Sunday, 27 February 2011

Hair Experiment: A Wet Set

On my day off on Friday, I finally got around to trying out a wet set!
Here's what equipment I used:
  • 21 'medium' curl rollers and pins (I bought mine from Superdrug, £1.40ish for a pack of 7).
  • A space-silver hairdryer hood (Ebay, £7ish including delivery)
  • Setting lotion (Superdrug, only a few quid)
  • Spray bottle to decant the setting lotion into (Superdrug)
  • Boar bristle brush (TK Maxx for a £12 bargain, looks just like a Mason Pearson and is of the same quality, from some Italian brush company since 1890)
With my hair wet from the shower I started rolling up the hair, spritzing each section with setting lotion and combing through before hand. It was very, very tricky. I did a line going back from my temple to my back hairline, as advised in the 'Marilyn' set in the Belinda Hay book, 'Style Me Vintage'. Normally I can't manage this and go down the sides instead. It took ages, and was very fiddly!

I couldn't leave my hair to dry naturally - I've tried before leaving rollers in overnight, and the hair is still wet in the morning, 12 hours later! So I tried the space hood! (Someone mentioned they'd bought one on their blog recently, forgive me as I can't remember who). The trouble is, my hairdryer is too powerful, so I could only do it in 10-20 second bursts as I otherwise would have burnt my head. I must find an old, less powerful hairdryer. I left the rollers in for about an hour and a half, intermittently using the hood.

The curls were very tight when I took the rollers out.

After much brushing out with the boar-bristle brush I had some BIG hair. The curls were well-defined and not too frizzy, the setting lotion really does help smooth and tame. I ended up putting in a scarf to keep it off my face a little.

All in all, I think this would work great if my hair was shorter and had more layers. For the moment, because I have so much hair and it's quite long, I will stick to using the hot rollers and brushing it out to get a much softer, Veronica Lake type wave. Next time I get my hair cut I'll get more layers put back in and try out the wet-set again.
Many hours and a few G&Ts later, the hair still had a lot of curl and body, despite being crushed under the hood of my rainmac also! (I got to wear the new Peacock's dress too)

My hair was still quite curly the next day, even after having slept on it.
I think the main thing to bear in mind when experimenting with vintage hairstyling is that everyone's hair reacts differently to various methods. I have learnt that I can't use mousse (hair tangles), that I can't do a wet-set overnight (hair doesn't dry by morning), and that I can't use Velcro or sponge rollers or those foam bendy ones (they slip out of my hair). I also can't do rollers in a 'halo' keeping the top part smooth, because then the weight of my hair causes the curl to drop out too much. I can roll right up to the scalp, and when I brush it out I will still get a smooth top section like vintage styles require, as my hair is heavy.

Trial and error, ladies.


  1. yay, the dress! I wore it to a gig on Friday :)

    I went to the hair dressers to get my hair cut and got it styled because I was going out in the night. My hair dresser blow dried my hair with a round brush and then coiled my hair into an 'o' shape and clipped it in place, he did this all over and put a setting spray on. When he removed it the curls were lovely and stayed in place all night and the next day :)
    Sorry I couldn't describe it to you in a better way

  2. My hair takes too long to dry in sponge rollers and pillow rollers left in over night. I prefer perm rods my hair seems to dry much more quickly with them and I didn't find them any harder to sleep in but did find a hair net was required.

  3. You are so right - hair does react differently. But - I am off to buy a hood right now! :)


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