Perm Rod Roller Set

This past week I did a roller set on my hair for the first time since I’ve been fully natural. When I had a relaxer my mom did them for me regularly. It was also a go-to style while I transitioned, because it hid the 1-2 inches of new growth very well. I’ve had roller sets done a couple of times at a salon since going natural, but this is the first time I attempted by myself. I debated whether I would use flexi-rods or perm rods. After I quick #askfb, I decided on perm rods. Here are the steps I took to achieve my curls:

1. Wash & Condition

I did my regular wash day routine. It took a little TLC, because I had may hair twisted previously. I did not take the twist out prior to wash day, so there was some work involved in getting my hair untwisted. I did a pre-poo hot oil treatment with avocado oil, washed with my Organix Coconut Milk shampoo, detangled with Aussie Moist, and used my DIY deep conditioner recipe. I let the deep conditioner sit on my hair for an hour then washed it out continuing the detangling process in the shower.

2. Partial Air Dry

After I got out of the shower I put my hair into 6-8 braids so it could partially air dry while I did some chores. My hair is very thick so if I wanted it dry by the next day it could not be soaking wet when I put the rollers in.

3. Roll it up

I was intending to blow dry the sections a little more with cool air, but I got lazy roller set natural hairand impatient. I decided the air drying would be enough and I started rolling my hair. I could not figure out the best method of rolling it, I experimented with a few different ways and based on the outcome I would know how to do it in the future. Most of my hair was simply sectioned and rolled. There were a few spot where decided to twirl my hair as if I was doing bantu knots and then roll it. An others I only twirled the ends and then rolled the rest of the section regularly. I think the twirled ends methods has the best outcome. I will do it like this if I try it again. I did find it difficult to get the rollers snugly against my scalp. I had to re-roll a lot because they would start to hang. I rolled the front 2 rows facing forward so those curls would hang down in my face. It took me about 2 hours to roll it all up.

4. Let it Dry

This step was simple enough, I just went about my normal Sunday activities while nature did the rest. I thought about going to my sisters to get her hooded dryer, buying a bonnet dryer, or using my hand held dryer. I’m just so used to my hair still being damp when I get up in the morning. But I decided not use the heat and let it air dry on its own.

5. Taking out the curls

That morning I woke up at my regular time, but I did not work out. I used that time to take out the rollers. I was also afraid that the sweat would mess it up, before I even took it out. I uncurled it using a little coconut oil on my fingers. I simple took out the rollers first, then I fluffed and separated the curls a little. I didn’t to separate it too much, because I wasn’t looking for the puffy affect.

Reflections

When I do it again I will definitely twirl the ends before rolling up the hair. The sections that I did that with did not have fuzzy ends. I think it was a success for my first time. It wasn’t the sleek curls I was hoping for, but it was still cute. Next time I will either buy my own or borrow a hooded dryer. I will also use smaller rollers,  I think I’d prefer tighter curl. I think that will achieve the look I was after. Although, I sometimes feel like I don’t have the skill to get salon quality results. Its still good to understand how to style my hair myself. That day I sported my hair with pride. It was the start of a health unit, so as a PE teacher that normally sports yoga pants and a t-shirt, I was excited about looking nice.  I got many compliments on my hair as well as my “Tulle” colourpop ultra matte lipstick I wore that day. My roller set couldn’t have been too bad. What do you all think? How do you do your roller sets for optimal results?

pretty natural curls

 

Defining My Curls

Getting good definition for your natural curls in probably one of the most sought after abilities for those with natural hair. This is especially important if you have any 4 type curl. I would put myself at 4a/ab. My hair in the front is a loser 4a curl pattern, and the hair in the center of my hair is the thickest at 4b. When I was going natural I was praying for a bouncy 3c hair type, but I have learned to love wait I was blessed with. But even if you do have denser, tighter curls, that doesn’t mean you can’t have that defined curl look. There are a couple ways you can achieve this look regardless of your hair type.

