Friday, February 29, 2008

Now that you have prepared for your rollerset by having your basic necessities, you are ready for the next steps. Start with hair that has been washed and conditioned. Make sure that you avoid tangling the hair during the wash and drying process. Tangles work against you. Tangles add additional time that you can use to do other wonderful things with.

Your hair should be fairly wet. You should also position yourself in front of a mirror so you can clearly see what you are doing. Before even starting you need to keep in mind the key factors that can make or break your rollerset:

*Your ability to make perfect size parts.
*Your ability to smooth out the hair with a small tooth comb.
*Your ability to keep the hair wet throughout the process.
*Your ability to roll the hair tightly against the roller.
*Your ability to keep the roller and hair in place close to the scalp.
*Your ability to use the right size roller for each part.

If you can master these six key factors will make your rollersetting experience much more pleasant. There is nothing worse than spending 2 hours rolling your hair only to have a busted looking set once its all said and done. Believe me....I've been there.

I start my rollerset with a small part horizontal part right at the front of my head (where my bangs would be if I had bangs). Once I make that part, I comb the section of hair with a large tooth comb first, then a small tooth comb once I am comfortable that I have removed all of the tangles. I never use a small tooth comb first. After the section is combed out and smooth hold the hair away from the scalp with a bit of tension to make sure the hair is as straight as possible. Then take the roller and begin to roll the hair around the roller towards the scalp. Pay close attention to the hair as you roll it. Make sure the hair is perfectly smooth around the roller. You should be able to see the sides of the roller. If you have hair hanging over the side of the roller, you will end up with crinkly do not want that.
So I keep rollering down the middle of my head until I create a "mow hawk" with the rollers. Then I create similar rows on both sides of my head.

I know that words only paint half the picture so I included this short video to help provide a clearer picture. This is part of a series of rollersetting videos by the same stylist on youtube. Take a look.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hi All!
As I mentioned before, rollersetting is my primary means of styling after I wash and condition. I've been rollersetting consistently for several years now and I would not have it any other way. Sure, the method is more time consuming than air drying or blowing my hair dry, but I find that this method allows me to maintain great looking hair for a longer time span between washes.

The Basics
Rollersetting involves using plastic rollers on wet hair as a means of setting the hair. If you hair is given the opportunity to dry against a smooth surface, it will conform to the surface. If you hair is allowed to dry freely with no structure, you will find yourself having to use a heat tool to create the smoothness that you so long to have. Heat tools are temporary fixes that work behind the scenes to damage your precious hair.

Before you even begin to rollerset you will need to collect your supplies. You'll need to have proper sized rollers. The proper size will depend on the length of your hair. You want to make sure the rollers you use are not too big or too small for the length of your hair. If you use rollers that are too small, you will end up with very tight curls and your drying time will increase. I use the grey and purple sized rollers at home. When I visit the salon, I see stylists using the same rollers on women with hair at various lengths. If your hair is just at or above shoulder length, you may want to use smaller rollers for a neater set. The right size also help you to have better control when rolling. Don't be afraid to use large rollers in areas where you hair is long and small rollers where you need them.

Hair pins are needed to keep the rollers in place. There are several types of pins available. Try out more than one style of pin to find out what works best for you. You should be looking for the pin that you can use to best hold the roller and hair in place firmly. I prefer the kind that are long and black with the plastic tips but the stylist at the salon use the silver clippy kinds. It just depends on what works for you. If you are nervous about using hair pins, you can use the rollers with the snap top. I have a set of these at home and they are fabulous! These things make rollersetting so simple. You do not have to worry about pins falling out, or pins pulling your hair, or pins burning the back of your neck under the dryer. At first I used them as my "training set" when learning how to rollerset, but I still use these to save time and when I have a ton of new growth. Best of all, they are dirt cheap and come in many different sizes.

Next find a rat tail comb. You will be able to part and smooth your hair in a much more efficient manner with this type of comb. You also want to have handy a plastic spray bottle that you will use to keep the hair moist. Finally you will need a large hairnet used to cover the rollers and keep them in place while you hair dries.

