Hair Curlers or Pin curls in public? Yes it is fine. That’s the end of it.

1960s woman in curlers on the street

I just have to say YES…it is fine to wear your hair curlers or pin curls in public. Setting your curls is no small matter. It requires patience and planning. No grocery store errand should stand in the way of your vintage curl goals. Just wrap a scarf around them (this one allows for maximum air flow for drying) and go about your business until you are ready to brush them out.

college women playing cards wearing hair rollers in pajamas 1960s
Image from Vintage Everyday here

Curlers in public…A badge of honor

Where your curlers in public like a badge of honor. I do.

When I am working on a roller set or pin curls, I am in it to win it. I have committed to spending the time to style my hair in a way that it does not do on its own. And I am proud of that commitment and the finished style I get after I have finished.

Image from Manufactoriel here

You might also like: The 1960s Flip Hairstyle

There was a time when this was just normal everyday. Women of all ages set out to take care of their daily business while they waited for their hair to finish setting.

young woman on sidewalk wearing hair curlers 1960s
Image from Incurlers Blog here

When I see these images of women in hair curlers in public, it reminds me of my grandmothers that I have since lost. It reminds me of a woman’s commitment to feeling good about herself. We should be celebrating this, not poking fun at it.

woman outside in grass wearing hair curlers with orange cat
Image from Incurlers Blog here

Being outdoors helps your hair set better

The great outdoors is full of sun and hair styling power. The factors that help a good curl last are water and heat. These two ingredients first help affect the bonds of your hair strand and, after these two ingredients have dissipated, the bonds reform to help the curl hold.

Read more about the ingredients of a good curl here…

1960s girls camping and putting curlers in their hair
Image from Vintage Everyday here

If you are setting your hair in pin curls or rollers, you are most likely dampening it with some water or setting spray. The outdoor air and wind will help dry these products quicker. And the sunshine will both dry the hair quicker and add some heat to the curls which also helps the set last longer. Just make sure you get out of the sun and let your hair cool before you remove the rollers.

contemporary modern girls on the street wearing hair curlers
Contemporary girls wearing curlers on the street

You might also like: Organizing your hair curlers

My aunt, prom night, and the Arizona hairdryer story

My favorite story of curlers and the great outdoors is of my aunt on the day of prom in Arizona. She used the big can rollers to style her hair that were too big to fit under a home hood dryer. She also didn’t leave herself enough time for her hair to dry before prom.

So my grandmother drove my aunt around the neighborhood with her head sticking out of the window. Anyone who lives in a hot climate can understand how this must have felt like being in a giant hairdryer.

woman on boat in hair curlers
Image from Incurlers Blog here

Boating, the Ozarks and my grandmother

This image above of the woman on a boat reminds me of my other grandmother. My grandfather and she had a little house on the Lake of the Ozarks and my grandmother would never let a roller set stand in the way of an after-lunch boat ride. Not to mention, she knew that the outdoors would help her hair set a little more.

Celebrities today wearing curlers in public

Curlers or curl sets in public today are rare enough that celebrities wearing them out and about is worth mentioning on gossip sites. Back when Christina Aguilera was styling her retro vintage waves look on a regular basis, paparazzi snapped photos of her traveling between locations with her pin curls wrapped in a curlers net.

christina aguilera in pinup makeup and pin curls celebrity on the street

And here is Amy Childs and Gigi Hadid both committing to great hair curlers sets.

Amy Childs and Gigi Hadid in hair curlers rollers on the street in public

So… go for it! Wear your curlers in public with pride.

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  1. My mom gives me so much grief about going out with my pincurls clipped. “Is that the new style?” “Is that supposed to look good?” “Are those supposed to show?”

  2. I’d rather see pin curls then greasy messy buns. I love seeing people in the mall with pin curls going to MAC to get their hair done. My clients always feel weird leaving with pin curls but WHO CARES!

  3. I love reading your blog and think that you’re impeccable so I’ve nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award!

    Head over to my blog for more details.


    Nikita B…

  4. Hehe, dropped my boyfriend off this morning with my pion curls still in. I cover it with a blue and red scarf turban style…One of my favourite pin curlers though is a 94 year old lady at my work (i work in a nursing home). She likes to look neat so she pin curls like every night. Legend!!

  5. This is awesome (especially the picture of Christina). It’ll certainly make me feel better going out in public when I have to have my hair set. Thank you!

  6. I always ask my husband before I leave the house “do I look totally crazy”. I will not take my hair out of pin curls that I just slept on for the last 8 hours until I am darn good and ready to. Thats a lot of time put into looking sweet just to have to take it down before its time!!! I love knowing I am not the only one!

  7. hahaha. LOVE IT! Sometimes you do just have sh*t to do! I am guilty of doing this a lot in the summertime. Now I need to make it totally glam like Christina.

  8. I love this post! Yes, I DO have stuff to do, but no, I am NOT going to wreck painstakingly set hair to do it! Just red lipstick and mascara, a gal is good to go. I’ve actually worn a snood over my set like Christina. LOL It must be okay, if she did it!

    I do need to buy or make some prettier scarves, though. Right now I mostly have bandanas (though one is a rockin’ zebra bandana).

    You are so awesome. 😉

  9. i kinda love people walking about in their pin curls! haha pin curls are such effort i don’t mind if they aren’t set yet because you can still see someone is really *styling* their hair…much better than when i forget to brush mine!

  10. My comment didn’t show up so I’m trying again:

    Yay for pin curls in pin-curl-progress in public.

    But why can’t a silky pajama top and pretty bow say, “I’m an oil tycoon and I just hopped out of my bed to grab my morning latte. I will be returning to those silky sheets promptly” instead?


    (Or an occupation that doesn’t involve as much destruction to the earth. Even ad exec would be better.)

Comments are closed.

Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

As an Etsy and Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an independent blogger, I link these items because of my own opinions and not because of the commission I may receive.



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