Wet Sets and Dreadlocks

A Wet Set is a generic term used to describe a hair style that is created by taking wet hair and allowing it dry in a particular pattern or texture. Each specific type of wet set can have its own name, for example a wet set using rollers to create curls can be called a roller set. Wet sets are great because the drying process creates a tighter, longer lasting pattern (curl, twist, wave, etc) than can be achieved using heat alone on dry hair.

People who have natural hair (kinky) and dreadlocks greatly benefit from the use of wet sets. Natural hair is impossible to style using the typical techniques used on permed or straight hair. Using a wet setting technique allows natural hair wearers the ability to create wonderful styles and textures in their hair, as well as recreate styles that are reminiscent of the permed hairstyles of today.

One of the greatest benefits to using wet sets on dreadlocks and natural hair is what I call the “secondary style.” There are almost always two styles encompassed in every dreadlock wet set (with the exception of roller sets). The primary style is the intended result, the reason for the wet set. In the case of a braid out, the primary style is the crinkled hairstyle accomplished by setting the hair.

Braid Out - Front

Braid Out - Front


The “secondary” style is the set itself. As long as you make sure to set your hair in a deliberate and neat fashion, the set is almost always wearable out in public. With the braid out set below, while I did not style my hair for this photo, later I took some hair pins and pinned my hair into a side bun.

Wet Set Braid Out - back

With practice, patience, and creativity, there is no hairstyle that is impossible for people who have dreadlocks and natural hair. In fact, I would go as far as to argue that natural hair and dreadlocks are MORE versatile than permed hair, as perms strip away the hair’s natural texture and fullness.

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One Response to Wet Sets and Dreadlocks

  1. Pingback: Locks, locks, and more pictures of locks! (Freakz & Geekz) « thenaturalbride's Blog

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