November 03, 2011

Hairdressing - Finger Waves

Meet Rhonda.
Rhonda and I don't get along. I'll explain why soon.

Finger Waves is a style which was highly popular around the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. You might have seen it in films such as Chicago and on movie stars of the era such as the beautiful Clara Bow. It has increased in popularity recently, and many celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Christina Aguilera and Dita Von Teese have worn the look to red carpet events. It creates a stunning vintage look, reminiscent of flapper girls and the golden age of Hollywood.
To create them, all you need is a tail comb, massive quantities of gel and your fingers. The technique involves wetting the hair and covering it in gel, then sectioning it off. Section by section, the waves are created by pulling the hair forward and back in an S-shape with the comb, while holding bits with your fingers and gradually moving down the hair shaft, holding and shaping using your fingers and the comb. I'm not going to lie, it is as difficult a technique to pick up as it is to explain - I found it really difficult to get my head round the process, and I didn't actually manage to do any in class. Elaine quickly showed me how to do one but I don't feel like it was explained properly, so I just got more confused by it.
This is where Rhonda comes in. I always name my tuition heads in hairdressing class, because I find it easier to shout at her when I'm frustrated if she has a name! And this...This was the most frustrating class so far. Elaine was aware that many of us would find it difficult, so she kept telling us to breathe and walk away, which I had to do at one point!
Rhonda's hair was really thin, so when I combed it, it started coming out in clumps...I put it down to her just having had her fair share of styling, and dampened/gelled her hair. When I moved the comb through it this time it went into crazy, frazzled curls. It became evident when I eventually gave up and washed her hair that it was totally ruined by products and styling tools. Her hair was completely matted and I couldn't even get a brush through it!

I took this, at her worst moment. Observe the poor excuse for a finger wave, combined with frazzled hair and a comb which looks like it's trying to hang itself:
I took this picture when it was still funny - but soon I just got angry. I don't normally get so frustrated to the point of walking out of class, but I didn't feel like I had been given any direction. This is well-known as a very difficult process that needs to be explained slowly and requires lots of practice, and I felt like this was lacking in class. Luckily though, my aunt is a hairdresser who comes to my house every 6 weeks, so after I got my fringe trimmed she used my mum as a model to show me how to do it. She took it really slowly, step by step, and got me to do each part after she had showed me a few times. I found that at times I went blank and lost it, but by the end I managed to do one that she said was pretty perfect :) When she left I felt much better about it, and I'm actually looking forward to trying it again. I think I just need lots of practise on a real head, as opposed to a frazzled tuition head like Rhonda.

Next time I'm going to keep my cool, remember the steps and do it well. Rhonda and her smug face better keep their distance.

Gill x

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