The Warm Iron Pin Curl

How to create 1940s pin curls with the original warm iron technique.
1940s hair with warm iron pin curls 1940s hairstyle with pin curls
The lovely soft waves in this hairstyle for the modern matron were created by the "Warm Iron Pin Curl" technique. This is a quick service, easily learned. The finished effect is similar to a croquignole marcel wave, yet the method is simple and speedy to execute. Since drying time is eliminated, a complete head can be turned out in less than an hour.
But in my shop we find the Warm Iron Pin Curl technique particularly useful for "lining up" or retracing a finger wave between the patron's regular appointments for a shampoo and set. Limp end curls and the draggy lines of an old wave can be retraced with the Warm iron to give it all the resiliency and freshness of a new wave in about 15 minutes! We get a good price for this service, and it has proved a popular one among my Patrons between their regular hairdressing appointments.
When a new style is to be created with the Warm Iron Pin Curl method, the final position of the curls on the head, as well as the directions in which they are to lie in the finished style, are planned in advance. The completed coiffure is visualized in advance and the hair is sectioned as carefully as in a finger wave. Before touching the iron to the hair, it must be determined whether the curls are to be directed upward or downward. Just as in forming wet pin curls with the fingers, the choice of direction is determined by the pattern desired in the finished coiffure and the various directions in which the curls and the waves are to be combed out.
In forming this type of curl, the most satisfactory results are obtained with a lukewarm iron. The iron should be just warm enough to place the curls securely. The technique is usually executed over a permanent wave, so too warm an iron would naturally not be used. Aside from the permanent wave factor, too warm an iron is likely to cause undesirable twists and grooves in the curls which would mar the soft finger wave effect.
Warm Iron Pin Curls may be successfully made in hair of any length and texture. The strands used to form the curls are about the same size as those taken for regular pin curls. The warm iron is used in exactly the same way as the fingers are used in forming a pin curl. Remember this and you will have no trouble with this technique!
To hold the iron correctly when forming curls in any direction, follow the position of the right hand which is clearly illustrated in Figures 2 and 7. Hold the iron so that the round curling prong is on the bottom. Grip the upper handle of the iron between the thumb and the index finger. Rest the lower handle of the iron between the tip of the middle finger (on the top of the handle) and the fourth and fifth fingers (under the handle).
Forming the Upward Curl
Figure 1 - To form a curl that is to turn upward, balance the iron with the thumb and fingers as described above and illustrated in Figures 2 and 7. Start the curl with the iron held so that the round prong is in back of the strand. With the left hand, hold the strand straight up from the scalp. Insert the strand between the iron prongs at a point about one inch away from the scalp and at the center of the round prong where the circumference of the iron is the largest. This gives the curl a large circle. Make sure that the strand is flat with no twists when placed in the iron.
Pin curl - How to place the prong of the iron Pin curl wrapping Pin curl - Wrapping the hair around both prongs Pin curl - Winding a hair strand around the closed iron
Figure 2 - Wrap the strand around the round prong of the iron, the under prong, directing the strand away from you and toward the point of the iron. At the same time, turn the right hand to bring the round prong of the iron toward you and close the iron.
Figure 3 - With the iron closed, wrap the remaining end of the strand around both prongs of the iron with the left hand. Throughout the entire process the action of the left hand insures "curl control." As the wrap is made, play the iron with the right hand to keep the hair loose on the iron and, at the same time, roll the iron continuously in an upward movement in the direction of the arrow.
Figure 4 - Continue to wind the end of the strand round both prongs of the iron, in a slightly overlapping wrap, directing the hair toward the point of the iron, until all the hair is on the iron. As each wrap is made, continue to play and roll the iron in the same upward direction. Make sure that the hair is kept perfectly flat as it is wound around the iron.
To Take the Curl off the Iron
Figure 5 - Stop playing and rolling the iron when all of the strand is around the iron. Point the iron toward the scalp exactly where the pin curl is to be placed.
Pin curl - Point the iron toward the scalp Pin curl - Draw end of strand through the curl
Figure 6 - Hold the curl against the head with the thumb and index finger of the left hand. Pull the tip end of the strand (held between the fingers in Figure 5) through the curl with the iron in order to form a complete circle in the end of the strand. Play the iron slightly again while drawing the end of the ringlet through the curl. With the thumb and index finger, slip ringlet off the iron and into the desired position on the head. Pin the curl in position while it is still warm so that it will not drop or fall out of shape. Pin the curl exactly as you would do a pin curl formed in any other manner. I prefer to use only one hairpin to hold each curl and I place the pin with one prong under the curl and the other prong through the curl. When the entire head has been curled and pinned, the pins are taken out in the order of pinning.
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