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If you’re a big fan of The Great Gatsby, you’re probably familiar with the finger wave hairstyle. It was huge in the 1920s and 30s, with every Daisy Buchanan across the land sporting a tight, defined ‘do at society parties and glitzy events. What you might not know is that it was originally invented as a way to jazz up the other wildly popular style of the era – the bob.
As the decades progressed, the finger wave became a much more ubiquitous style and, soon, everybody from society darlings to dancehall revellers and longer haired ladies were wearing it. At the moment, the finger wave is enjoying a bit of revival, especially with longer hair than the traditional shorter style, so we recommend exploring your vintage side and trying it out this festive season.
Keep reading for some handy hints and tips on how to create the perfect finger wave ‘do in long hair.
Step One: Fit Your Extensions
If you’re wearing hair extensions, take your time to carefully attach them first. The thing about using longer tresses for this type of ‘do is that you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time on the lengths. The definition is focused on the front of your hair and around your face. It’s up to you whether you curl the whole length of the extension or only the closest bits to your face.
Step Two: Section the Hair
Next, take a thin comb and create a parting deep to one side. It should be very straight and extend all the way back to your crown. The first section needs to sit around 1.5 inches parallel to the parting. Repeat this at the same distance, on the same side of your head. Then, switch to the other side of the parting and do the same. You should have around 4-6 sections stretching across the top of your head. If your locks are very thick, make them smaller.
Step Three: Start Curling
There are a variety of different ways to finger wave. The old fashioned method uses a whole lot of gel and wet hair, but we reckon the dry technique is a little easier (and less messy), but recommend using our hair extension hair spray to ensure your tresses hold enough moisture to look shiny and silky. Using curling tongs (or very thin straightening irons), move through each section of hair and produce a tight, spiral curl. Try not to rush or attempt to curl overly large sections all at once, because you won’t get that defined look.
Step Four: Brush ‘Em Out
Now, usually, curling and then immediately brushing out the curls is a big faux pas, but you’re not aiming for twists or corkscrews here. You do want that kinked, slightly angular wave that comes after their roundness has been flattened somewhat. The best way to do this is to take a flat, broad brush and gently work through the hair. If you’ve placed the curls tight enough to begin with, you don’t need to worry about brushing the style out completely.
Step Five: Fix and Hold with Hairspray
The final step is to add a strong hold hairspray. You can actually wear high quality finger waves for up to three days, depending on how you sleep on them and whether you cover them with a cap when you shower. The more hairspray you use, the firmer the style will hold, but it’s a good idea to use either gel or hairspray, rather than both. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a sticky, heavy build up across your cool retro ‘do.