Finger Waves Long Hair: How to Achieve the Vintage Glamour Look

Are you tired of the same old hairstyle and want to try something new? Finger waves are a classic hairstyle that has been around since the 1920s. This timeless look is perfect for any occasion, whether it be for a night out or a formal event. With long hair, you can take this retro hairstyle to the next level. 

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about finger waves long hair.

What are Finger Waves?

Finger waves are a hairstyle where the hair is styled in an S-shaped wave pattern. This technique involves using your fingers, a comb, and gel to create sleek, defined waves. Finger waves were popular in the 1920s and 1930s but have made a comeback in recent years.

What product do you need to create finger waves?

Hair Setting Lotion or Gel: You’ll need a hair setting lotion or gel to help shape and hold the waves. These products provide the necessary hold and flexibility for finger waves.

Wide-Tooth Comb: A wide-tooth comb will help you section and smooth your hair as you create the waves.

Rat Tail Comb: A rat tail comb is a fine-toothed comb with a narrow, pointed end. It’s used to create precise, defined waves.

Hair Clips or Bobby Pins: These will help you section and secure your hair as you work through the styling process.

Hair Dryer: You may need a hair dryer to set the waves and help them dry in place.

Hairspray: Hairspray is used to lock in the waves and provide additional hold.

How to Achieve Finger Waves Long Hair


  • Start with clean, damp hair. You can either dampen your hair with water or use a spray bottle to mist it lightly.
  • Apply a generous amount of hair setting lotion or gel evenly throughout your hair. Make sure to distribute it from roots to ends.

Section Your Hair

Use the wide-tooth comb to divide your hair into smaller sections. The number of sections will depend on your hair’s thickness and the size of the waves you want. Typically, you’ll create 1-2 inch wide sections.

Creating Waves

  • Take a small section of hair from one of the larger sections you’ve created.
  • Comb this small section smooth.
  • Using the rat tail comb, start creating the finger wave by making an “S” shape with the hair. Hold the hair in place with your fingers.
  • You may need to hold the wave in place for a few seconds to let it set.

Securing the Waves

Once you’ve created a wave, use hair clips or bobby pins to secure it in place. Pin the wave to your scalp to help it set.


Continue this process for each section of hair, working your way around your head. Be patient and take your time to create well-defined waves.


You can use a hair dryer on a low heat setting and a diffuser attachment to speed up the drying process. Alternatively, you can let your hair air dry, but this will take more time.

Setting with Hairspray

  • Once your waves are completely dry, carefully remove the clips or pins.
  • Spray your hair with a generous amount of hairspray to lock in the waves and provide hold.

7 Gorgeous Finger Wave Hairstyles for Long Hair

Classic Hollywood Glamour Waves

Get ready to rock a classic red carpet look! Start by creating those iconic deep and uniform finger waves throughout your lush, long locks. Let them flow gracefully and sweep them over to one side for that timeless Hollywood glamour. Seal the deal with a trusty dose of hairspray to ensure those waves stay fabulous all day or night long.

Half-Up Finger Waves

This style is all about striking that perfect balance between vintage charm and modern chic. Keep the lower half of your long tresses down and free-spirited while you work your magic by crafting delightful finger waves on the upper section. Begin at the front and work your way back, then gather those waves and pin them up at the back, allowing the rest of your hair to dance with effortless beauty.

Retro Side-Swept Wave

Ready for some vintage vibes with a twist? Part your hair on one side and start creating those finger waves on the side with fewer locks. Begin at the front and work your way back, then elegantly sweep those waves over to the side with more hair. Secure them with bobby pins, and you’ll have a charming, attention-grabbing look that’s as timeless as it is chic.

Mermaid Waves with Finger Wave Accent

It’s time to blend the best of both worlds! Let most of your long hair flow naturally, boasting soft waves or loose curls, and then add a touch of glamour with a single, eye-catching finger wave accent on one side. This unique style effortlessly combines today’s beachy waves with a sprinkle of classic charm, making it ideal for anyone who loves a bit of old-school flair.

Finger Waves with Updo

Elevate your elegance game with finger waves that embrace your long hair, then gather them at the nape of your neck and fashion them into a low bun or chignon. This chic hairstyle is like a fusion of timeless finger waves and the sophisticated charm of an updo. It’s perfect for formal events, date nights, or anytime you want to feel effortlessly classy.

Finger Waves with Ponytail

Looking for a sophisticated yet practical style? Craft those finger waves on the top and sides of your hair, and then bring them together with the rest of your long locks into a high or mid-height ponytail. Seal the deal with a stylish hair tie or wrap to create a look that gracefully marries vintage allure with the convenience of a ponytail.

Braided Finger Waves

Let’s add some texture and flair to your long locks! Begin by creating those finger waves on the top section, and then transition into a loose or intricate fishtail braid with the remaining strands. This creative style combines the timeless elegance of finger waves with the artistry of braiding, resulting in a look that’s uniquely captivating.

tips for Maintaining Finger Waves

Once you have achieved finger waves long hair, you want to make sure they last as long as possible. Here are some tips for maintaining your finger waves:

  • Sleep with a Silk Scarf: Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf at night will help maintain your waves. This will prevent your hair from getting frizzy and tangling.
  • Avoid Touching Your Hair: The more you touch your hair, the more likely your waves will fall out. Avoid running your fingers through your hair throughout the day.
  • Use Hairspray: Hairspray will help keep your waves in place. Be sure to use a strong hold hairspray that won’t weigh your hair down.


  1. Can you achieve finger waves long hair with natural hair? Yes, finger waves can be achieved with natural hair. However, it may take longer for the waves to set and may require more product.
  2. How long does it take to achieve finger waves long hair? It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to achieve finger waves long hair. However, this may vary depending on your hair length and thickness.
  3. Can I achieve finger waves using a curling iron or straightener? No, finger waves require gel and a comb to create defined waves. Curling irons and straighteners do not provide the same effect.
  4. What is the best way to remove finger waves? To remove finger waves, simply wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner. If your hair feels greasy, you can use a clarifying shampoo.
  5. Can finger waves be done on all hair types? Finger waves can be done on most hair types. However, it may be more difficult to achieve on hair that is extremely thick or coarse.

Final Takeaway

Finger waves long hair may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be achieved by anyone. This classic hairstyle is perfect for any occasion and adds a touch of glamour to your look. Remember to practice and be patient when attempting this style. With time and dedication, you will be able to master the art of finger waves long hair.