Finger & Marcel Waves – Stylish Hair of a Bygone Era

 I have long loved the glamorous hair styles of the past – starting with the loose pin curls of the 1940s, who could not love the luscious locks of stars such as Rita Hayworth! But my all time favourite is the Finger Wave and Marcel Wave, so hugely popular in the 20s and 30s.

Bridal Finger Wave Hair Style

Loose Marcel Waves

So sleek and gorgeous! The wave was developed, as a way of softening the hard appearance of the fashionable bob of the flapper period. Finger Waves and Marcel Waves look very similar, with the only real difference being the way in which they are achieved.

Finger waves were created with, well, fingers (duh!) and a comb on wet hair – if only it was as simple as it sounds!

Step by Step Finger Waves(Image source Revamp Vintage)

 Whilst Marcel Waves were created with a heated curling iron, making it longer lasting and easier to achieve. Designed in 1872 by Francois Marcel, a French hairdresser, the curling irons revolutionised hair styling and made the marcel wave (and variations of the wave) popular for over 50 years.

1930s Marcel Wave Advert(Image source Bobby Pin Blog)

Francois Marcel’s invention made this style achievable for all, not just the rich and famous……

…..but it was immortalised, by some of the most famous, and sexiest, Hollywood stars of the era……

Mary Pickford Finger WaveMary Pickford

Dorothy Mackaill Finger WaveDorothy Mackaill

Claudette Colbert Finger Waves

Claudette Colbert

Bette Davies Finger WavesBette Davis

……and, as with all timelessly elegant fashions, it remains popular with many of the most stylish and glamorous stars of today!

Beyonce Knowles Finger WavesBeyonce Knowles

Kate Bosworth

(Image source My Style AU)

Fan Bing Bing Finger Wave Hairstyle

Fan Bing Bing – my new style crush!

(Image source The F Word Fashion)

Diane Kruger finger wavesDiane Kruger

Carey Mulligan Short Finger WavesCarey Mulligan

Although easiest to style on short or bobbed hair…..

Bridal - Short Hair Finger Wave

…… the look can be created with long hair by tying it at the nape of the neck – it looks so beautiful pinned with a vintage hair accessory……

Bridal Long Hair Finger Wave

…… or for a more bohemian look, with a whimsical flower.

I can’t help but wonder, what came first – is this style synonymous with glamour because of the stars of the era that made it popular, or did this sleek and sexy hair style add to their timeless appeal?

Either way, it would crown perfectly a slinky bias cut gown, like this oh so stunning number from Helen English

Helen English 1930s Bias Cut Wedding Gown

Or Charlie by Johanna Johnson, a slinky sheath dress featuring ivory and vintage beads and a chapel train

Johanna Johnson Charlie Sheath Dress

Or Dahlia, this fabulous drop waisted sheath dress with lace embellishment by Jennifer Regan

Jennifer Reagan Drop Waisted Vintage Dress(I love it when, whilst writing a post, I discover someone new – Jennifer is now a fave of mine!)

I realise ‘vintage’ and the 1920s in particular may be on trend at the moment but this look has a refined elegance and enduring beauty that makes it truly timeless.





Filed under Inspiration

2 responses to “Finger & Marcel Waves – Stylish Hair of a Bygone Era

  1. Pingback: Sunday Style Icon: Billie Dove | Chic Vintage Brides

  2. Pingback: Pinterest Wedding Links for a Gorgeous Friday! | Weddingbee

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