How to Get a Slick Back Hairstyle for Men - Ultimate Styling Guide – Beard Beasts Skip to content


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How To Get A Slick Back Hairstyle For Men

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Welcome to your ultimate guide on how to get a slick back hairstyle, a classic look that's all about sophistication and style. This iconic hairstyle, a staple in the world of men's fashion, requires more than just running a comb through your hair. It's an art that merges sleek elegance with a dash of boldness, making it a favorite across generations.

The slick back hairstyle is not just a fashion trend; it's a statement of meticulous grooming and style. Whether it's for a formal event or a casual day out, this versatile look fits all occasions. With its origins in the stylish 1950s, it has graced the heads of many, from movie stars to rock icons. When you opt for a slick back, you're not just styling your hair; you're embracing a look that exudes confidence and poise.

Importance of the Right Technique

Achieving the perfect slick back hairstyle is all about technique and the right approach. It's not merely about using a handful of hair product; it's a skillful blend of understanding your hair type, selecting suitable styling products, and mastering the art of combing for that ideal sleek finish.

The slick back look offers a range of variations, from a glossy, classic finish to a more modern, matte texture. The success of this hairstyle lies in the attention to detail. The right method can make a significant difference, transforming a simple back-brushed look into a statement of effortless style.

As we delve deeper into the secrets of the slick back hairstyle, we'll equip you with all the essential tips and techniques. Whether you're familiar with this timeless style or trying it for the first time, this comprehensive guide on how to get a slick back hairstyle will help you master the slick back look with ease and confidence.

Understanding the Slick Back Hairstyle

The story of the slick back hairstyle is not just about learning how to get a slick back hairstyle, but also appreciating its historical roots. This style's journey begins in the early 20th century, gaining prominence in the 1950s. Unlike the voluminous pompadour popularized by Elvis Presley, the slick back offered a sleeker, more refined look that quickly became a symbol of sophistication and rebellion during this era.

As decades passed, the slick back hairstyle continued to evolve, maintaining its status as a timeless classic in men's fashion. Its versatility has allowed it to remain relevant, gracing the heads of corporate executives, celebrities, and fashion-forward individuals alike. Its enduring appeal lies in its ability to balance a sharp, professional look with an edge of coolness and rebellion.

Variations of the Slick Back Style

Understanding how to slick back men's hair involves exploring the different variations of this classic style. The slick back comes in several forms, each offering a unique take on this traditional look:

  1. The Classic Slick Back: This is the original style, characterized by its sleek, glossy finish. It's achieved using pomades or gels for a shiny, polished appearance, ideal for formal occasions or for those who love a retro flair.
  2. The Modern Slick Back: Tailored for the contemporary man, this version is less rigid and offers more texture. It's created using lighter products like waxes or creams for a matte finish, perfect for everyday wear or semi-formal settings.
  3. The Undercut Slick Back: This edgy variation combines short sides with a longer top. The hair on top is slicked back, while the sides are either kept very short or shaved, creating a striking contrast.
  4. The Long Hair Slick Back: Catering to those with longer locks, this style allows for a more relaxed, flowing version of the slick back, moving away from the classic short sides.

Each variation caters to different personal styles and occasions, from the sleek formality of the classic version to the laid-back vibe of the long hair slick back.

In the next sections of this how to get a slick back hairstyle guide, we will delve into how to prepare your hair for these styles and provide a detailed guide to achieving the perfect slick back look for you. Stay tuned for more tips and insights on rocking this timeless hairstyle with ease and confidence!

Preparation: Before You Begin

Before diving into the how to get a slick back hairstyle process, it's crucial to start with the foundation: your hair length. The ideal length for a slick back varies depending on the specific style you're aiming for. Generally, you'll need enough length on top to comfortably comb back. This usually means at least 3 inches of hair, although those going for a long hair slick back will, of course, need significantly more.

If you're leaning towards the classic or modern slick back, your hair should be long enough on top to lay flat when combed back but not so long that it becomes unmanageable. For the undercut slick back, while the top needs length, the sides should be much shorter or even shaved. This contrast is key to achieving the striking look this style offers.

