Wet-Sets with Cacao Papow

Since my visit to the Lipstick and Curls hair master class last year, I have been experimenting with styling my hair more and more. A month or two after the hair class, I moved from heat-setting to wet-setting. This blog post is all about what I do with my hair when I wet-set. Please remember, that all hair is different and reacts differently to styling – this is just what works for my hair.


First of all, I’d say a good midi-cut helps your hair to hold curl. Generally the longer the hair, the harder it is for curls to hold. This is what my hair looks like when it’s blow-dried straight.


I always wet-set my hair after a shower so my hair is clean when I begin. Initially, I just used water as I curled but my hair ended up feel dry and frizzy. Now I use two products to keep my hair soft and smooth – Hair Custard from Lush and Suavecita’s grooming spray.

After I’ve towel-dried my hair, I’ll take a penny-sized amount of the Hair Custard, rub it on my hands and then run it through the length of my hair. Once that’s been brushed through, I spray my hair all over with the Suavecita grooming spray.


I curl my hair with pillow rollers – these are widely available (mine are a mix from Claire’s and Amazon). I normally part my hair to one side but I have also done middle partings. If you want a page boy style or bangs then you can section the front of your hair and roll it forward. On average, I use around 25 pillow rollers but I have played around with the number; basically the more rollers you put in, the curlier your hair will be. Make sure you curl AWAY from your parting and roll right to the root to get as much volume as possible.


From my research, I’ve found that lots of people experience problems with their curls not drying properly. To solve this issue, I curl my hair when it’s slightly damp – not soaking wet. I also sleep in my rollers overnight, usually for 7-8 hours. Luckily, I’ve never had a problem with damp sets! To protect my hair overnight, I wear a glamorous cloth shower cap or a hair net – essential for keeping curls intact.



Brushing Out

The next day, I carefully take out each roller – pulling and tugging will lead to frizz and pain! Once all of the rollers have been removed, I run my fingers through my hair to gently break up all the curls. Both of these photos show my hair after this step – the only difference is the number of rollers I used.

Sometimes, I just leave my hair like this but for a more polished look, I’ll need a proper brush out. My hair holds curl really well and I need to brush my hair thoroughly in order to mould it into various vintage styles. I take an ordinary paddle brush and gently brush through sections of my hair – this can take up to 25 minutes.


When everything starts to look a little smoother, I usually take a little pomade and shape my hair with my hands around the front of my face and the back of my head. wp-1469306594287.png

Once I’m happy, I spray the whole thing liberally with hairspray and then I leave it be. I’ve had to train myself not to touch my hair!


Here are some different ways I’ve styled my hair when I’ve wet-set it.



One question I’m frequently asked is ‘how do you make it last? When I wet-set, I get roughly 4 days out of it – sometimes up to 6. To get the most time out of my set, I brush out my hair every night before bed, I sleep with a hair net on and I re-roll my hair every other night.

Day 1 Set
Day 2 Set
Day 3 Set
Day 5 Set

I hope that this was useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and please share your own wet-set tips!


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