Slick Back Hair Style: How To Get The Look

How to slick back your hair as a hairstyle

The Slick Back hair style (also known as slicked-back hairstyle) is a medium-length men’s hairstyle that essentially has the hair swept back in a way so that the hair looks flat and has hardly any volume. The Slick Back style was a very common hairstyle at the turn of the 20th century as so was slicking the hair to the side; these days, the Slick Back hair style is commonly seen in the business setting as the Slick Back is a great business hair style.

The Slick Back hair style as portrayed by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Hair length category


Suitable hair type

Straight, wavy

Haircut for the Slick Back Hair Style

The Slick Back has a medium length on the top (2-6 inches) while the sides/back can be left at the same length as the top or tapered with scissors; the hair on the sides and back should have enough length to be able to be directed (i.e. slicked) except for the hair near the hairline. If you choose to have a specific length between 4 and 6 inches, then do not keep the back and sides at the same length, for the hair on the back/sides will have a tendency to hang down and will be close to impossible to slick back without deteriorating the overall shape of the Slick Back hairstyle.

Haircut difficulty

2 out of 5

Michael Douglas with his hair in a Slick Back hairstyle

Styling the Slick Back Hair Style

Ensure that your hair is damp and coated in either pomade, hair gel or a styling cream prior to doing the Slick Back. Then, use a conventional comb to direct the hair on the top of the head backwards; the combing thrust should continue right until the nape’s hairline, so you will be combing back in a straight line from the forehead’s hairline till the nape’s hairline (i.e. after you pass the vertex of the head with the comb, you will be following the contour of your head and combing down to reach the nape).

The first combing thrust for the slicked-back hairstyle is to be implemented on the middle of the top of the head and starting at the forehead’s hairline. Once you have got the middle of the top of the head combed backwards, do the rest of the head’s top, starting again with the comb set on the forehead’s hairline and slicking the hair back. After the top of the head has been slicked backwards, proceed to do the sides of the head as you continue to start the comb on the forehead’s hairline.

The actual combing to slick the hair is performed by gently pressing the comb down onto the head as you run the comb through the locks of hair. Likewise, to do the slicking motion, keep the comb angled backwards so that the comb makes a 150-degree angle with the section of the scalp that has been slicked; this enables the flattening of the hair as you run the comb.

Once all of the hairline bordering the face is combed backwards (i.e. the hairline of the forehead and temples), it is time to do any retouches. Spot in the mirror where on the scalp the hair hasn’t been flattened adequately; essentially you want your hair to follow the contour of your skull shape precisely. Whenever you spot some incorrectly-flattened hair sections on the scalp, run the comb through it to re-slick the hair although make sure that, no matter where the hair to be corrected is located on the scalp, you start the slicking of the hair at the forehead’s hairline and then run the comb backwards to eventually pass it over the incorrectly-flattened hair is.

Styling difficulty

3 out of 5

Which popular male has sported a cool Slick Back hair style?

Actor Michael Douglas sports the Slick Back hair style in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

The slick back hairstyle with Michael Douglas in a poster for the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Michael Douglas on the right with a Slick Back hair style

Men’s hair products to slick back your hair as a style

The Slick Back hairstyle is an excellent styling option if you want to exude a classic look while keeping your hair at a medium length. As a hairstyle for an office setting, the Slick Back hairstyle offers a great alternative for those men who want to still rock their medium length hair outside of the workplace but still keep a neat look during working hours!

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