When I first started to wet-set pin curl my hair regularly last year, my setting pattern left something to be desired, but the curls were amazing and held up well all day, into the next, and faded into some lovely waves.

Now when I wet-set them (sometimes using setting spray, sometimes not -- it doesn't seem to make a difference), the resulting curls are so-so and pretty limp by the end of the day. The only different I can really see is that my hair was really damaged last year and I got a nice trim (a few inches) to reduce the damaged hair.

  • I have thin, straight, hard to curl hair.
  • I do not live in a humid region
  • I use roughly the same amount of pincurls as before
  • I do a wet-set and sleep on them over night
  • I typically only set my hair once a week
  • Dry pincurls don't hold at all
  • Heat seating either with a curling iron/wand or rollers works for a few hours but then drop

Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong or any types on bringing back the curls?

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I would try doing a curl set with heat. All you need is a curling iron (considering what you've said about your hair, the smaller the better. I wouldn't suggest larger than a 3/4" barrel), pin curl clips, and hairspray.You don't need to sleep on it, you just do your whole head like you would with a wet set, and then go about your morning business (doing your makeup/whatever it is you want to do) and let it set for at least 20 mins, and then brush it out. The curls are beautiful and long lasting. With fine hair, the less product you use, the better. Wet sets tend to use a lot of heavy products like gel and such and sometimes it's fine, but when your hair is fine you don't usually want to weigh it down. With a hot tool, hairspray and teasing should be all you need. As long as you're not doing it every single day, it shouldn't be too damaging either. I hope that helps!

Doing a curl set with heat is great for a 50's style set, but my hair won't hold the curl for more than 2 or 3 hours, even after letting it set for ages and using hairspray.

It's great for last minute stuff for sure, but it just doesn't have the staying power for me :(

I have really hard to curl hair too and I have not mastered pin curling on my wet hair yet.  Usually I use sponge rollers on wet hair and sleep on them overnight or I use a curling iron and I spray each section with hair spray, curl with the curling iron, then pin and let completely cool before removing the pins. Also, once I get my hair where I want it, I NEVER touch it, I feel like the more I touch my hair throughout the day the more my curls fall out. And you can check out some Youtube videos on the subject as well, good luck!

Hey girl!
So I have had 0 luck with pin curls. My hair is really thick and fairly straight. The best thing I can recommend would be foam rollers. They are like $2.50 a pack at Sally Beauty Supply and they work really well for me! I do a wet set and sleep in them over night and they last for almost 2 full days plus waves the third day. If you decide to try them be sure you buy an extra pack! They are cheap and tend to break sometimes. I'm yet to find anything better, though. Hot sets DO NOT work for me, not to mention they will damage your hair further.

Considering your hair was curling fine for you before, I would recommend a serious moisture therapy treatment (as you mentioned some potential damage). Your hair might be a little more brittle and less willing than it used to be. I would recommend coconut oil. I know it sounds crazy but apply it to the ends and work your way up (avoiding roots). Put a shower cap on, wait 15-20 minutes, take the cap off, and shower as you would normally. It's done wonders for me in the past!

Good luck! :)

I actually pulled out my pack of foam rollers the other night but got lazy just looking at them  ha. I'll have to give them a try this weekend and see what I end up with.

And my hair is actually in better shape now than it was when I first started pincurling, which is why it's so odd to me. I did a coconut oil treatment a few times last year, but I felt like it dulled my red hair (I dye, obviously) so I've been scared of doing it again. I may give it a go soon as I'm in need of a dye touch-up anyhow.

My hair is not my friend! haha I sort of gave up on pincurls in exchange for loosely rolled sponge curlers + Paul Mitchell setting lotion, have you tried those out yet?  I get WAY better results than I did when pin curling and it sounds like we have very similar hair.  : )

I have a hard time keeping pin curls in. But this is what I totally recommend. This is how I do my hair when I do vintage styles.  I have a section of hair that HATES taking curl. So the day before I need to have my hair in a vintage set, I wash my hair and use Motions setting mousse. I leave it in for a full day and then the next day my hair is a tad dirty, I then use Lottie Body setting spray in a two parts spray to three parts water. I have used foam rollers, pillow rollers and have done pin curls with clips. I've found the pin curls with clips work the best for me. I usually sleep in the pin curls and have a sleep bonnet on. I then use a Denman Brush to brush the curls out. I use One n Only Argan Oil Spray Treatment to eliminate frizz. And LayRite pomade to help sculpt. 

Which means, I use TWO different setting lotions and lots of other product. I hope this helps. :) 




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