Before nighttime hair curlers were available, women fashioned their wet hair in pin curls to set the style overnight. To form a pin curl, you shape hair in a round shape and pin it against your scalp with bobbie pins. The arrangement does not raise high off the scalp, even if you are curling long hair. Though shaping wet hair into the necessary arrangement takes a little practice to perfect, it is a straightforward technique that you will quickly grow to execute as if you have been fashioning pin curls all your life.

Things You'll Need

Comb freshly washed hair to remove tangles. Part your hair wherever you want the finished style to part. Comb the hair straight back if you do not want a part.

Separate a 1-square-inch section of hair along your hairline with the comb. Comb through the section from root to tip to ensure it is straight and tangle-free. All four sides of the section, at scalp-level, should be straight and even. Set the comb aside.

Hold the section straight and taut, away from your scalp.

Form a quarter-sized circle at the end of the section. Pinch the round loop between two fingers to secure it. Keep your hair taut as you form the loop. The circle may not be perfectly round at first.

Roll the loop toward your scalp. The loop of hair should get thicker as you wind it, but it should remain quarter-size in width. Roll the entire section of hair into the single-loop coil until you reach your scalp.

Lay the coil against your scalp. It should look like an “O.” Tuck the ends of the hair into the coil if they poke out.

Slide one bobbie pin onto the hair loop to secure it. The bottom of the pin should be directly against your scalp, and the top half of the pin should be on top of the hair coil. Slide a second pin onto the coil to make an “X” pattern with the pins.

Repeat this process to secure all of your hair in coils against your head. Depending on how thick your hair is, you should have about 20 pinned curls when you finish winding all of your hair.

Sleep on the arrangement overnight. Remove the pins in the morning.


  • Many women who fashion pin curls prefer a comb with a long, pointed end, which is intended for teasing hair. A 1-inch section of hair wound into a quarter-size coil will yield medium-size curls. Half-inch sections of hair wound into dime-sized coils yield small curls. Two-inch sections of hair wound into golf ball-sized coils yield large curls.