How to Make Finger Waves

By LeafTV Editor

Whether you are attending a vintage-inspired event, such as a Gatsby wedding or a Roaring '20s birthday party, or you just enjoy sporting a throwback look from time to time, the best part of your look can be your hairdo. A popular 'do fitting for any vintage affair set between the 1910s through the 1930s would be styled with finger waves. Flappers were famous for wearing this hairstyle.

21st Annual
credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Actress Emmy Rossum flaunts her vintage finger waves.

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Step 1

Wash and condition your as you normally would and then towel dry your hair just long enough to stop the dripping. If you want to skip washing your hair, have a spray bottle filled with water on hand and spray your hair to maximum dampness and then fluff with the towel.

Step 2

Comb through your hair entirely and then divide it into a side part from the crown -- top back -- of your head to your forehead. Squeeze hair gel or glue onto your palm in an amount equal to the size of a nickle, rub your hands together and then work it through your hair to help hold hair in place while styling. This can also be achieved by using a light hairspray, if you prefer, spraying a light amount over the hair before setting the style.

Step 3

Place your index finger directly below your side part, holding your hair flat against your head. Start combing directly below the finger that is holding your hair. Comb hair forward towards the face, place another finger or your thumb under that "wave" and then repeat, now combing in the opposite direction towards the back of your hair. Place wave clip to secure. Release your fingers and repeat the process, starting again below the first clip you just placed. If you have long hair, use three clips down the shorter side and three to five down the longer side. If you have very short hair, you may only need two to three wave clips on each side.

Step 4

Spray the front with a finishing hairspray, holding it approximately 10 inches above the style and spray over the clips before hair is dried. While the front begins its drying process, work on the back of your hair. If you have long hair, consider using a mesh roller to roll your hair into the vintage short bob hairstyle that often accompanied finger waves. You can also use a curling iron or hot curlers to curl the ends and then bobby pin them up and under near the nape of your neck to create a faux bob. Sit under a hair dryer or wait for hair to fully dry.

Step 5

Release the clips one by one. You may have to wiggle them back and forth a little bit to get them to fully release. The finger waves have now been created. If you want to loosen up the bumps a bit, use your fine-toothed comb and wiggle it back and forth a few times within the created bump. Add additional finishing hairspray to hold the style for hours to come.