Pin curls might have been especially popular during the WWII era, but they became even more glamorous during the 1950s. Once you master a few basics, your possibilities for 50s-inspired updos will take you from daytime wear to cocktail parties.
50s Curly Upswept Styles
Pin curls may only be temporary, but they're much healthier for your hair than using chemical perm or a hot curling iron. Heat and chemicals wreak havoc, while pin curls give you a lovely hairstyle for a special occasion without the damage.
A Simple Updo With Large Pin Curls
50s pin curl looks are among the most popular wedding hair styles, but you can try this upswept hairdo any time you want to look extra cute and a little fancy.
- Create a head full of pin curls, and then lightly shake them out to loosen them up a bit.
- Leaving just the hair along your forehead out, gather the rest of your hair into a ponytail at the neck. You can create this look with a loose or tight ponytail, depending on your preference.
- Pretend that you're creating a French twist, and twist your hair up to the top of your head.
- Using bobby pins, secure the twist to your head at the bottom, middle, and top.
- Using your fingers, divide the loose hair in front into several curls and arrange them to the side as you like. Use hair spray and a few hidden bobby pins to hold them in place.
Loose and Sensual Curled Updo
Sometimes all you need is a loose and slightly tousled pin curl updo to make you feel sexy and fabulous. This style make look a bit devil-may-care, but it's carefully designed to look that way, and you control your curl placement with some hidden hair pins.
- Make a full head of pin curls by rolling them back on base (as though you were using rollers, not flat against the scalp). For the bang/front area, roll this curl forward on base.
- After you've made a head of pin curls, don't run a brush through them or comb them. Try to keep each curl as rolled as possible.
- Leaving the top of the crown and front curl out, pull the rest of the hair into a low pony tail; you can brush the side back to form this part of the style. Create a French twist, and secure it with pins.
- Except for the front curl, arrange and pin the rest of the loose curls to the top of your crown so the curls look full, and then spray them with hairspray. You can pin under any curls that may be too floppy, which may happen if your hair is too long at the top.
- Keep that front curl rolled forward so it looks perfectly even, and then pin it underneath and spray it.
Sideswept Pin Curl Updo
This style looks downright playful. Consider wearing your pin curls like this for a night of fun at the bowling alley, an afternoon at the cinema, or even to a picnic. The bandana is a colorful accessory that helps hold this updo together.
- Part your hair on the side.
- Make a partial head of pin curls in front by sectioning off all hair from the ear forward and rolling the curls on base (not flat against the scalp). Be sure to roll the bigger side of your part so the curl rolls in the direction you want it to.
- Once your curls are ready, gently brush the curls of the large side of the part, spray them lightly with hairspray, and then fold them over so they form a large waterfall-like curl. Use a hair pin to keep that large curl in place if you need to.
- Pull the rest of the hair back into a twist, and tuck in the top of the twist with hair pins so no hair sticks out.
- Folded the bandana as pictured at the right, place it around the hairdo, and tie it at the top.
- Spray the hair in place so the large curl is the focal point.
Lucille Ball's Poodle Hairdo
Lucille Ball's hairstyle is sometimes called the "poodle-do" because of the fluffy curls in the front and back and the sides that lie closer to the head. It's easiest to recreate this look with medium length hair
- Make small pin curls in the front by using less hair per curl, and create medium curls everywhere else. Roll the top and front backward, and roll the rest of the hair under.
- Shake out and brush the curls out once they've dried.
- Leaving the bangs free and curling forward. Brush the sides and back up, and secure them with combs.
- The curls will be facing up at the back of the head, ready to be arranged the way you'd like them to look. Move them around with your fingers until you've got the look you'd like.
- Use hairspray and pins, if necessary, to keep the hair in place all day.
The Versatility of Pin Curls
The best thing about pin curls and updo looks is how versatile they are. Whether your hair is short hair or long, pin curls will work for you. If you have straight hair, pin curls and updos offer a great way to try a totally different look. If you have curly hair, you can use pin curls combined with an updo to gain control over your tresses and have fewer fights with your frizz.
Temporary Curls for Little Girls
Another perk of pin curls is that you can use them for children's hair styles as well; especially flower girl hair styles. Young hair is delicate, and you don't want to ruin it with chemicals or hot styling. Children can also be picky. A little girl may want bouncy curls today and then not want them by tomorrow, so pin curls can be the perfect, temporary solution.
A Good Look for Teens
Teens can rock the pin curl look as well. Imagine the perfect prom updo. Your teen daughter will impress everyone at the dance with an easy 50s pin curl look.
Glamorous, Trendy Updos
Pin curls may be vintage, but they are an on-trend look. Some people create a tight and traditional arrangement with their curls, some go for an artistic look, and others like a more carefree or wild style. 50s updo styles are popular for just this reason; you can make each look your own. Once you've mastered the basic pin curl technique, experiment to create your own styles.