How to do finger waves on short hair

Written by laurel storm Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to do finger waves on short hair
Use a fine-toothed comb to avoid leaving noticeable marks in the shaped ridges. (close up blue comb teeth image by Warren Millar from

Finger waves first became popular as a hairstyle during the 1920s; the hair was styled in waves to make the popular bobbed cuts of the era softer. Although they can be done with longer hair, finger waves are at their best when done with short hair, as that is how the style originated. Finger waving your hair is quite time-consuming and can be difficult to execute correctly at first; when done properly, however, it is a striking and impressive hairstyle.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Thick hair gel
  • Fine-toothed comb

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Wash your hair and pat it dry. The hair should be thoroughly damp, but not dripping.

  2. 2

    Part your hair in a side part down to the scalp and comb it until smooth.

  3. 3

    Apply a liberal amount of thick hair gel to your hair and comb it through, so it is evenly distributed throughout.

  4. 4

    Place your left index finger above the position where you want the first wave to be.

  5. 5

    Insert the comb directly under the finger, with the teeth of the comb directed slightly upwards.

  6. 6

    Draw the comb forward approximately 1 inch toward your face to create the first ridge.

  7. 7

    Flatten the comb against your head to hold the ridge in place, with the teeth still inserted into it. Remove your left hand.

  8. 8

    Reposition your left hand with the middle finger above the ridge and the index finger on the teeth of the comb. Shape the ridge by closing the two fingers and pressing the hair gently on the head.

  9. 9

    Draw the comb back, with the teeth pointing downward, to create the hollow part of the wave.

  10. 10

    Place your index finger on the hollow part of the wave. With the comb still inserted into the hair, form a second ridge by drawing the comb away from your face.

  11. 11

    Flatten the comb on your head to hold the hair in place. Place your middle finger above the ridge and your index finger on the teeth of the comb.

  12. 12

    Shape the second ridge by closing your fingers and pressing the hair gently against your head. Draw the comb towards your face again.

  13. 13

    Repeat the process of forming ridges and hollows, alternating directions until you have reached the end of your head. Repeat the process with the other side of the part.

  14. 14

    Allow the hair to dry and carefully comb it out, retaining the style. If you are using a hair dryer, fix the ridges in place with hairpins and place a hairnet over your hair before drying to avoid disturbing the waves. Apply a medium-hold hairspray after the hair is completely dry to hold the style in place if necessary.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.