Straw sets are a fun way to play around with a little hair texture while keeping cool during the hot summer months. The straw set is a super curly ‘do comprised of tightly wound micro curls that can be fluffed to mimic natural hair. Straw sets are an amazing protective style. Straw curls are super low maintenance and can give your hair a break from harsh heat styling and combing manipulation over the summer. When braidouts, twistouts, and buns get old and boring, add a little texture and spice to your summer hair regimen with a straw set.
Straw sets are the one hair style I wear that gets an immediate “Wow!” reaction from almost every person I see. I can just about count on a comment! As someone who wears her hair relaxed, the straw set change is that rare opportunity to see my hair in a fun, kinky and coily state. (It’s also quite fun to shock your coworkers by walking into the room with a head full of tiny coily curls when your hair was pin straight the day before!) As someone who is also taking the first steps toward transitioning to natural hair, straw sets have been my hair blending, saving grace. Straw sets can even be done on natural hair. I just love straw sets!!!
What is a straw set?
A straw set is a basic roller set, except the hair is set on tiny straws. Once the set has dried, the straws are removed and the pencil thin coils are “pulled” or released. The end result is a jazzy halo of corkscrew-like curls and coils.
My straw set style is actually a “faux straw set” because I use what I call “baby perm rods” to mimic the straws. These rods are really, really tiny. I typically use orange perm rods for larger, spiral curl type sets (Shirley Temple), and I use yellow and blue rods to mimic the straw set. I use perm rods because I never really fully mastered the art of winding the plastic straws and securing the straws with bobby pins. I prefer the convenience of rods since each rod comes with the closure attached. I find that my straw sets are much more secure when I use small perm rods. The end result is exactly the same as regular straws. So what are the benefits of straw sets?
Benefits of straw setting
1.) Straw sets are extremely low maintenance hairstyles.
Like braids and cornrows, straw sets give your hair a break from the regular styling, combing, and brushing manipulation you typically encounter during daily grooming. Straw sets last longer than other sets like braidouts and twistouts, and the curls only need to be moisturized, oiled, and fluffed each day.Straw sets save me so much time in the mornings. It takes 5 minutes tops to address my straws curls each morning. Straws sets are awesome because they are essentially tension-free hair styles.They are protective in that there is no damage from pulling the hair back like you might get with regular hair bunning or braiding. For those with delicate hairlines, straw sets are a longer lasting alternative to regular roller setting and tension producing braided styles.
2.) Straw sets create incredible shrinkage.
Shrinkage is typically a con, but not for straw sets! Straw shrinkage is intense, but this is what makes them such a great protective style-especially for the summer months. My brastrap length hair produces a straw set that falls several inches above my shoulders . This set is perfect for hot summer days when you need your hair out of the way! Your first day will always be the day with the most shrinkage. The straw curls will fall nicely on their own over the course of a few days. But even with the falling, you’ll find that your straws are likely still several inches above shoulder length.
With your hair up and out of the way, you reduce your chances of hair breakage from clothing friction, rubbing, and general styling.
3.) Straw sets last forever!
Well not really forever, but close to it! Straw sets have incredible staying power and can stand up to moisture and humidity better than any other roller set. Straw sets typically last 1-2 weeks. If straws are lightly sprayed with a light holding or finishing spray, straw set wearers can get even greater mileage out of the set. I’ve worn a straw set up to 2 weeks, but since I prefer to wash on the weekends, one week is typical for me. If you are looking for a good, “hands off ” alternative to cornrows then a straw set may work for you.
Straw sets are economical because hundreds of straws can be purchased very cheaply, and straws can be cut to size for longer or shorter hair lengths. The sets take about an hour or so to complete depending on your speed, hair length, and experience. Straw sets dry very quickly, and for me that’s about 45 minutes.
4.) Straw sets are almost fail proof. Anyone can do them!
Straw sets are very DIYer-friendly. The set can be arranged any kind of way and still produce a nice result. In fact, the wilder you place the straws, the better the set in my opinion. Larger roller sets typically require a certain roller pattern or flow to ensure that the hair moves correctly once set and dried. Because the end result of a straw set is springy, spontaneous coils, there is no pattern to follow. In fact, I don’t even use a comb to part my sections when I’m straw setting– I just grab hair with my fingers. Straw sets are free form, and so anything goes!
5.) Straw sets help blend transitioning hair.
For those who are considering transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, straw sets allow you the rare opportunity to see your hair in a coily, kinky, shrunken state before you take the plunge. They also give you a chance to get comfortable seeing yourself with shorter hair. As most of you know, transitioning to natural hair is not simply a physical hair change. It is also an emotional, spiritual, and mental change that often requires a shift in attitude and perspective. Straw sets can help the ride become a little bit easier for the new transitioner.
Good luck with your straw sets folks!