How to pin curl your hair – the vintage way!

****Well Hello Peaches! I first wrote this back in October 2015 BUT as of June 2016 – this is the updated version! I have found that there are new ways, better tutorials and easier ideas so read on and get glamorous pin up curls in no time!!! ****

Nothing says glamour like retro pin curls. Back in the day – without being able to afford a trip to the hairdressers, ladies still wanted to look glamorous so the “pin curl” was invented. Described as “An easy and hassle free way to get gorgeous curls without spending money!” Well – I think washing, pinning and setting your hair every morning – all before you have to get on a busy train to go to work is quite a lot of effort nowadays!

For true Hollywood glamour, there really is nothing like a good pin curl and set. Upon first glance, it looks really difficult but with a bit of practice, you will soon be the belle of every ball with gorgeous goldilocks.

You will need:

Kirby Grips


Small metal crocodile clips


Headscarf (just in case you need to nip to the shops!)

Lots of my friends do this on a regular basis and find that it works best with clean hair – probably a day old. If your hair is a few days old from it’s last wash – try a bit of dry shampoo to give it a bit of life. The older the hair is, the looser the curls will hang.

Start at the top of your hair and get a small section in your fingers, spritz with a bit of hairspray and start to create a roll by wrapping the hair around the fingers. Then pin in place and repeat. I normally do this early in the morning before a shoot or before I start my day and leave in for as long as possible (3-5 hours if I can.) The longer that I leave in, the better the set. I have super thick hair and my curls often drop but when I pin curl I find they last all day and even leave my hair with a lovely natural wave for the day after too.

Of course – it is always easier to understand when you can watch someone fabulous actually doing it. Well here is my favourite vintage beauty – Natalie Vintagious demonstrating just how easy it actually can be to get perfect and super glam curls every single time. Vintagious is my absolute “go to” YouTube tutorial channel when I need some hair inspiration. She has some amazing tips and tricks for getting your hair “just right” so definitely check her out!

You could brush it out like in the above video or leave in for a tighter curly look. Add a lily after parting your hair to one side and you have that classic retro look in an instant.

If you have a curling iron or a curling wand and like a different kind of curl – why not try this 1940s tutorial below as an alternative!

credit to: John Frieda:

Don’t worry about getting it “just right” the very first time that you try because let’s face it, twirling your hair around your fingers can be a tangling mess at the best of times! With a bit of practice and patience, it does get a lot easier to do.

The hairstyles below have all had a pin curl and set technique to achieve the end result. Hair is different for everyone and some more manageable than others. The best thing you can do is to simply have a play around one day and practice until you get the perfect style for you!


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