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Everybody wants to be a pin-up girl. Correction: Anybody who’s anybody wants to be one.
Pin-up girl style has its roots in World War II, when flattering portraits of curvy, suggestive young women dominated America’s military propaganda. What else was a young soldier supposed to look at when he felt far from home and his girlfriend?
Today, pin-up girls largely exist as an eccentric group dedicated to boudoir photography (read: lots of lingerie) and perfect curls. Don’t even get us started on the makeup—nobody applies cat eyeliner like a would-be pin-up girl. Those flicks are so sharp they could probably cut someone.
If you’re looking to take the sexy style for a spin, gather up a teasing comb, curling iron or hot rollers, bobby pins, curl clips and a couple of decorative scarves. You’ll be posing and coquettishly winking in no time.
We have a general hairstyling rule: If you can make a ponytail, you can do anything. In pin-up style, however, the basic building block of every updo is the World War II-inspired victory roll. The voluminous style is flattering and charmingly retro. Best of all, it’s not that hard to accomplish at home.
Sectioning off a U-shaped area at the top of the head (just behind your hairline), use a curling iron on small, even pieces. Shape ringlets that all face the same direction. When you’ve completed that step, hairspray and backcomb your hair at the roots to build volume.
Next, you’ll want to begin lightly smoothing and shaping your rolls into a shape that resembles the spiral of a conch shell resting nicely on your hairline. Use two fingers to roll the teased section back on itself, aiming for an oversize roll with a small curl inside of it.
When your victory roll looks the way you’d like, crisscross pins at the end of the strand to keep it in place. Coat everything with a healthy dose of hairspray. If the style looks more like a lopsided pool float than a roll, don’t be afraid to tackle it again. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to hair.
Now that you know how to make a victory roll, the rest of pin-up style is simple. To create this double roll situation, you’ll start by curling all your hair into ringlets going the same direction. After each curl is done, roll it back up and pin it to your head with a no-crease scalp. Skip front section of your hair, which will become two victory rolls.
Start unpinning your curls, giving them a spritz of hairspray before you even think of touching them. Leave them aside while you create two victory rolls and inch or two back from your hairline using the tutorial above. When they’re totally set, use a brush to gently loosen your curls (they should form one consistent wave if you’ve curled evenly enough). All done!
Once you’ve mastered the double victory roll updo, you’re on your way to becoming a pin-up pro. Using the style you’ve already learned, you can create dozens of looks.
Case in point: the double victory roll ponytail, which is best for ladies with very long hair. To make this style work for you, you’ll want to follow the same roll creation process detailed above. Then, curl the rest of your mane without setting it. Gather the hair into a low ponytail and secure it, decorating the style with an oversized satin bow. If you don’t have any ribbon available, feel free to use a beautifully printed scarf to accent the style.
For this hairstyle, we’re going to cheat a little bit by using a premade bun “rat”—not a rodent, just a synthetic cylinder that makes your updo seem more complicated than it really is. Section off the requisite U-shape from the top of your head, then curl and set the rest of your hair using the above tutorial.
When your curls are complete, unpin your top section of hair. Starting at the end of your lengths, roll the bun rat in toward your hairline. Be sure you’re rolling under, not over, curving the rat into a slightly bent U-shape when you’re finished. Then, pin and spray your new faux bangs.
If you love this style, don’t be afraid to use it for everything pin up: ponytails, buns, and the like. Bumper bangs are a quick, easy fix for second-day hair.
Here’s a lazy day style, one you can conquer into ways: very easy, and slightly more complicated. If you have 10 minutes before running out the door, use our tutorial for bumper bangs. Then, spritz dry shampoo throughout your hair and shape it into a high ballerina bun. After you’ve pinned and sprayed, you’ll want to wrap a colorful scarf around your head. Create a knot between the bangs and the bun, tying it as coquettishly as you can on a tight schedule.
If you’d like to try the slightly more elaborate version of this ‘do, replace your bumper bangs with one oversize victory roll. Style the rest of your hair the same way you did for the updo, then twist sections of your curls up to the top of your head and pin them. After you’ve tied your scarf, fluff your ringlets accordingly.
To achieve this look, you’ll want to start with sleek hair. Using a long-tailed comb, create a deep side part. Then, beginning on the side farthest from the part, create a loose victory roll that sits just above your ears. Using sections of hair that are about three inches wide, repeat the process around the nape of the neck until you’re totally out of hair.
The goal here is to make these small rolls create the illusion that they’re one single cylinder, so pin and adjust them as necessary. This style is an excellent choice for a wedding, especially with a few fresh flowers tucked into it.
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