The wet bob turns trendy

Beyonce wore a wet-looking 'do at the Grammys.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Do you ever find yourself running out of the house with wet hair? That’s apparently become a good thing, right in line with a beauty trend seen recently on pop stars and in edgy fashion editorials.

A new hairstyle dubbed the “wob” (for wet bob) has reached “It” hair status after Beyoncé sported a wet-looking bob-length ‘do at the Grammy Awards in February. Miley Cyrus also had damp-looking tresses on the March cover of W magazine, as did Sofia Coppola on the February cover of Italian Vogue.

“It is one of the most deconstructed of hairstyles yet still evokes images of the wearer stepping out of a pool or a steamy shower,” says celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin.

It’s the unexpected quality that’s appealing here. Juxtapose the hairstyle against structured, designer fashion, and the mood is fresh rather than formal. Atkin recently did a wob-style red carpet look for Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and actress Malin Akerman wore versions of the wob at several February events.


But is this sleek, just-out-of-the-shower style something that can be worn by a woman who isn’t a pop star and who is heading for the office or dinner rather than a stage, red carpet or runway? Proceed with caution, Atkin advises.

“This look is best reserved for the runways of fashion week, the covers of magazines or onstage during the Grammys, a la Beyoncé,” Atkin says. “Wearing this look out on a dinner date, for example, you can look like you just forgot to dry your hair before heading out.”

Hair stylist John D agrees, adding that the wob can look like unwashed, greasy hair if it’s not executed correctly.

“In order to wear this look throughout the day, it’s about keeping that slight movement and texture to the hair,” says Atkin, adding that it’s best to use minimal amounts of product.

She recommends applying a small amount of Oribe’s Surfcomber Mousse to wet hair for a lived-in, day-at-the-beach look with a small amount of shine.

“Allow your hair to air dry or use a blow dryer while combing through hair with your fingers to amp up your own natural texture,” she says.

John D adds that some shine serum applied to towel-dried hair would also achieve the wob look.

“Just remember to think ‘sleek’ instead of ‘wet’ and ‘texture’ instead of ‘greasy,’” Atkin says.


The wob is best to wear at night when that steamy, slightly unkempt look comes off as sexy rather than messy.