Gravity-defying styles are popping up everywhere -- from girlish pixies to sporty-spiky men's styles. Whether you want a punk rock mini faux-hawk or simply prefer a little height in front, all that's needed to make short styles stand at attention is a blow dryer and the right hair gel.
Step 1: Smooth It Out
Blow-dry hair so that it's smooth and straight, which is ideal for spiky hair. Stop when hair is about 80-percent dry -- applying gel to damp hair, rather than dry or wet hair, will provide the best hold without making locks look dry or crunchy.
Step 2: Choose Your Gel
Use the right hair gel* for your hair type. Hair gels, which provide the greatest hold and shaping ability for spiky styles, come in varying strengths. Light-hold gel, medium-hold gel or hair molding paste are recommended for finer hair, while strong-hold and extra strong-hold hair gels are better for coarse or textured tresses. Stronger hold gels are more drying, however, which can rob hair of shine.
Step 3: Spike It Up
Squeeze the gel in your hand and rub your palms together. Coat your fingers with the gel and run them through the areas where you want to spike your hair, lifting pieces of hair straight up with your fingers. Vary the width of the sections for a more relaxed look or choose the same size pieces for a more uniform style. Spike as many or as few pieces as desired, generally in the front and on top of the hair. Point spikes in any direction you like, or lift all the hair on top toward the middle to form a single peak.
Blast pieces with a hair dryer to activate and harden the gel for the greatest hold.
Step 4: Add Some Polish
Twist a few spikes and scrunch hair lightly for a messier, tousled look or keep it bold and edgy with straighter pieces. Add a little softness and polish to your style with flexible hold wax applied to spikes from mid-length to tips, or use a spritz of shine spray.