How to Curl My Hair Like Marilyn Monroe's

Written by katherine harder
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How to Curl My Hair Like Marilyn Monroe's
To sucessfully impersonate the look of Marilyn Monroe, tight white-blond curls are essential. (woman in pink satin dress image by Tracy Martinez from

Marilyn Monroe's blond bombshell image has endured decades of changing beauty standards and styles, and many women still turn to her look for style inspiration. Monroe's signature curly yellow-white locks framed her impeccably made-up face, and replicating them is essential for any wannabe Marilyn lookalike. To get the full effect, you should already have shoulder-length platinum blonde hair with layering around your face, according to Tyler Aniol, former educator at Paul Mitchell School and stylist at Alta Moda Salon in San Antonio, TX.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Styling clips
  • Curling spray or hairspray
  • Medium barrel hot rollers, about 1-inch diameter
  • Teasing comb

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  1. 1

    Heat up your hot rollers by whichever method is appropriate for them. Allow the hot rollers to completely heat up before using them for the most reliable results.

  2. 2

    Separate your hair into 3-inch sections across your scalp, and secure each section with a clip. Leave a face-framing section unclipped so you can work with it.

  3. 3

    Mist the unclipped section lightly with curling spray or hairspray, depending on which product you have on hand. Hold the section perpendicular from your scalp, and pick up a roller. Starting from the tip of your hair section, wrap the section around the roller vertically several times in the direction of your face, not the back of your head. The roller should sit closely against your head. Pin the roller in place with its clip or U-shaped pin.

  4. 4

    Wrap the remainder of your face-framing sections with hot rollers, using the same technique of rolling towards front of your head and down to the base of the hair section.

  5. 5

    Repeat the same process for your fringe section, but wrap the hair around the roller horizontally and at a slight angle instead of wrapping your hair section around your curler so the curler sits vertically as you did with other sections.

  6. 6

    Roll the back sections of your hair and at the crown of your head so that the rollers sit horizontally and the hair is wrapped in a downward curl.

  7. 7

    Allow the curlers to cool completely. Gently unclip, unroll and remove each cooled curler. Try to disturb your curls as little as possible.

  8. 8

    Tease out your tighter curls near the root to add volume and to soften your curls. Gently shape your curls with your comb and fingers until they look the way you intended. Set your work with hairspray.

  9. 9

    Comb out your fringe so they have a softer curled wave shape. Hold your fringe upward and lightly tease the base of your fringe. Continue to hold up your fringe and hairspray them lightly at their base. Create a high, sweeping side-parted bang to complete your Marilyn Monroe hairstyle.

Tips and warnings

  • For the best results, start with one-to-two day old hair. Freshly washed hair tends to not hold curls as well as recently unwashed hair does, according to stylist Tyler Aniol. Add some dry shampoo to your roots if your hair is just washed.
  • You can use similar methods with a medium-barrel curling iron or pin curl clips.

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