Shiny hair has never really gone out of style, but it’s particularly trendy going into fall. In fact, as sleek strands surge in popularity, the look has been given a brand new name: liquid hair. Characterized by super-straight, ultra-glossy, extra-long strands, the hairstyle is everywhere — from celebrities getting ready for the red carpet to influencers flaunting the look on Instagram.
“I believe that glossy hair is so popular right now because of the influential figures showcasing it,” says celebrity hairstylist and founder of Anthony Cristiano Salon Chicago, Anthony Cristiano. “Kim Kardashian, J.Lo, and Dua Lipa are just a few examples to note that have taken part in the trend and helped it to become one of the staple styles of the season.”
Chris Appleton, who styles Kim K, Lopez, and Lipa, seems to have perfected the liquid hair look for his celebrity clients. In an Instagram post in April, he revealed that a shiny-haired selfie of Kim was his most-liked photo of the star on his page. Appleton re-shared the image and asked his followers what they loved about it, noting that “for me, it’s the shine.”
Of course, like curtain bangs and the modern shag, it’s also a play on the ’70s-inspired beauty trends we’re seeing more of these days. Straight and smooth strands were a defining look of the decade, and liquid hair is reminiscent of ’70s icons like Cher, Jane Seymour, and Ali MacGraw, especially as middle parts are also becoming more mainstream.
“Seasonality is also a key factor when it comes to hairstyling,” Cristiano adds. “This style is a refreshing move away from summery beach waves.” That’s because liquid hair feels a bit more put together as we transition from the cool and casual outfits of summer to a more sophisticated fall wardrobe. “The chic look can dress up any style, and its silky simplicity speaks for itself,” he says.
How to Get Liquid Hair
Unlike the wet hair trend, liquid hair doesn’t actually appear wet. Rather, its smooth, shiny appearance makes it reflect the light and appear fluid, almost like running water (see video above). To get the look, Cristiano suggests booking an appointment for a keratin treatment at your salon. “The treatment smooths the cuticle, eliminates frizz, and aids in the styling process by making hair more manageable,” he says. He also adds that regular haircuts are helpful for ensuring optimal hair health, “which in turn will ease product efficacy.”
On that note, the proper products are necessary for creating a liquid hair look. Cristiano recommends applying a leave-in treatment that nourishes and protects the hair from heat styling; he likes Olaplex No. 6 ($28; sephora.com). He also suggests applying PHYTO Phytodéfrisant Botanical Smoothing Balm ($16; amazon.com) before reaching for your blow-dryer or flatiron; activated by heat, it “softens the fiber, prevents frizz, and helps facilitate the straightening process.”
Finally, finish the look with a shine spray or oil, concentrating the product from mid-shaft to ends. Try Color Wow Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray ($29; sephora.com), a lightweight mist that adds a glassy-like sheen. Or, if your hair is on the coarser side or has been chemically-treated, opt for something like L’ange Hair Satin Nectar Nourishing Gloss ($20; amazon.com); the shine-inducing serum is packed with conditioning oils and nourishing vitamins.
Liquid hair inspiration:
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