Shampoo and Set

Hair on rollers
Photo: Kzenon/Shutterstock
Q: Can you explain a shampoo and set? What's it for? How long does it take?
A: The shampoo and set used to be the staple of hairdressers and salons, although these days salons may not perform as many as they might have in your grandmother's days. Styles change and trends come and go. The shampoo and set come back into usage as fashions dictate.
Simply put, the shampoo and set is simply shampooing and conditioning the hair, then winding the wet (or towel-dried) hair on rollers to create a curly hair. The hair can be wrapped on the rollers using water or any number of styling products, depending on the amount of hold you want in the style.
In many cases, especially in years past, the shampoo and set (also known as a roller set or wet set) was used to create the hairstyle all on its own. The hair was shampooed, rolled, dried and combed out to create a style with curls and volume. The amount of curl was dependent on the size of the rollers used.
Today, the shampoo and set can be used to create a style but is often used when creating up-styles to give the hair a base of volume and curls upon which elaborate hair designed are built.
The shampoo and set can offer versatility in any haircut by adding volume and curl as desired. You can create looks that range from soft and romantic to wild and energized, all by choosing the right amount of curl.
The length of time for a shampoo and set depends on a few factors, such as the length of the hair you're working with, and the size and number of rollers you are using. On average, a shoulder-length head of hair can be completely rolled on medium rollers in around 20-30 minutes.
After that you need 45-60 minutes of drying time under a hooded dryer (possibly more or less, depending on the thickness of the hair) and about 15 to 20 minutes for the comb-out and finishing touches. This makes a total styling time of 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
This sounds like a lot of time for the styling, but remember that while one client is under the dryer, you can be working on another client. Or if you are doing this on your own, you can be working on other things while drying your hair, such as doing your nails.
See also:
How to curl hair with rollers
Roller set for long hair
Methods to curl your hair
How to put hot rollers in your hair
The difference between a hair setter and hot rollers