Skip to Content

How To Slick Back Hair

How To Slick Back Hair

As the fashion world sees many retro revivals, one very distant trend that has caught everyone’s attention is the slick back hair.

Since its classic days where stars like Elvis Presley and James Dean rocked the look, it has always inspired men worldwide to look polished and distinguished.

As this slick back hair is popularized again, everyone wants to dabble with this hairstyle. While this style might look easy, a little poor execution mistake can make you look greasy.

But with a few right tips, tricks, and products, you can look stylish and have a beautiful slick back look which you always desired. This article will cover all the most essential points you need to know for that perfect slick back.

Reasons To Slick Back Your Hair

slick hairstyles

The most important reasons why slicking back your hair has to be:

Looking Desirable

You must have seldom seen any man with a slick back hairdo look unattractive. With this hairstyle, the wearer is automatically perceived as a charming, attractive, sophisticated, and well-mannered gentleman.

We can say this is the trademark hairstyle of a gentleman. Apart from looking like a true gentleman, you can add an oomph factor to your everyday hairstyle. You can style this look for any significant function, party, or celebration event to stand out from the rest. 

It’s Easy To Maintain

While this hairstyle requires a little time, you will surely save a lot of time and effort in keeping your hair intact for the rest of the day.

We are sure you constantly find yourself combing your hair or flattening your cowlick now and then; this can feel exhaustive and downright irritating, especially if you have long hair. There is no need for constant touch-ups, and since the hairstyle is practically set, no wind can mess your hair.

It Covers Your Bald Spot(s)

This positive is a compelling and exciting reason why you can try slick back hair. Most of the hair gets covered with the top layer of hair, which instantly hides your bald spot without doing much.

As most people know, men are more prone to bald spots than women; this can trigger a feeling of dissatisfaction and embarrassment. The most simple, easy, and effective way to solve this issue is by trying the slick back hairstyle.

Learning The Process

how to slick hair

Let us dive down and see how to create a slick back hairstyle:

Combing it properly

Since short hair causes fewer hair tangles, it is acceptable to comb them directly from roots.

Waiting for the 50/50 texture

Once your freshly washed hair is thoroughly combed, you need to wait for some time. You cannot work up with thoroughly wet hair or fully dry hair. It would be ideal if you let your short hair come to a general 50/50 damp to dry ratio.

Picking the right product

While many people find this part the most difficult, below, we have shared a few products that you can use for this step. Make sure to try a few different products to see which one suits you. 

The process of application

 Once you have decided on your favorite product, start patting the product into the outer layer of your hair. You do not have to target the roots, so avoid drenching your roots with the product. Let it sit for 20 seconds.

Rough combing

You need to redistribute your product throughout the hair as evenly as possible. To do this, you can carefully run your fingers through your hair and massage as you go. This process adds a bit of texture while making sure your hand catches all the excess product.


Take a comb and start pushing your hair back as much as you can. Moving might be a bit difficult if you have small hair. In that case, this hairstyle isn’t the most feasible. Keep combing continuously till the hair forget its natural parting.

Refrain yourself from touching it with bare hands. They will ruin the texture you wish for. You can choose the type of comb as per your liking. If you want to have an ultra-slick look go for a fine-tooth comb; if you want a slick rustic look, go for a wide-tooth comb.

Seal the deal

Suppose you feel that your hair wouldn’t stay intact for the entire day or want to add an extra layer of security. You can seal the whole hairstyle with a hair spray. We highly recommend zapping your hair with hairspray when you have a celebration, event, or party ahead. Ensure to hold the can roughly eight to nine inches away from the head for consistent and adequate product disposal.

Slicking Back Curly Hair

how to slick back curly hair


Detangling is a crucial process if your hair is extremely curly. You can use a wide mouth comb to detangle your hair carefully. You might have to be careful as harshly combing your hair when wet can cause hair fall.

Wait for the right 50/50 texture.

Once your curls are 50 percent dry and 50 percent damp, you can start with the next step of the slick back look.

(Optional) Straightening the hair

Straightening is the easiest way to get smooth slick back hair without the waves. Since your hair is curly, it would have a wavy texture even after the entire slick back. To avoid this texture, you can straighten your hair. 

Applying the product

You can go on with a light mousse if you have done straightening, but we recommend using an extra stronghold if your hair is curly and unstraightened. A light-powered product would start flaking each stand after a while. To avoid this, go for the strongest hold of paste or pomade you can find.

Combing it meticulously

Start combing your hair with any desired comb and keep doing it till the product gets evenly distributed and saturated. You will surely need a lot more product than any other hair type.


Keep your drier at a medium temperature and start blowing the air directly on the head while simultaneously brushing your hair. You can use a brush for a smooth surface and a comb for a sleeker look.

Seal it asap

Since they will want to crease back to their original hair, we recommend spraying the hair with a setting spray. Spraying will lock everything in place. You can enjoy your textured curly slick back look or straightened slick back look for a good 24 hours before they need a minor touch-up.

Slicking Back Long Hair

slick back long hair

Combing carefully

Long hair can be painful to detangle. Therefore we highly recommend combing as soon as you get out of the shower. Never comb your hair from the roots.

Directly go to the tips and start detangling from there. Detangling from the ends will pain a lot less as your scalp wouldn’t get pulled.

Drying the hair

Keeping the 50/50 ratio in mind, let the damp hair get 50 percent dry to move on to the next step.

Applying product

As your hair is long, you need a strong hold pomade to keep everything in place. If your hair is too long, you cannot achieve a slick back without the hair automatically parting from the side. To avoid this, make sure to trim excess hair and keep the side length as short as you can. Apply your product generously and comb through it for proper distribution.

Blow-dry and seal it

You need to work your way through the blow drying process if you have thick hair. Part the hair horizontally from ear to ear and start setting and blow-drying each layer.

Once you reach the top part of your head, dig your brush or comb deeper and swiftly push all the hair back. Spritz high hold hair spray and enjoy your slick back look.

Ways To Achieve The Best Slick Back Look

how to achieve slick back look


Clay is a significantly newer invention as most stylists have recently started using them. We highly recommend this product if you have a very oily scalp or wish to have drier hair instead of an oily or wet slick look.

It helps you give a naturally slick texture. Make sure you are taking the tiniest amount possible; excess clay can highly dry out your hair and wouldn’t give you a slick back look.

Hair Wax

Hair wax can be a good product for people who have highly curly or thick hair. Hair wax will give your hair a natural sheen while keeping the natural shape of your curly texture.


Pomade is an ideal product for any slick back look. It will hold back your hair without making your hair heavy or making your hair look flat. You can opt for oil-based pomade or water-based according to your styling need.


That was our guide on having the slickest hairstyle irrespective of the hair type. Remember that the magic lies in the correct products and constantly combing while setting.

With that being said, we wouldn’t recommend this hairstyle if you have a receding hairstyle or a large forehead. Slick backs only magnify your forehead, which can instantly give a baldish appearance if you have a large forehead.