Skip to main content

DIY Hair: Short Curly Vintage Hair Tutorial

I love to dye my hair all colors of the rainbow. I love all things vintage. I also enjoy creating art, taking photos, and doing it myself.

For defined curls like Jamie Beck's

For defined curls like Jamie Beck's

How to Get Short Vintage Curls

This style is done on my naturally straight, chin-length bob. It's longer in the front and shorter/layered in the back.

What You'll Need

This tutorial doesn't require much. It'll take you about 15 minutes for curling and five minutes for styling. Grab a curling iron, bobby pins, a handheld mirror, and some hair spray, and you're set.

I use a Conair Instant Heat hot brush. It's $15 at Walmart and it works very well! It's one of the first kinds of curling tools that actually holds a nice curl in my hair. I usually use around 10–14 bobby pins to hold my curls in, but grab a few extra just in case. I also use a handheld mirror so I can check out the back and make sure nothing wild is going on there.

Weapons of choice.

Weapons of choice.

Getting Started

I start with the hair near my face and work back.

  1. First, grab your bangs—about a 2x2 inch square of hair right above your forehead.
  2. Curl it away from your face.
  3. Once you have a nice bouncy curl, roll it up and use a bobby pin or two to secure it. The curl should be standing, not laying flat on your head.
  4. Do the same with the hair on each side of your face. Be sure to curl it away, and then roll it and secure it.
  5. Repeat this for the rest of your head!

By the end, I usually have two curls rolled on each side, and three curls rolled down the middle of my head. The back is too short to pin, so just use your curling iron to curl it under.

The intended target.

The intended target.

After Curling

If your hair holds curl well, like mine, you can take out the pins once you finish curling the back.

I recommend leaving the pins in for 10 minutes or more, just for good measure.

Once you take the pins out, run your fingers through your hair and find your curls. The side your bangs are on should have a nice swirl going on, and the opposite should curl under like the photo. Take some hair from that side and pull it back, securing it with a hair comb or bobby pins.

Spritz it with a bit of hairspray, and you should have an adorable, vintage-y short hairdo.

If I have extra time, I try to really work on the curl of my bangs and the curl on the opposite side of my face. I'll roll the ends up and hold them with an alligator hair clip or a bobby pin. Then, I spray them with a bit of hair spray. Once I'm ready to leave, I take the clips out and the result is defined, retro-looking curls!

Pin and spray yours for an extra few minutes!

Pin and spray yours for an extra few minutes!

Why This Style Is So Easy

This hairstyle takes about 20 minutes, though it can take up to an hour if you opt to leave the curls in longer. I don't like my hair to be too curly because it starts to look like a fro at this length. If your hair is longer, I suggest leaving the curls in longer.

It's a fun way to style short hair. I find myself looking for different ways to wear it when there's only so much I can do with my recently chopped-off mane.

You don't need many tools or products. This is a quick and easy hairstyle that you can rock in the office or out on the town. Vintage is versatile, so you can dress this hairdo up with fancy hair clips and makeup, or keep it casual.



Cathy Nerujen from Edge of Reality and Known Space on January 27, 2014:

What a great hub on making your hair curly. I know a lady who is curly haired since birth and lots of people are so jealous of those curls. LOL.