Straw setting is a really neat way to add some texture to your hair styling regimen. Straw sets are very protective and will give your hair a break from day to day styling treatment. These springy, spontaneous curls have an amazing staying power which makes them preferable to regular roller sets for low manipulation stylers. But how do you make the curls last? What can you do to make your straw set stay up longer? This article will discuss ways to preserve straw set curls and keep them nicer and neater longer!
Caring for Your Straw Set: The Basics
A straw set typically lasts about 10-14 days. After this, curls begin to seriously flatten, and some may begin to frizz and straighten out entirely. Typically, the third day or so into my set, I’ll need to perform preventive maintenance on curls that have lost their way. This usually means isolating, re-wetting, and re-rolling a few flat pieces of hair each night.
First things first:
Basic straw set care begins with proper conditioning. Wash and thoroughly deep condition your hair with heat prior to setting your hair on straws. The moisture received from this initial wash and deep conditioning will be needed to carry the set through the long haul. Here are more straw set maintenance tips that will keep your set looking fresher longer.
1.) For long lasting straw set curls, do not overload your straws.
Be careful not to overload the straws or rods with too much hair. Overloading the straw roller reduces the likelihood that your set will actually dry through. It also increases the chances of frizzing once the straw is removed and the hair is fluffed. While loading up the straws speeds up the setting process, it only produces sub-par curls with less staying power. An overloaded straw will also produce curls of various sizes from one winding. The curls are less uniform because the hair on the outermost part of the wound section has a slightly wider diameter than the hair that is on the inner part of the section closest to the actual straw. The difference you create when you overload large rollers is negligible because the overall curl size is larger, but when you’re working with small diameters (like straw/pencil width)– any variance from that width is noticeable.
* If this is hard to visualize, think of a race track. The straw would be the area in the middle of the track, and the lanes would be your hair wrapped around the straw. The lanes on the inside are a shorter distance (tighter) than the lanes on the outside (wider).
2.) Use a good setting lotion/water to set your straw set curls.
Choose a good setting lotion/water mix ratio to smooth the hair around the straw. I use Lotta Body setting lotion. Setting lotion helps the hair remember the set, and basically helps mold your hair into place.The smooth, shiny curls produced by high setting lotion/ low water ratio mixes will last longer than curls created with high water, low setting lotion spray mixtures.
My basic roller set mix of 1/4 cup Lotta body to 1 full bottle (2 cups) water does not give me good straw set hold. Lots of water in the mix works well for larger roller sets, and gives them that extra body and bounce they’re popular for– but a mix like this will only cause a straw set to prematurely frizz. You will need to play around with the setting lotion/water ratio that gives you the best results. You want a firm, yet flexible hold for straw sets. Not crunchy! Your mix will always have to have more water than setting lotion.
3.) Thoroughly wet each straw section to create curls with staying power!
Always keep your hair sopping wet as you wind it around the straw. This is a good rule of thumb for any roller set. Properly saturated hair will always curl better (and remember its curl) than hair that has been allowed to dry a bit prior to rolling. If you feel your hair starting to dry before you’ve rolled it, spray it down with more plain water. Really wet hair will cling better to the straw anyway and this is especially important at the ends of the straw section where hair is likely to come loose.
4.) Perform Regular Straw Set Maintenance to keep curls fresh!
After the set, you’ll need to perform regular straw set maintenance to keep your straw set curls looking fresh. Maintenance includes daily moisturizing, oiling, and basic night care.
Moisturizing Your straw set
Moisturization is extremely important for straw set maintenance, but as you likely know, water will cause your straw curls to fall. The key to preserving a straw set and keeping your hair moisturized is not relying too heavily on daily moisture products. Your main source of moisture should be coming from the deep conditioning you do PRIOR to setting the straws. The moisture and conditioning achieved from this deep conditioning is the main moisture source your straws will have to thrive on. You want to use very little water-based moisturizer each day, and ideally you’d use a moisturizer with a good oil component to maintain this style.
Daily moisture products will be necessary, especially if you plan to wear your set longer than a few days. But be careful not to over do it, otherwise, you’ll end up with a falling, frizzy set before its time! When you moisturize straws with heavier products like Shea butter, or water based products in general, you want to make sure that you rub the product into your palms until it almost disappears. All you should be able to see is a thin, light sheen or film on your palms. This method will keep your application light so that you don’t weigh down or frizz the straws.
I typically use a small dab of Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil moisturizer and a slightly larger dab of coconut oil mixed together. I rub the mix in my hands until it disappears, and then apply the mix throughout my straws while I gently pull and fluff them.
Nighttime Straw Set Care
My nightly routine is simple. I moisturize/oil my straws, then cover them with a satin scarf. In the morning the straws are squashed and flat-but magically, a little more moisturizer/oil combo and fluffing brings them right on back to life! This is one thing straw sets definitely have over other types of roller sets. Occasionally, you’ll need to prep and re-curl certain sections of your hair. This tends to affect those curls around the frontal hair line and along the nape where shower water may have dropped them. These isolated straw curls tend to dry quickly on their own by the next morning.
Straw sets save me so much time and energy in the mornings. It takes 5 minutes tops to address my straws curls each morning. The above tips have given my straw sets incredible staying power, try them and see if they work for you!