Young Woman With a Long Hair Wear Finger Waves Style

Finger wave is a type of old-timey hairstyle that first became popular during the roaring 20s. This was the type of hairstyle you would usually see women sport in old black-and-white movies, especially in silent films.

Finger waves saw a brief resurgence in the late 90s, and it is now witnessing another one with many Hollywood stars sporting them.

10 Most Popular Finger Waves Hairstyles

If you are interested in getting the finger wave hairstyle for yourself, here are some popular options that you can choose from:

Formal Finger Wave Updo

Unlike most finger wave hairstyles on this list, the formal finger wave updo does not require you to chop your hair into short bob hairstyles for various textures. This style is a combination of the beehive and finger wave hairstyle.

It is also a lot harder to do than your regular finger wave. You will need copious amounts of hairspray and establish a basic beehive. After that, you should carefully sculpt each wave over it and then clip them in place.

If a formal event is coming up soon, the finger wave updo is a great choice.

Natural Hair Finger Wave Pixie

Short haircuts for black women can receive a new look by adding finger waves. This is an excellent choice for short haircuts. It is also relatively easier to do than other finger wave hairstyles.

This might still not be an ideal hairstyle for everyday use, but it works great if you need a new one for a special occasion. You can do this hairstyle yourself if you have a lot of time to spare and a full can of hairspray and a bit of gel.

This is proof that modern pixie hairstyles can be vintage.

Modern Finger Wave Mohawk

The modern mohawk is no longer a one-dimensional haircut. You can give your modern mohawk a bit more style by adding pinned curls on top and blending them with finger waves at the back. This hairstyle is reminiscent of the classic Chignon or double bun hairstyle.

Finger Waves on Black Hair

This hairstyle combines loose, short curls on top and back with tight finger waves at the sides. Short haircuts are low-maintenance and this particular style fits that classification. This is an excellent choice for black women with curly hair.

Although this haircut looks easy to make, it will still take time to ensure that your finger waves are perfectly laid out.

Black Woman With Finger Waves

Finger Waves With Bangs

As the name suggests, finger waves with bangs require you to concentrate the waves on the bangs. You will be creating a couple of large waves on your bangs. You will essentially be styling your bangs out of your eyes.

Using a bit of hair gel to shape your bangs into large waves toward the back of your head is advisable.

Long Luscious Retro Waves

This style requires quite long hair. You will use a curling iron to give the ends of your hair large waves. It is one of the easiest finger wave hairstyles you can do yourself. You only need a bit of hair gel and a curling iron.

Starting from your neck, curl your hair inward, move the curling iron down a bit, and then curl the hair outward. Repeat until you reach the end.

Super Short Waves

One can look at this as the quintessential finger wave hairstyle for mixed girls. This is the style that comes to mind when you say finger waves. If you have a pixie haircut, you can change it by giving it tight finger waves.

You will need a liberal amount of hair gel and a comb to style your hair. Also, take your time to make sure that your waves are perfectly lined up with each other.

Finger Waves Bob

This is a classic hairstyle that was popular back in the 1950s and 1960s. You must have a bob cut and your hair should be barely shoulder-length.

You can do this simple hairstyle on your own using a larger curling iron and a lot of hair spray to keep the curls in place and your bangs up and away from your face.

Neon Pink Waves

Everyone knows that alt hairstyles draw attention. If you recently dyed your hair a bright color, like neon pink, you can make them even more attention-grabbing by adding finger waves. This will look even better on bleach-blonde hair with pink streaks.

The contrasting colors look great when shaped into tight finger waves. You can see the layers and the curls clearly when you use two contrasting colors for your hair.

Loose Zig-Zag Waves

If you have relatively long hair and you need a new hairstyle to try out, you can give yourself loose zig-zag waves. This look will give your hair a lot of bounce and volume.

However, because of the intricacy of this hairstyle, it is ideally done by a professional. The waves start almost at the base of the hair and down up until the ends.

Woman With Blonde Zig Zag Waves Hairstyle

How to Create and Maintain Finger Waves

Step 1 – Choose your wave

There are many different styles of finger waves and you have to consider the length of your hair when choosing. Some styles work for short hair and others require rather long hair.

With that said, choose a style that you can realistically have done based on the length of your hair and other factors like the shape of your face.

Step 2 – Style your finger waves right

If you are styling your hair into finger waves, you should apply a liberal amount of hair gel to keep your hair in place. First, comb your hair as flat against your scalp as possible, then use your free hand and a comb to create the waves in your hair.

Step 3 – Maintain your wave properly

If you want your finger waves to last longer than usual, you should maintain them properly. Typically, wear a du-rag to protect your waves and make them lie flatter against your scalp. The du rag should be worn as often as possible, especially when you go to bed.

Step 4 – Use the right hair products

Use hair-hold products to keep the shape of your waves. Stock up on a bit of hairspray, hair wax, or hair gel. Not only will you be using these products to maintain your waves, but you can also use them to re-style your hair later.


How long do finger waves last?

If you maintain your finger waves properly, they can last anywhere from four to five days. You may not want to wear your waves longer than five days as you cannot wash your hair correctly.

How long does it take to style finger waves?

Depending on the style that you will be doing, making finger waves can take anywhere between two to three hours. This will also depend on the skills of the hairdresser who will be styling your hair for you if that is what you choose.

If you want to try your hand at making finger waves, make sure that you clear out your entire morning or afternoon.

Do you need gel for finger waves?

Yes. Hair gel is necessary for keeping your finger waves in place. In addition, hair gel not only adds an extra-strong hold but also provides shine to your finger waves.

On the other hand, if your finger waves are not flat against your scalp, like an updo, you will also need hairspray. You even need plenty of it.

Who are some of the celebrities who popularized finger waves?

Hip-hop like Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill made it even more popular when the finger wave hairstyle saw a resurgence in the late 90s.

Recently, the finger wave hairstyle has made a comeback. The younger generation of artists, like Zendaya, Anya Taylor-Joy and others, have worn this hair in many awards ceremonies.

Can finger waves be done on long hair?

Yes, it was a popular practice during the 1920s when women put finger waves from the middle to the ends of their locks. You will need a lot of hairspray to hold the waves together, but it will be worth it.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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