What is a Matte Finish Hair? Guide to Chic Hairstyles in 2023

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what is a matte finish hair

1. The Definition of a Matte Finish in Hair

A matte finish in hair refers to a hairstyle or texture that has a non-shiny, dull appearance. It is achieved by using specific hairstyling techniques and products that create a dry, textured look. Unlike glossy or shiny hair, which reflects light and appears smooth and polished, a matte finish gives the hair a more natural and effortless vibe.

To achieve a matte finish, hairstylists often use products that absorb excess oil and add texture to the hair. This creates a rougher surface that does not reflect as much light, resulting in the desired matte effect. Additionally, certain hairstyling techniques such as backcombing or tousling can help enhance the matte finish by creating volume and separation.

Benefits of a Matte Finish:

  • Gives hair a more relaxed and undone look.
  • Provides texture and volume to fine or flat hair.
  • Creates an edgy and modern hairstyle.
  • Can be versatile and work with various hair lengths and styles.

Examples of Hairstyles with Matte Finish:

Some popular hairstyles that often incorporate a matte finish include messy buns, textured pixie cuts, bedhead waves, and tousled updos. These hairstyles give off an effortlessly chic vibe that is perfect for casual or bohemian looks. Celebrities like Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne, and Johnny Depp have been known to rock hairstyles with a matte finish on the red carpet.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Matte Finish:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair to ensure better product absorption.
  2. Use texturizing sprays or powders to add grip and volume to the hair.
  3. Avoid using too much product to prevent the hair from looking greasy.
  4. Experiment with different hairstyling techniques like backcombing or twisting to create texture and separation.
  5. Finish with a light-hold hairspray to set the style without weighing down the hair.

2. How a Matte Finish Differs from Glossy or Shiny Hair

Definition and Characteristics of a Matte Finish

A matte finish in hair refers to a texture that is devoid of shine or glossiness. It creates a more natural, understated look compared to the sleek and polished appearance of glossy or shiny hair. A matte finish gives the hair a slightly rougher texture, adding depth and dimension to hairstyles.

Differences in Appearance

When comparing matte finish with glossy or shiny hair, the most noticeable difference is the level of reflectivity. Glossy hair reflects light evenly across its surface, giving it a smooth and lustrous appearance. On the other hand, matte hair absorbs light, resulting in a more muted and velvety look.

Differences in Texture

In terms of texture, glossy hair tends to feel smoother and silkier due to its reflective surface. Matte hair, on the other hand, has a slightly rougher texture that can provide better grip for styling purposes. This makes it ideal for creating textured hairstyles with more volume and hold.

Overall, the key distinction between matte and glossy hair lies in their visual appearance and tactile feel. While glossy hair exudes elegance and sophistication, matte finishes offer a more relaxed and effortlessly cool vibe.

3. The Process and Technique for Achieving a Matte Finish in Hairstyling

Preparation and Product Selection

To achieve a matte finish in hairstyling, proper preparation is crucial. Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup or excess oils that could interfere with achieving the desired texture. Once your hair is clean and towel-dried, select suitable products specifically designed for creating a matte finish.

Application Techniques

When applying products for a matte finish, it’s important to distribute them evenly throughout the hair. Begin by emulsifying a small amount of product in your hands and then work it through your hair from roots to ends. For shorter hairstyles, use your fingers to create texture and separation, while for longer hair, a wide-toothed comb or brush can help distribute the product evenly.

Styling Methods

To enhance the matte finish, consider using styling techniques that promote texture and volume. Scrunching or tousling the hair with your fingers can create a more disheveled look, while using a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer can add volume and enhance natural waves or curls.

By following these steps and experimenting with different products and techniques, you can achieve a stylish matte finish that suits your desired hairstyle.

(Note: Lists were not included in this response as they were not applicable.)

4. Common Products Used to Create a Matte Finish in Hair

Hair Pomade:

Hair pomade is a popular product for achieving a matte finish in hair. It provides a strong hold while also giving the hair a natural-looking texture. Pomades are typically wax-based and can be applied to dry or damp hair. They are ideal for creating structured hairstyles with a matte finish.

Dry Shampoo:

Dry shampoo is another common product used to create a matte finish in hair. It absorbs excess oil and adds volume to the hair, giving it a fresh and textured look. Dry shampoo can be sprayed onto the roots of the hair and then massaged in for best results.

Texturizing Powder:

Texturizing powder is often used to add volume and create a matte finish in fine or thin hair. It helps to lift the roots and provide texture without weighing down the hair. The powder can be sprinkled onto the roots and then gently massaged into the scalp for added volume and texture.

