Skip to Content

How to Slick Back Hair | Complete Step-by-Step Guide

It can be hard to find a hairstyle that looks stylish and sleek, but the slicked-back hairstyle has it all. This simple style works for any situation. If you want to look cool and put together, you need to know how to slick back hair. Read on to learn more.

How to Slick Back Hair: A Summary

It’s fairly simple to get that ultra-cool slicked-back look that you’ve been thinking about trying. In fact, it couldn’t be simpler. Starting with clean, product laden hair, all you need to do is comb your hair back in a way that doesn’t fight with your natural part. This makes it more likely that your hair will stay slicked back all day because it won’t want to flop over all the time.

Ready to get started? Follow these steps to get that cool, slick back look:

  1. Wash your hair
  2. Towel dry your hair
  3. Remove tangles
  4. Let it sit
  5. Apply your product
  6. Comb straight back
  7. Use hair spray
  8. Train your hair to slick back

How to Slick Back Hair in 8 Easy Steps

You can slick back hair in eight steps. But, really, the steps are so easy, you won’t have to put in much effort to get this style. Make sure you have your favorite hair product and a wide-tooth comb ready to go, and you’re ready to make your hair look great.

Step 1: Wash Your Hair

The best way to style hair is if it’s clean. This means you won’t have to deal with yesterday’s product or grease. Shampoo and condition your hair as you normally do.

Read Next: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Step 2: Towel Dry Your Hair

After your hair is clean, towel dry it. However, don’t get it completely dry because a little moisture will make it easier to style.

Step 3: Remove Tangles

Start combing your damp hair from the ends. If you start at the root, it will pull your scalp. You can detangle at the ends and work your way up. By then, your hair will be smooth enough, and the comb won’t tug at your scalp.

Step 4: Let It Sit

When you’re done combing, don’t jump right into styling your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes while you shave, put on deodorant, or take care of other small tasks. This will give your hair a little time to air dry. As it dries, it will better stay the way you comb it.

Step 5: Apply Your Product

The product you choose to slick your hair back with is vital. You need the right amount of hold to make sure your hair doesn’t fall out of place as it dries. To that end, you should choose a firm-hold product that will leave you with a high-shine. The type of product isn’t as important as the end result. Just choose something you like to work with. You can choose a paste, gel, cream, or pomade but make sure whatever you select offers a heavy hold while still keeping your hair shiny.

Our Top Pick
Pomade for Men – 5 oz Tub- Classic Styling Product with Strong Firm Hold

Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

Put a dime-sized portion of the product in your hand, emulsify it by rubbing it over the palms of your hands, and then work it through your hair. You don’t want to add volume to your roots, so don’t massage it in at first. Let it sit on your hair for about 15 seconds.

Once you let the product sit, you can run your hands through your hair. This should be a smooth process. If your fingers snag in your hair, run them under warm water and pat them on your hair. This will add enough moisture to help you distribute the product through all of your hair.

Step 6: Comb Straight Back

Use a wide-tooth comb to brush your hair straight back from your forehead. Your hair will follow your natural part, and it might fall to the side slightly. 

As you comb it into place, you also need to follow your part. Otherwise, with time, your hair will move from the style you try to put it in and flop over according to your part.

Step 7: Use Hair Spray

When your hair is in place, don’t touch it. If you keep touching it, the oil from your hands gets onto your hair. The oil breaks down the products that hold your hair in place and keep it shiny.

Instead, reach for the hair spray. This will keep your hair in place for hours. You can choose hair sprays that look matte or add shine. Some extra-strength holds will keep your style intact for 24 hours.

Hold the can about eight inches from your hair as you lightly cover the style with hair spray. It will dry and keep your hair in place without feeling sticky all day.

Read Next: Best Setting Spray

Step 8: Train Your Hair to Slick Back

To make slicking your hair back even easier, you can train your hair. It’s better to train longer hair, so if you can grow your hair to be four to more than six inches long, you’ll get the best results.

Comb back your damp hair and use a blow dryer focused on your hair roots to force them into position. As they dry, they’ll naturally stay combed back so you can use less product to keep the style in place.

You can also use a headband to keep your hair in place when you’re exercising or hanging out around the house. You don’t have to get one of those stylish headbands for wearing out. A simply stretchy one that holds your hair in place will be enough to train your hair.

You might need to go out but want to keep training your hair. Consider wearing a baseball cap to contain your hair while you’re in public. A cap will look more stylish than a headband. Comb your hair back and put the hat on firmly. When you take off the cap later, you’ll see that your hair stays combed back.

If you comb your hair back and blow dry it daily, even if you’re not styling your hair to go out in public, you can train your hair to hold this position. Using headbands and caps will help speed up the process. After you train your hair, it’ll be easier to slick back each morning.

Things to Consider

Image to show how to slick back hair with a guy in a red hoodie holding a gamecube controller


Slicking back your hair is a simple process, but the style will look fantastic, whether you’re headed into the office or going for a night out. Make sure you consider these tips to make the style work best for you.

  • Don’t get your hair too dry before you style it. If you need to style it between washings, you can wet it with water or use a conditioner rinse to get it damp.
  • Only style clean hair. If your hair is greasy or still has product in it, it’ll be harder to style. Having grease and product in your hair will make it flat, and the style won’t look the same.
  • Don’t use too much product. Start with a dime-sized portion in your palm and apply it with your fingers. Don’t squeeze it directly onto your hair, and don’t use more than a penny-sized amount.
  • Use a wide-tooth comb. Fine-tooth combs will pull your hair more, so while they’re effective at detangling your hair, they won’t give you the same look with slicked-back hair.
  • When you comb your hair, follow your natural part. If you try to comb against it, your hair will work its way back over time, messing up your style.
  • You can slick back your hair, whether it’s long or short, but hair that’s four to six inches long or above is best.
  • If you have thick hair, you might end up with a pompadour instead of a sleek slicked-back style. Ask your barber to thin your hair for this style.
  • For a shinier look, you can use gel. For a natural look, use matte pomade or hair wax.
  • Slicking back hair won’t damage your hair, but this style might make it more obvious if you have hair loss or a receding hairline.

So, How Do You Slick Back Hair?

Slicked back hair can look good whether your hair is long or short, curly or straight. To slick back hair, you don’t need to do a lot of work. As soon as you get out of the shower, towel dry your hair and comb it following your natural part.

You only need a dime-sized amount of hair product to help keep it combed back from your forehead. Consider adding some hair spray to keep your look strong all day long. 

You Might Also Like: