Friday, 18 March 2016

Classic hair styling : The pin curl

Long before the invention of the electric curling iron pin curling was the way to gain those perfect curly locks, I won't lie it's not one of those 'throw together in a matter of minutes' styles, pin curls certainly take a lot of time & effort, but if you prefer to try your hand at a classic hair style, or you're simply without one of those new fangled electronic gadgets, then you may want to give the classic pin curl a whirl!

The pin curl is named after the technique, the process of pinning curls up. It's a technique that has long been used to create those classic Hollywood starlet curls. Whilst many modern women prefer to use heated tools as a quick way to create curls, many still turn to the classic pin curl technique to create their curls over a more damaging quick fix approach.

A quick flick through sites like You Tube will bring up a wealth of results, although everyone tends to have a different take on the technique, I've tried my hand at several of them and no single one has led to a vast difference in results, so it's essentially a case of which one you prefer. I certainly recommend giving Lisa Freemont Street & Strawberry Koi Vintage's tutorials a look at.

How do you create the pin curl?
You'll need a few basic essentials to get started:

  Hair grips/bobby pins
  A rat tail comb
  A scarf (large enough to cover your hair entirely)
  Hair spray

Some prefer to try to this technique with wet hair, although I prefer somewhat damp hair as it's easier to shape into the curls. Most importantly comb your hair through before you start, ensuring that it's tangle free. To create your first pin curl separate a small section of hair using the rat tail comb (roughly around an inch thick), make a loop at the end around your finger and roll it all the way to the root, try not to twist it as this will result in a miss-shapen curl.

Grasp it with your fingers and roll it flat, once it's in place pin this up. I usually start this process out at the front, working my way around layer by layer, if it's your first attempt it's best to do this in front of a mirror to see what your doing.

Once you've mastered the first curl, and believe me it will take a few attempts to get the first curl right, you simply repeat the process until you've set every strand up in a curl. Now this will need several hours to set in, most recommend doing this prior to a night's sleep, but of course it could easily be done in the morning for an evening do. Either way, I prefer to cover the curls up in a scarf, this protects the curls and ensures that you won't knock any about, more so if you've leaving the curls in overnight.

Now here comes the fun part, removing your curls and styling your hair. Take time to carefully remove each pin curl, don't be shocked by the short curly do facing you in the mirror, this won't be your finished style. Dependent on the style that you want to go for, you can play around with brushing your curls into different positions, or simply tease the curls into the desired style. Then when you're done a good spritzing of hair spray will hold your style into place.

I'm not going to lie, the first time you try this it may not result in the desired style that you intended, I speak from that first disastrous attempt! Pin curling certainly takes a lot of practice to get it right, you may come across all sorts of problems from frizzy hair (a result of not brushing through properly), straight hair (a result of taking them out too soon) & far too high a curl (a result of rolling your pin curls up too high & tight), but it's certainly a technique worth practicing.

Take a good look through the video tutorials I've tagged in, watching somebody else place pin curls in is a great learning point, you can gauge where to pin your curls and how to style them afterwards. But above all, practice, practice, practice and you'll soon master a technique that you can't live without!

Images: Flickr Commons

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