5. Popular Hairstyles and Trends Incorporating a Matte Finish

Messy Bob:

The messy bob hairstyle has gained popularity in recent years, with many opting for a matte finish to achieve an effortless and undone look. This hairstyle involves tousled waves or curls with layers that add movement and texture to the hair.

Slicked-Back Undercut:

The slicked-back undercut is another trendy hairstyle that often incorporates a matte finish. This style features shaved sides or an undercut with longer hair on top that is slicked back using pomade or styling gel for a sleek, polished look with a matte texture.

Textured Pixie Cut:

A textured pixie cut is a short hairstyle that can be styled with a matte finish for added dimension and texture. This style involves layers and choppy cuts to create a tousled and edgy look, perfect for those who want a low-maintenance yet stylish haircut.

6. The Impact of a Matte Finish on Hair’s Look and Texture

A matte finish can significantly transform the look and texture of hair. It adds a natural-looking texture and reduces shine, giving the hair a more relaxed and effortless appearance. The matte finish also enhances the depth and dimension of hairstyles, making them appear more voluminous and textured.

Additionally, opting for a matte finish can help create a more modern and edgy vibe compared to glossy or shiny finishes. It adds an element of coolness to hairstyles, making them stand out in a unique way. However, it’s important to note that the impact of a matte finish may vary depending on individual hair types and textures.

7. Suitability of a Matte Finish for Different Hair Types and Textures

Straight Hair:

  • Straight hair can benefit from a matte finish as it adds texture and volume to an otherwise flat hairstyle.
  • Using texturizing products like dry shampoo or pomade can help create movement in straight hair while maintaining the desired matte look.

Curly Hair:

  • A matte finish can enhance the natural texture of curly hair, giving it a more defined and structured appearance.
  • Using styling products specifically designed for curly hair with matte finishes can help control frizz while maintaining the desired texture.

Fine Hair:

  • Matte finishes are ideal for fine hair as they add volume and texture without weighing down the hair.
  • Using texturizing powders or lightweight pomades can help create a fuller and more textured look in fine hair.

8. Drawbacks and Considerations When Opting for a Matte Finish Hairstyle

While a matte finish can be a great choice for many, there are some drawbacks and considerations to keep in mind:


Some matte finish products may contain ingredients that can dry out the hair. It’s important to choose products that are moisturizing or use them in conjunction with hydrating treatments to prevent excessive dryness.


Certain matte finish products, such as pomades or waxes, can leave residue or build-up on the hair over time. Regular clarifying shampoos or deep-cleansing treatments can help remove any build-up and keep the hair healthy.

Hair Type Suitability:

Not all hair types may be suitable for a matte finish hairstyle. Those with very dry or damaged hair may find that a matte finish accentuates their hair’s lack of moisture. It’s important to consider your individual hair type and consult with a hairstylist before opting for a matte finish.

9. Notable Celebrities or Public Figures with Matte Finish Hairstyles

Several celebrities and public figures have embraced the matte finish trend in their hairstyles:

Ryan Gosling:

The actor Ryan Gosling is often seen sporting a slicked-back undercut with a matte finish, giving him a polished yet edgy look.

Cara Delevingne:

Model and actress Cara Delevingne has been known to rock a messy bob with a matte finish, showcasing her effortless and cool style.

Zayn Malik:

Singer Zayn Malik has experimented with various matte finish hairstyles, including textured pixie cuts and tousled waves, adding an element of edginess to his overall look.

10. Tips and Tricks for Maintaining a Long-Lasting Matte Finish Throughout the Day

  • Avoid over-applying product: Start with a small amount of product and gradually add more if needed to prevent excessive build-up or greasiness.
  • Use a matte-finish hairspray: Applying a light mist of matte-finish hairspray can help set the style and maintain the desired texture throughout the day.
  • Avoid touching or running your fingers through your hair too often: Excessive touching can transfer oils from your hands onto your hair, potentially reducing the matte finish.
  • Consider using dry shampoo as a touch-up: If your hair starts to lose its matte finish throughout the day, applying some dry shampoo at the roots can help revive the texture and absorb excess oil.
  • Regularly cleanse your hair: Using clarifying shampoos or deep-cleansing treatments once a week can help remove any build-up from styling products and keep your hair healthy and fresh-looking.

In conclusion, a matte finish hair refers to a hairstyle that has a non-shiny and natural-looking texture. This style is achieved by using specific hair products or techniques that create a dry and slightly rough appearance.

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