Slideshow Widget

Tutorial: A Marilyn Pin Curl Set

Monday, November 5, 2012

marilyn monroe pin curl hair tutorial by VaVoomVintage.net


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.


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!

You will need
a tailed comb
a hair brush
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

32 Responses to “Tutorial: A Marilyn Pin Curl Set ”

  1. aw! so cute! i love your new haircut and this style is awsome. thanks for the nice comment onmy 1940s bang/fringe wave post!
    beth

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love it! wishing my hair was shorter now :)... what to do, hmmm?!
    Tupney x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, your really good with vintage hair styles! You always look so pretty! Maybe if we get our visit in you can show me how to pin curl properly, I worn you I have about two heads of hair.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE the short 'do on you-- but of course, you always look fabulous. :) This is a great tutorial for this look. Trust me, NO one has done this look with this level of detail because earlier in the year I was waffling about getting a cut to do this style and one of the reasons I didn't go for it was that I wasn't sure I could successfully re-create it. lol

    Right now I am on that edge of deciding if I want to grow my hair longer as I've been lazy and wearing a ponytail a lot lately, or cutting it. Gah, can't decide!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This length of hair looks so, so gorgeous on you - especially, I think in the becoming blonde shade you wear. This tutorial is stellar - so detailed, easily to follow and confidence instilling (which is, to my mind, the mark of a truly good tutorial - especially when it comes to a potentially hard-to-master subject like vintage hairstyles).

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks great! I'm so glad you pointed out that Marilyn had many different looks, I get a bit tired seeing the same old images of her again and again and again which don't bother to explore her diversity. Anyway, a lovely set! xox

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome!! I love your tutes!! I think I definitely need that tool because I can't seem to get tidy curls out of my hair. Maybe I'm sectioning it all wrong. Also - brushing out doesn't work that well on me - my hair goes from clown curls to flat, no inbetween. My hairdresser calls it 'Caucasian Asian' because its dead straight, fine and slippery as hell.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm amazed you can get all the way around your head by yourself:) You are the queen of pin curls!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just discovered your blog and I've been reading it all weekend. You are so beautiful and I really love your cute vintage style. Thank you so much for your great tutorials. I have the same problem as Kitty Meow - long, super straight, heavy, and slipper hair. I have such a hard time styling it! I recently discovered crown braids which has a distinctly vintage feel, but other than that I'm stuck. Does any one else have ideas for "Asian" texture hair?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Brittany! Can't wait to try it myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This post is so lovely, your hair looks amazing! This makes me wish I had shorter hair so I could try this,
    Love Lil x
    www.littleliloflondon.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Brittany, what kind of haircut do you have? Is it layered? Did you take a vintage photo with you to your hairdresser? Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes yes, I wanted to ask the same question as Kim. I want so badly to get a vintage cut, nearly identical to yours, Brittany, but I don't know what to ask for. Any tips on what to tell the hairdresser?

    ReplyDelete
  14. My cut is that classic middy. It has 4 inch long layers. The middy has a U shape in the back, but I cut that extra "u" off so it's straight across in the back. The longest layer is about chin length and my bangs are lip-length. I'm very fortunate to have an amazing vintage-loving stylist who could probably cut the middy in her sleep. If you can't find anyone who can figure out the diagram, I'm sure that any amount of layers would help your hair to set well with pin curls. This site says that your stylist should not use a razor but mine always does and it turns out beautifully! maybe next time I get a cut, we should do a you tube video! :P
    http://dmoran227.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/how-to-get-a-good-middy-haircut-or-baby-or-any-you-wish/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! That was a very very helpful response! :)

      Delete
    2. Ooh, a tutorial video would be awesome!

      Delete
  15. Oh, I REALLY love your results. I'm wondering how long your hair is before you put the pin curl set in and how layered - mine is in a layered bob that's chin-lengthed with bangs that are rapidly getting longer. I'm going to try this and see if I can pull it off - other than putting my hair in a ponytail I was never much good at styling it. I've clipped this to my Evernote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was chin length also, layered in a 1940's middy cut with 4 inch sides and my bangs were about nose length

      Delete
  16. You are so pretty! Thanks for this tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  17. what a gorgeous hairstyle on a gorgeous girl! thanks for your help, you've inspired me to cut my hair short as well xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love your site! Great looks and awesome instructions:-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Had I brushed mine as much as you did it would be poker straight again. Any tips for keeping the curl once you have it?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Have you ever tried wet pin curls? My hair is naturally straight, won't curl with a perm or curling iron but with wet pin curls, it stays curly for 3-4 days! When I first started doing pin curls, I thought for sure, they'd fall right out but they don't! Give it a whirl and make sure the curls are totally dry before you take them out. I pin curl mine before bed on towel dried hair and take them out in the morning. They'll be horribly frizzy at first but that's why you have to keep brushing, to smooth it out. At night, you can pin curl again with larger sections of dry hair and it'll be much quicker than the wet set. Then, in the morning, you don't have to brush out as much. Sometimes, I don't have time to re-curl at night though so I just put a net or scarf on it and do my best in the morning, touch up with a curling iron or hot rollers as needed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Could you please tell me what you did with the back?Im sorry to bother you knowing this is an old post but the set is so amazing and i just wanted mine to come out like yours did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! No bother at all, I'm happy to help! I just continued the pattern of alternating the rows of pin curls up and down so when I bushed out, I got a wave in the back too. If your hair is a bit longer in the back, you could definitely just roll them all willy nilly, since hers were usually very wild too!

      Delete

I read every single comment (even on old posts) and they make my day! If you have a question, please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com. Thank you for reading me!