Guest Post: Pinup Hair 101 by Miss Lark Bahar

Hey guys and dolls!

Miss Lark Bahar here! I’m a Turkish-American gal who loves all things vintage, from the fashion to the culture. I recently created my own blog where I like to post hair tutorials, product reviews, outfits, music, and anything else I can think of. As someone who adores everything vintage but doesn’t really have anyone to talk about it with in person, blogging and Instagramming has been an amazing way to connect with like-minded people.

While I’ve been at it with the Instagram game for quite awhile, I’m so new to the blogosphere that I was terribly excited and flattered when Jessica contacted me asking for guest posts! As someone who’s self-taught in every aspect of vintage fashion who particularly enjoys playing with hair and gets questions on the topic all the time, we quickly agreed on my post involving hair tutorials.

So without further ado, I present to you two video tutorials and a pictorial that I hope will help you with achieving that authentic vintage look and give you ideas for ways to play with your hair.

The Wet Set

I’m a firm believer in the power of a good set. Any 1940s-1960s do you want to execute is going to require the right kind of set, and I personally find that this is the one that both lasts the longest and is the most versatile.

As someone with naturally curly, coarse, and very thick hair, I find that wet setting my hair with a combination of standing and flat pin curls works best and gives me a softer, fluffy look while still producing nicely formed curls that don’t frizz. While I’ll occasionally use foam rollers if I want a ’60s look, these sets never last as long and give me more of a heat set look which is a bit too smooth for my tastes. I’ve also found that wet sets work on the widest range of hair types, so if you have the time and are looking to leave behind the damage of heat styling or just looking to try something new, I highly suggest wet setting with pin curls!

Products You’ll Need:

1. Setting lotion (I personally alternate between Lottabody and Garnier Fructis Spray Gel – the latter having a firmer hold)

2. Plenty of bobby pins

3. Spray bottle full of water to spray hair when it dries out too much

Collage_FotorStart with damp hair and make sure the ends are saturated or they’ll

frizz when you brush your hair out. Follow the pattern shown below these photos by creating two rows of two standing pin curls on the top of your head facing away from your part, and then one on each temple, facing down, and secure them with at least one bobby pin. These curls should be rolled as close to your scalp as possible. The larger you make them, the larger your wave will be! The standing pin curls help give volume.

Collage_Fotor2Start to create flat pin curls in alternating rows around the head (see diagrams below), making sure not to roll the top row of curls all the way to the base – you want a flat area along the crown of your head where the hair is pulled taught, and making sure not to twist the hair around as you roll it. You can either criss-cross two hair pins over each pin curl, or just do one, whichever secures your curls the best, and the number of rows you incorporate just depends on how much hair you have! If your hair is shorter, you’ll want to create larger pin curls with a higher density of hair (as shown in the first photos), and if your hair is longer and so heavier, needs help forming a true curl, or if it’s an area that you know droops faster (as I know my bottom two layers do), form much smaller, thinner pin curls to compensate.

Once you’ve finished your rows, go around the crown of your hair and place hair pins framing the pin curl row on top in order to pull the hair as taught and flat as possible to keep it smooth when you take your set out to brush.

Collage_Fotor4Lastly, feel around your head and find any loose curls or un-tucked ends, secure them in place, and voila! A wet set that’ll do you good. My hair, being quite welcoming to curls, can last up to 10 days (though I generally only go for 7 days). This same set will last about 2-3 days on someone with thick stick straight hair.

Here are some pencil drawings I created a month or so ago of my set so you can see direction more clearly:

IMG_1430_Fotor2 IMG_1429_Fotor1 IMG_1426_FotorIf you’d like to see how I brush out my wet set, you can take a peak here.

And the end result looks something like this:

Collage_FotorWhile this set lasts a long while, it does start to droop after awhile, so I personally spend about 3-4 days with my hair down before starting to opt for some kind of up-do.

I recorded two of my easiest go-tos for you guys to take a peak at. Sadly, the sun was not cooperating with me, so the lighting’s a bit funky and difficult to work with with my black hair, but hopefully you’ll be able to see well enough to get the idea!

The 1940s Snow-White Do

The first of the two is my casual 1940s up-do that’s very reminiscent of Snow White and gives a fun, youthful feel to my look! I prefer to accessorize this look with a scarf, but also love throwing a hat on the back if I want a little something extra.


The 1940s Lucille Ball/Betty Grable Do

The second is a fun poodle half up-do that emulates 1940s Lucille Ball and Betty Grable that looks a little something like this (hat optional):


Getting a pin-up, retro, or vintage look involves many little steps that lead to an overall put together look. While I love collecting vintage and reproduction clothes and accessories, I found that hair was what tied everything together for me. While I’d dabbled in wearing retro skirts and dresses before, it wasn’t until I began wet setting every week and playing with my hair for fun that vintage truly became an all-encompassing lifestyle for me. While the wet set I showed you definitely takes time, I personally think it’s worth it; however, the two videos I linked can be executed with any kind of set, whether heat, foam, or pin curl! And they’re incredibly fast and easy when you can see what you’re doing.

I hope this has all been helpful for you all and gives you some ideas for new ways to play with your hair.

Thanks again to Jessica for inviting me to write for her blog! It’s been a pleasure working with you to write for one of my favorite blogs out there.


Miss Lark Bahar


3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Pinup Hair 101 by Miss Lark Bahar

  1. Amazing! I will have to follow you in the future. I have coarse wavy dark hair and tend to get bogged down by how long a wet set takes to dry, but I haven’t just done a pin curl set yet. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Hey! I definitely know how it feels to have so much hair that it won’t dry. I find that I can work anywhere from a state of hair that’s fully wet to only slightly damp (as long as the ends are saturated), and my hair will retain the curl given its natural tendency to curl – just gotta plan on wearing a scarf around my hair the day after if I work from a fully saturated state. I’d definitely try it out! Thanks for visiting Jessica’s blog ❤

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