Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pincurl Tutorial

I started doing Sophia's hair in pincurls about three years ago, after I fell swinging from a rope swing like Tarzan and ended up with a bunch of broken fingers.

Sophia's hair has a texture that can be time-consuming to make attractive. We have to WORK to make it curly and we have to WORK to make it straight. I have suspected for years that her hair will get properly curly as she goes through puberty and I believe I see it happening before my eyes.

Pincurls were my strategy for organizing her hair during that time because my splinted, clumsy fingers made me slow and ineffective and our mornings were frenzied and chaotic while getting ready for school. With this method, I could take my time winding her hair after she bathed at night and she could simply take the pins out herself in the mornings and be mostly ready to go. Also, the pincurls made her hair look nice for a couple of days between settings.

After she washes her hair, we brush it free of tangles and part it where she likes it.

Sophia's hair is quite fine and of average thickness, so we take a section of perhaps a square inch. It seems like a comfortable amount of hair to pin.

I wrap the piece of hair around my finger to make the curl... I put one index finger close to her scalp and use the other hand to wrap the length of it around that finger. I've seen some online tutorials which "rolls" the hair from the ends to the roots - like one might roll up a length of ribbon. I find it needlessly time consuming, but it does make a differnt kind of curl. I would suggest experimenting a bit to get the kind of curl you like.

Next, I move on to the next square of hair, next to the first and still under the part. I work in rows as best I can. Heads are neither square nor flat, so I don't sweat about adding a bit more to a curl or fudging the rows as I need to.

This night, I surrounded the part with pincurls and worked my way down...

...until the whole head was covered.

This morning she got out the door for the bus before I could get a picture of the fresh ringlets. I'll look for an older picture to show you what the first morning looks like and update later.

This picture was taken after a day of school, a game of raquetball and being brushed out. It's basically what it looks like on Day 2, which I think I prefer.


1. I've got my pinning technique pretty well perfected. Now that I've figured out where to insert the pin and which direction to point it (but which I find I can't articulate in words), I generally only need one pin per curl, but if you don't trust just one, put a second one in so that it criss-crosses with the first, which will lock them both in place. (The pins need to grab both the curl and the hair underneath.)

2. Pinning wet hair and leaving it until it dries makes the tightest curls. Pinning hair that is already dry will make looser waves. (I even read one tutorial in which the woman said she only did pincurls a day after she shampooed because setting "dirty" hair gave her the kind of style she liked.

3. Likewise, pinning small amounts of hair makes tighter curls than thicker strands.

1 comment:

  1. I should do this on G's hair. She wants curls so badly (because she has silky smooth hair, of course!). Actually, I bet I should do it to MY hair because mine sounds like Sophie's. Thanks for the tips!


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