Remember the girls in the Robert Palmer video? Their hair was pulled back so tightly you had to wonder if it was going to pop right off their heads. The look was bold and gave those girls an air of confidence. Today slicked back hair is popular on runways all over the fashion world – Marc Jacobs, Prada and Calvin Klein all had different versions of the slicked back ponytail. And all were fashioned by the same stylist, Guido.
“With these styles,” he said, “your face is totally exposed, which is sexy in a strong, confident way.” To achieve Guido’s styles begin by blow drying hair completely straight. If your hair is difficult to manage, has lots of curl or normally falls straight forward toward your face, blow dry it back in the direction you want your pony to lie.
The real secret to the slicked back pony is to apply a gel with super strong hold to dry hair beginning at the roots and extending to the tips. According to Guido this creates a lacquered look that works well with the style. While you’re working the gel into the hair, begin pulling hair into the desired shape – a pony, a high bun and low and loose bun of a twist. However it ends up in the back, the front is tight and smooth.
There is little variation to the front of slicked back hair, as you might imagine from the name. At all the fashion shows Guido styled at there were only two ways to style the front – pulled straight back or parted down the middle. Another option would be a slightly off-centered part that stopped at the middle of the crown and then was pulled straight back. Guido finished the hair with a smoothing serum smoothed over the top and sides to prevent flyaways and add shine. If you aren’t into the lacquered look or if is inappropriate for your destination, hair can be molded into the same tight, slicked back style with holding spray and smoothing serum. This also creates a softer version of the style that’s perfect for more casual or business setting.
Be prepared to make minor adjustments to your makeup when you wear a slicked back style. Because your face is fully exposed to lighting and there is no hair framing your face, it’s easy to look washed out and flaws stand out more. A good concealer and a bronzer can help at the base. Don’t be afraid to try a darker lipstick and blush than you normally use. Be careful not to overdo each feature on your face, choose one – eyes or lips – and accentuate that without exaggerating the others. Smoky eyes or berry lips play up the confidence of slicked back hair.
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