The Art of The Pin Curl .. . Hair, it's a beautiful thing!

Pin curls were the basic hair styling method for almost every 40's style - even if you put the front of your hair in rollers. They're not hard to do, you just have to get the feel of it. After creating pin curls for a while you will be able to do it without a mirror. Pin curls can used for the back of your hair when the front's in rollers, or you can do your whole head in pin curls - a lot of perms from the day were made exclusively with pin curls. Here are the basics:

Take a small section of damp hair (not wet, especially if your hair is long - it can take FOREVER to dry).

  • Grasp near the root and smooth the strand. Use a little bit of gel to keep the "hold" .
    Turn (not twist) hair strand around end of forefinger in the direction you want the curl to go, (it's like winding a ball of string.)
  • When you get to the end of your hair, put the tip of the finger with the hair around it against the scalp, and gently slide the curl off your finger. Hold the end plus the entire curl in place with thumb and forefinger. Flatten loops/curl slightly, with the ends on the inside of the curl.
  • You can use bobby pins, but I would suggest you use pin curl pins rather than bobby pins to hold curl in place flat against your head. (Bobby pins dent the curl.) Let it dry thoroughly.
  • If you do this on bangs, you'll get tidy little curls that can be finger fluffed to look like Betty Grable's. Use smaller sections of hair, so the curls are tighter. Pin curl the rest or use curlers, then use a scarf like a headband behind the bangs, pinning it in place.
  • If you do just ends of your hair around the back you'll get curls like Ginger Rogers in Swing Time. In this case, make vertical parts down the whole of the back of your head, like you're partitioning for corn-rows. When you are performing step 2, grasp the hair by the root at the nape of your neck - the only part of the hair that grows from the top of your head to be curled will be the ends. This will make your hair smooth down to the nape, then the curls kick in. If you do this all the way around, bring the curls up higher as you move closer to your face (just follow your hair line), then use some pretty hair clips to pull some of the bulk back from your face, and to make it safe for dancing!
  • You can leave the curls tight by just combing gently to break up the gel, or brush them out, depending on what style you're looking for. They can get pretty fluffy if you brush a lot, but can be coaxed back into place with a little patience and a comb.
  • If you have shorter hair, you can even use finger curls in rows around your entire head, alternating directions, to set your hair up to be styled in finger waves.
  • Want to crochet your own headband? Click on the parchment colored pictured above or click here.


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