While gel works best to create the texture and hold for this look, you can have your cake and eat it too. That is, you can have the wet look of a gel while protecting your locks. Especially if you have damaged or sensitised hair. Try using a hair oil to finger style hair in place of a gel. A serum like Kérastase Resistance Fibre Architecte, RM82, does the trick too by inducing shine and rebuilding hair lengths. Just be prepared to use lots of product!