Saturday, September 28, 2013

Healthy Hairstyling #7: The No/Low Heat Roller Set

High temperature flat irons. Hot blow dryers. Direct heat has the potential to be damaging to the hair, especially when used improperly and too frequently. In the worst case scenario, irreparable heat damage can occur in the form of hair bubbles, splits, and loss of one's natural curl pattern.

The roller set, perm rod set, flexi rod set, straw set, and Curlformer set are all healthy alternatives to the blow dryer and curling iron. These sets require minimal (if any) heat usage. They can be worn on both natural and chemically straightened hair.


- Snap-on or clips with Magnetic rollers (safer than mesh and foam)
- Setting lotion
- Smoothing serum (with dimethicone for anti-humidity)
- Medium-tooth comb
- Hooded dryer (optional)

Basic instructions:
1. Wash, deep condition, and detangle as usual.
2. Follow up with a moisturizer/sealant.
(2a. For kinky natural hair: Braid the hair into 8-15 sections. (I do this to "flatten" my roots and hair a bit.) Wrap your edges with a scarf. Allow to airdry until damp. Then undo a braid and proceed with below.)
3. Section off a 1" by 2" or smaller section of hair.
4. Apply setting lotion (diluted, if necessary).
5. Then apply the smoothing serum.
6. Comb through section until smooth.
7. Roll the section tautly down to the roots.
8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 until finished.
9. Let the roller set airdry or sit under a hooded dryer.
10. Remove rollers when hair is fully dry.
11. Similar instructions apply to other types of sets (e.g., straw, flexi-rod, etc.), though more intricacy is involved.

Rollerset Video Tutorials:
Natural with a great roller set technique. She does use direct heat in her later video, but her curls prior to flat ironing are gorgeous and show that roller sets work on textured hair:

* Sets last longer on cool, moderate days rather than hot and/or humid days. Save them for ideal weather conditions.
* Starting with wet to very damp hair allows for the hair to really set.
* Using a serum helps to minimize frizz from humidity.
* Stay away from moisturizers containing glycerin or other humectants, if you can. Humectant + humidity = a roller set that won't last.
* Roller set in small sections for smoother and faster drying sets.
* I get the best results with snap-on magnetic rollers because the "snap on" part keeps my hair taut and the roller intact.
* Pin curl at night to maintain the set.
* Smaller rollers yield tighter, longer-lasting sets.

Serum Recommendations:
Sabino Moisture Block
Chi Silk

Setting lotion:
Motions Foaming Wrap
Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion

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