How to Get Marilyn Monroe Curls
Retro Marilyn Monroe curls are a gorgeous style for many hair lengths. To get this classic look you only need styling products, curlers or a curling iron, and bobby pins or clips. Begin by making medium sized curls to frame your face, pinning them to set, and then styling your curls. You can also add pretty accessories. Depending on the look you want, you can also brush out your curls for old Hollywood style waves.
EditPrepping for Your Curls
- Choose a curling device. You’ll be making many curls in one-inch (2.54 cm) sections. Decide if you’ll be more comfortable making multiple curls in several sections using a curling iron (either clipless or with a barrel) or rollers. Choose rollers that will wrap around the hair at least 1.5 times for maximum effect. You can use hot rollers or any other type of roller.
- Start with freshly washed hair. Wash your hair as usual. Use a conditioner that will protect it from heat if you’ll be using a curling iron. Towel dry your hair if you wish before using curlers. You need to keep it damp for using curlers.
- Blow out your hair to make it smooth. This step is only necessary if you’ll use a curling iron. Spray it with heat protectant spray before you blow it out. Cover your hair from roots to ends with the spray. Make a part as you blow it out if you want a part in your final hair style.
- You can also spray your roots with a little hair spray before blowing it out to create more volume.
- Apply texturing or anti-humidity spray. Start at your roots and work the ends of your hair. Spray on liberal amounts of the product. Finger comb it through your hair.
- If you are using hair rollers, you can use mousse or gel instead, but these are not good products if you are styling with a curling iron.
EditCurling Your Hair
- Curl your hair in 1 inch (2.54 cm) sections. Spray each section with hairspray or smooth on more gel or mousse for extra hold. Do this immediately before winding the section in rollers or your curling iron. Work from the top of your head down. Put the hair in the back of your head in a ponytail while you work on the front.
- Wrap your front sections first if you’re using rollers.
- Roll the curls in the front toward your face. If you part your hair, roll the curls away from your part. Wind the curls in the back away from your face toward the crown of your head and the nape of your neck. Use an asymmetrical rolling pattern for a more natural look. Make tighter curls on top and bigger curls in the back for a more retro look. 
- Get tighter curls with smaller rollers and bigger curls with bigger rollers.
- If you want more curls, you should curl smaller sections of hair.
- Pin each curl to your head. Use hair clips or bobby pins. Pin each curl immediately after making it with the curling iron. Leave all rollers in your hair until you’ve put them all in. Pin your curls as you release them from the rollers.
- Leave your hair pinned for at least 20 minutes to let your curls set. This will also give hair time to cool if you used a curling iron or hot rollers.
EditStyling Your Curls
- Release your hair from the pins or clips. Let it fall around your head. If you want looser curls, wet your fingers and gently comb them through your curls. This will separate the curls. You can stop working the curls near your face at this point.
- Brush your curls lightly for a smoother look. Use a paddle brush or a wide-toothed comb. Group your curls into larger sections. Brush two or three curls together for a curlier look and a larger number of curls – about five — for a wavy look. Brush out all of your curls for a smooth Marilyn Monroe wave.
- Pull the brush in the direction that you rolled the curls. Brush the curls near your face in the direction of your face, and the curls near your neck towards your nape. Gently pull the brush through each section from the roots. Only brush a few times and then let the curls drop naturally into place.
- Spray each section with hairspray after brushing for additional hold.
- Too much brushing may make your curls frizzy. Only use a few strokes of the brush.
- Finish your bangs. If you have bangs, brush them together. Pull the brush upwards first and then curl your bangs under for a dramatic sweep off your face. Pin a section of your bangs to keep them in place. Spray them with hairspray.
- Tuck a curl behind your ear and pin it in place for a nice flourish.
- Attach a hair accessory, such as a bow or flower, over the tucked, pinned curl for extra glamour.
EditSources and Citations
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