Stories Feature
Matte Hair Muse

Tousled hair with a matte finish, here's how to get that sexy slept-in look that will last for days.

Kurt Cobain upside down, 1992

Do you ever sometimes wish that your hair did that thing where you can just roll out of bed, swoosh it back in place and it's good to go? Just so effortlessly cool and sexy? That's the confidence that kind of hair will give you too. Spotted anywhere from a mosh pit to high fashion runways, brought to attention by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis SS93, the collection that shocked critics, launched his career and subsequently got him fired, effective immediately.

Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, Spring 1993

It's the kind of cool that can hold its own on a night out and just gets better the longer you spend on the dancefloor, that feeling you get when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and your sexy bed hair is even more perfectly imperfect.

We're talking about a matte, grungy, slept-in texture that in reality takes either days of not washing your hair, or a couple of hard-working products to achieve stylized texture, sans shine.

Whether your hair is short, cropped or already has a bit of texture, curl and some length, we share how to get a chic matte finish on your hair for a slightly dishevelled look.

How To Get The Look

START FRESH: If you're starting from square one, begin with freshly washed hair to provide a clean canvas for styling. Opt for a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any excess product build-up or residue.

MATTIFY: To achieve matte hair, you need to call in the right products for the job. For short hair with a stronghold and a matte finish, look for mattifying hair pomades, pastes, clays, or waxes. These products are malleable and easy to work, providing hold and structure without the sheen or high-gloss finish.

Saint Laurent Menswear Fall 2021 - Vogue Runway

TECHNIQUE: A little goes a long way with matte hair products. Start by warming a small amount of product between your palms and distribute it evenly through your hair, focusing on the roots for lift, grit and texture.

TEXTURIZE: Matte hair is all about creating texture and movement. For longer hair, curls and waves, enhance your look with salt and texturizing sprays, dusts and lotions. Use your fingers to scrunch, tousle, or twist sections of your hair, adding depth and definition to your style.

Ann Demeulemeester, Spring 1997 - Vogue Runway

Ann Demeulemeester, Spring 1997 - Vogue Runway

VOLUMIZE: For added volume, blow-dry on a low setting. Use a volumizing styling powder and apply it at the roots - get in there with your fingers to lift and texturize as you dry.

FINISHING TOUCH: To lock in your chic matte look, opt for a light finishing spray or powder. These products help maintain the matte finish throughout the day while ensuring your style remains touchable and flexible.

Final notes

DON'T OVER THINK IT: A texturized matte look is meant to be relaxed and natural. Just like achieving the perfect top-knot: avoid over-styling!

LESS IS MORE: Too much product can take your look from "Hot Mess" to "Hot Mess Express" real quick. It's better to build it up than start all over again.

TOUCH UP: Going out? Take your styling product with you for a quickie in the bathroom. Give it a gentle zhuzh to reshape your hair as needed.

Modern matte

Suki Waterhouse

Christopher Kane, Resort 2024 - Vogue Runway

Saint Laurent Menswear, Fall 2021 - Vogue Runway

Baum Und Pferdgarten, Spring 2024 - Vogue Runway

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Lou Dallas, Resort 2024 - Vogue Runway

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