How-To: Finger Waves

Redken Global Creative Director Guido modernized an old fashioned technique, using a combination of finger waves and natural hair at the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2016 show.

“Marc Jacobs’ shows are always a surprise and not what you expect. This season is unnatural and all about a character. The look is a total top-to-bottom, fun, crazy, Marc Jacobs girl. I created finger waves, an old-fashioned technique that was popular in the 20s, but I modernized the look by leaving alone the ends of the hair. In the end you have two textures: a very sculptural, set look, and then the natural hair. It feels very gothic, strange and almost boyish. We’re so used to seeing things so precise and this look is quite arresting in a way. I used hardwear 16 gel, which we finger-waved into the hair, and then set with foreceful 23 hairspray. It is a very set look but something that could be translated to what you might see on the street. For example, if a girl wanted to do one simple finger wave and then leave the rest of her hair natural.” – Guido


1. Using a comb, create a clean center part on dry hair. Starting one inch above the ear on one side of the head, use comb to create a horizontal section. Clip hair on the top half of the hairline section to keep out of the way.

2. On the horizontal bottom section, use fingers to generously apply hardwear 16 super-strong sculpting hair gel to area beneath the created hairline.

3. Repeat step two in sections one inch apart, gradually making your way toward the top center part. Repeat process on the opposite side of the head.

4. Apply hardwear 16 super-strong sculpting hair gel to center part to emphasize the part and add shine. Apply gel to a comb and press hair down on either side of the part to flatten.

5. Starting at hairline at the crown of the head, simultaneously use fingers and a comb to push hair up, creating a finger wave effect. Ensure hardwear 16 super-strong sculpting hair gel is covering fingers and comb at all times.

6. Continue the wave effect throughout the section, using fingers to hold down hair while the comb brushes downwards on either side. Use pins to hold each wave in place.

7. After completing each section, liberally spray forceful 23 super strength hairspray at a close distance for a lasting hold.

8. Once you’ve reached the top of each ear, stop finger wave effect and leave remaining hair untouched and natural.

9. Gently blow dry hair to dry and harden gel and hold shape.

About: For over 50 years Redken’s foundation has been based on extensive scientific knowledge and the belief in, and support of, the expertise of salon professionals.  Redken provides salon professionals with innovative products, inspiring education and exclusive salon programs to be as successful and profitable as possible. Located in New York, Redken is also at the forefront of trends and has created a strong relationship with the fashion industry.  As a result, Redken has become a leader in backstage beauty, creating the runway looks for the industry’s most prestigious designers. A unique mix of fashion, innovation and inspiration, Redken provides salon professionals and consumers the ultimate professional edge.