Stand aside, messy boho braids. For a sleek, polished look on their wedding day, today’s brides are choosing a vintage hairstyle that starlets donned in the 1940s and 1950s. 

Nothing compares to glamorous old Hollywood waves for setting the stage for an elegant wedding. Set waves create a long continuous line, frame the face and bring the focus to the eyes and lips. A straight side part is a critical element to the look. Long hair gives the opportunity for more waves, but chin-length hair can also achieve this look with finger waves. For inspiration, search for images of Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake or even the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit. Modern starlets also use this hairstyle on the red carpet. It is perfect for showcasing sparkling earrings or necklaces, because the hair is usually swept to one side. Sometimes, it is called the peekaboo hairstyle.

To create this vintage-inspired glitzy ’do, two methods are available. The choice depends on hair type, and how long the style needs to last. For thick hair, the pin curl option is preferred. This method works best for hair that doesn’t need to be washed every day. It lasts longer than the hot styling tool method. For pin curls, start with wet hair, creating a side part and then sectioning the hair in one-and-a-half inch areas. Wrap each section around your finger, and then pin with a bobby pin. Continue until all the hair is pinned in curls. You can stay away from the crown of the head if you want curls to start around the cheekbones. Spray liberally with hairspray. Let hair dry overnight, or at least eight hours. Then, unpin the hair and begin brushing the curls into the precise waves you desire. It will take several minutes of brushing to achieve this retro look. Apply finishing serum for a smooth look. This method is surprisingly durable and can last up to seven days. 

For thinner or layered hair, old Hollywood waves can be achieved with hot styling tools. The hairstyle doesn’t last as long, but it is quicker to achieve. Wash and dry hair, apply a heat-protecting serum, and curl the hair in sections starting at the ears. Create ringlets around the head, going in the same direction. Back comb the curls to create volume, but be careful to not completely comb out the curl. Use pins to keep the waves arranged around the face until the event begins. Spray liberally with hairspray. Your retro waves created with this method should last a few hours.

Finger curls can be used on shorter hair to achieve the glitzy retro-Hollywood look from the 1920s. Apply a liberal amount of setting gel to clean wet hair. Create a side part with a fine-tooth comb. Finger curls are created by combing the hair close to the head and creating ridges with the length of the index finger and middle finger by pinching the waves between them. Women did this style to soften the blunt-cut bob of the 20s. It’s a great way to add variety to a short hairstyle. It looks glamorous and puts the focus on eyes and lips. 

Speaking of eyes and lips, 2020 brides have the option of using a bold lip color to complement the Hollywood look, or emphasize the eyes by applying a glossy nude lip color. Eye shadow is minimal, but liquid eyeliner on the upper lids and mascara or false lashes are a must. Eyebrows frame the face, so make sure they are well-shaped and filled in.

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