Pincurls! Old Hollywood had it right – big voluminous pincurls, set to highlight the most feminine features of the wearer.
Short curls on Ava Gardner, shoulder length waves on Marilyn Monroe, long gently flowing locks on Veronica Lake… there are pincurls for everyone. Easy to do and simple to maintain, once mastered pincurls are the kind of styling that any woman can do herself and look like she’s been to see the salons best stylist for a few hours. Dita von Teese does it, and anyone who wants a Vintage Vogue look should know how to do it too.
Effortlessly glamorous… my favourite kind of glamorous.
It gives an elegant and put-together look that I absolutely adore.
The key to pincurls is practice, practice, practice. There are some great tutorials on youtube, and here’s a little clip of my own-
I’m still finding that I have work to do on the front curls. I still get very confused trying to overthink / recall which exact direction I set my curls in the night before. This is probably due to a few factors – doing it in a mirror, not being able to see which direction I’m pinning it in, and simple lack of practice.
Of course over time I’ll figure out the formula that works best for me, and I shall be sure to report about it here and give all the tips I can on keeping the frizz down and the curl volume high, especially in humid climates.
Plus, I’ll have a post on pin curl setting patterns used by silver screen stars too!
So far I’ve found that my curls take 12hrs to set on my long fine hair, and I put them in damp after an evening shower and then sleep with them in bobby pins instead of flat clips, using a little vintage-style cloth showercap to keep them in place.
I have a lot of frizz when I brush out, (probably because I’m lazily twisting the hair when curling from the roots to tip instead of tip to root), but if the curls are thoroughly dry by the time I brush them out in the morning then they tend to stay for a day or two. If they are damp at all, the curls go completely flat. (As happened when I was in Beijing doing my interviews with Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt for Jurassic World – disassssssterrrrrr, as you can see in the video. Learnt my lesson there, didn’t I.)
Recently I’ve received some solid gold hair tips from vintage queen Magdalena Regina (who has recently started up her retrophilia blog) in instagram discussions with the outstandlingly fabulous Lady Grey (check her out!!) and there is a great pincurls for dummies article by Ava Strange that I can recommend.
Magdalena dry-curls her hair, using only the setting lotion (Lottabody) for moisture, and then sets her curls down and forward. A handy tip for all those of us who get confused about which direction to pin our curls!
But I ramble. I hope that was helpful in some way.
I’ll keep up my pincurling explorations and will update this article with any new tips I have in the future my darlings. Until then my dears!
Fabulously eccentric actress, TV host, curvaceous model and founder of Hong Kong ’s first luxury corset brand, Pearls & Arsenic. I love sharing my passion for all things elegant, beautiful & inspiring. My Dearest Beloved and I live with a fluffy Angora rabbit named Lord Pemberly III, who is a ridiculous snob, and his dwarf-lop bunny brother, The Earl of Tillington. Find me on IG @RavenTao or FB : Raven Tao
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