Vintage Style Hair Tutorial #1 - My Pin Curl Setting Pattern & Technique


Since putting up a photo on Instagram a week or so ago showing the results of a new pin curl pattern I have been using I have had several requests for a tutorial, and being the nice accommodating lady that I am I have produced one!

The photo above shows the final product after I have slept in my pin curls (and a few rollers), brushed them out and given it a good set with some hairspray. As you can see I like to brush my curls towards my face to give a nice curl under, but if you prefer you can brush them outwards so you get a nice Kathy Kirby style flick! But I'm getting ahead of myself...


This is the pattern I use - or at least a poor attempt at drawing it out. Believe me its nothing revolutionary, just your standard one row coiled to the front and the next row coiled to the back and repeated over the entire head. The tools you will need are as follows -

- An empty bottle with a spray/misting attachment (I use an empty hair shine spray bottle and re-fill)
- Some setting lotion such as this one that I get from Boots although it doesn't seem to be on their website, or you could try this one or this one if you're feeling fancy
- A big bunch of hair clips / bobby pins or some pin curl clips
- A few foam rollers (I use four of these)
- Some hair spray
- A head scarf preferably in satin or silk
- A bristle hair brush (I have this Denman one)

Deer in the headlights or what?!?!

Its very hard to explain the method of pin curling using just photos so I will link you to a few videos that I used to learn the technique. They also explain about brushing out the hair once it has set which is key as when you first uncoil the curls you will have a bit of a panic when you resemble a clown. Don't worry, it will calm down! Give them all a watch and you will have a really good basic knowledge of how to pin curl that you can them play around with and adapt as you wish



Two things that should be noted that I do a bit differently are that I take a good U shaped section of hair right at the front and put that into four foam rollers rather than pin curling it. You will see from the videos that some people just do a little roll with their fingers, but I find this very difficult and if I sleep with it like that they flatten. I like a big swooshy wave at the front of my hair so I use the rollers as they keep the shape while I sleep and help get better elevation without having to back-comb. 


It is also worth noting that sleeping with a satiny scarf over the curls as you can see above give several benefits. A - it helps stop the frizz that your pillow can cause when you move around in your sleep. B - It stops your hair pins stabbing your significant others chest to bits if you sleep that way as I do. C - It looks pretty cute and is great if you do your cleaning in the morning as it keeps it out of the way.  I use a couple of snap clips to hold it in place at the front and back.


This is what I have when I take my scarf off in the morning. You can see better here how many rows I use and how I cross the pins over (and how uneven my blonde is, eek). The back of my hair goes pretty much halfway down my back, and the longer the hair the smaller sections you should curl. Smaller sections means a tighter curl that will hold much stronger. The image below shows you how I section the front fringey part into four rollers that roll down towards my face.


 So once again here are the key points to pin curling (or at least how I do it anyway) -

- The longer the hair the smaller the sections of hair you should curl.
- Using rollers in the front helps elevate the fringe and give a high swoopy wave.
- To keep this fringe wave nice and high after brushing you can brush up from the front and give it a good hairspray, then hold the handle of your hairbrush against it at the height you want the hair to curl down and let the hair fall forwards over it. Keep your brush held there for a minute while the spray sets and then slide it out and you should have a good firm swoosh!
- A silky or satiny scarf helps stop frizz.
- If you are using ultra hold setting lotion like me you only need to use about a one in ten ratio of lotion to water or else that curl is never settling down!
- Your brushing out method if key and lets you shape into different looks so have a play around and see what you conjure up.
- Some ladies only need to set once a week because their style will hold up for seven days, but I am not lucky enough for that. I properly pin the first night just after washing my hair, then I do a much less neat and much lazier pin the second night without any more lotion just to keep the shape for the next day.
- Have fun! I am so glad that I taught myself how to do this as I haven't used heated stylers for months now which has made my already bleach ravaged hair stay in much better condition. You also get an amazing shine from setting lotion so its a win-win situation!

I hope this has helped out anyone who was curious and if you have any questions just let me know!


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