How To Create Old-Hollywood Finger Waves With Modern Hair Tools

by Hilary Braaksma

How To Create Old-Hollywood Finger Waves With Modern Hair Tools

You don’t need old-school methods to get glamorous, vintage-inspired finger waves. Read our tutorial to find out how to master this hairstyle.


Not much screams vintage Hollywood beauty like perfectly placed finger waves. Although you may think the style requires lots of time and old-school techniques, you can actually master this hairstyle relatively easily. All you need is a flat iron or curling iron, some styling products, and a little bit of patience. This is the perfect romantic hairstyle for date night, a formal event, or a glam girl’s night out.


This hairstyle works on almost lengths of hair, from above the shoulders to super long locks.


To get the look, follow these steps:


Finger Waves Steps 1 & 2


1. On clean hair, create a deep side part. Lightly mist a heat protecting spray throughout the hair. We used Kevin Murphy Damage Manager Heat Shielding Spray, $25.


2. Part your hair in a 1-2 inch section from the hairline horizontally at the nap of the neck.


Finger Waves Steps 3 & 4


3. Using a 1″ curling iron or flat iron, take a 1-2″ section of hair and curl, holding your iron horizontally to your hair’s part.


4. As you get closer to your face on the side with more hair, direct your curls so that they are curled toward your face, not away.


Finger Waves Steps 5 & 6


5. Once you’re doing curling, use a wide tooth comb to loosen the curls.


6. Finish with a shine spray or hairspray.


Finished Hollywood Finger Waves


Mastering these curling techniques can be a little tricky if you’re used to curling hair away from your face day-to-day. But with some practice, this can easily become a fancy look you can put together yourself for a night out on the town, a wedding, or just one of those “treat yo’ self” days.