15 Chic Finger Waves to Consider Styling Next

Finger waves

Finger waves are a women’s hairstyle done by forming S-shaped waves evenly using hair gel and fingers or hot tools. What better way to complete your glamour look than with beautifully shaped strands and a powerful statement?!

Reimagined for modern times, this signature style from the 1920s never disappeared from the red carpet! You’ve witnessed starlets Amandla Stenberg, Beyonce, Zoe Kravitz, and Kate Upton and their glorious waves fused with braids, updos, and bright hair colors, setting the trend for every fan.

Stephanie Anderson from The Living Room Hair Lounge in Michigan came up with a luminous, softly waved pixie cut that shows beyond doubt how versatile this look is – whether you have short, long, natural, or straight hair, you can rock high-fashion waves even in the comfort of your home!

If it’s for a fancy occasion, a costume party, or simply anytime you feel your tresses are too flat, all you need are a curling iron, your best brush, and lots of gel or hairspray for a sleek, glossy finish. Another option is to use your fingers to press and mold sections of your hair if you want that authentic vintage feels!

Don’t miss this chance to see modern ways of creating an Old Hollywood-inspired hair! Head straight below for the most popular finger waves today.

Classic Finger Waves

Classic Finger Waves
Instagram @mollies_magic_hairspray

This trend brings you back to the golden era of cinema. A lot of gel with the guidance of a precise comb to make these swirly finger waves.

Finger Waves for Short Hair

Finger Waves for Short Hair
Instagram @blackcat_amberdawn

Soft finger waves are so light that it matches a short cut like this pixie here. Choppy layers are displayed with this type is a combo.

Quick Weave Finger Waves

Quick Weave Finger Waves
Instagram @earnestlynatural

Shorter waves can be seen with the finger wave weaves. This creates layers and makes them look more complex and interesting. Plus, hair this short still packs texture thanks to those wonderful finger waves.

Finger Wave Updo

Finger Wave Updo
Instagram @pueppikram

The iconic take on the finger wave, wearing an updo would take you to the 1920s. The vivid turns of the waves is a mesmerizing look and showcase multi-toned hair even more.

Deep Finger Waves

Deep Finger Waves
Instagram @perlananda_

A finger wave this pronounced can only be achieved by carefully tightly arranging hair. If coiled to perfection, your long hair can attain a much-needed bounce thanks to this retro style.

Soft Finger Waves

Soft Finger Waves
Instagram @shearenvybyjann

A nice difference between finger waves and your usual beach waves is the precise arrangement finger waves have, which makes your long blonde hair stand out. The folds created by the waves reveal the tones of your hair, complementing your caramel and ash brown hues.

Finger Waves on Black Hair

Finger Waves on Black Hair
Instagram @twinsunisexsalontheglambar

The brilliant thing about making black hair canvas for those wavy textures is that the light reflects in such a way that it makes your hair shine even more. And on such a short hair too, the choppy cut makes a wonderful addition to the finger waves look.

1920s Style

1920s Finger Waves
Instagram @flamingoamy

A unique vintage look that you can wear in this very contemporary world, big finger waves are making a comeback. This offers all the volume and springing action to your hair.

Finger Waves for Long Hair

Finger Waves for Long Hair
Instagram @pinkcombbeauty

This dapper look will take you back to the ’20s. Those waves create a texture like no other and do wonders in creating volume for your long hair.

Finger Waves on Natural Hair

Q&A with style creator, Amaris Crawford
Hair Stylist @ Explicit Styles Salon in Duluth, GA

How would you describe this look?

It’s a messy, loose finger wave or beachy finger wave

Any advice for someone considering it?

Use light mousse to form messy curls on the main waves on the side. This style is great for someone who is looking for that effortless style. It makes it simple to toss and scrunch your curls with a light mousse up top. Refresh your finger waves with an edge control that will reshape your natural S curls.

