How to Style Wet Hair

On those days when you’re running late, you don’t always have enough time to wash, blow dry, and style your hair how you normally would. When you’re on the go but still need to make your wet hair look presentable, fashion your hair in some simple and easy hairstyles that take minutes to put up.


[Edit]Styling Wet Hair In a Topknot Bun

  1. Spray your hair with a detangler. A detangler will help lubricate knots and tangles so you can run your fingers through your hair easily. Hold the detangling spray about 6 inches (15 centimeters) away from your hair, and spray about 4 to 6 squirts onto your hair.[1] You may consider spraying a few more squirts if your hair is long or has a lot of texture.
    Style Wet Hair Step 1 Version 2.jpeg
    • Be sure to spray not only the top layers of your hair, but also the under layers as well.
  2. Pull your hair back into a ponytail. When most of the tangles are removed, brush your hair back, and up into a high ponytail position at the crown of your head. You can use your fingers to smooth out your hair if it is very wet.[2]
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    • Use the brush to smooth out any bumps and incorporate loose hairs into your beginning ponytail.
  3. Secure your ponytail. Use a hair tie to secure your high ponytail. Twist it around your hair as many times as necessary to hold it in place, but avoid making it tighter than necessary. When your ponytail is tied, run your fingers through the ponytail to smooth out your hair.[3]
    Style Wet Hair Step 3 Version 2.jpeg
    • If your ponytail looks too tight, you can gently tug some hairs forward from the ponytail to loosen the look.
  4. Twist the ponytail into a bun. Twist the ponytail in one direction, starting at the base of the ponytail and continuing down to the ends.[4] When you get to the ends of the ponytail, continue twisting. The ponytail will start to twist around itself. Following the natural twist, wrap the ponytail around the hair tie to create a twisted bun.
    Style Wet Hair Step 4 Version 2.jpeg
  5. Secure the bun. When you’re finished wrapping the ponytail and have a twisted bun, hold the ends of your hair in place. Secure the ends of the ponytail with a bobby pin. Push a bobby pin over the ends and through, to the center of the bun.[5]
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    • You may want to add a few more bobby pins around the bun for extra hold.
  6. Mist your hair with hairspray. Gently spray the top of your hair with hairspray to keep everything in place and tame flyaway hairs.[6] Softly run your hands over your hair to smooth your hair back.
    Style Wet Hair Step 6 Version 2.jpeg
    • Consider spraying behind your head to keep any shorter back airs from falling out of your bun.

[Edit]Styling Wet Hair In a Double Twist Bun

  1. Part your hair. Use your fingers or a comb to part your hair down the center of your head. Then pull back a section from the top on each side of your center part to create two side parts extending to the backs of both your ears. Clip these two side sections of hair so they stay out of the way.[7]
    Style Wet Hair Step 7.jpeg
  2. Make two ponytails from the middle section of hair. With the section of your hair (the section in the middle of the back of your head that you have not clipped up yet), create two even ponytails a little bit above the nape of your neck. Tie these ponytails very close together in the middle of your head, so you can’t see the part separating them.[8]
    Style Wet Hair Step 8.jpeg
    • Use small, thin, elastic hair ties to tie these ponytails.
  3. Twist the two ponytails. Twist each ponytail one at a time, twisting from the base of the ponytail down to the ends. When you get to the end of the ponytail, continue twisting. The ponytail will start to twist and wrap around itself. Wrap the ponytail around its base and tuck the ends into the elastic hair tie.[9]
    Style Wet Hair Step 9.jpeg
    • Twist and wrap the other ponytail around its base and secure it, so you have two, small buns right next to each other.
  4. Twist the sides of your hair. Unclip the two side sections of your hair, and twist back one section at a time, starting from your forehead. Continue to twist the hair back towards the two small buns. Lay the twisted side section over the top of the two buns, and wrap it underneath if your hair is long enough.[10]
    Style Wet Hair Step 10.jpeg
    • Twist the other side section of your hair, and again, lay that section over the top of the two buns, overlapping the first twisted side section.
  5. Secure the twists over the two buns. When your two side sections are both twisted and wrapped around the two small buns, secure them with a few bobby pins.[11]
    Style Wet Hair Step 11.jpeg

