Pin Curls Short Hair

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Pin Curls Short Hair

Best Pin Curls Hairstyles for Short Hair

Pin curls were a hair styling staple of the 1940s and 1950s, and there is no better way to create the look than to mimic the technique they used back then. After all when something isn’t broke, there is no need to fix it. The technique itself is relatively simple, but it does take some practice to master and get those perfect defined curls. So, lets first start with the basics.

What are Pin Curls?

what are Pin Curls

A pin curl is a strand of hair that has been rolled around in a loop from the tip to the roots, in concentric rings that lie inside each other. The ends are tucked into the center and the curl is pinned into place with hair grips. You start with wet hair and remove the grips once the hair is dry, and beautiful corkscrew curls will be revealed. 

You can choose the direction of the curls and how the curls will fall if you just take in mind if you want a parting and where you would like it to be. Once your curls have dried you can remove the pins and instead of letting the hair loose, use some concealed hair grips to hold the curls in place, to create a vintage up-do.

How to Pin Curls On Short Hair

how to pin curls short hair

If you are tempted to create your own vintage styles at home, we have an easy pin curl tutorial for you, so you can get practicing.

  1. Starting with towel-dried hair, part the hair and clip away sections you are not working on.
  2. Section an inch square of hair and apply a fine mist of setting spray or a small amount of curl cream.
  3. Comb through the section of hair to ensure an even distribution of styling product. Wrap the section around two fingers (1 finger if you want a smaller curl, three fingers if you want a larger curl) and roll the hair up to the root. Using fingers will keep your curls a consistent size
  4. Be sure that the loops are wrapped inside one another and don’t twist the hair as you might end up with frizzy curls.
  5. Tuck the ends of the hair into the curl and secure on the open side i.e. opposite the roots of the hair.
  6. Allow the hair to dry. You can apply heat to the curls, just make sure they have cooled fully before removing the bobby pins.
  7. Style your pin curls however you like. 

Types of Pin Curls

Types of Pin Curl

There are two types of pin curl. The first is the flat curl, which are curls that are pinned flat to the scalp. The second is the standing pin curl (also known as a barrel pin curl) that are pinned to stand away from the scalp on an upright position.

1Christina’s Perfect Bouncy Pin Curls

Christina Aguilera is the queen of the retro hairstyle. She has nailed the pin-up look and no better than will her Marilyn Monroe-inspired platinum pin curl bob. Instead of combing through the curls to create more of a wave, she has kept her pin curls tight, defined and bouncy. Incredibly chic, especially when paired with a knock out red lip.

2Green Curls with Contrasting Short Bangs

A bold colour choice is a great way to modernise your retro hairstyle, whilst also creating a unique look. The pastel green shade of these pin curls is stunning, and it stands out further thanks to the contrasting black shade of the blunt bangs and the roots. Such a stunning vintage look.

3Classic 1940s Up-Do for Short Hair

Standing pin curls always look beautiful when pretty much left untouched. They have such a wonderful shape as evidenced in this classic 1940s hairstyle. The side-part gives some structure to the style, but a good mist of a firm hold hairspray should be applied to keep everything in place all day long.

4Red Velvet Pin Curls

How gorgeous is this retro inspired red pixie! If you have red hair, consider creating these round soft pin curls!

5Vintage Up-Do with Faux Bangs

This polished pin curl up do is so sophisticated and chic. It would be perfect for a wedding or any other special occasion as it modernised with contemporary make up and some loose tendrils if you choose. Create some faux bangs, by taking the lengths around the hairline and styling into a large barrel roll and pin into place.

6Pin Up Hairstyle with Bandana

Taking inspiration from the remarkable factory girls of the 1940s, this vintage hairstyle features pin curls secured in place with bobby pins (also known as kirby grips). The then trademark paisley bandana tied around and secured in a bow at the top of the head. The look may have originated in the 1940s, but it will never go out of style.

7Fluffy Pin Curls with Coiffed Bangs

Smoothed down hair with brushed out pin curls right around the nape of the neck is such a classic vintage style. It is also a great way to add volume to thinner hair, as pin curls give great body when teased out just right. It is important not to comb through the set curls too much, as there is a fine line between fluffy and frizzy.

8Cute and Sleek Pin Curl Up-Do

You may need to head to a professional vintage hair stylist for this complicated pin curl up-do, but it will surely be worth it. The look is incredibly sleek, with the curls being pinned with expert precision. The pin curls have great definition thanks to the two-tone colours of the hair, don’t you think?

