Beauty & Pin-ups Iron – pin curling tool review

I saved the review of the Beauty & Pin-ups Iron pin curl tool for last. This may be the first post you come across of my reviews of the Beauty & Pin-Ups haircare line, because, like most everyone else, you are dying to know more about this tool. 

When I first heard about the Iron, I was dying to know more myself. So here is everything I have figured out, my advice on using it and my truly first attempt at using it, which makes this a sort of amateur attempt. If you want to know more, please, please comment with questions and I am happy to answer. If you want me to try to do something with the tool, so you can see if it is capable of doing what you want it to, please comment. This should be an open discussion so you know if this is the right tool for you.

If you have never heard of the Iron, it is based on the concept of a flat iron and foil curling technique that you may have seen online. The Iron is round. There are foils, called foil pods, designed to be used with it (sold separate) that are the same circumference as the tool.

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Here is a video of the tool in action.

Perfect Pin Curls with The Iron from Beauty & Pin-Ups on Vimeo.

 

The box with the Iron includes the tool, manual, and a piece you can use to replace the brass knuckle detail if it isn’t your style. I replaced it with the flat piece just because it makes picking it up and putting it down a little less cumbersome, although I like the brass knuckles just for the sake of its style factor. It is available at Cosmoprof stores for licensed cosmetologists for around $200 and the foil pods are around $20 for 50, which is plenty for a whole head.

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Some videos are online of the tool being used for long, wavy, retro curls, so I wanted to try something different. When I heard about this tool, my greatest hopes were that I could get certain results that I normally rely on from a pin curl wet set.

My first concern was making sure I had enough foil pods, so I separated the sections I would curl first to have a mapped out plan of attack.

In hindsight, I should have made the sections smaller. I had more than enough pods. And I should have been more diligent with consistency on the top section of curls, which I know better. You get what you set. But that is what these tests are for!

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I learned how to do things a little different next time, but here are the results from my first try with the tool.

My goal was to get a continuous, around the crown wave. So I start setting the hair using the same techniques I would to set a skip wave with wet set pin curls. (I have written full instructions on the skip wave in Vintage Hairstyling if you aren’t familiar with the technique.)

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I pulled the hair section back at a diagonal the way I would for a wet set to get this affect.

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I sprayed Fever on the hair section, and wished I’d also used Linger (hindsight, darn you). I ribbon combed it and wrapped the hair in a pin curl.

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The curl is placed in the pod. The other side is folded over the curl. Then the Iron is placed over the pod and clamped down to heat it up for 7-10 seconds. I used 10 seconds here because this doll has course hair.

I apologize that my camera decided to malfunction in the middle of all this and had to go to the repair shop, so I am missing a couple pictures to illustrate some of my technique.

A few things that helped me along the way…

  • Hold the curl with your hands until you have got the pod fully clamped over and secure. The hair will unravel some otherwise. I also held the pod very tight on the hair until I was ready to use the Iron to keep the hair from unraveling any inside the pod. You can also fold the edges of the pod over more to prevent this, but I’m trying not to put too many kinks in the foil.
  • I wore a heat glove. These pods get HOT to the touch. I wanted to keep full control at all times of what the pod was doing, so I needed to be able to touch it as soon as it came out of the iron. Be prepared also to protect your client’s skin at the hair line.
  • As soon as the pod came out of the iron, I spun the pod in hopes of continuing the direction of the curl all the way to the base. That is one of the biggest benefits of a wet set pin curl…you can continue the curl all the way to the base.
  • I clipped with my double prong clips to hold the pod in this extra spun position until everything was cooled completely.

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After everything cooled, I brushed the style out with the same techniques I would use for a pin curl set.

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Overall, I really like this tool. The results I got, considering my own technique while I was working with it, were lovely.

Conclusions for the professional vintage hair addicts:

  • This tool is fun.
  • Treat the curls for the most part the way you would any type of vintage pin curl. Sill use your knowledge base of pin curl sculpting and brushing if you want predictable results.
  • The Iron is a hot tool, not a wet set. If you want wet set results, you need to overcompensate by using smaller pin curls for a shorter, deeper wave the same way you would with a curling iron.

Conclusions for the hairstylist who wants an easy vintage hair tool:

  • This tool is fun and creates really pretty curls.
  • An awesome tool won’t replace knowledge. To get the full benefits of this tool, you should still understand the pin curl; its place in a hairstyle and how its direction, size, and combing effects the hairstyle. But if you roll your eyes at the idea of a wet set and a hooded hairdryer, this tool is a good contemporary replacement.

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I haven’y tried this yet, but here is a video with the creator of the tool, Priel, doing a cool technique that mimics a finger wave.

Finger Waves with The Iron from Beauty & Pin-Ups on Vimeo.

 

Oh, and btw, the Iron can be used as a straightener as well. Everything online is about the curls, which is what most of us will use it for, but it can straighten too.

Notes on some of the online discussions about the Iron:

1. It is important for everyone to understand that the producer of the pin curl iron intended it to be a professional tool. I have read some criticisms that it doesn’t seem practical or very easy to use on your own head and those women are right. Beauty & Pin-ups knows this tool is best suited for the professional hairstylist, which is why you can only buy it from stores that retail to cosmetologists. (Although black market ones are already popping up on Ebay)

So, all my lovely readers who were wondering if this was something for them to use at your beautiful deco bedroom vanity…unfortunately maybe not, unless you consider yourself a professional novice when you style your hair. This is an expensive tool and if you aren’t sure of your skill level, maybe skip this one.

2. The foils for this tool (sold separately with 50 to a package) are way better than the older technique of using your kitchen aluminum foil and straightener. Aluminum foil has a thickness of about 2 mil (2/1000 of an inch), which doesn’t hold shape well and that crinkle in the foil will transfer its shape into your curl.

The foil pods designed for the Iron run more around 7 mil, which is more than 3 times the thickness of kitchen foil. They hold their flat shape and can be reused over and over again.

See other Beauty & Pin-ups product reviews:

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1 Comment
  • Jen
    February 11, 2016

    The brass knuckles can come in handy if you’re ever attacked while styling your hair, too. Those pesky intruders never expect the hair straightener brass knuckles to the face!

    … Not that I actually know from experience, of course, but it’s funny to think about 😉