Super Short Finger Waves

Super Short Finger Waves
Instagram @chic_by_mik

Q&A with style creator, Tamika Tucker
Owner / Hairstylist @ Che Studio Inc in New Castle,DE


How would you describe this look?

This finger-waved look is chic, classic, and edgy. This look can be dressed up or down, is easy to maintain, and that is my absolute favorite thing about it.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I would suggest you get a relaxer or texturizer to achieve this look unless your hair texture permits a flat, polished look. There is nothing chic about puffy finger waves.

Blonde Finger Waves

Blonde Finger Waves
Instagram @hairbyphoebek

Q&A with style creator, Phoebe Keir
Hair Stylist @ Jack and the Fox in Rutherglen, VIC


How would you describe this look?

This is a Marilyn-Monroe old Hollywood style with a modern twist.

I love the elegance of the finger waves but also how I’ve tied it into today’s trends with a more modern textured look.

Any advice for someone considering it?

It’s a stunning yet simple style to create.

The key is in prepping the hair correctly by using a good quality mousse when blow-drying and the right amount of hairspray and patience when curling and setting the finger waves. Tease the remaining hair to give a more modern effortless look to suit your client and their style/event.

This style is one I’d recommend for a client who is confident yet elegant, likes to stand out, has a decent amount of hair, and would wear it proudly to any event.

Loose Finger Waves

Loose Finger Waves
Instagram @_jason_vieira

Q&A with style creator, Jason Vieira
Hairdresser @ Cutler Salon in Williamsburg, NY


How would you describe this look?

This is a classic Hollywood wave or loose finger wave that’s reminiscent of the silver screen icons of the 1940s. The charm is from the curls that have been brushed and sculpted to create ridges and valleys. This creates a soft, bouncy, and glamorous look with its “peek-a-boo” framing drawing attention to the cheekbones and eyes. What I love most are the flat roots that sculpt down into gorgeously classic face-framing. This is hair beauty 101.

Any advice for someone considering it?

This is for the person who wants to make a statement when they arrive and look absolutely stunning. It is best suited for any special occasion or event. Medium to thick hair works best with length below shoulders. Extensions can be added for fullness.

Although it has a soft appearance, don’t be fooled by the complexity of this style. This is not an easy look to create, so the best way is to get your stylist or a specialist to help create it.

Mousse and a lacquered hairspray are needed for an intense hold and shine that will firmly set the curls for the bounce and sculpting. The curls need to be brushed, teased, pinned in place, and sprayed to keep the sculpted finish.

Finger Wave Curls

Q&A with style creator, Michael Burgess
Barber / Stylist @ Branded Styles Salon in Newtown, CT


How would you describe this look?

I love the harmony between textures, taking a technique, and modernizing it. The core silhouette of a “finger-wave” with exaggerated ridges and peaks of smooth hair that transform to tousled textures allows this style to be dressed up or dressed down. It’s an iconic hairstyle with an urban flair.

Any advice for someone considering it?

The great thing is that she is my client, who’s an art teacher and makeup artist with a ton of fine hair. If you have an event in mind, this style is perfect to meet the “standard” of a formal event but different enough to let individuality show. I used @alternahaircare Invisible Roller & Working Hairspray to achieve this look with minimal hot tools since she has bleach blonde fine hair. I can get the desired look while reversing signs of chemical damage at the same time.

Pixie Cut Finger Waves

Pixie Cut Finger Waves
Instagram @meekzhairsalon

Q&A with style creator, Yumika Grigsby
Salon Owner / Hair Stylist @ Meekz Hair Salon in Houston, TX


How would you describe this look?

This is a gorgeous Hollywood glamorous style. My model is a new stay-at-home mom. This look can be played up or down. I decided on deep, bold finger waves.

The products used to set the waves in place were foam wrap and gel then set it under the hairdryer for 20 min. The finishing products were hairspray and oil sheen.

Any advice for someone considering it?

I recommend a medium texture hair to accomplish this look – thin hair will show the scalp. This style will also be great for brides, cocktail parties, girls’ night out, and after-5 events. This will be a knockout look!