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Curling Your Hair: Pin Curls & Rag Curls Made Easy


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This is a gorgeous yet easy classic prom side updo hairstyle which can be created in a matter of minutes on day old hair or newly washed hair.

The goal of the hairstyle is to direct all hair to either side of the head from a deep side part, capture it into a side pony and then create loose curls which are pulled up by a decorative pony elastic.

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This classic prom side updo is perfect for a strapless gown and can be combined with a fringe or not.

Listed below are the steps for creating this classic prom side updo hairstyle:

1. Cleanse hair in lukewarm water using appropriate products and methods for your hair type, texture and condition. 2. Rinse hair well and apply rinse-out conditioner from top of ear lobes down to the ends of the hair. 3. Detangle hair using fingers or wide tooth comb while still in the shower. 4. Finish with a cool/cold wash rinse to close cuticle and encourage shine and shimmer. 5. Towel blot to remove excess moisture. 6. Apply desired styling cocktail which may include a leave-in conditioner, styling mousse or cream and defrisant. Distribute from roots down to the ends. 7. Use a wide tooth or long tail of a comb to create the desired side part. If a fringe is desired, section out the hair for the fringe. 8. Separate hair into 6-8 sections and blow dry hair straight with a 100% boar bristle paddle brush.

Note: If a fringe is desired blow dry this area first.

Sarah Hyland

9. Once hair is 100% dry use fingers or a boar brush to direct and smooth hair into a pony with the base positioned right about the top of the ear. Use a Blax, bungee or similar hair friendly elastic band to secure the pony. 10. Separate pony hair into 4 equal sections. 11. Use a 1 to 1 1/2" curling iron to create barrel curls on the individual sections of hair. 12. Remove the iron and roll the newly created curls around your fingers. Pin to the scalp to allow curls to cool and set for at least 30 minutes. Mist lightly with a light setting hairspray. 13. Remove pins from scalp and let curls dangle. 14. Slide a gorgeous jeweled ponytail elastic, ribbon or any other decorative piece around the top base of the pony. 15. Pull the curls up and create a second pony loop halfway between the base and the ends. Use fingers to loop hair into loose curls. 16. Slide second decorative pony elastic around the middle section allowing hair to bunch up so that the middle section of the curls flow outwards. You have the option to match the two elastics or use completely different bands. 17. Take the ends and either pull them up into the second elastic or allow them to dangle freely. There is no right or wrong way to create this style. 18. Finish with a light spray of shine enhancing product. If you prefer, you can apply a few drops of shine serum to the palms of your hands and massage together. Glide your palms over the top of the curls being careful not to apply too much serum.

Styling Options

Sarah Hyland

Optionally if you prefer to go with a more tousled look you can create a similar side updo like worn by Modern Family's Sarah Hyland. Sarah pulled one long strand from the opposite of her side pony and curled it into a long loose ringlet.

Instead of using a banded approach her side ponytail was pulled into a side twist and pinned up and under so that the hair was all tucked in rather than hanging into a loose curled pony.

Optionally you can create a lot of great looks with the basic style. Have fun and experiment to create a custom designed hairstyle for you.


This unique but easy side updo can be glammed up or toned down depending upon the gown you select. It can also be adorned with feathers, glitter or a wide array of hair accessories.

The only constraint you have for creating an amazing side updo is your imagination.

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- Revised Publication Date: 04/23/11

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