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1930s Finger Waves

1930s Finger Waves


A finger wave may be defined and described as a wave made by wetting the hair, combing it flat, making sharp ridges at intervals over the head, stretching the hair between the ridges, covering with a net, and drying under the electric dryer.

The process of finger waving may be described briefly as follows:

Hair that has been dampened with water is combed out straight and sponged with curling fluid (setting lotion). The first wave should begin an inch or more from the scalp, depending upon personal preference. The hair is pressed down
near the part with the left hand and drawn by the comb toward the brow, making a sharp ridge. The comb is pressed upward and should graze the scalp so that every hair will be included in the wave. The comb is not released until the ridge is held firmly in place between the first and second fingers of the left hand and then it is drawn through the hair to the ends. It is advisable to wave around the head instead of downward toward the ends.

To make the second wave the comb is drawn sharply away from the brow, while the first wave is held firmly in place. Continue the wave, working down from the part, around the head. The ends in front of the ear are curled into a flat ringlet. The hair over the ear is curled in back of it and, when dry,
is combed to cover the ear.

A net should be placed over the head and the hair dried before combing the wave. While the hair is drying, the waves can be pressed in more deeply. After the hair is dry it should be combed back from the face, not downward from the part, and pushed upward into waves by the hand and the comb.

Important Points to Remember in Finger Waving:

The hair must be thoroughly saturated in order to obtain the best results.

The hair should be combed smooth and into the direction it is to be waved. The hair should then be pushed up with palm of the hand to ascertain the direction of the natural wave. The durability of the wave depends entirely upon following the natural wave.

The smoothness and durability of the finger wave is also due to the continual combing. It is necessary that the teeth of the comb penetrate the scalp. This eliminates any straight hair underneath and is accomplished by bringing the comb under the finger and combing the hair until the comb is free.

The amount of hair taken upon the comb should never be over one inch on the sides and 1/2 inch at the crown. One of the chief faults in finger waving is swinging the hair too far, When hair is spare upon the head, the wave
should be swung into position and then the comb should be drawn back slightly, which will allow the hair to cover the bare spaces.

A becoming style should be decided upon and the waves mathematically figured to fit the head, before the wave is begun.

There is a tendency to push the hair up on the head rather than to draw the hair in a tight, straight line. In forming waves, the finger should always be placed slightly above the ridge to avoid the ridge being formed lower than the one previously made.

The small strands of hair to be made into face curls should be removed before commencing the wave. These are not curled or pinned until the finish of the wave but are moistened with finger wave lotion and shaped to the face.

Finger wave lotion [setting lotion] should never be used too generously or of too thick consistency, as it will flake on the hair and retard the drying action. Thin hair should be set without lotion as it makes the wave too flat on the head.

The finish at the back of the head is as important as the face line and the hair if too short to make into curls, should be waved as far as possible. If the hair at the hair line is too straight and stubborn to curl, the ends should be turned on a warm bob curl iron [curling iron] when the wave is dry.

The nicest finish for the finger wave is pin curls; however, some women prefer the curls rolled on a stick as described in the Wet Mae Murray. If curls are to be rolled up at the lower back section of the head, a heavy cord--two ends of which are held tightly at the front by the patron--will keep the hair hair smooth while the operator is rolling the curls.

The size of the wave is governed by the placement of the fingers below the ridge, as follows:
To produce a small wave, the fingers are not moved after they straddle the ridge, but the hair is drawn along the finger with the fingers still in this position.

To produce a medium wave, the finger is rolled a half turn downward after the fingers have been placed astride the wave.

To produce a large wave, both index finger and middle finger are placed
below the ridge and the hair drawn along the index finger.

If the ridges are to be deepened the hair will have to be moistened between the waves. This is accomplished by sprinkling the center of the waves with water on the comb. You may use the index and middle fingers to sharpen the ridge.

Rules for shaping the hair properly around the ears:
If the wave is directed forward in the section of hair just above the ear, 1/2 inch of hair is included from behind the ear, while if the wave is directed backward at this point 1/2 inch of hair from the front is included.

As a general rule, it is considered much better to wave directly over the ear.

The hair must not be wet.

At the point where the wave reaches the ear, the comb should be tilted slightly backward to control the hair.

In shaping the wave the hair should be held out away from the ear. Otherwise the forming of the wave is the same. The hair must not only fit well around the ears when waved, must match when dried and combed.