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If you would like to achieve soft curls on your natural hair, it may take a little work. It’s not just the product you buy, but how you use it that makes the difference. 

To achieve soft curls, you can do a roller/rod set on damp hair. If it isn’t freshly washed, you can use a spray bottle to wet your hair, then on each section, take a small amount of styling product (If what you use seems to be a bit thick and sticky, so you can use it sparingly) and apply it to a medium sized section. Be sure to pull the product to the ends of your hair, then apply the flexi rod or roller to the very ends, then begin to tightly wind the hair onto the roller/rod.

If whatever you use tends to be thick or dry, you can add a bit of olive oil to it to smooth it out a bit. Coconut oil and even vegetable oil will work to smooth the product out and still maintain its holding abilities while giving your hair sheen and softness.

The key to a great set is allowing your hair to dry all the way. You can opt to sit under a dryer for 30 minutes, then let the hair air dry the rest of the way, or you can use a blow dryer to set the ends, although it will not get to the inside of the curls. Air drying sometimes can take 24 hours. For my hair, it takes 2 days sometimes for all the hair to completely dry and set, so I make sure I set it on days I won’t be as busy outside the home.

An inexpensive alternative to setting the hair on rollers or flexi rods are:

  • to cut up an old t shirt and use it to roll your hair (FREE)
  •  use pipe cleaners to create tight, springy coils (under $3)
  • bantu knots are also an effective way to set curls

Notes to help:

  • the larger the section of hair, the looser the curl and the more time needed for drying
  • the more product you use, the more likely your hair will flake, not dry completely
  • smaller sections of hair will dry faster and last longer
  • if you find that after your hair has dried and your curls feel crunchy, rub a bit of olive oil in your hands, then apply it to the hair to remove the crunchiness


Video: Setting Natural Hair with Bantu Knots for soft curls.


Photo credit and tutorial is by Beauty By Lee. Visit her website for more style tutorials at!