If your hair isn’t quite there yet, patience is your friend. Growing your hair to the right length is a critical step in mastering how to slick back men's hair. Regular trims are essential to keep your hair healthy and shaped correctly as it grows.

Essential Tools and Products

The right tools and products are indispensable in achieving the perfect slick back look. Here's what you'll need:

  1. A Good Quality Comb: This is your primary tool. A fine-tooth comb is ideal for achieving a smooth, sleek look, especially for the classic slick back.
  2. Hairdryer: A hairdryer is useful for achieving the desired volume and direction, particularly for thicker hair.
  3. Styling Products:
    • For the Classic Slick Back: A high-hold, high-shine pomade or gel will give you that glossy, polished look.
    • For the Modern Slick Back: A matte pomade, wax, or cream offers a more natural, textured finish.
    • For the Undercut Slick Back: A pomade or wax with a strong hold is necessary to maintain the contrast between the top and the sides.
    • For the Long Hair Slick Back: A light to medium hold product works best to keep the hair back without weighing it down.
  4. Hair Spray (Optional): For extra hold, especially in windy conditions or for longer events.

Each product has its unique properties, and the choice largely depends on your hair type and the look you're aiming for. Remember, less is more when starting. You can always add more product if needed, but overdoing it can make your hair look greasy.

With the right length and tools in hand, you're well on your way to mastering the art of how to get a slick back hairstyle. In our upcoming sections, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of styling your hair into the perfect slick back, tailored to your personal style and hair type.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Get a Slick Back Hairstyle

Embarking on the journey of mastering how to get a slick back hairstyle involves a blend of technique and patience. Here's a detailed, step-by-step guide to achieving this timeless look:

Step 1: Washing and Conditioning Your Hair

Start with a clean slate. Wash your hair with a quality sulfate-free shampoo to remove any dirt and excess oil. This step is crucial as it prepares your hair for styling, ensuring it's manageable and responsive to the products you'll use. After shampooing, apply a shea butter hydrating conditioner. Conditioning helps in detangling and provides a smooth texture, making it easier to comb and style your hair later.

Step 2: Drying and Preparing Your Hair

After washing, gently pat your hair dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing vigorously as this can cause hair damage. If you have thick or unruly hair, using a hairdryer can help in achieving the desired volume and direction. For a more natural look, let your hair air dry until it's slightly damp. This is the ideal state for applying styling products, as they adhere better to damp hair.

Step 3: Applying the Right Product

Choosing the right product is key in how to slick back men's hair. Based on your chosen style:

  • For a classic look, use a high-hold, high-shine pomade or gel.
  • For a modern, textured finish, opt for a matte pomade, wax, or cream. Apply the product evenly throughout your hair, starting from the roots and working your way to the tips.

Step 4: Combing and Styling

Now, take your comb and start styling. For the slick back look, comb your hair back from the forehead to the crown of your head. Ensure the product is distributed evenly as you comb. For a sleek classic look, keep combing until you achieve a smooth finish. For a more textured modern style, use your fingers to add some volume and break up the uniformity.

Step 5: Setting the Hairstyle

Once you're happy with your style, it’s time to set it. If you’re using a strong-hold product, it may set on its own. However, for added security, especially for long or thick hair, a quick spritz of hairspray can provide extra hold. This step is especially important if you'll be out in windy conditions or need the style to hold for an extended period.

Congratulations, you've now successfully styled your hair into a slick back look! This hairstyle not only speaks volumes about your personal style but also demonstrates your grooming skills. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you experiment with these steps, the more you'll understand what works best for your hair type and style preference.

In our next section of this how to get a slick back hairstyle guide, we’ll cover tips for maintaining your slick back hairstyle, ensuring it looks sharp all day long. Stay tuned!

