Want to know how to recreate retro pin curls at home? It’s never been simpler!
It’s hard to imagine a time before heated styling tools, right? However, back in the days (around the ’30s and ’40s) before we had curling wands, tongs and heated rollers at our disposal, this curling technique was all the rage.
Admittedly, this DIY hair setting technique can be more time consuming than modern curling methods, but once you’ve tried it for yourself, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s totally worth it. Plus, it is a less damaging way to create curls — bonus!
So, if you want to channel your inner retro queen for your next event, just watch our video or follow our easy step-by-step guide, below.
The only pin curls tutorial you’ll ever need
Wash and prep your hair.
Tip: If you don’t have time to wash your hair properly, you can always use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz your hair until damp, for a quick-fix.
Divide your hair into sections.
Create your first curl.
Then take your hair pin and pin it through the middle of the curl, to secure it in place. For especially thick hair, try crisscrossing 2 hair pins together for extra security.
Repeat and protect.
Once your whole head is set in place, cover your curls in a silk or satin bonnet to protect them from frizz or damage. Alternatively, you can also invest in a silk pillowcase, which does the same thing.
Leave to dry overnight.
Tip: Running late? If you need to speed up the drying process, you can use always use a hairdryer to help your curls on their way. Simply blow-dry your hair while it’s still in the pins and poke your finger into the centre of the curls to test if they’re dry.
Release your curls.
How to create pin curls using heat
Don’t have time to let your curls dry overnight? We know that you might not always have the luxury of time on your side, so we’ve got just the thing for those last-minute nights out.
While pin curls were originally used instead of heated tools, we’ve found a way to combine both old and new with this curling wand pin curl tutorial. A surefire way to get glamorous curls that’ll last all night, get the low-down below…
Step 1: Protect your tresses
As we’re going to be using heat in this look, begin by prepping your hair with a heat protection spray, such as the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray. Then brush through your hair to remove tangles and ensure that the product is evenly distributed through your lengths.
Step 2: Curl your hair using a curling wand
Now, taking sections of hair around 1-2 inches thick at a time, wrap your hair around a clampless curling wand and hold in place for a few seconds.
Step 3: Catch your curl
As you release each section of hair, catch the curl in your palm and twist it back into a loop, before securing it in place close to your scalp with a hairpin.
Step 4: Allow them to cool
Repeat this process for all of your hair and then allow time for your curls to fully cool. This is the perfect time to get on with the rest of your glam routine, like doing your make-up or getting your faux glow on!
Step 5: Finishing touches
Finally, release your curls, work into your desired style and give your locks a blast of hairspray to ensure your curls last all night. Finito!
Pin curls FAQ
We know you might have some burning questions about pin curls, so we’ve answered them all right here.
How do you sleep with pin curls?
Worried your pin curls will get flattened while you sleep? You just need to make sure that your curls are sitting flat against your scalp (like they do in Step 4), instead of being elevated away from it. That way, when you tie your headscarf around it, your curls will feel secure and be protected throughout the night.
Psst…If you find it hard to tie a headscarf, try a turban, as it is comfortable to sleep in and more secure.
Can you pin curl wet hair?
Yes, for best results your hair should be wet. However, it does depend on your hair type. Fine hair will require more wetness for hold, while thick hair should be towel-dried and damp to avoid excessive drying time.
What brush to use for pin curls?
While we suggest using your fingers or a comb to loosen curls, you can also use a boar bristle brush to lightly brush through your mane. Whether you want a sleek pin curl look or a more voluminous one, this super gentle brush will help you get the desired results without damaging your style.
How do you take down pin curls?
Taking down pin curls requires a slow and steady pace! So, start from the back and bottom of your hair and take out each individual pin curl by removing the hairpins holding the curl down, and gently unravel each curl.
Editor’s tip: While you’re unravelling your curls, make sure to not disturb them too much, as when you finish taking them down you can style the curls to fit your tastes (be it polished or voluminous).