Pin Curls on Straightened or Stretched Natural Hair

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Pin curls are similar to bantu knots, except they lay flat against the scalp. I have created them on freshly washed and previously styled hair with great results.

“Pin Curls and How to Set Them”

Source: A Girl and Her Hair, 1947

“Pin Curls and How to Set Them”

Source: A Girl and Her Hair, 1947


  1. If you wear your hair with a side part, create the part before you begin.
  2. Add a creamy leave-in and a hair styler with a holding agent (i.e., a gel or custard). I used Dove’s Leave-in Smoothing Cream and then layered on some of my DIY Eco Styler Custard for extra hold.
  3. Take one-inch sections of hair and create a “small loop” with your thumb and index finger.
  4. Roll the loop upwards in a spiral until you reach the roots of your hair.
  5. Pin the curl in place with a bobby (not hair) pin. If it doesn’t seem secure, you can criss-cross two bobby pins over each pin curl.
  6. Repeat this process until you have pin curled all of your hair. All of your pin curls should lay flat against your scalp.
  7. Use a mirror to make sure you do not have any loose strands. If you do, simply undo the closest pin curl, add the loose hair to it, and recreate the curl.
  8. Once hair is completely dry, remove all the pins.
  9. Gently brush curls for a retro feel. If you have fine hair like me, finger comb your pin curls instead.
  10. Style hair as desired, and enjoy!
  11. It took me about 30-35 minutes to pin curl my medium-length hair.

MAINTENANCE: I donned a satin bonnet, slept on a satin pillow, and unpinned my hair the next day. But, you could pin curl your hair and wear the style in the same day. Just make sure your hair is completely dry by testing one pin curl before you start removing all the pins. Also, try to let your hair air dry, if possible, as the use of a hair dryer will likely create unwanted frizz.


  1. Hair feel dry? Lightly mist your hair with my DIY Multi-use Spritz. But, don’t overdo it. You don’t want your hair to be damp or wet, just moisturized.
  2. Have a few frizzy strands? Coat any stray, frizzy pieces with a dab of coconut oil, twirl the wayward strand around your index finger, and then gently release it.
  3. Want extra hold? Use an alcohol-free hair spray, gel, or smoothing serum of your choice for extra insurance against frizz and flyaways.
  4. Need more shine? Layer on a hair sheen spray or serum like  Julep Top Coat for an added shine boost.
  5. Want a more wavy look? Pin curl larger sections of hair. Also, don’t be afraid to gently brush or finger comb your pin curls for a less defined/curly look.
  6. Curls look messy after take down? Be mindful of the direction that you pin curl your hair. For a more uniform look, pin curl one side of your hair clockwise and the other half counter clockwise. This will give your curls a “mirrored” effect when the style is viewed from the back.


Here are some pics of the finished style.

Pin Curls - SIDE

To see me create pin curls, in action, watch the YouTube video below.


Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

5 responses to “Pin Curls on Straightened or Stretched Natural Hair

  1. Love this style … Didn’t know you could do pin curls on unstraightened hair … Now I know, I will try it!

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