Pins and Needles

I knew when signing on to do the FEMMEbruary challenge that I would need to at least once invest time and sacrifice comfortable sleep for some kind of curl-creation. I still haven’t 100% decided against trying to curl my hair with Coke cans at some point, but I wanted to go for one of those “just sleep on it!” curl tricks.

Last night I found myself with an hour or so before bed and decided to give it a whirl. First I tried to do this thing where you wrap all your hair around a headband and then sleep on it, but all the wrapping got my hair kind of tangled and it got all loose and anyway, I found a Pinterest pin about pin curls (how many times can I use that word) so I decided to give that a go instead.

Pin curls can give you the big round vintage-looking curls if you know what you’re doing, but I clearly don’t, so I was just going for something more than a wave. I watched a few instruction videos, failed at wrapping my hair around my fingers several times, put too much mousse in my hair, but finally:



That’s my skeptical face.

What are pin curls, you ask? Well, it’s pretty g-d simple. You twirl sections of your hair in “curl” or circle shapes around your fingers and then bobby-pin them to your head. Spray with hairspray, sleep on it, take the pins out, finger-comb or flat-brush comb and make your curls do what you want. I have in the past tried twisting the sections of hair and spinning them into little knots against my scalp, then sleeping on that, but while the “before” in that situation did make me look like a cool ’90s punk girl, the “after” was not pretty. Hence, skepticism.

Anyway, I wrapped a bandana around my head Rosie-the-Riveter-style to keep these babies from going anywhere and I said goodnight.

I hedged my bets by also applying my flat iron to each curl as I took them out this morning, for about 10 seconds each. Here’s the process unfolding:

photo 1


See them tired eyes? That’s because sleeping on lots of little wavy metal rods isn’t the most comfortable thing to do. I have a good pillow and I did get some sleep, but it wasn’t as luxurious as I would have liked before the first day back in the office.

I was a little concerned with the front sections, but as I progressed, things went okay.

photo 2


Especially considering that the 2″ barrel curling iron I bought earlier this month and I are not having a good time together, I was pretty impressed. I brushed a bit to loosen the curls up and make them look a little less Shirley Temple, and I clipped back the front section because it was still a little weird, and finally came up with this.

photo 3


A surprisingly good turnout from something that made me look like Medusa for eight hours.

Now, by the time of this writing, my hair is only sort of wavy, but I have tough-to-curl hair and I’ve felt fine about it all day. So if you have an hour before bed and half an hour in the morning to spare, plus a bunch of pins, mousse, hairspray, and a flat iron, I’d say go for it.

If you’d rather, say, read a book, I won’t blame you.


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