Straw Set Hairstyles

By Zoe London

African American women can use regular plastic drinking straws to create a unique hairstyle that doesn't require much daily care. Women who wear their hair's natural texture, as well as women who chemically straighten their hair, can enjoy straw sets, whether they create this style at home or enlist the services of a stylist. It's a versatile, easy-to-wear hairdo created with simple household items.

Straw Set Hairstyles


Straw set hairstyles allow women with afro-textured or chemically relaxed tresses to enjoy a curly style that's low-maintenance. The style is created with ordinary drinking straws, setting lotion and an optional hood dryer. Begin with freshly shampooed and conditioned hair and apply setting lotion to damp hair. Take small sections no wider than one-half inch and wrap them around the straws. Secure the ends with bobby pins. Once the entire head is set, dry it under a dryer or allow to air dry. Hair should be completely dry before removing straws.

Time Frame

It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few of hours to create a straw set on freshly washed and conditioned hair. The time depends on the length and thickness of the hair, as well as the speed of the person creating the set. Women can wear this style for about one week, although some will be able to keep it for two weeks.


Straw sets create small spiral curls and work equally well on afro-textured and chemically straightened hair. It's also a good style for women who are transitioning from chemically relaxed hair back to their natural texture. Because this is a curly style, it easily blends curly roots into straightened ends for women who are transitioning between textures, creating an overall uniform look.


Once created, a straw set is a very low-maintenance style. Women only need to cover their hair before sleeping with a large silk or satin bonnet; avoid anything too small or tight, as you don't want to crush your curls while sleeping. In the morning, simply remove the bonnet, shake your curls and you're ready to go. Another benefit is that this style is created without direct heat, either through the use of a flat iron or curling iron. This is a gentle styling method for black hair that won't dry it out.


Once a straw set is created, it's important not to comb or brush it. To maintain the style, all that's needed is a cover at night; a gentle shake in the morning refreshes the style. You can spray oil sheen on it if you prefer. If you use a comb or brush on straw set curls, you'll create frizz. You also cannot shampoo the hair until you're ready to redo the style or create another one.