The curious ways of styling retro hair.

If time allows I will always choose a wet set over hot rollers or a hot iron.


The word set refers to the general lay out or design placed in the hair.  You can perform a set with different methods as you wrap your hair in pin curls or rollers regardless if the hair is wet or the tools used are hot.

hair rollers

A wet roller set is the application of foam or plastic rollers in a design to wet hair and removing rollers once the hair is dry.

A hot roller set is the application of a hot roller to dry hair in a design and removing rollers once they have cooled.

To use a hot iron in dry hair, you roll a section of dry hair with the barrel of the iron. Release and move on creating a design in the hair section by section.

Pin curls are wrapping small sections of wet hair and securing with a clip until hair is dry.  Used to form a foundation curl (wet to dry) or a styled curl formation. A set or complete head of pin curls can also achieve a desired look.


Depending on your own hair type, texture, density and length will help you understand which method to set your hair will be most suited.

foam roller

As I have poker straight hair that is medium in length, medium coarseness and medium density I go with the method that will provide the most longevity.  If time and preparation allows I will always choose a wet set and this is why.


Within the structure of a hair strand is several layers and a bond that can be temporarily broken, shape the hair as desired and once the hair is dry this bond re-attaches making the desired style lock into position until the next wash.  This means your curl formations will be stronger and remain longer because of the support.

wet set

Retro hair styles are based on the most important building steps of hair design. Clean and consistent partings will make for a more finished look. It is important to understand how mapping out the initial lay out of your curl formations will affect the end result in styling once dry.  Any curl formation can be replicated through the use of pin curls or rollers you just need to be aware of the direction you are wrapping.  Just like the use of wet or dry styling techniques will aid in the longevity of your hair design.


Always remember to comb your section as neatly as you can before you roll your hair and don’t kink or overlap loose strands.  As they dry these deficiencies will be very noticeable in the end result.

Making curl formations slightly smaller will help fight against gravity because it will be pulling on your curl.  Another key element to curls are their foundations/bases, technique and the anchoring of them.

If you can, wet is best as are the aid of setting lotions and potions.


One thought on “The curious ways of styling retro hair.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s