9The Pin Curl Faux Hawk

It is amazing that such a vintage styling technique has managed to create this almost futuristic hairstyle. Pastel blue locks have been styles into bouncy pin curls, which have been secured with invisible grips to create a faux hawk effect. Such a high impact look.

10The Perfect Vintage Bob with Finger Waves

Could this vintage bob be any more perfect? Reminiscent of the glamorous Flapper Girls of the 1920s the icy blonde bob features an extreme side parting with elegant finger waves which flow beautifully into some combed out pin curls. Lovely!

11Pin Curl Bangs with Flower

Channel you inner Mae West with blonde bombshell curls teams with a red lip and perfect black eyeliner flick. Vintage styles work so well with accessories, such as this beautiful red flower, whilst also adding an extra touch of the vintage. Everyday glamour at its best.

12Pretty Pink Defined Pin Curls

This short pink hair has been given a completely new look, by styling into pin curls and then pinning them into place on the top of the head. The look is fun, playful and so full of movement – a classic pin-up look from the 1940s and 50s that looks just as good today as it did 70 years ago.

13Poodle Style with Headscarf

The poodle style (pin curls piled up on the top of the head towards the hairline) was made popular by Lucille Ball in the 1940s and 1950s, and it is still popular amongst vintage fans today. Just take a look at this contemporary take on the poodle style – the dusky pink shade is modern, yet the headscarf pays homage to the factory girls of the forties. A perfect blend of the modern and the vintage.

14Standing Pin Curl Up-Do

These barrel pin curls have created such a unique vintage up-do. The upright curls have been pinned right on the top of the head for great height, and curls range from the large at the back to small in the front for a look that is perfectly proportioned. A texturising spray will help to provide grip to your hair to keep your curls in place all day, as well as give a chic matte finish.

15Modern Pin Curled Pixie

With pin curls, you don’t need to go for a full vintage hairstyle, you can incorporate them into your contemporary style too. Just take a look at this modern pixie, which has kept the natural texture at the back, with some pin curls in the longer lengths at the front and down one side. Youthful and effortless.

16Tight Curls in Bold Fiery Hues

Pin curls on really short hair can be a real show stopper as this cropped pixie cut shows. The curls have been left defined and smoothed flat for a look that is sleek and chic. The fiery colour palette makes this look even more stunning, transforming it from vintage to editorial. 

17Bridal Pin Curl Up-Do

The bridal up-do for short hair has the perfect mixture of barrel and flat pin curls, which creates an elegant and carefree style, perfect for making a bride feel beautiful.The style is slightly undone, with loose tendrils, which makes the look appear fresh and contemporary.

18Flapper Pin Curls

This style featured voluminous pin curls and finger waves. Remember, you can create beautiful flapper inspired pin curls, without the use of heat that can damaging your natural pattern.

19Modern Pin-Up Bob

The cascading pin curls around the hairline of this bob are just stunning and this with the coiffed bangs make this a great style for round faces. Furthermore, the honey blonde shade of this bob is to die for, don’t you think? A great alternative to platinum blonde, which can wash out some fair skin tones.

20Defined Pixie Pin Curls

Jazz up your pixie haircut with defined pin curls at the back and the fronts!

21Pink Pin Curls and Victory Rolls

You don’t need to go all over with the pin curls. Just a few nicely places curls can be the perfect addition to an up-do, like with this beautiful Victory Roll style. The pin curls being perfect mirror images of each other must have been hard to achieve, but it is surely worth the effort. 

22Graduated Bob with Effortless Curls

Pin curls are not just a way to add a touch of the vintage into your hairstyle, they are also a great way to add volume to finer hair. This graduated bob has so much body, life and movement thanks to pin curls. 

23Loose Pin Curls

If your hair is super short, you can go for a more subtle look with loose wavy pin curls. 

24Two-Toned Pin Curled Bob

Arguably, pin curls look their best when they styled in the classic vintage way – combed through with fingertips and pinned around the nape of the neck. The two-tone colour of the hair really helps to define the curls as well as giving extra depth. The peekaboo of red through the platinum blonde is just stunning and is matched perfectly to the model’s red lip. Gorgeous!

25Short Ombre Pin Curls

Ombre still remains a super popular hair trend and in this short style, the ombre color helps define and pop your curls. 

26Reversed Pin Curls

Pin curls can be are either forward or reversed. In this full on pin curl style the curls are created in counterlockwise direction and the defined culls at the front autifully frames the face.


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