Roller Setting For The… Setting Impaired

I am in no way an expert in roller setting. I have, however, have been doing it for a while and I think I have gotten a decent grasp on it. For this tutorial, I did the mohawk method because I have to use bigger rollers now, but the quadrant method is also a good method, especially if you use smaller rollers.

The most important tip I can give anyone is when you roller set, you have to think of the end result. When you throw the rollers in anyway, your hair will come out just like that. You have to keep the rollers in one direction as it is the best way to get the hair and rollers smooth and even. Also, you want to try and use the same size rollers, though this is not always necessary depending on the length of certain areas, to even out drying time.

The next important thing is a good leave-in and heat protectant. A good leave-in should be liquid-y or light and shouldn’t leave the hair hard, heavy, greasy or stiff. A good heat protectant depends on you. My hair doesn’t like most foams, does not like creams, and does well with cones. You don’t always need a leave-in, but the final results may last longer and come out smoother with a good leave-in. Back in the day, I used to use Fantasia IC as a leave-in and it left my hair really nice. CHI Keratin Mist is really good too and can leave you with straighter hair. Use enough protectant that you hair can easily detangle. If your hair is hard to comb, your combination may not be good. You don’t want to struggle when detangling because it is horribly discouraging. Last, always have a bottle of spray water around.

So first, with a Mohawk, I start by separating my hair in 3. The Mohawk is easy. I used smaller rollers in the front (because that area is a tad shorter due to bangs and crown breakage) but use larger rollers in the back.

When I get to the left and right side, I separate those sides in two, front and back. I always start with the back first. It is easier to place the rollers because you can see the rollers in the back better. Next. Determine in the back how many rollers you can fit. I cannot emphasize enough that it is important to assess roller size and amount when rolling. If you just throw in any amount, you’ll end with a piece with no placement, uneven rollers, possible uneven drying or bad placement in general. In the picture below, you can see that I am holding a piece that will even out pretty well with placement and that I am starting from the back.


This picture shows how I view the piece in the mirror.


Now, I always recommend when roller setting to have two combs, one to detangle and one to smooth. I look straight ahead when combing so I can see what I am doing.


When it goes to putting in the roller, I hold the piece of hair and turn my head to the opposite side of the roller so that I can get smooth placement. I continue this habit (only on the sides, not for the mohawk) so that all rollers are set the same way.


I place the pins on the top part of the roller or until the roller doesn’t move or drop. I keep my head turned still when doing this. I roll up, so this placement is best, but if you roll down (meaning you place the roller under the hair you are roller versus how I place the roller on top of the hair I am rolling) then place the pins at the bottom. Typically, where you stop rolling.




Your rollers should be even and placed the same way. In the front I like to slant mine to front just a bit (got that from a hairdresser) because the edges smooth better.


Last, this is what I am talking about; how the hair falls off the roller. You want to fall in some kind of uniformity, especially if you want to wear the hair out and reduce heat usage afterwards. It sound like a lot of work, but practice makes perfect and when you get the hang of it, you will get it.


Good luck on your roller set!

One Day, it Will Happen

Tasia B.

6 thoughts on “Roller Setting For The… Setting Impaired

  1. I think your rollersets are always lovely!
    I really should try rollersetting. Flexirods test my patience (they stay on the occasional styling list because they last so long for me) so rollersetting just hasn’t made the styling list.

    • Thank you. Flexi rods actually take me a while to do so I don’t bother with them. It’s easier to roll, so I prefer it to flexi rods

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