How to Do Finger Waves: A Fun and Curly Hairstyle

Updated on April 26, 2017
Brittanie2216 profile image

I enjoy learning new things and sharing them through my writing. One of my favorite topics is natural health and beauty.

Finger Waves

The finger wave hairstyle started around the 1920s and became more and more popular throughout the next few decades. Celebrities today wear this style when they want to sport something elegant. It looks great for every occasion and can be worn with either short or long hair. For a fancy look, you can dress it up with a couple of nice hair clips, but this style also works when going for a casual look.

Finger wave hairstyle
Finger wave hairstyle

How to Do the Finger Wave for Short Hair

When your hair is short, this is a very easy style to achieve.

What You Need

  • Hair gel or hair lotion
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Comb
  • Hair clips


  1. Dampen all of your hair.
  2. Comb all of your hair straight back.
  3. Part your hair either in the middle or to the side.
  4. Put a hand-full of gel in your hair.
  5. Take two fingers and place them right next to your part.
  6. Comb the hair next to your fingers forward in a C-shape.
  7. Now place two fingers next to the hair you just shaped and comb the next section of hair forward in a C-shape.
  8. Repeat this process all over your head. Make sure that your curls line up into a pattern.
  9. It is best to start with the front section and work your way back.
  10. Once done, wrap the ends of your hair around two fingers to form a coil, and clip it to your scalp.
  11. Leave the coil in until dry. When you remove the hair clips, you will have loose, beautiful curls.

Tutorial for Short Hair

Interesting Fact

Finger waves were not originally created for long hair because the women of that time favored shorter hair. They also had no way to heat style because curling irons and blow dryers had not yet been invented.

More new style finger wave for long hair
More new style finger wave for long hair

How to Do the Finger Wave for Long Hair

This style is a little more complicated and time-consuming for long hair, but I think it is worth it.

What You Need

  • Hair gel
  • Comb
  • Spray bottle full of water
  • Hair spray (optional)
  • Curling iron
  • Hair clips to pin hair into place
  • Hair dryer


  1. Follow all of the above instructions for short hair, leaving out the part where you curl the ends.
  2. Wait for the top half of your head to dry completely or use a hair dryer.
  3. Next, separate the bottom half of your hair into two rows.
  4. Start with the the bottom row, and curl small strands of your hair in this row in one direction. Then pin them up so they can set.
  5. After the first row is finished, start curling the second row in the opposite direction (one row should be towards your face and the other should be away from you face).
  6. Pin all of these curls up as well to let them set.
  7. Lightly spray with hair spray (optional).
  8. Let all the curls down and adjust to your liking.

Tutorial for Long Hair

Different Ways to Wear the Finger Wave

If you decide that you really love this hairstyle, there are a few things you can do to dress it up.

  • You can do what they did in the twenties and thirties and wear it with a cute hat, such as a fedora.
  • You can accessorize with cute butterfly clips.
  • Adding a couple of feathers is another fantastic idea for an accent.
  • For long hair, you can pin it up into a bun (shown in the video above).

You can't go wrong this style. Any of these accessories will add flare and personality. Finger waves can be worn just about anywhere for any occasion. Have fun!

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.