Hair relaxing is a chemical process that straightens, slenderizes and removes frizz from hair. While this process will keep hair straight and tame for an extended period of time, the hair will not appear as sleek and straight after washing. For this reason, styling the hair after washing is the best way to achieve a sleek, straight style. While common straightening methods such as blow drying and flat ironing are OK on occasion, it is important to note that these methods will also damage processed and chemically altered hair. Wet setting is the healthiest and easiest way to keep relaxed hair straight after washing.
Use a protein moisturizing conditioner in your hair while you are in the shower. This will add moisture and strength to your relaxed hair, as relaxing can cause dryness and damage to the hair. While the conditioner is soaking in, run a wide-tooth comb through your hair to remove any tangles.
Towel dry your hair to remove initial moisture; however, do not remove all of the water from your hair. Your hair needs to be wet for wet setting. Run a dollop of setting lotion through your hair.
Separate your wet hair into three large sections using a wide-tooth comb. The best way to separate is to create a middle section and two sections at either side of your head. Use a hair clip to hold each section in place.
Use a rat-tail comb to separate each large section into smaller sections. As you separate your hair into smaller sections, wrap your hair around a 3- to 4-inch diameter roller. Use additional hair clips to hold the rollers in place.
Repeat and continue wrapping your hair around the rollers until your entire head of hair is wrapped and secured by the large rollers. Be sure your hair is rolled backward against each roller.
Allow your hair to sit in the rollers for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until your hair is completely dry. Drying times may vary depending on the thickness and length of your hair. If your hair is extra long and thick, allow the rollers to set for approximately one hour.
Remove the clips and rollers without yanking. Your relaxed hair should be straight and dry. To give your hair an added sheen and sleekness, dab less than a dime-size amunt of light oil or hair serum into your palm. Rub the oil or serum between your fingers and work through your hair.
Your hair will stay straight after wet setting until your next washing. It is important to wash relaxed hair at least once a week, as this will keep your scalp clean. Wet setting your hair will also provide bounce and body to your hair without damage. You can wet set your relaxed hair without worry after each washing.
When you are in a hurry, it might be tempting to blow dry or flat iron your hair in lieu of wet setting to save time. However, it is important to understand that flat irons and blow dryers use heat to achieve a straight style. This heat is especially stressful and damaging for relaxed hair.