Maintaining Your Slick Back Hairstyle

Once you've mastered how to get a slick back hairstyle, keeping it looking sharp every day is the next step. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

  1. Refresh Your Hair: If you don’t wash your hair daily, a quick dampen with water or a spray bottle can refresh your style. This is particularly useful for restyling or reactivating product from the previous day.
  2. Use the Right Amount of Product: Over time, you'll get a sense of how much product your hair needs. Remember, using too much can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy. Start with a small amount; you can always add more if needed.
  3. Regular Trims: Keeping your hair trimmed is crucial, especially for maintaining styles like the undercut slick back. Regular trims help keep the shape of your hairstyle and make it easier to style each day.
  4. Comb Regularly: Keep a comb handy for quick touch-ups throughout the day. It can help maintain the direction and neatness of your slick back style, especially in windy conditions or after physical activities.
  5. Protection from the Elements: If you’re going to be in windy, rainy, or very sunny conditions, consider wearing a hat to protect your style. Additionally, using products with UV protection can help protect your hair from sun damage.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the best care, you might encounter some challenges in maintaining your slick back. Here are solutions to common issues:

  1. Flattening or Loss of Volume: If your hair starts to flatten, a quick comb-through can revive the volume. For a more significant boost, apply a small amount of product to your hands, and lightly run them through your hair, focusing on the roots.
  2. Product Build-up: If you use a lot of product, build-up can occur. Using a clarifying shampoo once a week can help remove this build-up and keep your hair and scalp healthy.
  3. Dry or Frizzy Hair: If your hair becomes dry or frizzy, consider using a leave-in conditioner or a hair serum. These products can add moisture back into your hair, reducing frizz and dryness.
  4. Stray Hairs: For those stray hairs that refuse to stay in place, a bit of hairspray or extra pomade can help. Apply a small amount to your comb or fingers and gently work it into the problem areas.

Remember, the key to maintaining your slick back hairstyle is regular care and adjustment based on your hair's needs. With these tips, you can ensure that your slick back remains as sharp and stylish as the day you first styled it.

In the next section, we will explore advanced tips and tricks to take your slick back to the next level, adding your unique twist to this classic style.

Advanced Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Slick Back

To really master how to get a slick back hairstyle, it's essential to understand how to work with different hair types. Each hair type has its unique challenges and advantages when it comes to styling a slick back.

  1. Straight Hair: This is the easiest to style in a slick back. However, it can sometimes lack volume. To combat this, use a volumizing mousse or blow-dry your hair with a round brush before applying your styling product.
  2. Wavy Hair: Wavy hair offers natural volume and texture, which can add a unique look to your slick back. Use a light pomade or wax to keep the waves controlled without losing their natural appeal.
  3. Curly Hair: Curly hair can be tricky for a slick back due to its texture. Use a strong-hold gel or pomade to keep the curls in check. You might also consider a straightening serum or relaxer for a sleeker look, but embrace your natural texture for a unique spin on the style.
  4. Thick Hair: Thick hair can be heavy and difficult to keep in place. Use a strong-hold pomade or wax, and consider thinning out your hair with a professional cut to make it more manageable.
  5. Thin Hair: For thin or fine hair, creating volume is key. A lightweight mousse, followed by a volumizing spray, can help. Avoid heavy products that can weigh your hair down.

Adding Personal Flair to Your Slick Back

Once you've got the basics down, it's time to add your personal touch to the slick back hairstyle. Here are some ideas:

  1. Experiment with Partings: Try a side part or a zig-zag part for a different look. This small change can dramatically alter the style's overall appearance.
  2. Play with Textures: Mix different products to achieve various textures. For instance, combining pomade with a bit of sea salt spray can give you a slick back with a more rugged, textured finish.
  3. Accessorize: Don’t be afraid to accessorize your hair. Headbands or clips can add an edgy or playful element to your slick back style.
  4. Color and Highlights: Consider adding color or highlights to your hair. This can bring dimension to your slick back and really make it stand out.
  5. Incorporate a Fade: For those with shorter hair, incorporating a fade on the sides can add a modern twist to your slick back.

By understanding your hair type and experimenting with different styles and products, you can create a slick back hairstyle that is uniquely yours. The slick back is not just a hairstyle; it's a canvas for self-expression.

FAQs: All About Getting a Slick Back Hairstyle

In this section of our how to get a slick back hairstyle guide, we'll address some common questions and concerns about achieving and maintaining a slick back hairstyle, using straightforward language and providing useful insights.

