Rag Roll Hair Setting

Girl with her hair styled into ringlets
Photo: Liudmila P. Sundikova/Shutterstock
Q: Hi, could you please tell me how to put ringlets in rags for a child's long hair?
A: There are two methods I have seen for doing the "rag roll" hair setting technique. Here is the first (and I believe the traditional) method:
Take strips of fabric approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide. These can be wider if desired and the wider the strips the larger the curls will be and vice-versa. The strips need to be at least as long as the hair being wrapped. You will typically need between 40 and 50 strips for an entire head.
You want to work with damp hair. You can shampoo and condition the hair, then towel dry until the hair is only damp, or you can use a sprayer bottle to mist the hair until it is damp. Use styling gel or mousse if the hair is hard to curl, and leave-in conditioner if the hair is prone to frizz.
Divide hair into 1-inch square sections and use a hair clip to hold the fabric strip at the scalp level of the section. The strip should be clipped at the halfway point of its length. Smooth the hair section flat using your fingers and wind it around the lower half of the fabric strip. The hair should wind around the strip evenly, and can be overlapped if desired. There should be fabric remaining at the end of the wrapped hair. The end result is a sausage-like shape of curled hair.
Once the hair is fully wound around the lower end of the fabric strip, move the clip to the end of the hair and secure the hair there. Begin wrapping the upper portion of the fabric strip around the newly wound hair until all the hair is covered. Wind the upper part of the strip in the opposite direction in which the hair was wound. Tie off the remaining ends at the bottom of the curl.
Repeat as needed until all the hair is wrapped. Allow the hair to dry naturally overnight. In the morning, take down the curls and gently arrange them using the fingers. If you've used styling product the curls may be a little stiff and will need to be gently stretched out a little. If you need to smooth any frizz, use a bit of hairspray and scrunch the curls gently with your fingers.
Another method I have seen (which seems to potentially be faster) calls for using a dowel rod that is about an inch in diameter and strips that are about 8 inches long and wide enough to fully cover the rod being used.
Take the sections of hair and wind it loosely around the dowel at about halfway along the fabric length. Once the hair is wound, wind the remainder of the fabric strip around the hair as in the previous method and tie off the ends of the fabric. Once this is done, you can slip the dowel rod out of the curl and move on to the next section.
Repeat as needed and style as described above. The end result should get you a mass of soft, ringlet curls.
See also:
Kids hairstyles
How to pin curl hair
Finger waves, pin curls and barrel curls
How to wrap a spiral perm