Retro waves falling in your face

In my post about a bride a couple weeks ago, I promised I would show you the technique I used on her hair. This is a really popular hair curling technique right now as you can see from the image above and all over the internet. Many hair stylists are using it for anything from beachy waves to a fingerwave feel. Most Youtube videos show this process starting at the root and working your way down. Here is my curl version for a retro sexy wave.

Here is my hair start. The great thing about this curl is that it can be used on many hair lengths with many curling iron sizes. On shorter hair it feels Carol Lombard 1930s and on longer hair it feels very Veronica Lake 1940s.

I separate out a one inch section up front because I am using a 1 inch curling iron. The base shape should equal the size of the barrel.

The first section is 1x1 inch square.

You have seen this curling iron curl before on YouTube probably, but I do it a little different than the videos I have seen. The main reason is that this way curls the ends instead of leaving the ends out of the curling iron leaving them straight and lifeless looking. I do not condone this process be used often. It is not good for the most fragile damaged part of your hair, the ends, to be left in the curling iron for so long compared to the shaft. And please, please use a thermal protect spray, especially on the ends.

Forgive the video a little. I was trying to hold the camera and do the curl at the same time. I couldn't find my tripod. Normally I would help guide the curl using 2 hands.

And please, please be careful!!!

Work your way up in sections.

Brush and voila!

You can use it with any size curling iron you like. The smaller it gets the more controled you have to be with your combing to get the waves to fall together nicely.


  1. Any advice for a gal with thick hair? I want to try this!

  2. great tips! thanks, i'll be sure to try this soon!

  3. Forgive me, I'm new to the blogging scene and just can't find a place to start a new comment. I purchased your book and absolutely LOVE it! From someone who is clueless about hair and simply does a ponytail to get it out of the way, your book is a goldmine. I'm hoping you might be able to help with a look I fell in love with back in 1984 from the movie 'Dune'. Francesca Annis portrayed the character Jessica in the film and had an absolutely stunning 'do' that I'd love to learn how to recreate. If you have time to take a peek, there's a photo of it here: http://www.nndb.com/people/400/000110070/, though finding a good shot of the back has proven to be difficult. Your blog is fabulous! I've learned so much already, can't wait to read more. Keep up the outstanding work, it's appreciated!!

  4. I'm having a difficult time doing this technique on myself. Any chance you can tell me where you found the other YouTube videos that you mentioned?

  5. I'm having a difficult time doing this particular technique on myself. Any chance that you can please share where you found the other YouTube tutorials that show a different technique?

  6. yeah im having trouble even mastering it on my manniquin. Seriously the curls just dont seem to sit right or something. It makes me sooo miserable to be this bad at hair. I cant even do a wet set. =(

  7. oh! I have been wondering how they get that look, I'm gonna try it!! it looks so sexy