matte effect.
Hair gels give that shiny wet effect to your hair and help to keep even unruly curly hair and thick hair in place. The best hair gels on the market today are:
- Thickening Style Gel BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA
- Hard Body Sculpting Hair Gel JACK BLACK
- Sumo Gel BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
How to Slick Back Hair
If you’ve fallen in love with slicked back hairstyles after looking through our gallery full of examples on how to style back your hair and create an up-to-date look, this is something you need to know:
- Wash your hair thoroughly and towel-dry it so that it’s neither too wet nor too dry to spread a hair product effortlessly.
- Comb the crown back and analyze what you have: do you need to add extra volume, make your thin hair look thick, cover a receding hairline, or correct the disproportional face shape?
- Apply some hair product and spread it all over the longer section of your hair.
- Decide on the next steps bearing the final result in mind: comb your hair back simultaneously blow-drying it (for a smooth flat look), use a round brush with a hairdryer (for a style with extra volume), pull the comb back through your hair and trail it with another hand, sleeking it and let it dry naturally for a looser image.
- When the hair is dry, apply hairspray for a firmer hold if necessary.
- Enjoy your irresistible style.
How to Distribute a Hair Product Evenly: Comb vs Fingers
Spreading a product with fingers is definitely an easier option, but also a messier one. You won’t get perfectly neat and slick finish using your hands only. If you don’t mind a bit disconnected look, it’s ok. But if you wanna have a traditional smooth slicked back look, don’t neglect a fine-tooth comb.
How can you describe a slicked back hairstyle? – Oldie, but goldie!
Indeed, classics never die, and the updated variation of the timeless slicked back hairstyle, which has survived since 1950 till nowadays, is another proof of this fact.
We hope that having read our slicked back guide, you’ve got no doubts left about trying this iconic style at least one time in your life. Experiment with details, try slicked back curly hair variations, be creative and open-minded in order not to blindly follow the fashion but to become a source of inspiration and admiration for people.