Monday, October 8, 2012

pincurl tutorial

Gurls/Curls from Bryan Isaacs on Vimeo.

Well, here it is. At long last - the little pincurl tutorial Emma and I put together, complete with suave video extras by the talented and patient Bryan Isaacs. GET READY TO BE CURLY.

you'll need...
straight bobby pins (I like to have 2 full cards - you'll use a lot of pins)
setting lotion / styling cream (I've heard good things about this stuff, but I usually just use a dab of this)
hairspray (cheap is fine. I like this)
large silk or cotton scarf / bandana

1) Begin at least 12 hours before you want curls - preferably 24. Resign yourself to the fact that you will be wearing a headscarf around town / to work / in the comfort of your own home for the day. Trust me, you look awesome.

2) Wash your hair thoroughly, using only shampoo, no conditioner. If you have time, let it air dry about 75%, if not, just use a blowdryer. You don't need it bone-dry (it's easier to set slightly damp) but the set will be tight enough that it won't have the opportunity to dry much more.
3) Work a nickel size portion of your setting lotion through your hair. Part your lovely locks down the middle. I like to set in quadrants (especially if I'm working on my own head) and tie off the rest in a pony.

4) Begin your pinning anywhere on your head - I like to start on the top, in the middle next to the part, and work out from there. Grab about a 1/2 inch square section of hair. Make it slightly smaller, about a 1/4 inch square, for super-tight curls. Pull the hair away from your head. Starting at the very end, wrap it around your forefinger, but not too tightly, since you'll need to slide it off. (If you're having trouble picturing this, place the strand on hair on top on your finger, hold the very end with your thumb, and trace a circle with your pointer.) When your finger reaches your scalp, you'll have a big ring of twisted hair around it.

5) Gently pull the ring of hair off your finger, and pin it in place with a single bobby pin (thicker and/or longer hair will need two pins, crossed into an X). Try to keep the end of the hair tucked into the pin.
6) Continue until your full head is pinned. If you have bangs, particularly it they are short or thick, consider leaving them straight - very short hair set in curls get wild quick. Like, 80s prom hair wild.

7) At this point, you now have a decent idea of how you'd look with a matted buzz cut. Mist your entire head with a lot of hairspray. Don't be shy.
8) Next, you'll tie your headscarf. (If you're a video person, check out this adorable, detailed video for good instructions - you can skip to 1:12.)

Fold your scarf in half so it makes a triangle. Lean your head forward, resting the folded edge of the scarf against the nape of your neck with the point falling toward your face. Tie the ends of the scarf together over the point, right where your forehead meets your hairline (you're trying to keep all your pin curls under this scarf cover, so they're protected). Continue tying the ends, tucking the point of the scarf back into the knot, so you've got a little flat bun of scarf in the front, like the flower on Blossom's hat. Secure the scarf to your head with a few pins.
9) Carry on your merry way for 12-24 hours.
10) When you're ready for curls, untie the scarf and begin to remove the pins, one curl at a time - I usually go from the bottom up. Pay attention to how these look when unpinned - you may want to gentle separate some of the tangly, rope like twists. You can always go back when your full head is free and pull a few pieces apart for more volume. For a more fro-like look, separate every curl. This will make your hair nice and frizzy. If you're looking for softer curls, you can gently brush or pick your hair - you'll get some knots, but you'll end up with a very old-hollywood wave. At the end, I like to stick my fingers in right next to my scalp and wiggle to get a little lift at the root.


  1. Oh Katie, we will look back on this day and smile fondly. Also I'm glad that we both posted this video with the exact same image layout at the bottom.

    1. You didnt plan that?!?! Oh you two... MOTHERBRAIN. And by MOTHERBRAIN, I of course mean PINCURL BRAIN.

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