Wet-setting the hair is a staple in Vintage Hair Styling. It is a fast (guaranteed) way to invoke beautiful spiral curls that can be brushed into a 1000 different ways. Those of the Vintage Community know what I am speaking of. However, if you’re new to Vintage Styling a bonafide ‘Wet Set’ can be intimidating. There is also a high percentage that the set may fail and all the work be lost.
Today I am sharing all my tid-bits in perfecting a ‘Wet Set’ and having it come out steller!
Sponge Rollers are truly unique. As the name implies they are indeed round oblong sponges with a plastic clip at the end to help hold the hair in place . They’re extremely affordable and easy to find. Sponge rollers can be purchased from your local hair supply store or even found at Walmart (although a bit more expensive)
They are meant to be used when the hair is slightly damp (or even dry) followed by applying a true setting lotion, and then either slept in, left to air dry, or be placed under a heated dryer.
A true setting lotion is a product dedicated in setting the hair and holding a curl. Deep conditioners or ‘leave’ ins are NOT setting lotions. I am a fan of LOTTA BODY and highly recommend it for first time setters
SPONGE ROLLER SIZES
There are many sizes to choose from but unlike a hot roller set that comes with a predetermined number of curlers; sponge rollers are purchased per pack in the size that you need. Personally I have been testing the 1 inch and 1 1/2 inch sizes on my own hair. Sponge rollers shrink in size as you roll the hair towards the head. This creates a smaller tighter spiral and also means less curlers to place on the head. I am currently sitting with a set of sponge rollers in my hair. 😊 I use about 26 in total and my biggest tip to share is placing a large wefted hair net over top to help hold them closer to your head as they dry.
- See more of these tips in the tutorials below
Once the set is completely dry you remove the sponge rollers and brush your hair into the desired style.
Setting the hair while it is damp helps to change the molecular level of the hair shaft which will allow the set to last longer than a heated style. At this time I am still testing that out and plan to do a hot roller vs sponge roller blog post in the near future.
What styles can come out of a Wet Set?
I am going to be very honest. If your goal is to have a pageboy, think Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor, than this will work best for those with shorter hair. Think collar bone length or shorter. When I started my vintage journey I had very long hair (see more in my Youtube tutorial about my hair cut ) It was extremely time consuming to do any vintage style other than Victory Rolls because my hair wasn’t cut for vintage styling. After waiting almost a year I finally chopped my tresses and I do not regret it! I love my hair the length it is and the u-shape hair cut.
If you have long hair than channel Veronica Lake, Bettie Page, or Rita Hayworth for vintage styling inspo! All of these styles can be achieved through a wet set.
Miss Audrey Monroe 💋