18 November 2011

*My* Perfect Roller-set

Don't you hate when people always say: "I roller-set and flat-iron the roots ONLY!"; when you've tried countless times to do the same and failed miserably? No matter how many hours you've spent watching tutorials and breaking your arms, back, neck to get the stupid rollers in, your set ends up being a big load of craptastic -Do. Not. Want-. Makes you wanna slap someone and their mama!

This is the best roller-set I've done to date since my relaxer days (**though I haven't done that many**).   So here yet another Roller-set pictorial with EVERY little detail I could think of! Yes, this is another one of my looong drawn out posts again so if you are not having any of that at least skim over the pics  :)



So first... I was doing it  ALL wrong!!
My hair use to be a dry, frizzy, stiff mess after roller-setting. I would end up flat ironing the whole length to get it smooth just to put curls back in it. I don't think setting lotions/foams are suited for fine, porous strands, unless there is some secret to using them that I don't know about (**tell mi wat eet izzz rite nawh!!**). My roller-set curls would "explode" into a cloud of fuzz as soon as a comb/brush touched my head. Now after finally investing in a decent dryer and choosing products more compatible to my hair type; I can get the look I've always wanted using less heat and enjoy it for a much longer period of time. I've always gotten the best results and most body by using small amount of the lightest, moisture-rich products before straightening. I have no idea why I insisted on using all those drying alcohol drenched holding junk.Well yeah, maybe because all the tutorials I saw they were used.   So after a few  trial and error (snaps, pop and crackle), and making small changes along the way, I'm happy to report; 'I think  I've got it now!"

BEFORE *ouch*

NB: Hair looks lighter and thirsty in before pics because of lighting... and also because it usually is VERY dry after using alcohol laden "setting" products!
  • Pre-shampooed with warmed coconut oil for 30 mins. **I usually do this before I use sulfate shampoos because they make my hair/scalp so dry, any oil can be used**.
  • Shampooed first with clarifying poo then a moisturizing one
  • Deep conditioned for 30 mins under dryer. **my DCs change depending on what I think my hair need, sometimes I use Motions Moisturefuse, Silk Elements or  Issue Keratin Mask (new and in love!!)**
  • Towel dried for a few mins then sectioned hair into 4 sections **ear to ear; then 3 sections from crown to nape**
                           Here are pics to give an idea of my roller placement.

  • Made sure each section was thoroughly de-tangled before parting in about 1 inch sections. Re-wet hair using plain water in a spritz bottle then smooth hair with Leave-in conditioner and a small comb before wrapping onto rollers. Paying special attention to getting the ends neat and smooth so I would have to apply additional heat later on. 
    Before:- Poofy curls from using setting products
    and liquid leave-ins like Infusium
    After:- Smooth Curls from using thicker
    leave-in and no setting product
  • Pulled hair tautly while rolling, spritzing more water if need to help keep hair smooth.
Before:- not using small tooth comb
 and right productsto smooth
After:- Able to smooth better because
 hair is not hard and tangled from holding products
  • After securing rollers I usually use a bobby pin to anchor it the previously rolled section. This keeps the rollers from flopping all over. Also adds tension to roots to get them as straight as possible. Note the small black bobby pin holding the 2 red rollers together in second pic.
Before:- Not enough tension

    After:- Roots are straighter and more
     moisturizer because of better 
    product choice.
  • Once I'm finished I lightly spritz Tresemme Heat Tamer spray over whole head to help protect exposed hair
  • Dried under hooded dryer for 80 mins **could have taken less time had I used higher heat**
  • Removed rollers, split each sections into 2, 3 if need be, and flat ironed roots *I usually remove 2 rollers first then take the others out one at a time as I need more room to work on roots. Makes it a lot easier than haing a mass of curls to deal with**
  • Before:- After roots have been flat ironed
     they still have a lot of texture.
After:-  Roots are silkier and straighter even
though the same temp was used on flat iron
and not using any serums
  • I didn't use any finishing serums or oils like I normally do because I really didn't think my hair need it. It was already shiny, soft and sleek.
  • Before:- To make the set decent enough to
    leave the house I would have to flat iron the
     whole length of the hair (more heat!!!! yikes),
    THEN add back the curls to get the "roller-set look".
     After I would apply serums to "tame" it a bit.
After:- Flat ironed roots ONLY;
which was about 2 inches of hair, a little
 less or more in some areas. No other products applied after hair dried

  • For nightly maintenance, (as much as i hate to tie up my hair), I wrapped my hair, covered with a satin scarf and as usually sleep on my satin pillow case. I did however fall asleep in a loose pony tail twice but my hair held up fine.

