Monday, 29 June 2015

Tutorial: A 1950s pincurl set!

Hello everyone! It's been a little while but I am back, and I have something for you that has been requested by a few people. An explination of how I do my hair!

I have always felt that the icing on the cake of an outfit is the hairdo. I love experimenting with my hair and although I am not an expert at doing my hair I am a frm believer that practive makes perfect, and the more styles I try the better I get.

At the moment my hair is a sort of shaggy bob/midi hybrid and I have tried a few different ways of setting it, such as foam rollers, bendy rollers, curling tongs and using GHDs and I have come to the conclusion that the best, and most authentic way to get the type of set I want is pincurls.

 I am aiming for a sort of Elizabeth Taylor meets early Mad Men Betty Draper:

 So here is how I go about it:

Step 1: Gether equipment
I use the same equipment every time, a tail comb for sectioning, pin curl clips and section clips for holding the curls, hair grips for holding everything secure, a wide paddle brush for brushing out and I use Lottabody setting lotion because it is THE BEST!

 Step 2: Setting
I set on 95% dry hair, I let it dry naturally mostly, but as I am setting it I gently spritz with the setting lotion that has been diluted in a spray bottle. I spritz as I section, just enough to make the hair a bit  tacky.

Starting at the top next to the parting I then take 1 inch squares of hair and curl them around my fingers and clip the curl down flat to my head. I then work back towards the crown and then start a second row. I use roughly 3 rows of pincurls from front to back.

(apologies for the naff webcam pictures, it was all I had to use :S)
Step 3: Waiting
I keep pinning until I have about 25/30 pins and all the hair is clipped up.
I then wait for it to set. Usually I wait over night, but sometimes I will wait for a few hours while wearing a headscarf. I would say you should wait for at least 6 hours, but overnight is better if you have time.

 Here is me putting a hearscarf on, looking like a bit of an idiot...
 Step 4: Brushing out
Once the curls are set I take out all the clips. I don't do anything with the hair until it is all out, then I run my fingers through the hair giving it a thorough comb with my fingers and give it all a shake.

At this point you probably look like a frizz bomb but that's okay, the vital step is going to hapen next. Using a wide paddle brush I take sections of the hair and brush it, I brush flicking the ends as I do so and I twist and shape the curl while I brush. I tends to take a few minutes of brushing and it will get less frizzy as you go, the key is to use your hands to shape at the same time.

I often will add a little bit of pomade at this point to help shape the hair, prevent frizz and give it some hold.

Step 5: Fringe and final shaping
For the front fringe section I always brush the hair straight up and shape into a big barrel curl, this way I get to keep as much of thevolum on the top as possible.

Step 6: Hairspray the life out of it!
Once I am happy with it I give it a spritz with hairspray, either elnette or treseme usually as they hold well.

Aaaaaaand hopefully you end up with something like this:

Now the outcome of these sets is very variable, it depends on the twist of the curl, it depends on the shampoo, it depends on how you sleep on it, but if you follow these steps you should end up with fairly similar results each time.

It did take me about two weeks of experimental setting before I managed to get this one to work on a regular basis, but lets face it, that is part of the fun!

Do you set your hair? Do you have any tutorials to recommend?


  1. Thanks for the detailed instructions, now I only have to wait for my hair to be long enough for pretty pincurls!

    1. Good luck when it gets long enough! I am waiting for my shortest layers to get long enough to roll again. I feel like I am always waiting for my hair to grow!

  2. It looks really great! I'll have to try it myself for the next vintage fair I go to and hope it holds in my hair.

    1. With regards to holding, hair spray, setting lotion and pomade/wax are the magical trinity that help keep those curls... but even they can't save it from the rain :(


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