The end result of the rollerset weighs heavily on how well you have completed each step so the right tools are essential. These are the basic necessities of the rollerset. My next post will delve deeper into the process.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Years ago, my hair routine consisted of washing, blow drying, then using a flat iron for sleek smooth styles. The entire process produced the sleek look for several days and I would have to flat iron my ends or roots periodically to help keep that fresh look going. The heat for me was a means to an end. The more heat I used, the better the style would look, then I would have to use more heat to maintain that look. I was living in a vicious cycle that was robbing me of healthy hair.

My mom, on the other hand, would religiously wash her hair every week and roller set her hair before drying. Her hair was always so beautiful, shiny, and healthy but I simply dismissed the process as way that "mature women" styled their hair. All my friends flat ironed so I wanted to flat iron. I gave up the dreaded flat iron after reading Wanakee's pamphlet on acheiving healthy hair. I was converted to the no-direct-heat lifestyle and I seeked a solution for my tresses.

Rollersetting was the key. Rollersetting allows us to eliminate direct heat, achieve bouncy hair, obtain shine, and retain moisture. Gals, these are the main keys to achieving healthy hair. Since starting to rollerset, years ago, I have not ever had to return to using a curling iron or a flat iron. Truth be told, learning to rollerset was not an easy process. In fact, if not done properly, the end result can be disastrous. Stay tuned, I will detail the steps of an awesome rollerset in my upcoming posts.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Several years ago I had never heard of a Dominican Salon. In fact, several years ago I had sworn off salons altogher. I was basically frustrated with the quality of my hair after spending 4-5 hours in a salon under the mercy of a stylist who did not give a hoot about the health of my hair. I heard so many great testimonials from the salon that I decided to venture. Since then, I have never looked back. Don't get me wrong, there are some pros and cons involved.

Silky bouncy hair
You can extend your relaxer longer
You actually see other black women there with long hair
Some of the stylists there are actually concerned with the health of your hair.
Usually takes less time than going to a regular African-American salon.


Round brush and heat combined
Hair so straight that it may appear lifeless.
Visiting the salon to often may lead to thining hair.

My hair is super thick and prone to breakage. Everytime I go to the salon I end up losing a lot of hair. I take it as a tradeoff because after I am done, my hair is fabulous for the next two weeks. The good news is that I know my limits, I only visit my Dominican sisters every two and a half months or so. Otherwise, my hair would hate me. Plus, to be completely honest, I actually prefer big hair to the super-straight flat hair I have when I've gotten my hair done. I usually come straight home and put in rollers for additional body. Overall, I am happy with my visit but I will not be back in for a while. I plan on going back to a rigid hair routine in preparation for the warmer months when my hair growth accelerates. My goal is to strengthen the hair so it retains more of the length that will I receive in the summer. That way, I will reach my goal of mid-back hair (once again) by the middle of the year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Once upon a time, the day I would wash my hair would consist of nothing more than a shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse, and set. That was until I learned about the fabulous pre-shampoo treatment. The treatment basically consists of applying a moisturizing conditioner, plant oil, or a combination of the two to dry hair before you begin to shampoo. You can apply the oil 15 minutes before you wash or as early as the night before you wash. I even pre-treat my hair before I visit the Dominican Salon. Relaxed hair generally tends to be extremely dry from the chemical process. Any step you can take to add much needed moisture will be well received by your hair. Once you apply the product to your dry hair, you can make the step more powerful by wrapping a hot moist towel around your head and sitting under the dryer for about 15 minutes.

The pre-shampoo treatment works to add moisture to your hair in preperation for the stripping affects of the shampoo. This step in my washing process allows me to use a clarifying shampoo at every wash. The purpose of the clarifying shampoo is to remove extra buildup on the hair but without the pre-shampoo treatment, I could only use this product sparingly to avoid over-drying my hair out. Remember that with healthy relaxed hair you must always think about adding moisture whenever and however possible. Once I started pre-treating my hair, I never looked back.

Here is a video for your viewing pleasure from a Ford Model who also pre-treats as part of her routine. Enjoy!
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