Popular among men from all walks of life, the slicked-back haircut is an easy way to let others know you mean business. We mean that both figuratively and literally, whereas the style is frequently employed by those on Wall Street, the truth is that any man graced with an instinct for sharpness and enough follicles atop his head can pull off the pushed back hairstyle.
Don’t just conjure up an image of Don Draper and think that’s all there is to the men’s slicked-back haircut, there’s a variety of ways to push back those follicles, such as a classic fade or pompadour. Even men with curly hair can tame their curls to achieve a pushed back hairstyle of impeccable precision. We are covering it all, methods, products, and specific types of men’s swept-back hairstyles, check it out and you’ll be looking slick in no time.
How To Slick Back Hair
As long as there’s an ample amount of hair on your head, you can theoretically pull off the men’s slicked-back hairstyle. That said, there are types of hair more suited for the task. Short, straight hair is much easier to push back than curly hair. The hair should be of low or medium density, thick hair can be trickier to maintain in the pushed-back style. Finally, the hair should naturally grow toward the back. These qualities are not necessities, but they are ideal for the slicked-back hairstyle.
For those who have straight hair of low to medium density, folding that hair back couldn’t be much easier. When your hair is damp (or “towel dry”), simply apply some product and then run through it with a wide-tooth comb.
If your hair is longer or denser, the process is slightly more involved. To start, spread hair product evenly and thoroughly while your hair is damp. Now grab a hairdryer and put it on a low setting, using it to trail your comb as you style your hair from front to back (or slightly toward the side). This will help maintain the slicked-back look for a longer period of time.
Achieving slicked-back hair with curly follicles is even more involved, but still possible to pull off. You want to run a brush through your hair while the hair is a little wetter than damp. Trace the brush strokes with a blowdryer, occasionally spraying your hair with sea-salt spray to maintain texture. Once your hair is dry, apply a strong product and then push the hair back with your fingers.
5 Slicked-Back Hairstyles Explained
Next time you stroll into the barbershop looking for a slicked back haircut, consider one of the following styles, and if these 5 don’t tickle your fancy, scroll all the way down to see the 20+ best slicked back hairstyles for men.
1. Slicked-Back Side Part
Recently popularised by Don Draper, this style works best with hair that’s medium in density and not too long. Slicked-backside part signature features include the hair being slightly longer on the top than on the sides, one edge of the fringe being longer than the other, and a hard, clearly defined part on one side of the crown.
2. The Classic Slick Back
Canonised by Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (and recently rocked by the likes of Eric Trump), this men’s slick back style remains uniform in length and appearance, with all follicles commonly swept back in one direction.
3. The Slicked-Back Pompadour
Longer on top and tapered at the sides, the men’s slicked back pompadour came roaring back into style thanks to celebrities like David Beckham. While indisputably slick, the men’s hairstyle also leaves plenty of room for personal expression.
4. The Slicked-Back Curly Quiff
With a good barber and some quality product at your disposal, all you curly-haired gents out there can easily pull off a slick back curly hairstyle. Try to keep the hair generally short in length, with the sides being shorter than the top.
5. The Slicked-Back Undercut
Blending the top and sides with textural precision is the men’s slicked back undercut. Now more popular than ever, the style takes some time to achieve and involves growing out the top while tapering the sides on a regular basis. Do it right and you’re looking at slicked back perfection.
Best Products for Slicked-Back Hairstyles
Just as diverse as the types of men’s slicked back hairstyles are the number of products you can use to obtain the look, but, please be aware that too much product can make your hair look greasy, dry or flaky. It’s important that you maintain a healthy hair washing regime while sporting your new style.
Now you have the method down pat, and you have all the style advice you need its almost time to get started. Don’t get your things ready and go just yet though, no matter what style you decide upon, you’ll need some quality hair products to sustain and maintain your new look.
Used more than any other product by men with slicked-back hair, pomade delivers a steady hold and no shortage of shine. Choose between oil-based pomade (which offers more shine and a stronger hold) and water-based pomade (which is easier to rinse out), and start rocking the slicked-back look like so many generations of men before you.
Surging in popularity among young men is clay, which is made using natural minerals as opposed to potentially harmful chemicals. The product comes in a range of formulas and delivers less shine than a pomade. Clay is also good for adding both texture and volume to men’s swept-back hair.
Gel and Hairspray
While you might have rocked copious amounts of hair gel as a teenager, it’s a product best left behind as an adult. Not only will it dry out your hair, but the gel is usually laced with all sorts of chemicals. As for hairspray, it’s okay to apply in small doses, you should use it to provide your slicked back haircut with a nice finishing touch.
- Uppercut Deluxe Matte Hair Pomade – Buy it here
- Bed Head for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax – Buy it here
- Suavecito Shine-Free Matte Pomade – Buy it here
- Layrite Super hold Pomade – Buy it here
- Pacinos Pomade -Firm Hold – Buy it here
- Black & White Pluko Hair Dressing Pomade – Buy it here
- Steadfast Pomade, Original Hold – Buy it here
- REUZEL Blue Pomade – Buy it here
- Imperial Barber Grade Products Blacktop Pomade – Buy it here
- Lockhart’s Lemon Goon Grease Heavy Hold Pomade – Buy it here
20+ Best Slicked-Back Hairstyles & Haircuts
You have the method, you picked your preferred style and you understand the differences between products. All that’s left is to browse the hairstyles below and imagine the new you, ready to take on everything that Wall Street, your new boss at work, or even the dog park has to offer.
How do I slick back my hair?
For those who have straight hair of low to medium density, folding that hair back couldn’t be much easier. When your hair is damp (or towel dry), simply apply some product and then run through it with a wide-tooth comb.
What product should I use for slicked back hairstyles?
Pomade is used more than any other product by men with slicked-back hair, pomade delivers a steady hold and no shortage of shine. Choose between oil-based pomade (which offers more shine and a stronger hold) and water-based pomade (which is easier to rinse out), and start rocking the slicked-back look like so many generations of men before you.
What is a good looking slicked-back hairstyle?
Canonised by Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (and recently rocked by the likes of Eric Trump), the classic slick back hairstyle remains uniform in length and appearance, with all follicles commonly swept back in one direction.