The Ultimate Curl Guide – Part Two: Pincurl Set

Love the look and idea of vintage hair? Not sure what tool does what and what the outcome will be? I have put together a curl guide to demonstrate what the outcome will be from various tools.

Last week I explained the Hot Roller Set and the curl achieved. This week we are exploring pin-curls and what kind of the curl they produce. This is personally my favourite kind of set as it provides the best results on my fine hair and lasts for a longer time.

Pincurl setting

I have previously focused on pin-curling is this post –Master your pin-curl set which explains setting it step by step. The results of this set should differ as my hair is longer and I’m using a different setting lotion.


Pin-curls are dampened sections of hair wound into a circle and secured with a clip or pin. I started on damp hair and   towel dried it, for shorter hair you may find it air drys quicker. Wet hair takes a lot longer for the pin-curl to dry.

There are two kinds of pin curls to choose from:

  • Upright – Rolled on base and great for creating volume, I like using pin-curl clips to secure these pin-curls
  • Flat – Rolled flat to the head and secured with a pin, I like bobby pins as they are nicer to sleep on.

rolling pincurls

The direction you wind your hair effect the the kind of curl you will achieve and also the finished style. You can find many setting diagrams on pinterest or on Glamour Daze. In my super technical diagram you can see that I have set my crown in upright, forward pin-curls and my sides in flat forwards curls.

Rolling a pincurl

*Scene change: I had to find somewhere with a light back ground to demonstrate rolling a pin-curl! And yes! I’m a huge Marvel geek 🙂

To roll a pin-curl you need to take a section of hair, spritz with setting lotion and begin by pinching the end of your section hair a few inches from the end. With your other hand loop your hair around into a curl and secure between your fingers. Next begin slowly winding the curl up the hair shaft and secure at the base with a bobby pin or pin-curl clip.

This may take a few practice runs to roll but it gets easier with practice. If you have layers tuck the ends in as you roll.

Pin-curl with dolly peg

The second way you can pin-curl your hair is with a dolly peg or mascara wand! Wrap the the section of hair around the peg, wind up, slide off and pin! This results in a very tight curl.

Full head of pin curls

Back to better lighting – Once your head is fully wound in pin-curls, give it a final spritz with setting lotion and leave to dry! I either let it dry under the hood dryer or sleep on it over night. I wound this set at 1pm and it was still damp at 9pm ( due to the Autumn weather ) so will sleep on it and share the results from the morning.

Good morning! Its 6.30 am and there is no natural light around so please excuse the hallway lighting.

Brushing out pincurls

  1. Welcome to the early morning mum look! Unpin your hair and release the curls. You can see they are nice and tight and a little mussed from sleeping on them. What ever you do, DO NOT run your fingers through them! That is when the frizz factor kicks in and that requires lots of brushing out.
  2. I brush my hair out in gentle firm strokes with a large boar bristle paddle brush. You can see the pin-curls create great curl and wave.You can tame any frizz with pomade and some hair spray.
  3. Style and enjoy. You can maintain this set by re-pinning each night and giving it a light spritz of setting spray.

Next week we will look at the curl a hard set ( curling irons ) provides.


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