Once the basic skills of setting have been mastered, the techniques can be adapted as desired to create classic, fashion or alternative styles. It is often possible to creatively combine a variety of setting techniques – rollers, pin curls and finger waves – on one head to produce a specific ‘look’.
Preparing hair for dressing out
Points to remember when dressing out:
1. Remove any large earrings or necklaces that the client is wearing, in case they become entangled in the client’s long hair.
2. If back-combing is required, which roughens the cuticle scales to create volume, use only at the root area and not through mid-lengths and ends. When dressing the hair down, try to limit back-combing to the crown area only.
3. If tying hair up in pony tails, use covered bands to prevent damage to hair.
4. If using ornamentation, make sure it balances the style rather than overwhelm it.
5. Hairspray – use a fast-drying hairspray with medium hold when working and switch to a stronger hold to finish.
Tips: instead of buying elastic bands, make your own using fine, rolled dressmakers’ elastic-cut to size and hand knot as required.
Choosing Brushes for Dressing out
Use an open-tufted brush such as an isnis or paddle when brushing hair out to remove roller marks. Smooth the hair into position and back-brush the crown area if required.
For a more casual finish, dress out the hair using your fingers or an Afro comb to separate the curls. Remember, brushing can produce a frizzy look.
Dressing Long Hair up
Dressing longer hair up requires more practice but again, once basic styles and techniques of braiding and dressing have been achieved, it is possible to build on them and create many different results, depending on the occasion and client requirements. Hair can be manipulated into knots, rolls, twists, pleats- almost anything if you put your mind to it- and many styles can be created with one or a combination of techniques.
Curly Hair- Casual Updo
For this style you are trying to create a casual soft shape. The ‘template’ is a triangular shape.
Divide hair into three sections- two front sections from a centre parting, ear to ear across crown. The whole back of the head is the third section.
Twist the back section of the hair into a loose pleat and pin, leaving curls at the crown. Twist the base of small sections of hair sticking out of pleat and grip into place to create an even shape.
For the side sections use a two-pronged setting pin in a chopstick action, swirl the hair around the ends of the pin, put into place and secure by pushing into the root area to build up the shape. Continue in this manner with all side sections until a good shape has been created. Do not use wax to finish as this can make the hair heavy, causing the style to collapse- use hairspray to give definition to the curls.
False hair is ideal for adding bulk and length to hair, whether dressing it up or down. This can be attached in many different ways and can be used for a couple of hours or a few months.