23 Amazing Finger Wave Styles For Women To Try

Learn how to style your hair to get this amazing timeless African hairdo.

Reviewed by Monica Dickenson, Certified Trichologist
Written by Anjali Sayee, BTech
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)
Fact-checked by Bhumika Daga, MA (English)  • 

Chic and classy, Finger Waves never disappoint! But they can be notoriously difficult to style. So, we are sharing the best finger wave styles to inspire you!

Many celebs, like Zendaya, Janelle Monae, and Rihanna, have stolen the spotlight on several occasions with the finger waves. These flawlessly sculpted waves are a part of African hairstyles and have been around since the late ‘40s to early ‘50s. Certified trichologist Monica Dickenson says, “Finger waves are one of the most versatile hairstyles, one that all ethnicities can wear.” Keep reading to explore 22 amazing ways you can style your hair in finger waves.

Scroll down now and get waving!

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Finger waves are suitable for heart-shaped faces as they add symmetry to the frame.
  • You will need duckbill clips, extra hair gel, and strong-hold hairspray to make finger waves on medium to long hair.
  • Finger waves are appropriate for straight, fine, and relaxed hair textures.
  • Before going to bed, wrap your hair with a silk hair wrap to maintain the finger waves.

23 Suave Finger Wave Styles You Will Love

1. Embellished Soft Finger Waves

Embellished Soft Finger Waves
Image: Shutterstock

This embellished finger wave look is perfect for when your bangs grow out and you want to try a unique, retro look with them. Add to your beauty with gem-topped bobby pins or readily available stick-on gems.

2. Marcel Finger Wave Chignon

Marcel Finger Wave Chignon
Image: Shutterstock

You can achieve finger waves on longer hair with a marcel curling iron. Style the front hair sections in finger waves and tuck them into a chignon at the back. It makes for a stunning and popular wedding hairstyle!

3. Glossy Finger Waves

Glossy finger wave style
Image: IStock

We’ve always associated good hair with shine. Flaunt your pixie locks with this amazing finger wave style that is uber glossy! Use a hair gel while doing this style to flatten the finger waves against your head completely.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can use a boar bristle brush to help spread the gel evenly across your hair.

4. Golden finger wave

Golden finger wave hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Who wouldn’t want their hair to look as golden as the sun? Ever since this finger wave fashion come around, short-haired women all over the world are rejoicing.

5. ‘S’ Finger Waves

S finger wave style
Image: Shutterstock

The ’S’ finger wave style has a more laid-back, beachy vibe. While finger waves are more defined and pointed at their curves, this ‘S’ finger wave style is ruling with its soft curves.

6. Partial Finger Waves

Front finger wave style
Image: Shutterstock

Adding vintage finger waves to your regular hairstyles can jazz them up. It always gives your hair a faux undercut feel. Opt for this look if you want a sharp, sleek hairstyle.

7. Mild Finger Waves

Mild finger wave style
Image: Shutterstock

If this is your first time trying finger waves, opt for this milder style. You can sport this look on long hair as well as a pixie cut.

8. Baby Finger Waves

Baby finger wave hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Styling baby hair is often a problem. That’s where finger waves come in! All you need is some oil or mousse and a comb. You can also use a toothbrush to style your baby bangs in finger waves.

9. Smooth Finger Waves

Smooth finger wave style
Image: Shutterstock

Smooth criminal, indeed! While sharp finger waves add definition, smooth finger waves look more like the ocean. They look glossy and add joie de vivre to your hairstyle.

10. Hollywood finger wave

Hollywood finger wave hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Hollywood – the place where imagination comes to life! Let your imagination run wild with these stunning Hollywood waves. I’m sure you’ve seen many a celeb sporting this stunning hairstyle. It is red carpet-approved. to add glamor to the look. What more could you want?

11. Flapper finger wave

Flapper style finger wave
Image: Shutterstock

The ‘20s were big on finger waves and flapper hairdos. So, why not mix the two? It looks glamorous and works for any formal event. Fabulous!

protip_icon Trivia
Finger waves were popularized by actresses Josephine Baker and Esther Phillips in the 1920s and 1930s. The waves softened the appearance of bobs that were quite popular back then.

12. Kinky Finger Waves

Kinky finger wave style
Image: IStock

Kinky curls and waves go hand in hand. So, it’s no surprise that styling your kinky hair in some sculpted finger waves can take your hair look up a good few notches.

13. Shadow Root Finger Waves

Image: Instagram

The shadow root is a new fad that has taken the world by storm. It looks extremely cool and suave. Accentuate it and take it to the next level with these stunning finger waves.

14. Tri-Finger Waves

Tri-finger waves style
Image: Shutterstock

Sometimes, two is too little, and four is just too much. So, opt for these tri-finger waves instead! You can switch the sizes of the waves to suit your style.

