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How To: Pin Curl Set

HOW TO: Pin Curl Set

The pin-curl set is a classic vintage hairstyle and was the technique of choice behind the stunning waves and curls seen on 50s style icons Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. This hairstyle requires some serious hair preparation to get the right amount of volume and hold, but once achieved this style can be a serious show-stopper!

Sarah Dunn from the Official Goodwood Revival Hair & Beauty Salon shares her simple how to guide using Paul Mitchell® essentials.


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Step 1

Prep the hair by running a little Hair Sculpting Lotion™ through with your fingers; this will help the style to hold and keep those curls going strong. If you have finer hair, try Extra-Body Sculpting Foam® instead as this will add hold but also volume and shine to the style. Then using the Neuro® Unclipped Styling Rod, start curling your hair. Remember to keep the sections small so you create nice, tight curls.

Step 1 (2)

Step 2

The curls then need to be pinned in place to set. You will need to create a section of elevated pin-curls at the top of your head, these will later form the roll at the front of the style. Elevated pin-curls stand up from the head and are not pinned flat, however the rest of the curls can be pinned flat to the head. I recommend using 2 prong pin-curl clips for this as they are easy to use and won’t put a kink in your curls.

 Step 2 (1)

Step 3

Leave the curls to cool down. For this style to work successfully the curls must be completely cold before you start styling them or they will drop and fall out quickly.

Step 3 (1)

Step 4

Once the curls are cold you can start styling. Firstly, take out the elevated pin-curls at the top of your head and, using the Paul Mitchell® Teasing Brush, start to backcomb the section at the roots to create real lift for your roll. Backcombing works best when it’s done in neat, small sections, so take your time with this part.

 Step 4 (1)

Step 5

You can use a small squirt of The Shine™ spray on polish and a soft bristled grooming brush on the top layer of hair to keep it neat while you roll it into a barrel curl and pin it securely in place.

 Step 5 (1)

Step 6

Unpin the rest of your curls (the flat ones) and break them up a little with your fingers. This gives some volume to the style and means you will have a full head of bouncy curls. For even more volume, use your Paul Mitchell® Teasing Brush and lightly tease the curls. As a finishing touch tuck the opposite side to the roll behind your ear and secure it with a pin.

 Step 6 (1)

Step 7

Once you are happy with the curls spray them with Freeze and Shine Super Spray® to lock them in place and create some added shine. A good tip here is to lift your curls up as the hairspray sets, which will help the curls set in place further. Finally, why not add in a fun accessory to match your outfit? Matching your accessories to your outfit was the height of fashion in the 1950s and women often matched their lipstick and nail varnish or their shoes and handbag.

 Step 7


Get your vintage on at Betty’s, the official Goodwood Revival Hair & Beauty Salon with hair care partner Paul Mitchell®.

11-13th September 2015

For salon bookings contact:


Model: Rockabella Rouge

Photography: Jez Brown

Hair, make-up & styling: Sarah Dunn 

Amy Vears 2

Amy is Paul Mitchell’s PR & Social Media Manager and our go-to gal for all things creative in PR, including social media, editorial photoshoots, copywriting and more. 


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Posted in: Style Tutorials, Style Inspiration

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