The newest hair trend has a very unsexy name but a very hot look. And it’s everywhere.
At the Vanity Fair party after the Oscars, actress Malin Akerman showed up on the red carpet looking like she’d dunked her blond tresses in a bucket of water. At the Bulgari party, Camilla Belle paired her intricate black and white Prabal Gurung dress with glistening shoulder-length hair.
It’s called the “wob,” or wet bob, and it was perfected by Beyoncé during her slick performance of “Drunk in Love” at the Grammy Awards. Then, Miley Cyrus appeared on the March cover of W magazine sporting the look. And the aptly named model Arizona Muse has perfected the wob for editorial spreads in international editions of Vogue.
The basic features of a wob are a choppy, chin-length cut, styling products that add sleek shine without weighing down the hair, and distinct messiness at the ends. It should look as though you’ve just spent time scrunching your hair with your fingers, and it miraculously stayed put.
The result is the look of a too-cool-for-school sex bomb who barely had time to shower, let alone hang out with you for an extended period of time, says hair stylist Patrick Melville.
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot exclusively for W
Miley Cyrus sports a wob on the cover of W.
“It’s really an edgy, downtown, sexy look,” says Melville, who recently styled models in the wob for a European magazine shoot. “It’s kind of one of those things you would wear to a cool party, or out to a club, or if you’re going dancing. You wouldn’t want to go to the office party looking like that.”
Beyoncé pulled off the wob at the Grammys because she was in performance mode, rocking a La Perla collar, Nichole de Carle bodysuit and Saint Laurent tights. Her longtime hair stylist Kim Kimble used Pantene Advanced Plus Keratin Repair Keraglass Oil Mist from roots to ends on Queen Bey’s hair before she went on stage.
For Cyrus’ W shoot, hair guru Orlando Pita emphasized wetness in a similar way, making the 21-year-old pop star look like she’d just climbed out of the pool.
But the wob doesn’t have to be so hardcore.
“People aren’t going to rush out to work with wet hair dripping on their business suits to make a Power Point presentation,” points out beauty expert Polly Blitzer, founder of BeautyBlitz.com. “It should look like you were stuck in a rainstorm or you were singing in the rain, but then you combed it to the side.”
Beyonce rocked a wob during her performance of “Drunk in Love” at the Grammys.
Some Hollywood starlets have started wearing the look with less shine and more sweetness. Call it “wobbish.”
At a Svedka Vodka party at DBA in West Hollywood on Tuesday night, “House of Cards” star Kate Mara wore her chin-length hair in a toned-down wob. Her hair was a bit disheveled, but she didn’t look like she’d forgotten her umbrella.
Indeed, says Melville, the key to the wob is that the hair isn’t actually soaked in water.
“The most important part is, the hair is not actually wet,” says Melville. “It just looks wet.”
Minimalism is crucial. As much as we want to look like Beyoncé, we don’t want to drench our office mates.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for BVLGARI
Camilla Belle at the Bulgari party after the Oscars
“When Beyoncé shook her head, you could almost see little particles flying off the end of her hair,” says Blitzer. “Just use a less heavy hand.”
THE DO-IT-YOURSELF WOB
Here’s stylist Rodney Cutler’s advice for perfecting the wet bob:
1. Blow hair dry with a diffuser.
Redken’s Outshine 01 is one key to the perfect wob.
After showering, gently remove excess moisture by dabbing hair with a towel. Then blow-dry until the hair is about 60% to 80% dry, using a diffuser (or a sock over the nozzle).
2. Add oil.
Drench the bob with Redken Outshine 01, starting at the ends and working up to the roots. “When you use a lot of oil, it retains the wet look without eventually drying up,” Cutler says.
3. Comb it through.
Using a medium-width comb, work the oil through the hair, and separate the hair into sections about an inch apart.
4. Add shine.
Cutler suggests using Redken Diamond Oil, twirling it through each section of hair to create separation.