Martina Jägr
Published on March 10, 2022

Vintage classics never go out of fashion! Enhance your hairstyling skills today and learn with me how to make perfect Hollywood waves, one of the most requested bridal and evening hairstyles. This feminine and glossy hairstyle doesn’t miss any red-carpet occasion! Read the step-by-step tutorial with how-to videos and lots of tips and tricks!

How To Hollywood Waves Featured

1. Prep Your Hair

If you start on damp hair, use some volumizing heat protector before blow drying. Using a heat protection is always a must before blow drying and curling.

Smooth any frizz on mid lengths and ends using cream, lightweight anti-frizz product. If you don’t struggle with frizzy hair, you can skip this step.

2. Section and Blow Dry

If you want to make your wave in a very classic way, make a parting on a deep side part. Blow dry your hair with a round brush section by section.

3. Clip In the Extensions

For maximum support and longer longevity of the hairstyle, I suggest adding a full set of clip-in human hair extensions for every type of hair. Even if the hair is dense and long enough! The extensions will create this base that’s going to carry the wave. It creates the form for such a defined and glossy style.

4. Apply Cream to Smooth Hair Length

Make sure that you smooth mid-lengths and ends with cream anti-frizz product again before applying heat. This step is very important as frizzy ends never look glam. Every inch of hair should be prepared and curled precisely without any mess or flyaways. Also, avoid using too much of cream product, a few drops are usually enough!

5. Curl Your Hair

There are some important tips that will help you get those beautiful Hollywood waves. First, curl all the hair starting at the bottom. I start about 1 inch from the nape. All sections need to be divided properly and curled in the same direction and size.

Take hair sections of approx. 1 inch, as hair needs to be warmed up completely. For that, it shouldn’t be too heavy or too thin. I prefer to use a 1- or 1.5-inch curling iron for more defined waves and set a temperature about 180 – 190 of Celsius for most types of hair. It is good to try how the temperature setting works for you on a first strand and then decide if you need temperature to be higher or lower.

CURLING TIP FOR EXTRA DEEP HOLLYWOOD WAVES: Wrap that section flat around the barrel at first. Then, you’re actually going to twist the hair as you move it along the barrel.

Sometimes, I like to use my flat iron which creates lose and a bit less defined, natural waves. It is much faster way so it is convenient to do before a photoshoot for example. If you use your flat iron for this, you have to be sure you can make all curls the same; otherwise, always use a curling iron. Here is how to use the two hot tools:

6. Pin the Curls

For easier work with brushing and longer lasting wave, pin all curls in its direction using temporary aluminum pins and wait at least 10 minutes (it can be definitely more!) before brushing. I add this step every time the hair is very straight and I see it could fall down soon.

7. Brush and Spray

Brush your hair with a brush or a tangle teeser for a super smooth finish or with a wide-tooth comb for more natural appearance. Don’t freak out if the wave doesn’t look perfect immediately. It needs a little bit of time to form itself and settle down. Also, brush hair from underneath. Use a hairspray while combing to lock the waves in place layer by layer. Avoid using too much hairspray! We don’t want to make it look rigid.

Finish with mist of setting light or medium hold hairspray of your choice and tame remaining flyaways. Spray some shine spray to your lengths to express gloss and reflections in wave.

Voila! This classic and timeless look is finished! It is beautiful on its own, as well as with some added accessory. If you are a bride-to-be, it could be cute to add some hair vine like this.

Hollywood Waves with Hair Vine

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And the side comb is just love:

Bridal Hollywood Waves Style

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Want to change it for night? Make a ponytail as my colleague did!

Hollywood Waves into a Low Ponytail

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Tips for Very Straight, Thin and Fine Hair

  1. If you’re afraid that waves can fall, you can use curling iron with a smaller barrel. It is also possible to buy a curling iron with changeable barrels so you can choose which size works for you.
  2. For a more defined wave, always use a curling iron and a twist wrap curling method.
  3. Always add a thick human clip-in hair. It works as a scaffolding for your own hair so it will last much longer.

Tip for a Pro

Make a photo of this hairstyle on direct sunlight. It makes special 3D reflection effect at the photo and it looks absolutely gorgeous! It works the best on brunette models!

Glamorous Hollywood Waves on Long Brown Hair

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I hope you loved my tips for perfect Hollywood waves! Don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram @martinajagr for more hairstyling tips and inspirations!

How To Hollywood Waves Featured Hollywood Waves with Hair Vine Bridal Hollywood Waves Style Hollywood Waves into a Low Ponytail Glamorous Hollywood Waves on Long Brown Hair