Pincurl your own hair for major no-heat waves and retro style

Updated Feb 24 2021
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This is Offbeat Bride contributor Roxy, showing off her pincurls

You know we love us some Roxie from How-To Hair girl. Roxie has shown us how to style a short rockabilly style and a Mad Men-inspired updo, and even how to dye your armpit hair.

Roxy is also the maker of the best brush ever known to humans: the FREE YOUR HAIR brush.

Today Roxie's back with a pincurl tutorial!

Pincurls are the foundation of a ton of classic hairstyles, going way back to the 1700s. You'll most recognize them from the early 20th century though.

Once you master the method of how to do pincurls, you'll find they're a great way to style your hair — for your wedding day, or any other day!

Roxie agreed to show us how to make SUPER EASY pin curls that can be left long and loose or to create the gorgeous updo shown above.

This can easily go retro (since she got this style technique from her grandma, Suzi) or modern.

The best part is that you can totally do this style on short hair too… In fact, doing a pincurl style can be even easier on shorter hair!

Here's Roxie showing us the style on her own hair:


Here is how the pincurls look while they are curling up your 'do. Photo courtesy of Roxie from How-To Hair Girl

Want to learn even more about your hair?

  1. I personally cannot sleep in pin curls so I do head-band curls. Slightly different looking curls to pin curls, but still beautiful. I have worn the head-band during the day for nights out and gotten compliments on my hair style, which wasn't a style…

  2. I love the look of the pincurls, will be attempting this at the weekend. Hayley – Any chance you could explain the method for the headband curls too??

    I am like the princess in the Princess and the Pea (and not very Princessy otherwise!) , so it is unlikely I will be able to sleep with the pins in either!

  3. Does anyone know if you can pin them when your hair is wet, and use a blow dryer to speed up the process?

    • I do not recommend pincurling on wet hair, slightly damp with setting lotion (diluted for your hair type is best). When I experimented on wet hair, they seemed to have a funky kink that wouldn't brush out into soft waves, not to mention I got the headache from hell. This is my daily style so I have practiced quite a lot (my grandma was born in the late 20s and she raised me so I grew up with this as the norm). When you get out of the shower, sqeeze as much water as possible out of your hair, go about the rest of your routine, brush through, and it should be "dry enough."

      • I'd also add, depending on your hair type, blow drying to speed things up can cause a lot of frizz. Start with low heat and low speed to minimize this if your hair is prone to fly aways or frizz.

  4. I have super long hair so I am leaning toward doing spiral wrapped rag curls. similar no heat, no stress hair style.

  5. I have a lot of long hair. It does not hold a heated curl for the life of me. So I separate my hair into a few buns. I part them to the sides so I can comfortably sleep on my back. I wet my hair before bed, put it up, then sleep. When I wake up, I get ready, then right before I step out of the car, I take my hair down, run my fingers through, and voila! It looks natural and it's very low maintenance! 🙂

  6. I have shortish hair (it will be a couple of inches above my shoulder for the wedding), and it hates heat curls of any kind (or really any heat aside from occasional straightening), so this might be a perfect idea.

  7. A tip: put a playing card or piece of slightly rigid paper between the hair and the pin to avoid dents (especially useful on short hair).

  8. If you can, try to avoid using bobby pins. Use flat pincurl clips, or, like rumorsofmydemise suggested, use a playing card or bit of stiff paper to avoud dents.

  9. I did my sisters long blond hair for her wedding. it was slightly damp and we did it about 3 the day before the wedding. She never had it in curls before. So I set it in rags– about 15 min. before leaving for church we took them out- and just loosened with fingers—looked so great and lasted all day too.

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