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Last updated: July 22, 2020

Finger Waves: How To Update The Classic Look

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Instagram via @salonsimplybeautiful

Finger Wave Refresher: Learn The Technique

When we first laid eyes on @salonsimplybeautiful, aka Detroit stylist Nikki Maybee’s, vintage two-comb finger wave technique, all we could do was press play, stare, repeat! So we reached out to her for all of the details, tips and tricks necessary to recreate this mesmerizing technique. P.S. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away. “For anyone looking to try this look practice is key,” says Nikki. Press play to watch Nikki’s technique, then keep scrolling to get a breakdown.


Who is this technique for?

According to Nikki, “This technique is for anyone looking to wear a low-maintenance hairstyle. The ideal client is someone with short to medium naturally curly hair or relaxed hair.” She also recommends this for anyone wanting to incorporate a vintage aesthetic to their look.


What tools and products do you need to achieve this look?

Using a foaming wrap lotion is a must when doing this look. “My favorite is by Design Essentials. It is fast drying without flaking, medium hold and compatible with natural or relaxed hair. And it’s color safe!” says Nikki. She also recommends applying an ample amount of wrap lotion before starting. Don’t worry about using too much!


When it comes to tools, for traditional waves you can use your pointer and thumb with a fine tooth rattail comb. “The rattail comb keeps the hair from separating when waving and is great for detailing.”


What are the key tips and tricks to performing this technique?

Nikki says the key to achieving this unique style is combining two different finger wave techniques. Traditionally, finger waves are performed with ridges. For a more modern approach, do not try to connect the waves but rather slightly blend them together.  


For successful execution of this modern spin on finger waves, let your combs do all the work. Nikki recommends, “Overdirecting the hair slightly in place panel by panel.” The combination of these two approaches leaves you with a traditional look in the front and a modern vibe in the back. “Businesses in the front, party in the back!” says Nikki. 


Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! “Don’t over think it! Combine what we learned in school and add a new twist to it! Fingers waves can be very forgiving and don’t require a perfect outcome to look gorgeous and organic!” notes Nikki.



How long does this take to execute and how long does it last?

On average, this technique takes Nikki about 20 minutes start to finish. Most of her clients wear this look for about a week, but it can last up to two weeks!


For more of Nikki’s mesmerizing technique videos, check out her feature on our Instagram below!