How To Finger Wave: Get Inspired By Our Tutorial and Enter to Win Vidal Sassoon Pro Series' Giveaway!


To help Vidal Sassoon Pro Series kick off their Show Your Genius contest, we wanted to portray a creative and classic hair look and show you how to recreate it at home. After some debate, we settled on a retro-inspired finger wave. The technique described here works on medium or long hair. We like the romantic feel of this slightly loose version, but a more-sculpted finger wave is equally pretty, especially for a big night out. Read on for our how-to, and give the technique a try!

Once you snap a pic of your most creative look (it can be a finger wave or any style you like), enter the contest—see details below—for your chance to win! 

What You Need

curling iron (we used a 1.5" barrel iron)
mousse or dry shampoo
shine spray or serum
1.5" double-prong clips

Finger Wave How-To

Part One: The Three-Step, Basic Pin-Curl Technique

This is the essential technique used to create pin curls, which will give you a full head of finger waves. Learn this core set of steps, and then continue to part two to set your whole 'do.

1: Grab a 1-inch section of hair and spray lightly with hairspray.

2: Wrap the strand around your curling iron starting from the root all the way to the tip. Hold for about 7 seconds (a little longer for coarse hair, a little shorter for finer hair).

3: Release hair from the curling iron. Starting from the tip, wrap the strand around two fingers until the curl is near the scalp. Secure with a clip or pin. Place the clip at the base of the curl, right against the scalp, rather than on the outer edge of the pin curl. This helps prevent creases where you don't want them. Leave pin curls to set.

Once you've mastered this core set of moves, you have all the technique necessary to make a gorgeous finger wave 'do! Now let's get started!

Part Two: Sectioning and Setting the Full Head

1: Start with dry hair. If your hair is fine, prep with dry shampoo or mousse, especially around the roots.

2: Section hair horizontally, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top and moving from back to front. How many sections you ultimately use depends on the thickness of the hair. Leave one semi-circular section at the crown of the head—you can clip it out of the way until later.

3: Starting with the bottom section, take a strand of hair and curl using the techniques above (spray, curl, pin). Work across the head until all the hair in that section is in curls. Once complete, move to the next section of hair, working your way across, creating curls as you go. Move toward the front of the head until all hair is pinned. For the pieces that frame the face, wrap hair outward, away from the face when curling.

4: Once you reach the top section that you clipped out of the way earlier, divide horizontally into pieces that are roughly 1-inch thick. Pin-curl each piece from front to back, to help create volume at the crown. Continue until you've curled and clipped the entire section.

5: Once all of your hair is up in pin curls, hit the entire head with hairspray.

6: Then, starting at the back of the head, take curls down section by section. At this point, you can apply a few dabs of shine spray or serum to add polish. As you work, rake through curls lightly with your fingers, spritz with hairspray, and go over gently with a flat paddle brush. For volume, back-comb each section at the roots.

7: When all of your hair is out, back-comb the crown, and finish with a final pass of hairspray.

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About Vidal Sassoon Pro Series' Show Your Genius Contest
Create a DIY genius hair look (whether inspired by our tutorial, one of the many how-tos from the Beautylish community, or your own original style) for the chance to win $1,000 to create a head-to-toe look, a year’s supply of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series products, and a vintage 1960s accessory from famed Los Angeles store, Decades.

How to enter
1: Create your own hairstyle—everything from everyday styles to evening looks are fair game!
2: Snap a photo of your look and enter one of two ways:
• Upload your photo on Facebook
• Upload your photo on mobile

One Grand Prize Winner: $1,000 to create the perfect head-to-toe look, a year supply of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series, and a designer accessory from legendary vintage store, Decades
Four Finalists: $250 each to create the perfect head-to-toe look and a year supply of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series
Three Sweepstakes Winners: one winner per week will get a year supply of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series
One Voting Winner: one randomly selected voter will get a year supply of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series during the voting phase

hair: Ruth Quevedo
makeup: Brande Bytheway
styling: Briana Gonzalez
photography: Dicko Chan

foundation: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in #153 and #135
concealer: MAC Select Cover-Up in NW20
brows: Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector in #25, MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden, MAC Powder Blush in Spice
lips: Anna Sui Lipstick #702 and MAC Clear Lipglass
eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer, MAC Eye Shadow in Kid, MAC Pigment in Old Gold, MAC Eye Kohl in Fresh Cream, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Mat Black, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Dark Brown

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Flexible Hold Hairspray, Boost & Lift Foaming Air Mousse, and Heat Protect & Shine Spray

This story was sponsored by Vidal Sassoon Pro Series