50’s Hair: Brushing out Curls and Styled Hair/ Formal Pin Curl Tutorial

Hello my lovelies,

As promised I’ve outlined a step-by-step tutorial on how I achieve the perfect pin curls. I reserve this particular method for more formal events, since it is a bit time-consuming in terms of the actual pinning up process, but the results are even longer lasting.  Steps 1-9 detail how I brush out the previous day’s style, while the remainder of the steps involve the actual pinning process, as well as how to brush out and style the hair. I will do another tutorial later this week on my quick everyday pin curl routine, which involves a lot less time and effort! Without further ado…

Step 1:


I do this look on at least second-day hair, since I usually do a good wet-set on freshly washed hair. This means that I already have hairspray and other product in my mane, as well as what remains of my previous day’s curls. Instead of jumping the gun and just attacking my hair with a brush, I first apply a smoothing lotion/heat protectant to it. I use got2b’s ‘Smooth Operator’ since it acts as both.

Step 2:


I evenly apply a pump or two of the smoothing lotion to my hair, concentrating mostly on the ends.

Step 3:


Once the smoothing lotion is applied, I use my Michel Mercier brush to gently brush my hair and help ensure that product has spread throughout the entirety of my ‘do. I like this brush because each bristle is a different length, so it doesn’t pull on the hair as much.

Step 4:


As I begin the brushing process, I first tackle the ends to prevent breakage. To lessen any pain from pulling, I hold my hair up with one hand as pictured above, and use the other hand to gently brush the ends.

Step 5:


If a knot is too tough for the paddle brush to handle, I use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb it out. Again, I make sure to hold my hair with one hand to prevent any pulling of the hair.

Step 6:


After those ends are successfully brushed out, I use my paddle brush to gently brush through the remainder of the hair.

Step 7:


Once I’ve finished the brushing out process, my hair is smooth and ready to begin styling!

Step 8:


I then grab my dry shampoo to add a bit of roughness to the roots so that the teasing will hold better, as well as tackle any oil from my scalp. I’m currently using got2b’s ‘Rockin’ It’, but I’m not a big fan of the chalky residue it tends to leave behind. I would recommend using Marc Anthony or Dove’s dry shampoos since these don’t do this, making them perfect for dark or coloured hair.

I shake the bottle of dry shampoo, then gather my hair so that my roots are accessible, as pictured above, and lightly spray 6-12 cm away from my roots. I do this for each section of my hair until I’m satisfied.

Step 9:


I wait 30 seconds – a minute for the dry shampoo to dry, then use my fingers to gently rub the mixture in. This also helps prevent the chalky residue and ensures even application throughout the roots.

Step 10:


I then section my hair into 4 quadrants, 2 at the front and 2 at the back. I use a clip to keep 3 of the sections out of my way as I begin to work with the first section.

Step 11:


Grabbing my basic 1.5-2 inch Conair curling iron, I then pull a 1/4 of an inch piece of hair out of the section I’m working on. I like to start at the top of the head first and work my way down. I place the ends of the hair in the curling iron and carefully roll counter-clockwise and upwards.

Step 12:


I try to keep the curling iron as horizontal as possible and hold the curl for a few seconds.

Step 13:


I then gently relax the clasp on the iron and slowly pull the curling iron out as I do so. It’s very key to considerably slacken the clasp before pulling, otherwise it will hurt! I then use my other hand’s thumb to gently catch the curl before it falls, as this helps it retain it’s shape.

Step 14:


I then continue to roll the curl along the shape already created by the curling iron, until it is flat against my head. Grabbing a bobby pin, I use the curved side down, and gently push it into the middle of the curl and out towards one end.


It should look something like the picture above.


Sometimes the curl might come out a little more, or you might not have caught it in time. No worries! Just use your thumb to collect each ridge and help manipulate it back into it’s proper shape.

Step 15:


As I said above, I usually start at the top of the head, curl and pin each 1/4 section of hair across (so horizontally), and then move down each row until I get to the bottom. The picture above is after I have completed curling and pinning the first section of hair.

Step 16:


Continue to curl and pin this way until you are done each of the sections.

Once all the hair is curled and pinned it should look like this:

IMG_3852 IMG_3857

Step 17:

This next step is optional, and I advise it if you are going to sleep on your curls, since it will help protect them and keep them tight. Alternatively, if you are wearing the curls the same day, wait until they don’t feel warm before taking out the pins. I would wait at least half an hour to an hour before doing so!


Tie a smooth scarf around your head. It’s best to fold it into a triangle, and apply it so that the tip of the triangle is at the top of your head, while the long side is across the back of your head. Then gently pull each corner up until you’re happy with the pressure, and tie them. Now time for bed!

Next Day/Once Curls Have Set – Step 18:


Take out those bobby pins, without pulling or brushing out the curls. They should look very tight and Shirley Temple-like.

Step 19:


Pull up each curl and use a teasing comb to tease under each curl, starting an inch 1/2 away from the root, all the way to the root itself.

Step 20:


Use a paddle brush that has different lengths of teeth (like the pink one I used earlier in the process) and gently smooth out the hair, making sure not to brush out the teased bits. As you brush use your hands to shape the curl. I find that they already have a good idea of where they want to go, so I just follow that. Then apply hairspray evenly throughout the hair, until satisfied. My tried and true is the Garnier Fructis ‘Hold and Flex.’



Perfect pin curl magic!

xx KirstieMyDear

3 thoughts on “50’s Hair: Brushing out Curls and Styled Hair/ Formal Pin Curl Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Quick, Everyday Pin Curls | KirstieMyDear

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