How to Do Ginger Rogers-inspired Vintage Curls

9 Materials
45 Minutes

In this vintage hair tutorial, we're doing fabulous vintage curls inspired by the look of Ginger Rogers in the movie Heartbeat. When I saw it, I knew I had to do it, so let’s see how to create this look!

Tools and materials:

  • Foam rollers
  • Wrapper roll
  • Hair clips
  • Smoothing serum
  • Hairspray
  • Pomade
  • Teasing brush/comb
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair flower comb/clip
Overnight wet set

1. Do an overnight wet set

Before starting this look, I did an overnight wet set using my favorite foam rollers and wrapper roll.

To achieve this set pattern, roll everything on the sides and back under and roll everything on the top backward. 

Unrolling curls

2. Unroll

Start to carefully unroll your curls. 

Separating crown

3. Separate the crown section of your hair

To separate the crown section, do a really deep part just past the corner of your forehead to create a U-shape.

Clip it away to deal with later.

Separating curls

4. Separate the curls

We’re not going to brush through our hair since we actually want to maintain as much of these curls as possible.

Instead, start separating the curl from itself so we go from being Shirley Temple to fabulous 70s disco curls.

Scrunching in smoothing serum

5. Scrunch in smoothing serum

Drop a bit of smoothing serum into your hands. You don’t want to pull through the curl, so just scrunch it instead.

This is going to help cut down on some of that frizz and it provides nourishment to your ends as well.

Smoothing head

6. Smooth one side of the head with a pomade

Decide which direction your part is going.

On the opposite side, take a bit of pomade and run it along that side, brushing it back so it’s nice and smooth. 

Pinning the side of the hair

7. Pin the side of the hair

Pinch the ends of the hair on the side with a little twist, and push it slightly forward. We don’t want it to be completely tight to the head. You want to have a bit of volume.

Place a bobby pin where your fingers are pinched. Pin from the back towards the front and hide the pin in the hair.

Cross the bobby pins so they hold really well.

Adding more pomade

8. Use pomade to add definition to the curls

Since it’s a little bit frizzy, create some definition by adding a bit of pomade to your hands and running it over small sections of curls.

Adding hairspray

9. Spray hairspray 

As you go, give your curls a spritz of hairspray.

Brushing curls

10. Brush the curls to join them

Use a brush to join some of the curls together again since you don’t want them too separated.

Brushing hair

11. Brush the back of the head down

For the back of the head, push the curls down to the base of the head.

Make sure everything’s brushed nice and smooth towards the bottom. Hairspray afterward.

Brushing hair

12. Brush through the hair at the crown

Brush through the hair we clipped away at the crown so the ends are smoothed together.


13. Backcomb the crown of the head

Now, take a teasing brush or comb and backcomb the entire length of the hair, doing fairly thin sections of hair at a time.

Spritz with hairspray, and then move on to the next one until you reach the opposite corner.

Adding hairspray

Once everything is backcombed, give it another spritz and then wait for it to dry.

Brushing hair

14. Lightly brush the hair at the crown

Lightly brush the outside and sides of the hair.

I’m using a brush with really loose bristles because it’s not going to brush through everything. 

Brushing hair

Once I get the swoop, I put my hand underneath it so I don’t pull that height out.

Applying more pomade

15. Apply pomade

Run pomade over the top of the hair to get rid of any flyaways. 

Pinning hair

16. Pin down the big swoop

Place the hair down so you get that nice, big swoop.

Hair wrapped around the back

Also, make sure the hair wraps around the back.

Pinning hair

Pin in place.

Combing ends

17. Comb the ends

If you have a bit of extra hair sticking out, comb through the ends to make them nice and smooth.

Adding hair accessory

18. Add hair accessories

Completed vintage curls

Completed vintage curls

Completed vintage curls

Here’s the finished vintage hairdo! Let me know what you think of this vintage curly hairstyle down below.

For more hair content, check out my post on How to Preserve Curls Overnight.

Suggested materials:
  • Foam rollers
  • Wrapper roll
  • Hair clips
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation