What is Wet Set Hair?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2019
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Wet set hair is hair that has been prepared to be placed in rollers. The hair is shampooed, conditioned, and toweled dry. It is then combed out and split into individual sections. A roller is placed at the end of each of the hair sections, and the hair is rolled onto it. After allowing the hair to naturally air dry, the rollers are removed and the hair can be styled.

There are a few benefits of having wet set hair. No heat or heat-related appliances have to be used, so the hair often looks much healthier. Rollers can produce tight curls and this can make it easier to control a hair style. Bounce and shine can be added to the hair by using the method. Curls will typically hold for a longer period when rollers are used because of the air-drying process.

Certain hair-care products should be used for hair that is going to be placed onto rollers. Shampoos should thoroughly cleanse the hair, but at the same time, they should be gentle enough not to strip the natural oils. Any conditioners being used should not leave any heavy residue on the hair, since this can leave it looking flat or even oily. While the hair is damp, a firming or holding solution can be added to the ends or to the roots for extra holding power.


The wet set hair method can produce tight, tiny curls, or rollers can be used for a straight style. This all depends on the size of the hair roller. Larger rollers can be placed in the hair for a long straight look or to produce looser, flowing curls. Thinner, longer rollers can make tighter or spiral-shaped curls. The shapes of the curls can also be a different texture if more or less hair of the hair is added to the roller set.

Hair set in this way can be dried using a hooded hair dryer, but this may take some of the sheen and bounce out of the style. No rollers with grabbing teeth should be used for this method because the hair can become tangled in the roller and produce broken, frizzy, and lifeless hair. For added lift, an extra-strength hair spray can be applied to the wet set hair an hour before it completely dries.


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Post 5

A wet set would definitely be better on your hair, as you use no heat whatsoever. Try using sponge rollers on your hair when damp and sleeping in them overnight, letting your hair dry naturally.

When styling the following morning, use moroccan oil. This is great for the condition of your hair if you have damaged it with bleach and heated equipment. The curl should last up to a week, maybe more. It varies for some people. Hope this helps.

Post 4

@minthybear19 - Isn't it funny how people who have straight hair usually curls and how us curly haired people want straighter hair? I wonder why that is. I actually use wet set to straighten out my hair. I like having my hair long, but it gets really messy when it's curly -- so I use the biggest curlers I can find and wet set it straight.

I recently got my hair cut – but now if I don't straighten it, it looks like an Afro on me. It just isn't my look. Unfortunately, now it's harder to straighten because it's too short for the curlers I was using. I can't wait for it to grow a little.

Post 3

@MedicineBall - My hair is very thin, so I never have to use gel or hair spray to keep my curls. I wet set my hair all the time for going out on the weekends. I've never tried wearing the curls all day, so I'm not sure how long they last. My friends use hair curling irons, but I was worried that it would damage my hair since it's so thin.

I use the smaller curlers and put as little hair as possible in each one so that it makes a firm curl. Just let them dry all of the way before you take them out or you'll lose the curls.

Post 2

@MedicineBall - You don't need to give up having curls in your hair -- wet set hair works.

If you know how to do it right, wet setting your hair into curlers can actually work as well as hot curlers. Heat treating your hair into curls doesn't always last all day.

If you use some gel or hair spray on your wet hair when you wet set it, the curls will last all day. You should try to buy more natural hair sprays and gels.

To repair your hair, massage your hair and scalp with coconut oil weekly and eat lots of fish if you can. Also, the tried and true vitamin D is a must for healthy locks!

Post 1

I've been using heated curlers and curling irons for years and my hair is beginning to show it. My hair gets a log of abuse because I've had it bleached several times and apply a lot of hair spray to keep it in the curls. I think I look way better with curly hair, but my natural hair is very flat.

Does wet setting my hair into curls work as good as hot rollers and curling irons? How long do the curls last in my hair? Any help would be great – I really would like to stop damaging my hair with hot curlers.

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