My Pin Curl Hair Tutorial to Get Vintage... - Karla Powell Make-up Artist

My Pin Curl Hair Tutorial to Get Vintage Waves

For Luke Woodford’s abandoned fashion series project in the Lake District the look I was briefed was vintage make-up and hair which suited the location, styling and concept of the story being created. I get asked a lot how to create this soft natural looking vintage wave and I wanted to share how to create the look on my blog today with these behind the scene pictures the team took of me on the day of the shoot.

If you’re creating your curls using hair rollers or a curling iron then make sure your hair has not been freshly washed and blow dried. Curls will form and hold better in day old hair as your hair will not be soft and slippery.

Products I used:

ghd Air Hairdryer

ghd Ceramic Vented Radial Brush - Size 4

ghd Paddle Brush

Neal and Wolf Guard Heat protection

Neal and Wolf SILK Smoothing Blow-dry Balm

Neal and Wolf GLOW Super Shine Spray

Neal and Wolf Hold & Shine Spray

Standard hair grips

Pin Curl Clips

BaByliss 2285BU Hair Curling wand


1.            Getting texturised hair first with the ghd Air hairdryer. A 2,100W motor, an extra-long flex cord so you can move around on a job. It also has ‘advanced ionic technology’ that is designed to lock in moisture and keep your hair shiny and less frizzy. The one thing I love about my ghd Air is that it feels incredibly light to work with. Apply Neal and Wolf Silk Smoothing blow dry balm, then taking each section of the hair and blow dry with the ghd Ceramic Vented Radial Brush - Size 4. This will add texture and volume ready for the hair to be curled. You will find if you do this process first the curls will last for days.

2. For curled locks with staying power, always curl your hair in sections with the BaByliss Hair Curling wand and apply Neal and Wolf Guard to each section just before wrapping the locks around your curling tong.

3.  After curling a section of thehair, wrap the curl back up and pin it against the head using grips or pin curl clips pins and then continue to curl the rest of your hair. This will give the curls the chance to cool down while still in a curled shaped as well as giving volume to the hair.  Once you have curled and pinned the hair, leave the hair to cool for as long as possible to increase the chances of the finished result being a defined shape that will last. This is where I started to create the vintage make-up look.

4.  Finally remove each clip and let all the curls fall naturally. Then taking the ghd paddle brush gently brush from the root to the tip. This will make the curls look softer and natural. To keep the wave into the exact shape you are wishing to create, I use my Pin Curl clips to place into section I want a better wave especially at the front hair line. Set and add shine to the finish hairstyle with the Neal and Wolf GLOW Super Shine Spray, Hold & Shine Spray.

Karla’s Top Tips:

Curls that have been created with a large curling iron in large sections of hair tend to drop much more quickly than tighter, smaller curls. So if you want a curly look that lasts, separate your hair into small sections and create tighter, smaller curls.

 Avoid touching, combing or brushing your curls once you’re happy with the way they look and your hairstyle is in place. Excessive fiddling with your curls will cause them to drop faster.


The final images from this photoshoot come out on the end of June. Keep a look out in Dark Beauty magazine.



Thanks to the following photographers taking these pictures:

Amy Wilson

Alex Barnes

Francesca A. Page 

Ian Greenland 

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