Move over, beach waves—there's a new hairstyle in town. As temps get cooler, people are trading in their textured curls for a silky new look: liquid hair. A quick scroll on social media shows even celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Hailey Bieber, and Kim Kardashian are jumping on the liquid hair trend, serving up major holiday party inspo.
Unlike the wet hair trend, liquid hair doesn't actually appear wet. Rather, think ultra-shiny, reflective hair that's full and soft to the touch. Its super-sleek appearance makes it reflect the light like water does (hence the name). The final result rests between stick-straight, flat-ironed strands and a voluminous, salon-quality blowout.
"This is a healthy-looking, elevated version of our straight '90s hair," says Clariss Rubenstein, a celebrity hairstylist who works with names like Olivia Holt, Jennifer Garner, Dakota Fanning, and others. Unlike board-like glass hair, which had a big moment circa 2018, liquid hair is softer. "It's sleek with more movement and flow—the way liquid would pour down from the top of your head," adds celebrity hairstylist Joseph Maine.
The glam-casual look that comes just in time for your end-of-the-year festivities, from a dinner date to holiday parties. And here's the best part: Any hair type can try it (yes, even curly types).
Both experts agree that for long-term results, an in-salon keratin treatment is a good option, especially for those with very thick, curly hair. "It's a chemical process to straighten your hair and can really help smooth out the texture and cuticles of unruly strands," says Maine. According to Rubenstein, these treatments tend to fade out after three to six months, so there is a lot of longevity there. "You will still have to blow-dry and flat-iron to get the liquid look, but the result will be healthier, shinier hair with much less effort," she says. Just be sure to consult with your stylist before committing. "It can make hair extremely straight over time, and is known for overdrying the ends if not properly maintained," says Maine.
If you're looking for a less permanent alternative, or just want to test drive the silky, syrup-y look yourself, it all starts with a smooth blow dry. "The difference between your everyday blowout and the liquid hair trend is in the finish," says Maine. "It's important to not overdo it with the flat iron and find a good balance with your products."
Below, the pros break down the steps for achieving liquid hair at home.
Coat wet hair with a hydrating, anti-frizz product to help straighten and lock out the humidity for a long-lasting hold. Maine recommends Color Wow's Dream Coat ($28; amazon.com) throughout wet hair, while Rubenstein opts for Monat's Rejuveniqe Oil ($99; monatglobal.com).
Blow-dry hair as smooth as possible with a round brush. Maine's go-to is Trademark Beauty Easy Blo. "It's the perfect size round brush for the liquid trend, as it detangles and smooths in a single step without taking the life out of the hair," he explains.
Touch up with a flat iron. Rubenstein notes you should flat-iron in small sections, using a paddle brush in front of the iron. Pay special attention to the ends, going over them with a flat iron to lock the style in place.
As a last step, eliminate frizz and flyaways with a finishing spray. Both Maine and Rubenstein recommend a shine spray: "You want the finish to be glossy (no flyaways or stray ends) without looking greasy or overly product-y," says Maine.