Different Sets:

Setting you hair in various ways can help you achieve a defined curl look. This may not be the way your hair “naturally” looks, but that’s the beauty of natural hair, the ability to manipulate the way it looks so easily. You may choose a roller set, braid out, or twist set.

  1. Wash hair using your typical conditioner and shampoo (if any)
  2. Starting with very damp hair, apply your favorite moisturizer.
  3. Separate hair into small sections and apply gel. I use Eco Styler Olive Oil. It will hold the style without making it dry and crunchy.
  4. Put each section into your choice of roller, braid, or twist.
    • If you do a roller set I would choose either a straw or small perm rod set to achieve small, tight curls, rather than the big “Shirley Temple curls”.
    •  With braid and twist out sets, although more time consuming I get the best results with individual twist and braids, rather than cornrows on under twist. Under twist and cornrows will still look good, but for me they tend to be more wavy than curly.
  5.  Use your favorite drying method
    • For a very sleek and shiny look sit under a dryer until hair is completely dry. It takes my hair up over 2 hours to dry under a hooded dryer.
    • You could sit under the hooded dryer for a shorter amount of time like 20-30 minutes, then let it finish by air drying.
    • Or you can let it air dry totally. I usually set my hair the previous day and let it dry 24 hours. This works for me on a lazy weekend and my hair is ready to go the next week.
  6.  Once your hair is dry take out the rollers, braids, or twist. I CANNOT stress how important it is that you wait to take your hair out until it has dried completely. If you don’t you’ll have a puffy mess on your hands once it dries.
    •  When you have out your hair you have choice of separating your hair on leaving it in “clumps”. Sometimes I like the way it looks separated, others I prefer unseparated. For me it’s a catch 22. If I separate my hair, it can turn out fuzzy, if I don’t separate it doesn’t look at full as I’d like and it looks like its been set, not very naturally curly. I typically do which ever I feel up to that day. Choosing between roller, braid, or twist sets are away of achieving a defined curl “look” if your hair doesn’t seem to cooperate on its own.

Wash and Go:

I don’t get to use the wash and go method of defining my curls often. I can only use it during the summer as when I am not working, because my mornings are too early and hectic to attempt this during the school year. This method can be more difficult if you have 4b/4c hair. But there are a few things I can do to make the curls I do have “POP”.

  1. Wash your hair in sections with a VERY good, moisturizing conditioner, saturating each section. When I am attempting to do a wash and go I save it for a co-washing day, not a long shampoo and deep condition day.
  2. Lightly rinse each section out. I never completely rinse conditioner out of my hair.
  3. Ring hair out, so it is not dripping, but DO NOT towel dry.
  4. Apply you favorite oil to wet hair. I use extra virgin coconut, or EVOO.
  5. Apply your favorite curling moisturizer and gel (optional) to sections. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel.
  6. Blow dry hair. You can set under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes or run a hand dryer over your hair for several minutes.
  7. DON’T MESS WITH YOUR HAIR- this is my biggest flaw. Let the curls be or else certain places with turn into a fussy mess.
  8. My wash and go typically only looks really good for one day, but I can come times stretch it out by putting it in a pineapple at night and in the morning spritzing it with a leave in conditioner (water, conditioner, and oil) and reapplying some of the Shea moisture curl enhancer.

These are my techniques for achieving a defined look. What I do may not work for you. Everybody has to experiment to find what products and techniques agree with their hair. When I first went natural and came back to college after winter break I had a twist out. One of my friends asked me, “Why doesn’t your hair look nappy like it did in the pictures?” I took it as a compliment meaning that my twist out made my hair look like defined curly hair. But it did start to make me feel like doing these sets was a cop out, rather than embracing my natural hair texture. I know people who only wear there hair out if it has been set someway because they aren’t confident in their texture. I just see it as another style. Just like I wear different clothing styles, I change my hair style. Its not about not accepting my natural texture, its about getting the look I want at that point in time. I hope everyone can love their natural texture as well as learn different ways to style and show off the versatility of natural hair.