Lets talk about sets bay-bee, lets talk about you and me, lets talk about all the good things and the bad things… WAIT A MINUTE! Yeah, yeah. I said it. SETS. That dirty little word that conjures to mind images of Granny sitting with her head in pink foam rollers, or a bunch of gossiping aunties sitting under hooded dryers while ripping apart their neighbours and husbands. And while those charming images are classic and true… that’s not the kind of SETS I want you to be having! Good sets are like good…er… something else. You have to take your time. YOu have to know what you’re doing. You have to be willing to experiment to see what works best for you. Most of all, you have to have FUN with sets! It’s really not so scary, and a good set can really do wonders for your holiday season!
Okay. Lets break it down. When I say “Set”, WHAT am I talking about? Your hair is a complicated construction of proteins, bound together in different ways. One of those ways with with a water bond- water, and how you dry and remove that water- is an easy and basic way to style your hair. When you wet your hair and style it, you are giving the hair a pattern to follow. The firmer you style that hair, the stronger the shape. You can use products and many different things to add additional firmness to that style, to help it last. Back in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s.. if you call to mind any glamour gal.. she most likely had a set. Marilyn Monroe had a set. Queen Elizabeth II has one of the mosy easily recognized sets in the world!
Starting From Dry: Okay, okay. So a wet-set isn’t your cup of tea. As crazy as it sounds, almost all of us gals have had a set at one time or another.. what do you think a flat-iron or a curling-iron does? That’s right.. using heat, it alters the shape of the hair.. which is a set! So, you’re having sets all the time without knowing it! HA! Now.. what if you’re one of those gals who insists her hair “doesn’t curl“? There are several rookie mistakes that almost EVERYONE makes with curled hair. If you’ve come down to the Scissorkitty Hair Lair, you’ve no doubt hear this speach before! If you haven’t- come on down!- but I’ll give you the nitty-gritty here anyway. When you curl your hair, do you start moving it around right away? WRONG! That heated up lock has just been given a very basic set- you need to let it cool to do the job properly! Take a section of your hair, give it a light spray with a LIGHT HOLD styling spray (or “working spray” as we call it) if necessary, then curl it. When you remove your curling iron, let the curl roll up, and then pin it to your head as a little ring! Do your WHOLE head this way, give it another spray, and DON‘T REMOVE THE PINS until your whole head is cool! Go pick out your shoes, or brush your teeth, or drink a beer or something. NOW you can go ahead and pull the pins out. Those curls are going to be bouncing for a LOOOONG time now! Unless you want a very soft look, just go ahead and comb through those locks with your FINGERS! This way, you can seperate the curls without brushing them out. The more you stroke through them, the looser they will become. Feel free to brush if you want to, you can set in a wave that way as well. When you get the hair how you like it, spray like hell! NOW is the time to give yourself a proper helmet!
Getting It Wet: a basic wet set starts with, you guessed it, wet hair. This kind of set lasts the longest- and if you’re ever having a hard time, ask your granny to help you out! Gals from back in the day know ALL KINDS of nifty tricks to get a good firm set that lasts and lasts! You’re going to need a towel, some styling products, a good comb, and hairpins, rollers,
two-pronged or single-pronged hairclips, which you can get form a beauty supply store. You might also want a nice silky scarf or a hairnet. So, wet that hair, then towel it mostly dry. Apply a styling product- a gel will make a firmer style, a mousse or cream will create a softer style that doesn’t last as long, but is easier to manipulate late. Make sure all the hair feels “slippery” with product! You want an even distribution. Comb it through to make sure you aren’t setting any tangles in there as well! Now split your hair into sections… like a grid. Use your comb to slice them out. Take each section, and depending on what you’re using, roll that hair up! If you’re using rollers, go to town. If you’re trying for a more classic pin-curl look, use your finger to coil the hair up, then slide it off and pin it flat to your head. There area ALL SORTS of instructions for these different looks online, so I won’t waste valuable Hair Space (haha!) repeating the whole process. When you’re done, wrap that hair with your hairnet, your silky scarf, or both, and bunker down for some sleep! (yeah- it feels weird. You signed up for this, remember!) In the morning, when your hair is dry, take out all your goodies, and start brushing through your new do! It’s going to be crunchy and stiff at first, but the more you play with it, the more you can get it to do! This is a great way to get a curly or wavy look that can carry you through an entire holiday weekend, if necessary.
What do do if you’re really scared? Dude! That’s what your charming, talented, and always supportive favourite hair professional is here for! If you need a tutorial, or if you just want someone else to do the dirty work: all you ever have to do is ask! Just remember, you DON‘T have to have the same sets your Granny is having!