marilyn monroe pin curl hair tutorial by

Now that my hair is short, I've been wanting to try a Marilyn Monroe pin curl set. I was flipping through my book, Marilyn: Intimate Exposures and noticed that she must have used several different sets.

Sometimes her hair was in more of a pageboy curl, sometimes wild and fluffy.  Sometimes in sleek, sculptured curls or waves.

Marilyn Monroe pin curls

Some of her styles look like she got home from a late party and pin curled it all willy-nilly but even on her messiest hair days, she always looked amazing. She had so many different hair looks over the years, I'm sure you could write a whole book on the subject.

For this set, I studied a few different hair looks of hers and took it from there.

 For the brush-out, see my video below for a more detailed view of how to brush out and style it.

If you don't know how to pin curl, check out my tutorial for basic pin curls. I used the Sculpture Pin Curl tool for this set, which I absolutely love. If you prefer slightly larger pin curls, the Roll and Go hair tool is a good one as well.

You will need
a tailed comb
a hair brush (Denman is my favorite brush for vintage hair)
a spray bottle
setting lotion (optional, but it does help. I use Lotta Body)
bobby pins or pin curl clips
large clips to keep hair out of the way

 Section your hair off to one side. On the side with the most hair, follow the diagram below. All of these curls are rolled down, to the left.

 On the other side of the part, make two rows of curls. The top row should be rolled back and the front row rolled forward. I meant to do two rows of two curls here but my hair is quite thin. You can always adjust sets to suit the thickness of your own hair.

 Now comes the sides and the back. Since Marilyn's sets are often all over the place, that's kind of what I did here. The row closest to my crown are stand-up pin curls, meaning they are not flat against the head.

This helps to create some lift up there. I also love how her hair is very tossed around and wavy so I did alternating rows to create a little wave.

The hair at the nape of my neck is extremely short and hard to pin curl, so I just did my best to roll that up so it stays off my neck and out of the way.  Do the same on the other side.

 I love the sculpture pin curl tool because you can get two sizes of curls. I never thought I'd need to use the smaller side of the tool but for this set, it really helped with those pesky back pieces. If you hair is longer, a tighter curl can also help give the illusion of shorter hair.

The video for brushing out is very long, as usual for brush-outs but this is the part where the style really takes shape and stops looking like clown hair.

 If you have trouble getting your pin curl sets to shape up, focus on the brush out.

If your hair is longer but you love the pin curl wave, see my tutorial for Rita Hayorth Pin Curl Waves, also with a video for brushing out

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how to style your hair like Marilyn Monroe with Marilyn's pin curl pattern