If you look at hairstyles of Hollywood's leading ladies of yesteryear, like Clara Bow pictured here, you'll often see them wearing a spit curl or two on their foreheads, cheeks, or temples. Perhaps the term conjures up images of actual "spittle" being used as a makeshift styling product. You're right.
In the '20s and '30s, women would actually loop a damp or wet curl, using saliva to secure the curl before pinning into place. After the style was allowed to dry, the pins were taken out, and the spit curl remained pressed up against the hairline.
These days, women typically place spit curls around their cheeks and temples, using hair gels, hairsprays, and pomades to create the desired effect. The style, which can work on any hair type, is perfect for wavy- and curly-haired ladies with shorter, face-framing layers. It's a distinctive, vintage look worthy of a special occasion.