    Before:- Day 2. Hair is lifeless after wrapping just once.
After:- Day 4. Even after several nights of wrapping my hair still has curls
on the ends and lots of body


So from my experience here are a few TIPS...
  • When you think your hair is wet enough spritz it even more! The wetter it is the smoother your curls will be. *gosh that sounds dirty*. Just remember to place towels on the floor and remove items from your work space that you don't want getting wet. 
  • Try not to add too much product to the hair because that just makes it flat and dull, esp. if you have fine strands like mine
  • There will be no need for serums/oils that weight hair down to add shine and moisture if you deep condition well and use a good leave in. Something between liquid and creamy in consistence. 
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry from root to tip before removing all rollers. I use a roller in the middle/back section to "test".
  • Size does matter... Make sure the rollers you use are not too big for the length of your hair. to check make sure hair can wrap around at least 3 times
  • Invest in a professional hooded dryer if you can. Best thing I ever did! Your hair will set faster and smoother because your curls/roots have less time to shrink before it dries
  • Don't be afraid to use the rat tail comb! Just make sure to keep a large and medium comb/brush on hand to de-tangle first

  • Take your time and make sure each roller is as smooth as you can get it. It's not a race, You'll be setting in lightening speed in no time if you first work on getting your technique right :)

  • Emerald Laboratories Coconut Oil 
  • Giovanni 50/50 Balancing, Hydrating Clarifying shampoo
  • Dark and Lovely Healthy Gloss Moisture Shampoo
  • Issue Keratin Mask
  • Dark and Lovely Healthy Gloss Leave-in
  • Tresemme Heat Tamer
  • Babybliss Pro Thermal Ionic Rollabout Dryer
  • Maxi-glide Flat Iron (flat plate, no steam)


"Yay OK... But how long did it last??!!"

Day 2

DAY 7:- For the first time I add product to my hair... few drops of coconut oil. This is when I normally wash but my hair still looked and felt ok to me. I wanted to see if I could get 2 weeks out like I see most people do, so I decided to pin curl for the night to add back some curls in for the next week. Notice I left the pin curl at the crown standing up: That's helps create some volume in that area.

                              DAY 8:- This is how the
                               pin curls came out
After brushing curls. After using the oil in it
I didn't like it down so I started wearing it back from my face

DAY 9!!! Wow this is big for me,
BUT my scalp was not having any of this 2 weeks busines.
I thought I was going to have scabs from all the itching *gross*.
Sad to let it go but I HAD to wash the next day
DAY 10 :- Close up of hair on wash day... Still looking straight as ever

 What do you ladies use on your scalp to help you wear your roller-set/press/flat ironed hair so long? And is said product fine-strands friendly? **will it make my hair flat and lifeless** TIA



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great post! I am really trying to get my roller setting down. The last roller set I did a couple of weeks ago was a fail (it's in my blog...looked like a poodle on my head). I really need a professional hooded dryer. Where did you buy yours?

  3. Sallys, Girl Im am so in love! I def know what you mean by the poodle but I'm so happy I found the products and tools that work. I can't wait to do my next set! http://www.sallybeauty.com/rollabout-dryer/SBS-928450,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH

  4. Wow, I just checked it out, it's under $100. That's not bad at all! I might have to invest. Time to search for more reviews; I think I've heard good things about this one already though. =)

  5. Yeah it's a steal! I heard some good things about it also but what I REALLY wanted was a Pibbs. This will hold me over until I can afford it though.

  6. To help with the itchies, try just conditioner washing. I notice a huge difference in how my scalp feels when I shampoo v. co-washing- Itch City! When I co-wash I can go weeks with proper maintenance and more natural products = no itchies,no stinky hair. Hope this helps.

  7. perhaps witch hazel could absorb the oil without reverting the hair.. not sure though, havent tried it =) there are also 'dry shampoo' that you spray in the scalp and brush out, haven't tried those either.

  8. Thanks v.much for the suggestions guys. I try not to use shampoo but I have to before I roller-set but I need something WHILE my hair is straight.

    I will def look into dry shampoos but I was under the impression that those were to remove excess oils. IDk will do more research on it. Thanks

  9. Do you wash or do a final rinse w/ cool water? I have the same issues w/ poofy roots, crispy curls, and when I flat iron my roots...it turns into a poofy mess.

  10. Thank you so much for this post, I finally found a solution to my puffy roots.

  11. I don't like to use oils to much but tea tree oil will get rid of the itching....I used it a lot when I was wearing braids...I love it


Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this topic! :)