15. Undercut Finger Waves

Image: Instagram @gaynaleandco

The undercut is a badass look! It looks edgy, cool, and seemingly impossible to outdo. You can take it a notch higher by adding some finger waves to the undercut. Talk about a badass hair look!

16. Soft Set Finger Waves

Soft set finger waves style
Image: Shutterstock

Soft set finger waves look very beautiful. They are soft, so they don’t need to look too sculpted or be done with very small sections. Tease your hair before you do these finger waves to add height to your hairstyle.

17. Wine Finger Waves

Wine finger waves style
Image: Shutterstock

Who doesn’t like a good glass of wine to relax at the end of the day? Take it to the next level with these stunning wine-colored finger waves. Don’t they look enticing? I can almost smell the wine in the air when looking at this style!

18. Ombre finger waves

Ombre finger waves hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Finger waves are a brilliant way to show off your new ombre. They accentuate the fading shades perfectly! If you have hair that is thicker at the bottom, opt for step finger waves.

19. Finger Waves Bangs

Finger waves bangs style
Image: Shutterstock

Why opt for normal bangs when you can take things up a notch with these stunning finger waves? Sculpt your hair in these waves depending on the length of your bangs. I’m sure you’ll catch everyone’s attention!

20. Side finger waves

Side finger waves hairstyle
Image: Shutterstock

Sometimes, all you need is a little swag on the side to make you look even more stylish. That is where these stunning side finger waves come in. They add just the right amount of edge to your look.

21. Elegant Finger Waves

Elegant finger waves
Image: Shutterstock

Adding some big finger waves to your updo can dial the heat up perfectly. It also makes your hairstyle look super classy and graceful! You don’t just have to pair it with a low bun. You can also try out this look with a high bun to create a truly sophisticated style.

22. Finger Waves Sideburns

Finger waves sideburns style
Image: Shutterstock

Curly hair looks flawless. But whenever you style your curly hair, I’m sure the baby hair sticks out. This is one way to style your baby hair. Add definition to it by sculpting it in some stunning finger waves.

23. Mermaid Waves

Mermaid Waves
Image: Shutterstock

Mermaid waves are a perennially enchanting hairstyle that features long, ocean-kissed locks. Achieving this look typically involves using a curling wand or iron, allowing the curls to fall naturally. You can apply a touch of sea salt spray to enhance the texture and impart an authentic seaside feel.

protip_icon Fun Fact
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, and Cara Delevigne have sported variations of finger waves across red carpets and premieres.

Tasha, a YouTuber, shares her experience of trying finger waves on her newly dyed short pink hair. She starts by wetting and parting her hair. Then she applies some hair mousse and spreads it through and over her hair with a thin-toothed comb. Then she pushes her hair back and forwards, from the top till the ends, to create a wave. She also cleans up her hair as she does this to keep her locks looking proper. However, this technique may not work for those with short hair. She says, “It is a bit messy but that is obviously because my hair really isn’t long enough for this yeah. So it still has a bit of a mind of its own but I’m really chuffed. I think it looks really cool, so this tutorial was really super short and sweet (i).”

Infographic: Top 10 Finger Wave Styles For A Classy Look

If you want a classy and chic look, go for finger waves. These are among the few hairdos that can take your look to a whole new level. While they do need some maintenance, the end result is worth the effort. In the infographic below, we have listed the top 10 finger wave styles you can try. Check them out.

top 10 finger wave styles for a classy look (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Finger waves styles are the best way to get a classy look. These are a part of African hairstyles. There are many ways to style finger waves. Glossy finger waves, golden finger waves, partial finger waves, mild finger waves, baby finger waves, smooth finger waves, Hollywood finger waves, flapper finger waves, kinky finger waves, shadow root finger waves, and undercut finger waves are a few ways to style finger waves. These finger waves are suitable for any hair type. Choose any finger waves to flaunt your style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are finger waves out of style?

No. Lizzo, a popular American singer, was spotted sporting finger waves during the 2022 BET awards.

How long can finger waves last?

Finger waves can last for about a week if you style and set them with hairspray.

What is the purpose of finger waving?

Finger waving with combs or fingers helps shape your hair in S-pattern. It is a sleek hairstyle that looks good on pixie cuts.

Do finger waves help hair grow?

Possibly. Anecdotal evidence suggests that since finger waving locks in nutrients and hydration, it may help hair growth.

Who started finger waves?

Although it is unknown who created finger waves, actresses Josephine Baker and Bette Davis are known to have popularized this style.

Key Takeaways

  • Chic and classy, finger waves are a part of African hairstyles and have been around since the late ‘40s to early ‘50s.
  • Sharp finger waves add definition, and smooth finger waves make a calmer and milder statement.
  • There are multiple ways to wear a finger waves hairstyle and it can be done on a variety of hair types.
finger waves styles_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team


Looking for a hairstyling guide to show you the way to embrace the vintage beauty queen in you? Watch this step-by-step tutorial to create the perfect retro-inspired finger waves.

Personal Experience: Source

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