We’ve come to terms with the fact that everything that was once old will be new again — even the styles that we’ve come to loathe (pencil-thin brows anyone?). But then there are those vintage styles that, while they may not be trending, take our breath away every time we see them. Those classic looks become timeless and need no TikTok or Instagram fanfare to be considered chic.
The old Hollywood waves hairstyle of the golden age is one of those ultra-glam looks and it always makes its way onto the red carpet when awards show season commences. It looks so polished and pretty that you may be under the impression that you can only get the Hollywood-inspired hair with the help of a professional hairstylist, like the celebs have, but that’s not the case. You can actually get those 1940s Hollywood waves right at home in just five steps. Check out our easy-to-follow tutorial on how to get old Hollywood waves.
How to Do Old Hollywood Waves
Before you begin, gather your tools for easy styling. You’ll need a brush, a heat protectant product like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In, a wide-barrel curling wand, a set of alligator clips, curved clips and the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented to set your style. Now you’re ready to begin.
Start by giving your hair a side part — we realize that for some Gen Z readers this will feel very counterproductive, but trust us, it enhances the look. Depending on the length, thickness and texture of your hair you may want to divide your head into sections so that it’s easier to work through. You don’t want to risk burning strands of your hair because they keep getting in the way.
Give your hair a few spritzes of heat protectant, making sure to evenly coat your entire head. Then, grab your hair in two-inch sections and start curling about two inches down from the roots. Holding the wand at an angle, wrap the section of hair around it (clockwise for your right side, counter clockwise for your left). Hold your curl for 15 seconds then let it release naturally from the wand.
You can clip your curls for staying power as you go through each section if you have really straight strands. Repeat this process until you’ve done your whole mane.
Editor’s tip: If you have Afro-textured hair and you’re heat-free, this process will look the same except you’ll swap your curling wand for silicone curling rods. You also want to add leave-in conditioner and mousse to your hair for moisture and hold.
After your hair cools off for a minute, take your brush and begin slowly brushing through your curls. Don’t worry, this won’t undo all your work. If you go slowly and take large sections at a time you should see your curls bounce back but into larger, more voluminous body waves.
Take your curved clips and place them down the length of your waves. Where you place your clips depends on where your waves crease — this will help keep their definition while you complete your makeup and get dressed.
Finally, spritz your waves with the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented. The lightweight mist will lock in your style while giving it shine without feeling crunchy or greasy.
Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
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