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Finger waves are a vintage look -- think 1920s and '30s -- that women still wear today. Just about any hair type is suited for finger waves, including wavy, curly or ethnic hair. Whether your hair is long or short, you can create finger waves in your natural hair. Whether you're feeling your inner Flapper, or you just want to avoid heating tools and harsh chemical treatments, like perms, try your hand at finger waves.
You'll need a few basic tools to complete finger waves. First, line up a fine-tooth comb and finger wave lotion. This might also be called setting solution. If you have long hair, or you're a newbie, it's a good idea to pick up some waving clips at the beauty supply store. If you can't find finger wave lotion, you can use a gel designed to boost the shine. Make sure you start with freshly shampooed, towel-dried hair that is still a bit damp.
Comb your hair straight and part it how you wish. Apply the finger wave lotion or gel to just one half of your hair at a time, since the stuff dries quickly. It leaves white flakes when it dries, if you haven't spread it properly, so beware of looking like a dandruff commercial. Take a section of hair about 1.5 inches wide. Comb down about 1/2 inch for hair by the crown, or 1 inch for hair farther down the shaft.
Making the Wave
Form the first ridge by placing your middle finger close to the crown of your head and bring the comb 1/2 inch down. Keep the comb horizontal to your fingers as you comb backward and up, so that the 1/2 inch section meets your middle finger. Hold that section between your middle and index finger. Pull the comb down one inch and use it to vertically lift up the next wave to your fingers, opposite the curl of the last ridge, repeating and alternating horizontal or vertical until you have reached the end of your hair length. Using the comb, curl the tip of your hair either under or over, to be opposite the last ridge, before removing the comb from your hair. Use waving clips to hold the ridges if you have trouble coordinating it all. This isn't rocket science, but it can feel about that difficult when you're in the middle of making the curls. Repeat this process with the rest of your hair until you have finger waves all over.
Finish It Off
Wrap your hair in a hairnet and blow dry on a low setting to rid your locks of the rest of the moisture. If you want soft waves, run your fingers through the ridges after removing the hair net. If you prefer a crisp, defined wave, leave it as-is. Finish off the finger waves with the hairspray of your choice to prolong the life of your waves.