While there's something to be said for simple-chic 'dos, sometimes you want your curls to convey a whole lifestyle vibe instead of just a style. And giving them the wet look is a great example.
Imagine: Mermaid vibes all day? We're here for it. And here's how to do the "dew" without damage.
First things first, determine what your porosity is!
Depending on whether you have higher or lower porosity, this look might vary in levels of difficulty. Lower porosity hair will have the glossy products sit on top of it much more easily, but if your curls are thirstier, have no fear! You can still look freshly splashed. Give your hair a spritz of real water beforehand so your strands fill up on the appetizers... so to speak.
Are you coily?
As long as you're not yet loc-ed, this look still isn't out of reach! Finger coils,roller or braid stretched hair, or even blown out hair can take to the waves with the wet look with no problem! Just grab a heat protectant serum that also touts shine as one of its main qualities, especially if your hair is higher porosity! Smooth n' Shine and Creme of Nature are a couple of brands that can help you out with offerings on that front.
Once you've lain the foundation, you're going to want to grab a strong hold, high-shine gel to start the look.
How strong should you go?
How strong of a gel you'll use is going to depend on your hair type AND hair density though! If you've got finer and/or wavier hair, look for the products that coilies swear by to give them light definition, like Oyin Handmade's Shine and Define Serum. If your hair is tighter coiled and/or more dense, reach for something with maximum hold like Ecostyler with Argan Oil.
As you're going over your curls, rub the gel in your hands first so you don't end up with clumps. The amount you use is going to depend on your own hair length, type, and density, but the goal here is to get everything nice and saturated.
Since you don't want just one wet looking lump though, you're going to want to scrunch, roll, or twirl your curls from roots to tips in order to get some good definition. Once you're all gelled, take a deep breath in and hold it while you add some medium-hold hairspray like Eluence's All Day Hold to set the look. Remember, the gel is for the 'wetness'! Your spray here is going to be what locks that slick shine in.
A word of caution about the wet look!
This isn't exactly a style for every day, curl friends. Saturating your hair with gel on the regular is going to weigh down your strands with a lot of layers of buildup that's going to be less sea goddess and more polluted ocean. Make sure you're using a clarifying shampoo the next washday, and you'll be good to go!