How I Rollerset My Hair – Part I

How I Rollerset My Hair – Part I

How to Rollerset Your Own Hair

How to Rollerset Your Own Hair I want to begin by saying that although many of you requested a tutorial on how to rollerset your own hair more than a few times, I did not ignore you. I attempted to record my process so many times, but each time something was wrong!  Either it was poor lighting, too long, I didn’t do a great job, something!  So please accept my apologies for taking ten prison years to finally get this request fulfilled.  Forgive me?  Thanks!  🙂



Before beginning, gather your necessary tools:

  • Wide and small (not fine) tooth combs – I highly recommend Hercules Sagemann combs.
  • Large clips for sectioning your hair
  • Water bottle – I used diluted Lottabody setting lotion for this set but I usually use just plain water.
  • Rollers – I prefer plastic mesh rollers because they are sturdier than the wire ones and decrease drying time.
  • Plastic Picks – these have much less potential to snag your hair causing unnecessary breakage
  • Serum – Smooths the hair and and shine.  My preference at the moment is Paul Mitchel Super Skinny Serum.
  • Hooded Dryer – I am still in love with my Pebco dryer…broken knob and all!
  • Ear Protectors – Optional, but these make sitting under the dryer a much more pleasant experience for me!
  • Hair Net – Holds the rollers in place while drying.

How to Rollerset Your Own Hair:

Your hair should be freshly washed and conditioned.  I apply a lightweight leave in like Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In or ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea, but some prefer naked hair.

  1. To begin I detangle my hair starting from the ends with my extra wide tooth comb (Magic Rake by Hercules Sagemann).
  2. The key to a great set is the sectioning – it’s all about clean parts and well placed rollers, which comes down to good sectioning.  A tip I picked up from Shika from Hair I am World is when using the mohawk method (creating one center row of rollers and then setting the each on each side in four quadrants), I do the front and back halves of my hair separately.  I don’t try to get an even row from my forehead to the back because it is nearly impossible to do on your own head.  So, I part my hair from ear to ear and clip the back half away first.
  3. Then, I measure the middle row using the width of the roller as a guide and part using the pointy end of my 6450 Hercules Sageman comb.  You want to make sure you do not create a row that is wider than the width of the roller, that means the sides of that row of hair will not fit onto the roller and therefore will end up loose leading to puffy roots and a frizzy set.
  4. Once I section the middle, I clip the sides away and set my hair beginning from the middle working my way outwards being sure to pull my hair taut as I roll.
  5. On each section I am sure to re-spray when necessary to keep the hair wet.  I pull the roller against my hair until I am about one inch from the ends, then I wrap the ends around the roller with my fingers (see video for demonstration).  I don’t actually pull the roller completely to the very ends of my hair; Plastic mesh rollers are a bit rougher and I think that would place unnecessary stress on the ends of my hair plus there would be pieces that inevitably fall leading you to have to try to re-roll.
  6. I place the plastic pick thru the center of the mesh roller.
  7. Once the center row is completed, I begin on the right quadrant.  I part the first section nearest the middle of my head on a slight diagonal and roll upwards/backwards with the roller placed on the top of the hair.  Again, I make sure not to attempt rolling sections of hair wider than my roller which means I make two rows.
  8. The second “row” of hair on the side is rolled forward.  I do use the metal two prong clips on the rollers on the very perimeter of my hair for a more secure hold since the hair there is normally a bit shorter.
  9. Repeat the same process on the left side.
  10. Once the entire front half has been rolled, I repeat steps 2-10 on the back half .  I roll the center row first then set each side starting from the crown of my head, working my way outwards.
  11. I use ear protectors to shield my ears from the heat of the dryer and a hair net to hold my rollers in place while drying.  With the plastic mesh rollers and my professional hooded dryer, it only takes my hair about 45 minutes to completely dry.
Hopefully between my detailed steps and the video you have a great guide of how I rollerset my hair.  Some additional tips are available here along with links to various tutorials from other ladies who rollerset their hair; The list includes tutorials for relaxed, natural and transitioning hair – rollersets are great for all hair types!  If you have any questions, as always leave it below and I’ll be happy to help!

 To see how I roller wrap (silk wrap) my hair please view Part II of this tutorial.

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  • Kim

    Great tutorial. I’m going to try that half and half Mohawk; it looks promising.

  • Priscils66

    Thanks for the tutorial….it was quite timely for me since I am now 9 weeks post and my texlax hair is always a challenge on wash day. I use to roller set my hair all the time when the length was just past my neck but got frustrated with the time it required dealing with two textures. I tried your tips on Sunday and the outcome was amazing. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • You are more than welcome – thanks for coming back to let me know they worked well for you!

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  • MileHighDiva

    Great tutorial! Are those red rollers smooth like the magnetic rollers? Or, do they have little ridges on them? Trying to decide between the two types, before I buy, so I don’t waste money. Have you ever used end papers?

  • So many great tips here, might be able to get something done with rollers in rather than standing in front of the mirror for 45 mins with a curling iron!

    • Thank you! You can do it, rollersets are such a healthier (and easier in my opinion) way to get great curls!

  • tmj

    Maybe yor’re using too much oil on your hair – may be causing breakouts on your face – try some natural ingredients like olive oil or grapeseed oil to help. You did the roller set great!

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  • Cindy Cintron

    dear ebonyprincess,i just purchased a table dryer and the gray and black rollers i just saw your tutorial and cant wait to try hope i can do it …do you have a tutorial on how to do a doobee??? i can never get it right =0( thank you again..