What is a Roller Set?

Felicia Dye

A roller set is a type of hair styling method that is sometimes called a wet set. It involves putting hair rollers into the hair while it is wet. In some instances, chemicals are used, which help the resulting style hold for an extended period of time. This styling method also commonly requires the use of a hood dryer.

A roller set should be inserted into the hair when it's wet.
A roller set should be inserted into the hair when it's wet.

Some people achieve curled and waved hairstyles by washing the hair, drying it, and then styling the hair with heated tools. With a wet set, however, the styling begins after the hair is washed and before any drying occurs. Hair care products such as gel or setting lotion are commonly applied. Afterward, the hair is sectioned and placed onto hair rollers. If portions of the hair begin to dry before it is set onto hair rollers, it will be necessary to wet it again.

A roller set can be done at home or in a salon.
A roller set can be done at home or in a salon.

Once the hair is dried and the rollers are removed, a person can see the result of her roller set. The amount of time the roller set lasts can depend on a number of things. First, it will depend on the texture of a person’s hair and the climate she is in. Second, it generally depends on the quality of the effort that was used to roll the hair while it was wet and the degree of dryness that was reached before it was unrolled. Third, there are many types and sizes of rollers, which can have an impact on the outcome.

There are, however, roller set methods designed to last for long periods. These often require the use of chemicals that will cause the hair to maintain a semi-permanent wavy or curly style. Many of the chemicals used during such a process are labeled as being “for professional use only.”

A roller set can be done at home or in a salon. When these styles are done in a salon, a hood dryer is normally used to dry the hair. In some instances, however, when such styles are done in the home, people will set their hair and allow it to air dry. Although this method can work, hair care professionals generally advise the use of heat. It is commonly believed that high temperatures improve the outcome.

Once the hair is dry, the hair rollers are removed. This does not mean that the desired style is achieved. In many instances, further styling is still necessary. This can include combing, pinning and gelling.

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Discussion Comments


@cmsmith10: First of all, you need to decide what size rollers you need to use. If you are looking for extra body, waves, or big curls, then you want to use large rollers. For tighter curls, choose smaller rollers.

I let my hair dry before I start rolling it. Divide your hair into sections before you roll. Hold the end of the divided section of hair with one of your hands and a roller in the other hand. Wrap your hair around the center of your roller. Twist it up until your hair is tight and centered on the roller.

You can use bobby pins to secure the rollers. Some rollers come their own pins to hold the rollers in place.


Every time I get my roller set out, I get frustrated because I am not really sure how to roll my hair. My sister always tells me to part it in sections and roll that way. It just doesn't seem like that would work. Any suggestions?

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