Liquid Hair Is the Glossy Trend Taking Instagram by Storm

·3 min read

Liquid hair: Kim K’s doing it. Zendaya’s doing it. Dua’s doing it. And loads of our favorite influencers are doing it too.

Just in time for the fall season, ultrasmooth, shiny, fluid strands are dominating our Explore page, serving up über-glam inspo for when we want to feel a little glossier and more pulled together.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen the trend take off. “Glass hair” went stratospheric in 2018 with mega-slick bobs taking over from beachy waves. But unlike the super-sharp, sheetlike straightness that characterized that look, a new rendition—liquid hair—has come forward to take its place. The difference? It’s silky straight, only a little softer.

The look favors fluid movement with plenty of sheen as it catches the light—think glossy, golden-syrup vibes. “Liquid hair is a hair trend that has been widely popularized by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Dua Lipa,” says Balmain Hair Couture’s artistic director, Ilham Mestour. “Unlike the wet hair trend, liquid hair doesn’t appear wet. It is super smooth and ultrashiny, almost to the point of being reflective like glass. Ultraglossy hair that’s soft to touch. Liquid hair still has body, bend, and movement, giving it that fluid feel.”

We asked top hairstylist and DryBy artist in residence Hollie Rose Clarke how to achieve the look ourselves. For long-lasting silkiness, she recommends a keratin treatment. “The smoothing treatment eliminates frizz, locks in color, and reduces blow-drying time for up to 12 weeks,” she says.

Clarke’s a fan of using the vegan 72 Hair treatment on her clients; it’s designed to penetrate all hair types to actively condition and revitalize it. “The treatment can be tailored to give you your desired results,” she says. “If you’d like a smoother finish, then we blow-dry the treatment into the hair, and you do not wash your hair for 72 hours. If you have curls and love them but want to remove the frizz, then we blow-dry the treatment into the hair and you wash after 24 hours, which leaves you with beautiful curls, minus the frizz.”

“It has a trace amount of formaldehyde,” she confirms, “purely to stop bacteria, rather than to straighten. The reason other brands use a lot of this ingredient is to create poker-straight hair, whereas this one restores your hair to its virgin state but smoothing and improving the condition, creating manageable beautiful glossy hair.”

In terms of the process, “step one, hair is washed with a clarifying shampoo to open the cuticles,” says Clarke. “Step two, the treatment is applied and left to process for 35 to 45 minutes. Step three, the treatment is blow-dried into the hair. And step four, very small sections of hair are taken and straightened with flatirons, 7 to 10 times each.” After, you’ll need to stick to gentle sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners.

But if you want to try the trend at home, tactical products and your straighteners can do a great job. “If you want to re-create the liquid hair trend yourself, use IGK’s Good Behavior Smoothing Spray or ColorWow’s Dream Coat and straighten with your flatiron,” says Clarke. “Finish with the ColorWow Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray or Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer Shine Spray for that glossy finish.”

Mestour recommends using anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner and a keratin hair mask for DIY liquid hair. Once your hair is washed, it’s all about prepping strands. “Use a microfiber towel, and coat your hair with a hair serum like Balmain Hair Couture Argan Elixir,” she says. “Spray a heat protectant like Balmain Hair Couture Thermal Protection Spray on your hair, since the sleek look requires so much heat to achieve. Blow-dry your hair, then flatiron, and end it with Balmain Hair Couture Silk Perfume shine spray. If you have curly or wavy hair, make sure you blow-dry the hair smooth and straight, then apply the serum and flatiron from the roots to the ends.”

This story originally appeared on Glamour UK.

Originally Appeared on Glamour