How to Pin Your Curly Hair for Volume

Doing some pin curls is an efficient way to get those curls popping with little to no damage done to your hair! Aiming for that 1950-perfect vintage look and want to know how to pin those curls right. I’ll be sharing tips and techniques for doing that.

Pin curls are nothing overly elaborate and are made by coiling and rolling a damp hair strand and securing it with a pin. 

How to Pin Curly Hair; Preparatory Process

The curls look good and last for days if it’s done on freshly washed hair. So, start the process with a wash.

Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo or sulfate-free shampoo; what this does to your hair is it ensures it stays hydrated due to the absence of sulfates which strips hair of its natural oils and moisture during the cleaning process resulting in dryness.

To shampoo, pour in a pea-sized amount in your palms, rub your hands together, and, using your fingertips, massage into the scalp. Massaging stimulates hair growth because it aids blood circulation to the hair follicles. 

After giving your hair a good wash, do a thorough rinse. You might have to shampoo a second time to ensure your hair is rid of dirt and oils because, in most cases, the hair doesn’t lather up well in the first wash.

Never skip a conditioner! This is a critical process; after shampooing, apply a conditioner to the strands of your hair, do not condition your roots because they don’t necessarily lack moisture.

If you feel like your hair needs some love, it just doesn’t feel hydrated enough, and it’s been weeks since you gave your curls a deep conditioning treatment, you might want to catch up with that! 

Apply as you would an ordinary conditioner, and put your hair up in a bun and place a shower cap over it; let it sit for a couple of minutes, depending on the product usage. Afterward, wash the conditioner off with cold water; to seal in moisture.

Be sure to thoroughly detangle hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers in sections. Right now, your hair is looking hydrated and healthy; follow up with your routine and add in your favorite curling cream, gel, or oils; these products contain emollients and humectants, which act by sealing in moisture and keep the curls hydrated.

You want to ensure you are using the right product for your hair type and that it doesn’t contain chemicals that would weigh hair down, leading to hair damage. Allow your hair to air dry, or you could blow-dry it for a few seconds to ensure it stays damp for the pin curling process. 

3 Ways to Pin Curly Hair

Pin Curly Hair
Instagram / @thebeautycoachbella

Here are straightforward processes to pin curly hair, giving different results. The heatless method does no damage to the hair, and the curls look great! The heat method requires heat usage, as the name implies, which is perfect if you don’t want to spend too much time and still want to achieve a beautiful finish. At the same time, the Bantu knots can be worn as hairstyles and give well-defined curls.

The Heatless Process

Section your damp hair into small bits. You could start at the front or back, do what’s convenient for you. Take a section of hair, smoothen it out and wrap it around your fingers; note that the more the fingers, the bigger the curls; next, take your finger out, roll, and flatten against the scalp and secure with a bobby pin.

If you feel your hair getting dry during the process, spritz it in some water and continue with the remaining sections. Afterward, overnight, you could air dry or wrap the pinned curls with a silk scarf or satin bonnet.

Wrapping the curls is pretty easy to do; using the pineapple technique, take the opposite ends of the scarf, form a triangle, bend your head forward and drape the scarf over your curls; with the triangular point at the center, take the ends and make a knot at the front, and bring the ends to the back and secure with a knot. If you feel that’s too much work, wrap your hair in a bonnet.

Using a silk scarf or satin bonnet protects your curls overnight because it doesn’t tug or pull at the hair strands due to its smooth surface; it enables the curls to glide through, which equals reduced friction, minimizes frizz, and keeps curls fresh looking.

Using Heat

This technique involves heat, so I advise you to apply a heat protectant to keep your hair healthy. Section your dry hair into smaller pieces, take a piece, and go over the section with your flat iron as you would if you were straightening your hair twice, and then curl backward from your face to the hair ends.

The curls do not have to come out looking perfect; after that process, take the curl and wrap it around your finger in the direction of the curl, roll it to the scalp and flatten it with a pin. Do this for all the sections. You could let the curls set for 30 minutes to an hour before unraveling. Spritz on a holding spray before pinning the curls for more hold and to set the curls.

Bantu Knots

As always, divide your hair into small sections, and with a section, twist hair from the roots by splitting it into two parts and placing the piece over another. Take the twisted hair and wrap it in the opposite direction creating a knot or a tiny bun. Use a Bobby pin to secure it.

You could rock this as a hairstyle, go off to bed with it and wake up to a beautiful curl or take it down after a couple of hours. If you decide to sleep with it, ensure your hair is kept on a protective head wrap.

How to Unravel Pin Curls

Unravel Pin Curls
Instagram / @mikalakitty

Before unraveling pinned curls, ensure that the hair is dry; if it still feels damp after leaving it overnight or waiting a couple of hours, diffuse with a blow dryer or air dry. A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment; it stimulates and disperses air evenly, creates more volume, and preserves curls.

Now that your hair is dry, gently remove the pins, don’t just go in with a comb or brush; use your fingers to break off the curl’s clump and give the curls a natural look by placing your hands underneath the curls and giving them a little shake at the root, also, raking your fingers through the curls. 

If you are going for a vintage look, brush your dry curls and at the end, hold the curls with your fingers and brush over them. Brushing the back of your hair following this process might seem a bit challenging, but it isn’t; go on with the flow, and when you get to the tip of the curl, brush over them as you hold them in your hands. Remember to brush according to the curl pattern, and that’s it.


Pinning your curls would take practice, so if you don’t get the results you want in your first trial, ensure you check to see if you are doing it right and try again and again, and you’ll surely get them! 

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