How to Do Finger Waves: A Curly Style for Long or Short Hair

Updated on November 1, 2019
Brittanie2216 profile image

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

Learn how to do finger waves on both short and long hair for an elegant, timeless look.
Learn how to do finger waves on both short and long hair for an elegant, timeless look. | Source

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.

The finger wave hairstyle for short hair.
The finger wave hairstyle for short hair.

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 style with heat because curling irons and blow dryers had not yet been invented.

A new finger wave style for long hair.
A new finger wave style 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 flair and personality. Finger waves can be worn just about anywhere for any occasion. Have fun!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 months ago

      3693 Patterson Park Way


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)