How to Make Finger Curls Like in the 1920s

Written by tabitha harwell
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How to Make Finger Curls Like in the 1920s
Finger curls were often worn by flappers under their hair accessories. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The 1920s eluded glamour and elegance in both fashion and hairstyles. The famous '20s hairstyle, the finger curls, or often called finger waves, were not exception to the glamorous look. The hairstyle works well with naturally wavy hair; however, curly hair and straight hair will mould the style also if using the correct hair products. Women with shorter hair often were seen wearing the finger curls under hats or hair pins. Longer hair women would wear their finger curls draped over one eye and cascading down their shoulders, while shorter hair women would often include pin curls in their hairdo.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Styling gel or mousse
  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Hair clips

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  1. 1

    Start the style with damp, towel-dried hair. Use the towel to blot your head until the water does not drip from your strands. Longer hair girls might need to wrap their hair in a towel to remove water before applying the styling gel.

  2. 2

    Apply a strong styling gel or mousse to the hair. Disperse the gel evenly throughout the hair using a fine-tooth comb.

  3. 3

    Part the fringe in the direction you want them to lay. In the '20s, women often pulled their fringe to either the left or right side when creating finger curls. Whichever side you part the fringe on, start styling on the opposite side of the hair.

  4. 4

    Comb the hair into ridges and curves using the fine-tooth comb and your fingers. You will work with 1-inch section of hair from the hairline to the peak of your crown.

  5. 5

    Lay your middle finger flat against your head, 1 inch from the root. With your other hand, use the comb to press against the sides of the finger and work around the finger, slightly pulling the hair, into a ridge. At this point, your first section will be combed for the first inch, and then your middle finger will be in the centre of the ridge that was just created with the comb.

  6. 6

    Place your index finger 1/2 to 1 inch from the middle finger. Repeat the same pattern with the comb. At this point, your middle finger and index finger are on the same section of hair, and in the centre of the two ridges, or curls.

  7. 7

    Set the comb down and use a heavy-hold styling spray to secure the section of hair. You can add more ridges on the same section of hair or curl the bottom of the section of hair into an outward flip or roll tightly in a pin curl. If the hair will not remain in the ridges or it is still slightly wet, then apply a hair clip in place of your finger to keep the hold in the hair until the hair dries.

  8. 8

    Repeat the same pattern until you reach the crown of your head. At this point, you will start back at the hairline on the opposite side of the current curls. Move down the other side of the head with using the same method.

  9. 9

    Curl the back of the head in one direction of curls. Work from left to right, or vice versa, and apply the same method as the crown of the head. Other options for the back of the head include pinning the hair into a chignon or pin curling the back.

Tips and warnings

  • Use finger waving lotion in place of gel; however, follow the manufacturer's directions to get the best results.
  • Gently comb through finger curls with a wide-tooth comb to give a softer appearance.

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