Primed and polished—there’s something incredibly classy about slicked back hair on women. With every strand perfectly in place, it creates a sleek runway look that radiates confidence and sophistication. But, like many trends that seem gorgeous in theory, we’re often faced with that dreaded dilemma: Expectations vs. Reality. That’s why we scoped Instagram for these easily-achievable slicked back hairstyles!
Fashion influencer and hairdresser Carmelina from Sydney, Australia creates a contemporary spin on a classic ballerina bun.
Rather than slicking her bangs back, she parts her hair sideways, creating a pared-down version of this classic dancer look. It’s just as sweet and feminine but a tad more casual—perfect for an everyday wear and low-key weekends.
Carmelina adds an even more laid back feel by fixing the bun lower on her head. Use this trick to customise your own spin on the style. Simply by adjusting the height of your bun, you can create different levels of formality—high for fancy and low for casual.
Love vintage? Fashion influencer Ella Brown gives off smouldering Madonna vibes with her 80’s-inspired ponytail.
This slicked back hair idea is the perfect balance between sweet and sultry. Ella teases the top of her pony just enough to create a slight hint of grunge, while the rest cascades romantically into loose curls. To finish, she polishes her hairline with not a single baby hair or flyaway in sight.
Occasion-wise, this hairstyle is incredibly versatile. Rock it for dinner parties, holiday events, get-togethers and birthdays.
Trendy & twinning
You don’t have to be a stage babe to look performance-ready. As this adorable mummy and daughter duo prove, slicked back hair makes for the prettiest pony or bun.
Zoe George from thesubtlemummy.com takes a playful approach to her pony: tight in the front and loose at the back. For the grand finish, she styles her hair into ribbon curls, showing off her natural highlights beautifully.
Her daughter, Ambrosia, follows suit with a classic ballerina bun, topped with a shiny scrunchie—so beyond cute! Together, they’re the ultimate team, dancing their way into our hearts! 👯
Take your styling cues from Miss Multiverse 2020, Valeria Sizova. Before jet-setting to the world finals pageant in the Dominican Republic, she posts to Instagram, giving a shout-out to her secret hair-smoothing tool: the Stay X Hair Perfecting Wand.
Her slicked back hair features controlled waves, primed with a satin-smooth finish. As her caption writes, “This little friend is so handy with flyaways. Definitely a must thing to have.” Valeria travels with this tool in her handbag or pocket, so she can quickly touch up wispy hairs and frizz on the go.
Feeling inspired? Whether you’re embracing your model vibes or just crawling to the office (like most of us), these slicked back hair ideas for 2021 will have you looking on-point.
Happy styling, lovelies! X