Setting Hair: Which Products Work Best?

Setting hair is most effective when each section of hair is given a quick dose of styling spray before it’s wrapped.

roller setThis way, you can do roller sets on dry hair. A huge plus because it means that you only wait for the product to dry, rather than an entire head of wet hair.

Much faster.

Roller sets done on dry hair also create a softer, more natural looking curl, without the obvious partings that result on the scalp when setting wet hair. Detailed instructions on using rollers to create curly hair styles

Setting hair in rollers is a great way to get it ready for ANY updo. It creates a foundation of volume and direction in the hair. Once it’s set, it is easy to manipulate into something beautiful and will hold the style much better than hair that hasn’t been set.

The products featured here are ideal for hair sets with velcro or rag rollers. But they can also be very effective for thermal hair setting, involving heat styling tools (i.e., hot rollers, curling irons, flat irons).


Matrix Biolage Thermal-Active Setting Spray

A non-aerosol spritz that creates beautiful, bouncy curls with zero crunch factor. This setting spray keeps hair soft but locks curls in and amplifies the shine.

The perfect product for pincurl sets, velcro or hot rollers. As the name states, the formula is ‘thermal-active’ which means that it does need heat to unleash its transformative powers.

Lightly spray the roots of wet hair before drying to start building volume. Then use on dry hair as you wrap sections.

Alterna Caviar Working Hair Spray

This product addresses hair’s need for both protein and moisture while providing protection from the damage that heat styling can cause. AND, it’s multifunctional. Use on wet hair before drying, during styling – spray sections just prior to curling or straightening with heat appliances and/or after styling as a finishing spray.

Alterna’s Caviar line are luxurious products. They’re known to have a noticeable impact on limp, dry or dull hair that lacks the critical qualities of healthy hair; volume and shine.

This light spray is extremely fast drying and leaves no sticky residue. Hair is moveable, touchable and never weighed down. Yet its hold and volumizing properties are remarkable. A great product for creating modern hairstyles because it controls without restricting the hair.

The results are natural looking styles whether used with rollers, curling irons, flat irons or simply a low-heat/low-air hair dryer to enhance natural waves.


  • Use on dry hair, coating each section before wrapping or thermal styling. Apply heat just long enough for the product to dry all the way through, then cool and unwrap. Beautiful, bouncy, soft curls.
  • Control the shape of your curl by concentrating more spray in the areas you want more curl or volume. For example, spray the ends only for a looser shape in the top and crown and tighter coils toward the ends.
  • Increase volume by holding the hair straight up and concentrating the spray underneath the section right at the roots, then wrapping down from there with your roller.


David Thomson

Vintage fingerwave updo

Coconut oil for healthy hair

Alison Wallis

Retro Hairstyles