There are many regimens, techniques, and products that you tend to leave behind once you become a natural-haired woman. You leave the relaxer chemicals, six-week trims, and curling irons behind, as you no longer have a use for them. There are some you may hold onto as they still have a space in your heart like flat irons, setting lotion, and rollers. Rollers? Yes, rollers! They are magical creatures that will give your hair bounce, shine, and silkiness, and while often times they are associated with relaxed hair, they do have a place for curls, coils, and waves.

Natural hair is versatile and practically an open canvas for any style you hope to achieve. It can even look like relaxed hair with the right technique and yes, that goes for all hair textures, so do not think you cannot achieve silky hair that will blow in the wind. There is nothing wrong with embracing your curl patterns, but for the natural who loves variety can have it all with the right rollers, setting lotion, technique, and creativity.

Why Use a Roller Set?

  • Achieve looser curls, tighter curls, and stretched hair without the need for heat
  • Use a hooded dryer or air-dry instead of using a blow-dryer or flat iron
  • Use the same magnetic or cold perm rod rollers you used while relaxed
  • Your style will last much longer than it would if achieved with heat tools

What You'll Need

The perfect roller set starts well before you add the rollers. It starts with the right cleanser, conditioner, moisturizer, and setting lotion. For the best roller sets start on wet, clean hair. You want the hair to be free of dirt and old product buildup so make sure to use a clarifying shampoo or a really good cleansing co-wash.

The Products

A deep condition (e.g. Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment) should follow your cleanse. You can leave your treatment or masque on for 5 min or for 15 min with a plastic cap for extra conditioning. Rinse and now it is time for the leave-in conditioner and styling products. For the leave-in conditioner you can use Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner, as it is great if you choose to sit under the hooded dryer. For setting lotion you can go with old faithful that every relaxed woman will know about, Lotta Body Setting Lotion. For smoother roots try your favorite gel just on the roots. We suggest Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel. Even if you choose not to use it all over it will be great for slicking down your edges once hair is dry and down.

The Rollers

The rollers that seem to work the best are magnetic rollers. The smaller the roller, the tighter the curl, and if youchoose to use smaller rollers on longer hair, then your drying time will increase. Here are some rules of thumb: make sure you do not pick a roller that is too big, make sure each section is tangle-free and the hair lays smoothly on each roller, and do not remove the rollers until your hair is completely dry. If you release your style while your hair is still damp, your hair will frizz and your curl pattern will revert. Roller paper is not necessary but if you have it then give it a try and see if you like it.

Before You Go to Sleep...

There are a few ways to preserve your hair during nighttime. You can either go super old school by wrapping it up at night or you can pin your curls in place (pin curl) to ensure your curls last around a week or even longer. Make sure to wear a satin bonnet to help preserve the hair.  In order to keep your edges laid you can use edge control as reinforcement.

And When You Wake Up

If you chose to wrap your hair, then comb out your wrap with a wide-tooth comb. If you chose to pin curl your hair then you can either use your fingers to style or use a wide-tooth comb. You may want to add a few drops of your favorite oil in the palm of your hand to smooth any stray hairs or just take down pin curls to keep sections smooth. You can also smooth some of the oil onto your wrap style for the same reason.

Jess from MahoganyCurls has a great video on roller setting that allows you to see the technique and the finished product.

What are some of your roller set tips?