How to Do the Pin Curls Hairstyle on Short Hair

Updated on November 1, 2019
Brittanie2216 profile image

I enjoy learning new things and sharing them through my writing. One of my favorite topics is natural health and beauty.

Tight pin curls are such a fun look for short hair!
Tight pin curls are such a fun look for short hair!

Pin curls are little spiral ringlets. The method below is one that has been used since the 1920s. Although styling irons are much more practical in this day and age, pin curling can still give you the same luscious and bouncy curls without the damage caused by heat styling.

How to Do Pin Curls to Get Tight Ringlets

Tight ringlets are easy to achieve with this method, but it does take some time.

What You Need

  • Bobby pins (twice as many as the number of desired curls)
  • A comb
  • Spray bottle of water


  1. Dampen your hair.
  2. Separate your hair into sections.
  3. Start with one section. Take small strands of hair and wrap them around your finger.
  4. Once the hair is wrapped tightly around your finger, slide the curl off of your finger and pin it to your scalp with two bobby pins in an X shape. (The tighter you wrap the hair, the tighter your ringlet will be.)
  5. Work your way around to each section.
  6. Once all the curls are pinned, leave them in until they are dry.
  7. Leaving the pins in overnight will set your hair even better.
  8. Once dry, remove the pins.
  9. Use hair spray to help the curls keep their shape better.

This is a great evening look for women and also fun to do for children.

How to Do Pin Curls for Big, Loose Curls

You can also use this tutorial to get big, beautiful waves without using a curling iron. This process is exactly the same as the one above, except you will be using bigger sections of hair.

What You Need

  • Bobby pins ( twice as many as the number of desired curls)
  • Spray bottle full of water
  • Comb


  • Comb through your hair to get out all tangles.
  • Using a spray bottle, dampen your hair with water.
  • Part your hair into sections.
  • Take large pieces of hair and swirl it into a circle. You can use your finger as a guide, but don't wrap it around your finger.
  • Pin the circles in an X shape using two pins.
  • Repeat this for each section.
  • Once finished, let your hair dry out.
  • Unpin the curls after drying and spray with holding spray, if needed.

About Pin Curls

Pin curling started in the 1920s, and this hairstyle was a very popular look for women throughout the '20s and '30s. However, because heat styling did not exist back in the day, curls were not the easiest hairstyle to achieve. Nowadays, with modern hairstyling tools, pin curling is not quite as popular as it used to be, but it is still a great way to get beautiful curls without heat damage.

© 2012 Brittanie Anne


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    • profile image

      Annmarie OGrady 

      14 months ago

      Do you put in any gel or anything beforehand?

    • Brittanie2216 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittanie Anne 

      7 years ago from Seattle WA

      Thank you for commenting I really like using pin curls because they don't cause the damage that curling irons do but it does take a lot more time :)

    • Scribenet profile image

      Maggie Griess 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have fine hair and I know pincurls really bulk it up. Only problems are the time-consuming aspect of getting the pincurls in. However the style has real staying power.

      Enjoyed reading this Hub. Good information on pincurls!


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