Woman spraying her hair with product
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If your curls fall flat long before the day is through, you’re probably not using the right styling products. Setting lotions give you a locked-in hold while leaving your hair as soft as silk. While a stroll through a store’s hair care aisle reveals numerous setting lotion options, you can just as easily make your own; the supplies you need for this simple but strong setting solution may already be in your pantry.

Making the Setting Lotion

Fill a saucepan with distilled water and place it on a stove burner set to the highest setting. Wait until the water begins to boil.

Turn off the stove burner and remove the pan, using an oven mitt to protect your skin from burns.

Add 6 teaspoons of white granulated sugar for each half cup of water to the hot water and stir it well, using a whisk, until you dissolve all of the sugar. Allow the water to cool to room temperature.

Pour the cooled setting lotion into a 10-ounce or larger spray bottle, using a funnel if necessary. Replace the top of the bottle, screwing it on tightly.

Styling Your Hair

Comb out clean, dry hair using a wide-toothed comb to remove all tangles and knots.

Hold the spray bottle 8 to 10 inches from your head and mist a light layer of setting lotion all over your hair. Your hair should be slightly damp to the touch, but not wet.

Spray a light layer of a heat-protectant spray over your hair to prevent damage from occurring while drying it.

Gather up a 1- to 2-inch-wide section of hair from the top of your scalp and hold a roller under the bottom edge of the hair. Roll the curler toward your head and up the hair strand until reaching your scalp. Secure the roller in place by inserting one prong of a duckbill hair clip into the center of the roller and the other prong of the clip into the hair near your scalp.

Insert additional rollers in the same manner until your entire head is covered.

Attach a diffuser to your hair dryer by either snapping it onto the end or twisting it on using a clockwise motion. Plug in the hair dryer and set it to medium heat. Hold the hair dryer at least 8 inches from the rollers and move it constantly to dry your hair. Drying times will vary based on the length of your hair.

Let the rollers sit in place for five minutes to cool, and then remove the clips and unroll all of the rollers. If you hairdryer has a cool setting, you can apply cool air to your hair for one to two minutes to speed the cooling process.

Finger-style your hair into the desired style.


After use, rinse the nozzle of the spray bottle under warm water to prevent the sugar from clogging it up.

Add 1 tablespoon of vodka to the setting lotion mixture to add shine to your hair.


Do not apply the setting lotion while it is still hot, or serious burns may occur.