[Edit]Styling Wet Hair With a Headband Tuck

  1. Naturally part your hair. Gather all of your hair from the ends and hold it in both of your hands. Push your gathered hair up from the bottom, so your hair falls to the sides and creates your natural part.[12] Use your fingers to smooth out your part and add any stray hairs to the correct side of the part.
    Style Wet Hair Step 12.jpeg
  2. Tousle your hair. When your hair is parted down its natural part, shake your hands through the ends of your hair to break up pieces of hair that are stuck together and give your hair some texture.[13]
    Style Wet Hair Step 13.jpeg
    • If you want to, you can also work a small amount of mousse through the middle and ends of your hair for added texture.
  3. Place an elastic headband over your hair. Use both hands to stretch out an elastic headband and place it on top of your hair, as if you were putting on a hat.[14] Adjust the front, top portion of the headband so it sits where you’d like it, and be sure to keep the back, bottom portion of the headband over your hair.
    Style Wet Hair Step 14.jpeg
  4. Wrap and tuck the ends of your hair into the headband. When your headband is in place, take small sections of the end pieces of your hair, wrap them over the headband, and tuck them in to the elastic.[15] Consider starting from the center of the back of your head, and working your way outward, toward your ears.
    Style Wet Hair Step 15.jpeg
    • The tucks don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical. When the tucks are uneven (tighter tucks, looser tucks), it gives your hairstyle some pretty texture.
    • If you have shorter hair that can’t tuck all the way into the elastic headband, use bobby pins to secure any loose pieces of hair.

[Edit]Styling Wet Hair With a Low Looped Ponytail

  1. Center part your hair. Create a center part through your hair by dragging the first tooth of a comb down the middle of your scalp. Be sure that the part goes directly through the middle of your head.[16]
    Style Wet Hair Step 16 Version 2.jpeg
  2. Add in a shine-enchancing product. Spray a small amount of a shine-enhancing product through your hair and comb it through from the roots of your hair to the ends. If your hair is thicker or wavy, you can rub in a small amount of flexible gel throughout your hair.[17]
    Style Wet Hair Step 17 Version 2.jpeg
    • The shine spray or flexible gel will add a glossy look and little bit of hold to your hair. This will help your ponytail look as sleek as possible.
  3. Tie your hair in a low loop. Gather all of your hair at the nape of your neck. Use an elastic hair tie to secure your hair. As you are making your ponytail, only pull half of your ponytail through the last rotation of the elastic hair tie.This will form a loop in your hair, with the ends of your hair near the bottom of the ponytail base.[18]
    Style Wet Hair Step 18 Version 2.jpeg
    • You should have about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) of hair hanging out from the loop.
  4. Secure the ends of your hair. Hold onto the loop with one hand, and wrap the ends of your hair around the base of the ponytail to cover up the elastic hair tie. Push about two or three bobby pins into the wrapped ends and underneath the elastic hair tie.[19]
    Style Wet Hair Step 19 Version 2.jpeg
    • Crisscrossing the bobby pins over each other adds extra hold.
  5. Smooth over with shine spray. Finish your hairstyle by lightly misting on some shine spray. Run your hands over the surface of your hair to even out any frizz. This style looks best the shinier and sleeker you make your hair.[20]
    Style Wet Hair Step 20 Version 2.jpeg

