I Tried The Slicked Back Hair Trend To See If It Looked Cool IRL
I'm always up for trying out new trends to see how they work IRL, so I tried slicked back hair to find out if this look could work on a regular British girl as well as it does on the runway. This particular coif is a favorite of Kim Kardashian's and it seems to periodically pop up on red carpets and runways alike. Sure, it might make wearers look like they've just been for a dip, but there's something about the look that's very chic, too.
It's not just Kim who's rocked this sleek style — tons of celebrities have been spotted sporting this luxe look. Back in 2014, an array of celebs wore slicked back hair on the VMA red carpet, including Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora. Then, in 2015, Bella Hadid wore slicked back hair on the cover of Unconditional, while Michelle Obama flaunted a slicked back style later in the year.
The coolest thing about this sophisticated mane is that it can be worn by folks with any hair length: A slicked back pixie looks equally as edgy as slicked back Rapunzel tresses. Plus, it seems relatively easy to achieve. However, there were a couple of things I was particularly concerned about. Firstly, due to my blonde mane, I didn't want to end up looking like Draco Malfoy. Secondly, I didn't want to look all dressed up with nowhere to go, wearing a decadent 'do that's usually seen on celebs on the red carpet. So, I tried slicked back hair to see how it translated into everyday life.
After first becoming aware of the trend thanks to Glamour's autumn/winter 2016 hair trend report — slicked back locks were spotted at the Paco Rabanne and Jil Sander shows among others — I realized I had no idea how to achieve this elegant hairstyle. Thus, I turned to the above YouTube tutorial presented by Katherine Fotinos, former editor at Glam.com, to learn how to recreate it.
I was quite nervous to begin my transformation, as the small town in the North of England (where I live) isn't very fashion oriented. I was a little concerned that people would mistakenly think I hadn't washed my hair for a week. I planned to wear this look for a trip into town and I was a little dubious, as I had a few different places to visit.
To start, I swept back the top layer of my hair as demonstrated in the tutorial.
Because my hair is so thick, I secured it with bobby pins first on either side of my head, before slicking it back with some hair wax.
Next, I let the top section of my hair down and finger combed it back with my hands coated in product. I had to tuck my hair into my bobby pins a little because it's so heavy and long, otherwise it would have been wafting around in front of my face.
Before beginning my transformation, I thought I'd need to wear makeup to balance out this glamorous hairstyle.
So I applied makeup to accompany my look.
I felt that, for me, wearing makeup was a necessity while sporting this hairstyle, because IMO, it drew more attention to my face than my regular hairstyle. Plus, I felt like if I left my face bare, it wouldn't match my glamazon hair.
I felt ready to take my new 'do into the outside world!
Slicked Back Hair In Everyday Life
Upon leaving the house, I wore vintage style sunnies with my ensemble, which I thought added to my old Hollywood vibe.
I visited a few stores, encountered various sales assistants, and nobody said a word about my hairstyle, nor did I receive any odd looks. I believed this could have been down to one of two things: Either my hairstyle matched my outfit and didn't look out of place, or folks thought I was a greaseball and were too polite and well-mannered to bring up my oily locks in conversation. However, the more I strutted around, flaunting my slicked back mane, the more I forgot about it. In the brief moments when I caught myself in a shop window, I actually thought I looked kind of, dare I say, cool.
My last stop was to my local coffee shop where my friend works. I was interested to know what she thought of my hair and I had pre-warned her about it. She told me her opinion, including that she thought it wasn't weird at all and that it made me look "fresh." Her kind comments boosted my confidence and I felt even better about my sleek locks.
When I arrived home and asked my fiancé what he thought of my hair — bearing in mind, he's not really into fashion — he said it looked like I hadn't washed my hair for weeks, but that he didn't dislike it.
Although I did feel a slightly like a member of the Malfoy family, this hairstyle surprised me. One thing I really loved about it was having all my hair off my face. I also liked how it made me feel slightly more sophisticated than usual.
However, I didn't like the fact that, to those not in the know, it might have appeared that I had dirty hair. Plus, a small problem I had was seeing as I've got so much hair, a few strands would keep flopping forward and I'd need to tuck them back behind my bobby pins.
Still, it looks pretty glam. I'd love to try this hairstyle for a swanky event — and the slicked back hairstyle definitely works in everyday life, even if it is a bit different than what you might be used to. If you like my results, this look is definitely worth a shot.
Images: Phoebe Waller