1920s Finger Waves and Pin Curls Hairstyle Tutorial

During the flapper era, fashions were boyish. Women's figures were hidden beneath straight-cut dresses, hemlines became shorter and so did hair lengths. Cropped bobs became very popular in the 1920s, but were first seen in Hollywood on the American actress Irene Castle, who had worn her hair in this way as early as 1914. Finger waves were often used to soften the masculine edge if a bob.

The difference between a finger wave and a Marcel wave is that finger waves, also known as water waves, are created on wet hair, whereas a Marcel wave is created by using heat on dry hair. Finger waves were often seen alongside pin curls, which were almost always used to style and finish the ends of the hair. In old-fashioned hairdressing, the general rule was to have three waves and two rows of pin curls.

You will need

  • Styling products, such as gel, mousse or setting lotion
  • Barbering comb
  • Pin-curl clips
  • Water spray bottle
  • A portable dryer
  • Boar bristle brush

Step 1

Shampoo and towel dry your hair

Step 2

Apply a generous amount of setting lotion, mousse or gel. Note that your hair needs to remain completely saturated throughout the styling process for the finger waves to be successful

Step 3

Part your hair on your preferred side and comb it through thoroughly, distributing the hair evenly and in a natural fall around your hair. It's important for the hair to be distributed evenly so that there is enough hair to create each row of finger waves.

Step 4

Comb your hair back away from your hair line. You are now going to create a 'c' shape. Place your middle finger flat along your scalp where you wish to make your first wave. Apply pressure with your middle finger so you don't disturb the hair you have already combed back to start your 'c' and comb the hair smoothly in a downwards motion.

Step 5

Once the hair is combed through smoothly, keeping your middle finger in place, comb the hair forwards. Throughout this stage your comb should be in an upright position

Step 6

Once you have begun to comb the hair forward in a 'c' shape, you need to flatten the comb to your scalp and push up towards your middle finger. Once you reach the middle finger with your comb, lift the comb back to an upright position. This will create the crest of the wave. Keeping your middle finger fixed on your scalp, place your index finger on the other side of the upright comb. Now you have your middle and index fingers both applying pressure on the scalp - one finger on either side of the comb.

Step 7

With you pin-curl clips, pin either side of the crest lifting your fingers up slightly so the grips can slide into place

Step 8

It is very important to make sure your hair has been combed in a natural fall so that you don't have gaps in your crests and waves. Make a second crest wave behind the first one using the same techniques you used in steps 4 to 7. You need to place your middle finger in line with the first placing so that you can make the crests join together in the second wave

 

Tip #1

Finger waves are usually styled on hair that is shoulder length or shorter. You may find it easier to have a friend help you to create this style

 

Step 9

Form the second crest as before in line with the first, and place clips either side

Step 10

Continue this all the way around the head through the crown until you reach the other hairline

Step 11

Start the second row of waves from the opposite hairline using the same technique (steps 4 to 10), although this time you will be creating a 'backwards c'. Continue this all the way around the head again to the opposite hairline. From here you need to continue to make runs of curls until you get to the occipital bone, where your head dips in to the nape of your neck

 

Tip #2: Pin curls [Steps 12 to 15] you can use this technique with finger waves or on its own, Pin-curling your entire head of hair. Pin curls are a fundamental part of vintage hairstyling and the essence of this technique is adapted and used in different forms throughout this guide

 

Step 12

Now you should have some lengths of hair that are loose at the end of your fingerwaves. Take up a row of hair at the bottom of the fingerwaves about 2cm wide. You are going to split this into sections that are about 2cm thick. This can be done fairly easily as you go along, ultimately creating a small, square base for your pin curl to sit on.

Step 13

Each row of pin curls should be curled in the same direction. Let's call them 'b'-shaped and 'd'-shaped. Look at the direction of your last wave - 'c' or 'backwards c'. This will determine which way your pin curl will be placed as you need to continue creating a flowing waveform.

If your last fingerwave was 'c' shape, your next pin curl will be a 'd' shape. Kikewise, a 'backwards c' should follow with a 'b' shape pin curl. You need to take the hair from your small square section and, holding the very tips of your hair between your forefinger and thumb, and alternating your left and right hand, begin to roll up the curl towards the base of the section. Throughout the process, hold the ends of your hair in the curl with thumb and forefinger. You will soon see how the pin curl starts to look like a 'b' or 'd' shape

Step 14

Once you have fully rolled up your pin curl, use a pin-curl clip to secure the curl firmly in place. The clip needs to be placed into the curl at and through the base, to ensure that it is holding the curl firmly

Step 15

Finish the row of pin curls and start the next row, but this time you need to curl your pin curls in the opposite direction down to the last row. This will continue the wave through to the end

Step 16

Dry your hair. You can let your hair dry naturally, although this could take some time depending on the thickness of your hair - up to 12 hours. Alternatively, you can sit under a portable soft dryer. Under a dryer the process could take up to 45 minutes, depending on your hair thickness.

* It is very important to make sure your finger waves are bone dry. If there is a hint of moisture in your hair when you come to brush them out, you will lose the wave

Step 17

Once your hair is completely dry, remove all of the clips from your hair and start to brush out. You need to start from the bottom, using your fingers to push the waves back into place. Alternatively, you could leave your hair untouched if you favour a sleek, wet look

Step 18

Spray with hairspray to hold

Lena-Hamm
By Lena-Hamm 06/21/2015 09:57:00

Right Now In Vintage