Q1: How long does my hair need to be for a slick back? 

A: To get a slick back hairstyle, you typically need at least 3 inches of hair on top. This length allows you to comfortably comb your hair back and have enough grip for the product to hold. If you're going for a long hair slick back, more length will be necessary.

Q2: What type of hair product should I use for a slick back? 

A: The choice of product depends on your hair type and the look you're aiming for. For a classic, shiny slick back, use a high-hold, high-shine pomade or gel. For a more natural, textured look, a matte pomade, wax, or cream is preferable. Those with curly or thick hair might need stronger hold products.

Q3: Can I still get a slick back hairstyle with curly hair? 

A: Absolutely! While curly hair can be a bit more challenging to slick back, it's definitely possible. Use a strong-hold gel or pomade to keep your curls in place. You can also consider using a straightening product for a sleeker look.

Q4: How can I maintain my slick back hairstyle throughout the day? 

A: For maintaining your style, carry a comb for quick touch-ups. Using a little hairspray can also help keep everything in place. If you find your hair losing volume or shape, a quick comb-through and a small amount of product can refresh your look.

Q5: Is the slick back hairstyle suitable for professional settings? 

A: Yes, the slick back hairstyle is versatile and can be very suitable for professional settings. The key is to keep it neat and not too over-styled. Opt for a more classic version of the slick back for a clean and professional appearance.

Q6: How often should I wash my hair when styling a slick back? 

A: It's generally recommended to wash your hair every 2-3 days when styling a slick back. Over-washing can strip your hair of natural oils, which are necessary for a healthy look. If your hair gets greasy, consider using a dry shampoo between washes.

Q7: Can I slick back my hair without using any products? 

A: While products help to hold the style in place, you can achieve a more natural slick back with no products, especially if you have naturally straight or fine hair. Keep in mind, this style may not hold as long without product, especially in different weather conditions or during physical activities.

Q8: What are some common mistakes to avoid when doing a slick back hairstyle? 

A: Common mistakes include using too much product, which can make your hair look greasy; not using enough product, resulting in a style that doesn’t hold; and not evenly distributing the product through your hair. Another mistake is combing too harshly, which can damage your hair.

Remember, achieving the perfect slick back hairstyle may take some practice and experimentation. Don't be afraid to try different products and techniques to find what works best for you. Embrace the process and enjoy your stylish new look!

Conclusion: Rocking the Slick Back Look with Confidence

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide on how to get a slick back hairstyle, let's recap the key steps and reflect on how a hairstyle can be a powerful form of self-expression.

Recap of Key Steps

  1. Preparation: Start with clean, conditioned hair. The right hair length is crucial for your desired slick back style.
  2. Choosing Products: Select the appropriate styling product based on your hair type and the look you're aiming for.
  3. Styling: Apply your chosen product evenly, then comb your hair back for the classic look, or use your fingers for a more textured style.
  4. Maintenance: Regular touch-ups, using the right amount of product, and protecting your hair from the elements will keep your slick back looking sharp.
  5. Adaptation: Don't be afraid to experiment with different variations and products to find what best suits your personal style and hair type.

Encouraging Self-Expression Through Hairstyle

Your hairstyle is more than just a part of your appearance; it's an extension of your personality. The slick back look, with its rich history and versatility, offers an excellent way to express yourself. Whether you opt for the classic, polished version or a more modern, textured approach, this style can adapt to your personal taste and lifestyle.

Remember, confidence is key. Rocking a slick back hairstyle is not just about the physical appearance of your hair; it's about carrying it with confidence and pride. Every time you step out with your slick back, you're making a statement about who you are and how you present yourself to the world.

We encourage you to embrace the slick back hairstyle as a means of self-expression. Experiment with it, make it your own, and most importantly, wear it with confidence. Whether you're in a boardroom, at a casual outing, or at a formal event, let your slick back be a reflection of your unique style and personality.

Thank you for following this guide on mastering the slick back hairstyle. We hope these tips and insights help you achieve a look that not only turns heads but also feels authentically you.

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