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How to Get a 1920s Hairstyle

February 22, 2019

If you’re as inspired by the roaring twenties as we are, you may have wondered how you can go about getting a 1920s hairstyle for yourself.  Hairstyle trends may come and go, but the 1920s will always be considered one of the most stylish decades, so don’t worry about this look becoming passé! Best of all, the most iconic look of the ‘20s—finger waves—can be achieved on short hair, medium-length hair, and long hair. No one has to feel left out when it comes to this throwback look! Whether you’re heading to a costume party or you just feel like channeling your inner flapper, here’s how to get a darling 1920s hairstyle for yourself.


Yes, bobs were definitely popular in the 1920s, but we’re not about to tell you to chop off your locks! We totally approve if you want to because finger waves on short hair are an amazing look through and through, but short strands are far from a requirement. Finger waves on long hair—or any hair length for that matter—are equally stunning. (You can also create finger waves on natural hair!) Also known as finger curls, finger waves are a method of setting the hair into curls that sit closely on top of the head and look as if they’re coiled. It’s a flirty hairstyle that screams flapper girl, and it’s also relatively easy to achieve on your own. Here’s how to get your very own 1920s-inspired finger waves. 

What you’ll need:

Shampoo and conditioner

L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel

Fine-tooth comb

Half a dozen long hair clips or bobby pins

L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray

Here’s how to get the look:

Step 1: Wash your hair

In order to get an authentic-looking finger wave style, you need to start with hair that’s both wet and saturated with hair styling product. We’ll get to the latter part, but for starters, hop in the shower and wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

Step 2: Saturate your hair with styling gel

In order to help your finger waves form properly and stay in place, you need to use quite a bit of hair gel. After your freshly-washed strands are slightly toweled off, start applying the gel. Focus the most product on the top half of your hair and use less on the ends. 

Step 3: Part your hair

Once you have enough product on your locks, use your fine-tooth comb to create a straight part. You can part your hair in the center or on either side, but the important thing here is that the part is a perfectly straight line.

Editor’s note: A deep side part is more reminiscent of the ‘20s, so if you aren’t sure which option to go with, that’s our pick!

Step 4: Clip a small front section of hair

Take your finger and move it parallel to your part going about two inches to the side. If you created a side part, you’ll want to do this on the side with more hair. Lift your finger and use a long hair clip to hold your hair down where your finger was just a moment ago.

Step 5: Create your finger waves

It’s time to create those waves! While you press your finger down on the clip you placed in the previous step, hold your comb about an inch below the clip in a horizontal position. Then, push the comb backward to create a small, raised wave. Secure the hair beneath that wave with another long hair clip, and continue making waves down the entire side of your head, then switch to the other side. 

Editor’s note: The exact same steps will apply whether you’re creating finger curls on short hair, long hair, or medium-length hair. The only difference will be how many waves you need to make to include all of your hair.

Step 6: Let your hair air dry

While you let your hair air dry, spritz a bit of light hold hair spray all over your head.

Step 7: Remove the clips

Once your hair is fully dry and you’ve sprayed it with a little more hair spray, it’s time to remove all of the hair clips and unleash your coils. Now you can enjoy your new 1920s-inspired wavy hair!


Of course, once you’ve spent so much quality time styling your twenties ‘do, you’ll want to make your finger waves last for as long as possible. If you style your finger waves at night, the best thing you can do for them is to wear a silk sleep cap to bed. Before you hit the hay, put the sleep cap (or even a shower cap) over your waves. The cap will help keep them in place while you toss and turn and also prevent your hairstyle from frizzing. During the day, if your curls start to droop, you can spritz with more hair spray, or it could be a sign that you should have used more hair gel—something to take note of for next time!

Next, keep the throwback theme going and Travel Back to the Roaring Twenties with This 1920s Makeup Look

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