Washing your hair? Maybe just don’t. The spring 2024 runways seemed to prefer chicly greased hair over clean lengths, leveraging product-touched texture to create sleek and grungy looks that made a case for making use of the nature of second- (or third, or fourth) day hair.
Though the fashion world’s infatuation with mermaidcore shows no signs of drying up (see: Sandy Liang, Anna Sui, and Jason Wu), this guard of greasy detailing felt new, and a shade more edgy. Etro provided a middle ground between the trends, hair gelled at the crown, fluid waves shellacked to the forehead. At Prada, foreheads were finished in sprays of stylized strands (the work of Guido Palau) that snaked from beneath thick fabric headbands, while a greasy finish helped to create slicked back styles at Andreadamo, Giada, and Tom Ford. At Miu Miu, the look changed all depending on your point of view: lengths were either shower-fresh or greased-up and raked. Hairstylist Jawara’s take at Peter Do was perhaps the most based in reality, hair pushed off the face as if models had run a hand through the hair, and some natural oil had helped it to remain pushed sculpturally, organically back.
“Hairstyles that are deliberately finished to appear partially gelled, lightly oiled, or delicately wet command attention because they reflect shine effectively,” says Vernon François, who favored Atlein’s interpretation of the trend, used to create a cadre of snatched and slick braids. “It’s excellent for on the runway, and this new version of the aesthetic is clean, futuristic, and dramatic.”
Hairstylist Mara Roszak agrees. “A style with high shine/greased is simply cool—it’s pared back while still having a strong, modern point of view,” she says. “It’s flattering and versatile in terms of part, whether pulled back off the face, into a knot, or left down and tucked behind the ear.” While the approach can indeed lean clean, it can also communicate a certain chic grit and grime—the excess product used to do-up or undo, respectively.
“I love the grunge-inspired appearance, which appeals to all the great ’90s references that are currently happening,” says hairstylist Adam Campbell. “Also, the ease of achieving this look is one of its most appealing aspects.” If you’re unwilling to adjust your usual hair washing schedule, a menu of products helps to create the illusion of a begrimed mane.