How to Do 50s Pin Up Hair

Updated February 21, 2017

Pin-up models in the 1950s retained the large, cascading curls that were popular in the 1940s, but added some softness and looseness. Pin-ups such as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren wore their platinum locks at shoulder length, with soft, side-parted, wavy curls framing the face. Other pin-ups rolled their fringe away from their faces with a partial up-do or cut blunt fringe across the forehead, like Bettie Page. You can imitate the Bettie Page bang without actually cutting your hair. Use this faux-bang with soft curls for a 1950s pin-up look.

Heat up your hot rollers and your curling iron.

Part a section of fringe. Part this section, starting from the centre of your head and about 2 ½ inches from your hairline. Grab all the hair from this point to either temple into one chuck at the centre of your forehead. Fix your part lines with your comb, if necessary. Back comb your fringe at the 4 inches closest to the scalp. Back comb by using short strokes with your comb going towards your scalp. This tangles the hair, and gives it extra body. Secure this bang section with a clip.

Divide the rest of your hair into 2 inch sections around your head, and roll each section with medium sized hot rollers. Spray each section first with flexible hold hairspray, and then roll the hair upward instead of underneath. Start with the lower sections of your hair, and work your way up to the crown.

Spray your entire head with hairspray.

Remove the clip on your fringe. Spray the entire length of your bang section with flexible hold hairspray. Pull your bang section up and away from your face, and then curl it against your hairline. Curl underneath instead of upwards and hold the curl until the hair is hot.

Spray the curled bang with a layer of hairspray. Roll the bang underneath to imitate the curl you just made with your curling iron, and pin the bang against your forehead with a hair clip on each side. Spray the entire bang with freeze hold hairspray.

Spread your fringe into a Bettie Page-style bang shape. The outer corners should flare up and out slightly, and the centre should dip a bit. Re-pin if necessary. Smooth your fringe with your fingers and spray them again with your freeze hairspray.

Remove your hot rollers after they've cooled. Tease out your curls so they look soft and wavy.


Unwashed hair accepts styling more easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium hot rollers
  • Teasing comb
  • Flexible hold hairspray
  • Medium barrel curling iron
  • Freeze hold hairspray
  • Hair pins that match your hair colour
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About the Author

Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.