The Ultimate Way to Get Glam Vintage Waves

Old Hollywood Vintage Waves Are Back

Old Hollywood is the epitome of glamor and will never go out of fashion. Glam vintage waves will always be in! Everyone knows a Hollywood curl when they see it, and there's nothing like a good Hollywood glam to make you feel like a Hollywood Icon from the 40’s and 50’s. Vintage waves are a timeless classic that every girl should know about achieving at home! With the right products, tools, and method, you'll be able to accomplish a Veronica Lake-esque wave in no time. So let's begin your old Hollywood waves tutorial to achieve the ultimate glam vintage waves!

Products Do Matter

With all hairstyles, glam vintage waves are no different, the products you use before and during styling your hair are essential and will make creating these retro waves in your hair easier and quicker.

Shampoo & Conditioner

With all hairstyles, having clean, conditioned hair is a must. Shampooing your hair helps remove dirt, impurities, and oils from the hair. Conditioning helps improve the feel, manageability, and appearance of your hair while sealing the cuticle.


Hair mousse is for reducing frizz.

Heat Protectant

Using a heat protectant will add moisture to your hair, while forming a barrier to protect and reduce moisture loss when you apply heat to your hair.

Flexible Hairspray

Flexible hairspray offers a featherweight feel, but sets your curls and waves perfect for a lasting style.

Shine Serums and Sprays

Whether you’re dealing with frizz or static, using a shine serum can help smooth strands and treat common hair problems. Above all, they create shine which is the perfect last touch to your vintage glam waves!

Tools to Use

Curling Iron or Wand

You can use the hot tool of your choice; some opt for a curling wand, while others choose a curling iron, it's all about preference here. Just be sure that your barrel size does not exceed 1.5 inches. It can be misleading because many people think big curls equate big irons (barrel sizes), but it's not the case. For the style, you want to start off with tighter curls so that you can brush them out into big, loose waves. Tip: If possible try using a ceramic wand or curling iron, the ceramic material is known to create shiny curls, and prevent frizz, which is essential to achieve glam vintage waves.

Blow Dryer

After washing, conditioning, and applying your wet products you will need to blow dry your hair. Believe it or not, blow drying your hair is an essential part, some skip or rush through this step. Be sure to hold your nozzle down while brushing your hair straight in each section; this will reduce frizz and static. Preparation is critical, take the time to do it right and build a good foundation.

Other Tools Needed

  • Duckbill clips: To hold curls and help create the ”S” shape.
  • Brush
  • Rattail comb

Now The Instructions

Step 1:

Begin with clean, dry hair

Step 2:

Create a deep side part (either side of your head would work, up to preference). Your part will also determine which way your curls will go. For example: If you part your hair on the left side (right side has more hair). Curl towards the face on the heaviest side. The lighter side to the contrary will be curled in the direction away from your face. The back should be curled towards your face as well.

Step 3:

Section hair into three sections
  • Top
  • Middle
  • Bottom

Step 4:

Drop Back section down and start parting a vertical section 1 inch thick or smaller if the barrel size is smaller (adjust your section size according to the barrel size). Now begin curling your hair in the correct direction. Tip: When confused about the direction, remember one side is toward the face, and the other is away from the face.

Step 5:

Drop the curl and pin it into place, securing it with your duckbill clip. Tip: One of the most useful tricks on how to keep your curls to stay, is allowing your curls to cool down and set before you let them fall. Take the curl you just released (be sure to keep the shape) and secure it with your duckbill clip or bobby pin. When unclipping, be sure to let them cool for a few minutes before brushing them out. How does this work? Heat transfers onto the hair strands, which makes them change their shape. Once your curl is cooled, it allows the cuticle to close and set in place, ensuring your curl to last longer.

Step 6:

Do the same thing throughout the entire bottom sections. Ensure you are wrapping the hair flat against the iron, and be mindful of the direction you’re curling. Also be sure that you are using your hairspray on each curl. Tip: Spray minimally 6 inches away from hair, comb through, then curl

Step 7:

Drop your middle section and curl, pin each curl as instructed before.

Step 8:

Drop your top section, curl, and pin, be sure to have the same sized sections and tension throughout all your sections.

Step 9:

Let hair cool

Step 10:

Release curls from duckbill clips starting from your bottom section

Step 11:

Now use your paddle brush or boar bristle brush to brush out your curls, brush, brush, and brush some more if need be. If some curls aren’t connecting or not as consistent use your duckbill clips to place the waves together, spray with your hairspray, let it sit, and remove them. Tip: To add a bit more of cohesiveness with the waves backcomb underneath the wave with your rat tail comb. Tip: Use your serum to enhance the sheen of your hair in this step

Step 12:

Spray with hairspray once again, and your glam vintage waves are complete!

Heatless Vintage Waves

For my heatless gals, here’s a how-to to achieve your old Hollywood glam vintage waves without using heat! You will need mousse, spray bottle to mist hair, clips to section off hair, and foam rollers/flexi rods.

Step 1:

Section hair as listed above

Step 2:

Dampen hair at 70%

Step 3:

Add Mousse to ensure no frizz

Step 4:

Section hair into three sections, bottom, middle, top

Step 5:

Drop bottom section and section hair vertically according to the size of your rod. Tip: To achieve the wave effect for glam vintage waves, ensure you're twisting the hair while wrapping the hair around your roller, with the same amount of tension for each curl. If the hair is laying flat, you will not achieve the old Hollywood wave look. Tip: For layered hair add a little more mouse to ensure hair is not sticking out

Step 6:

Continue sectioning hair, placing rods, and twisting hair to the remainder of sections.

Step 7:

Allow hair to dry, you can either sleep on them (with a hair scarf or bonnet of course) or sit under a hairdryer.

Step 8:

Ensure hair fully dried before removing flexi rods/foam rollers. Remove them section by section, be sure you're going in the same direction as you placed them. Tip: Place shine serum on fingertips to lightly add definition and shine to create the vintage wave effect.

Step 9:

Brush the curls out using a paddle brush, or boar bristle brush to ensure that they are merging. Tip: To avoid frizz hold ends against hand while brushing

Step 10:

Spray, and enjoy those glamorous Hollywood vintage waves

Get Your Glam On Girl!

How easy was that to achieve?! To add a bit of flare, tuck your hair behind the ear (on the side with the less hair) and add a sparkly hair accessory. Achieving these vintage waves at home should be a breeze after using the ultimate way to get glam waves guide. Have you tried them yourself, let us know how it went. Have any other tips or questions on getting vintage waves at home, send them our way in the comments! May your best hair days be ahead of you!
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