[Edit]Styling Wet Hair With a Four Strand Braid

  1. Add some hair-taming products. Add in some hair product to help manage your strands as you’re braiding. The right product for you will depend on the texture of your hair. If you have fine and soft hair, spray a little bit of shine spray all over. If your hair is a bit thicker, wavy, and coarse, add in a small amount of cream or gel.[21]
    Style Wet Hair Step 21.jpeg
  2. Divide your hair into four sections. Pull all of your hair back so it lays behind your shoulders and separate your hair into four equal sections: one section on each side and two equal sections in the back.[22] It may be easier to remember the braiding pattern if you number the strands of hair 1, 2, 3, 4 from the left.
    Style Wet Hair Step 22.jpeg
  3. Braid your hair. With your four sections of hair separated, take your right hand and grab the second section of hair from the left, section 2. Cross it all the way over to the right, over the other two sections of hair, sections 3 and 4. Keep holding that section of hair, section 2, over to the right.
    Style Wet Hair Step 23.jpeg
    • Take the remaining two sections on the left side of your head, sections 3 and 1, and twist them so section 3 twists over section 1, and section 3 is the new leftmost section of hair.
    • Mirror and repeat this process from the right side of your head: Take the second section of hair from the right, section 4, and cross it over the two left side sections of hair, sections 3 and 1. Keep holding section 4 all the way over to the left.
    • Take the remaining two sections of hair that are on the right side, section 1 and section 2, and twist them so section 1 twists over section 2.
    • As you braid, your hair will begin to look like rope. Keep braiding in this fashion until you reach the ends of your hair.
  4. Secure your braid. Tie the end of your braid with a small elastic hair tie. Then finish the look by spritzing on some shine spray.[23]
    Style Wet Hair Step 24.jpeg
    • If the section underneath the base of the braid starts to droop and sag down, slide some bobby pins underneath the braid to tidy up the look of the braid.

[Edit]Preventing Damage to Wet Hair

  1. Don't go out in the cold with wet hair. If it's very cold outside, wet hair can actually freeze, which can cause breakage. To avoid this, make sure to get your hair reasonably dry before going out when it's below freezing.[24]
    Style Wet Hair Step 25.jpeg
  2. Swap out your cotton towel. If you're accustomed to wrapping your hair in a cotton towel, you may be causing damage to your hair without even knowing it. Try swapping out your towel for a microfiber one, which will be much gentler on wet hair.[25]
    Style Wet Hair Step 26.jpeg
    • Gently patting your hair with the towel instead of wrapping it will also help prevent damage.
  3. Avoid brushing wet hair. Hair is at its weakest and most vulnerable when it is wet, so avoid using your regular brush to detangle wet strands. Instead, separate your strands with your fingers, or if necessary, with a wide-toothed comb. This will cause much less damage to your hair.[26]
    Style Wet Hair Step 27.jpeg
  4. Be careful with hair ties. Tying your hair back with hair ties can also cause damage if you're not careful. Be sure to choose the right kind of hair ties and try to keep your hair bands a little loose, especially when your hair is wet.[27]
    Style Wet Hair Step 28.jpeg
    • Never use rubber bands to tie back your hair, as these can cause a lot of damage.[28]
    • Always use seamless ponytail holders to avoid snagging your hair.
    • You put a lot of stress on certain sections of your hair when you tie it up in the same style frequently. Try switching up your style frequently to avoid damage.
    • Hair ties cause even more damage to hair when it is very wet. Ideally, you should not use hair ties until your hair has dried at least somewhat. Tying up damp hair is fine. If you don't have time to dry your hair at all, you may want to consider using clips and bobby pins to hold your hair back instead of elastic ties.


  • Use elastics without the little metal piece. Those damage your hair by breaking the strands. Try soft grip bands or thin gel elastics.
  • The weight of the product that you apply to your hair will affect its drying time. If you want it to dry quickly, use a lightweight product. If you want it to dry overnight, you can use a creamy moisturizing product.[29]
  • If you're leaving your hair down, try twisting it around through your fingers to keep it from drying out flat and frizzy.


  • Rinse your hair under fresh water, and spritz with a leave-in conditioner after swimming in chlorine. The chlorine in swimming pools is incredibly drying.
  • Don’t use a brush when combing product through in your hair. It will only create a big rat’s nest.

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