How To: Hollywood Waves Hairstyle

How do expert hairdressers create Hollywood waves? Watch the video tutorial below.

What are Hollywood Waves?

There are two essential elements to classic Hollywood wave hairstyles: cascading curls and deep, healthy-looking shine. While 1940/50s stars of the silver screen put Old Hollywood waves officially on the fashion red carpet, the modern equivalent is a little looser. These days, at every big awards ceremony, you’re still sure to spot shiny curls, more often than not cascading over one shoulder...

Here are a few steps for creating runway-worthy Hollywood curls, as shown by the expert hair stylist Adam Reed.

Old Hollywood Curls Red Carpet Look

You'll need

clips, brush, curling iron, PLI Styling Spray by Tecni.ART

Step 1. On clean dry hair, use clips to section off the hair.

Step 2. Separate hair into sections of roughly 3-inches wide and spritz with the PLI Styling Spray which acts as a primer.

Step 3. Twist and wrap the section of hair tightly around a pre-heated curling iron and leave for ten seconds before releasing. Repeat with all the hair.

Step 4. Spray your hairbrush with the PLI Styling Spray, then brush through the curls.

Step 5. Bring a section of hair round to the front, leaving the rest to spiral down your back, to ensure that those paparazzi get a good shot from every angle.

On-the-go tips to maintain your hollywood waves

If your Hollywood waves are starting to go limp by the afternoon, there are two techniques to instantly boost your volume.

Firstly (with clean hands), use your fingers to massage your scalp in small circular movements. This not only gives volume from the roots, but is also thought to help blood circulation and promote healthy hair growth!

Then (because it’s unlikely you’ll have your curling iron in your handbag) wrap a wavy section of hair around your index finger and spritz lightly with some hairspray. We recommend the pocket-sized version of the lightweight Infinium hairspray. Leave the hair wrapped around your finger for a few seconds, then release. Repeat with other sections of hair and tousle for a natural finish.


If the red carpet Hollywood curls are a little too intense for your everyday style, it’s easy to opt for a more toned-down version using a similar technique. You’ll still feel like a star though!

Hollywood waves For an everyday hairstyle

You'll need:

paddle brush, clip, hairdryer with concentrator nozzle, PLI Styling Spray by Tecni.ART

Step 1. On clean, wet hair, spray PLI from root to tip and brush through using a clean paddle hairbrush. This type of brush helps the product to be dispersed evenly through the hair and removes tangles without breaking the hair fibre.

Step 2. Using your hair clip, gently pin up the top section of your hair so that you can access the lower layers more easily.

Step 3. Use your hairdryer with the concentrator nozzle attached and dry the hair in a downwards direction. This helps smooth the cuticles as you dry the hair, which in turn creates a more shiny finish. Once the lower sections are done, release the top layer and repeat.

Step 4. When all your hair is dry, take the top layers and pin them up again. Curl a 3-inch section of hair around your pre-heated curling iron and leave for ten seconds then release. Leaving the curling iron for a few extra seconds will create Hollywood curls more than waves. Curl all the lower sections of hair using this technique, then release the top layer and repeat.

Step 5. Once the hair has cooled (leave a few minutes for this), using clean hands, pull your hair forwards over the shoulders, running your fingers through and outwards as you go. Then brush through the lengths a couple of times using your paddle brush.

Steampod  Hollywood Waves

Hollywood Waves using Steampod 3.0  

Achieve Hollywood waves with a Steampod 3.0. Smooth waves for every hair type. 

Step 1.

Turn your Steampod to 210°C. Roll a 5-cm section of hair around the Steampod, away from the face. Remember the arrows on the tool should be facing up.

Step 2.

After a second or two, release the hair and twist around the index finger before letting it drop and cool. Repeat until you have done all sections of your hair.

Step 3.

Finish your Hollywood Waves with a serum at the lengths and ends, for a shiny finish. 

Inspired? Discover more ways to curl your hair with a straightener here. 

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