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Finger waves are often imitated with irons and sets, but the classic, wet-set variety still holds special appeal. The glossy surface, hypnotic undulations, and head-hugging silhouette are glamorous, sophisticated, and distinctively dressy. Achieving the style on long hair can be tough because of the weight of the strands, but on cuts that sit above the jaw, getting the look is easier than you’d think. With the right products and detailed steps you can create this awe-inspiring vintage shape; read on to find out how. –– Laura Martin 

Step: Apply a liberal amount of hair gel through clean, damp hair. Comb through for even saturation, then part deeply on one side of the head.

Step: With the wide teeth of a styling comb, push the hair on the thicker side of the part toward the face, then comb back in the opposite direction, forming a wave. At the edge of the wave, lay your middle finger flat against the head and use a comb to push the hair back against the finger, in the same direction, to form a ridge. Pinch the ridge between first and middle fingers, and use a long duck-bill clip to hold it in place.

Step: Now comb the hair below the ridge away from the face and repeat, forming a “c” shape with a ridge at the edge. Continue making waves and ridges, alternating directions, down and back along one side then repeat on the opposite side of the part. When finished, mist the completed look with holding spray. Allow to dry completely and carefully remove the clips.

Special thanks to Laura Martin, senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, for sharing professional hairstyling advice with Style Noted

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