How to Wet Wrap Hair
Wet wrapping is a method of styling and protecting African-American hair. Wrapping uses the shape of your head as a giant roller to add volume and shape to your hair. This method works especially well on relaxed or straightened hair, which can be brittle and prone to breakage. You can find all of the supplies for a proper wet wrap at beauty supply stores, drug stores or online retailers. To wet wrap your hair, prepare it, wrap it, and then care for the wrap.
Preparing Your Hair
Set aside time to wrap your hair.Wrapping can take a long time, so make sure you have enough time set aside to fully wrap your hair. The exact amount of time spent wrapping depends on the length of your hair. The whole process, including the drying, could take three or more hours.
Wash and condition your hair as normal.Use the type of shampoo and conditioner you use on a daily basis. Follow the same routine as you normally would when you wash and condition your hair. Do not use a leave-in conditioner.
Towel your hair.Do not fully dry your hair. Your hair will need to be wet when you wrap it. Instead, gently remove the excess water from your hair by squeezing it with a towel. You can also use your hands to remove the excess water.
Apply setting lotion.Setting lotion is used to help your hair stay in position as it being wrapped and when it is wrapped. Use a generous amount of setting lotion and massage it through your hair from root to tip. Any type of setting lotion will work as long as the label states that it is meant for styling and moisturizing/conditioning.
Comb through your hair.Once you have used the setting lotion, use a wide-toothed comb to work out any tangles or kinks. Using a comb will also distribute the styling lotion evenly throughout your hair. Part your hair in the center and comb through your hair again. Bend forward and comb if you are having trouble detangling.
- Gently use the comb to avoid breakage.
Wrapping the Hair
Sweep your hair in a clockwise direction.You can also choose to sweep it counterclockwise instead of clockwise. Use your hands to direct your hair. Comb your hair in a circular motion away from the part. Smooth your hair down around your head and continue wrapping until you have flattened all the hair around your head.
- You can use a small amount of styling lotion to help direct your hair during the wrapping process.
Use a brush to secure loose ends.You may have trouble keeping the ends down while you’re using your hands to wrap your hair. Use a plastic styling tool when you have finished wrapping to help keep the ends down. Brush to finish smoothing your hair around your head until all ends are in place.
- Plastic styling brushes can be found at most beauty supply shops.
Clip your hair into place.Use hair clips to hold the hair in place. Any type of hair clip will do. You can use several small ones or a couple of larger ones, depending on how much hair you need to clip up. Use the clips to secure any portions of hair that may fall out when you’re under the dryer. Especially clip the parts of the wrap where the ends of the hair are.
- Clips can be purchased at any beauty supply store and at many supermarkets with a beauty section.
Sit under a hooded hair dryer.You will need to sit under a hooded hair dryer. Beauty shops have hooded hair dryers, but you can also invest in a collapsible hair dryer. Turn the dryer to medium and sit under it until your hair is dry. You may want to check your hair a few times. If you do not have a hood dryer, use a hand-held dryer with a dryer cap. To use a hand-held dryer, put it on the highest heat setting and blow dry over the entirety of the cap. It may take a couple of hours to fully dry your hair.
- You can buy hooded hair dryers online or at a beauty supply store.
Comb and style your hair.Unwrap your hair when it is dry, and comb your hair in the opposite direction with the wide-toothed comb. Style your hair the way you normally would. If you prefer to wait until later to style your hair, leave your hair wrapped and cover your head with a silk scarf.
- If done correctly, your hair should be shiny and straight when you comb it out.
Caring for the Wrap Style
Repeat the wrapping.You will need to wrap your hair on a nightly basis to maintain the same hair style. Repeat the process of wrapping that you initially carried out. It should be easier and less time consuming now that your hair has been detangled and straightened.
- Repeating the wrapping on a nightly basis may not be necessary if your hair stays straight for several days. If your hair stays as you desire, then you may only need to wrap it once a week.
Clip or tie the wrap into place.Once you have finished wrapping your hair, clip or tie your hair into place and sleep in it. You can use the same clips you used initially, but it may be uncomfortable to sleep with clips in your hair. A better option is to use a hair wrap or scarf to protect your hair.
- Designate a hair wrap or scarf to use at night instead of using a nice one that you would wear with outfits during the day.
Style in the morning.Your clips and/or hair wrap should have stayed in place throughout the night. Remove the clips or hair wrap in the morning. Comb your hair out and style it as usual.
- If your hair is very thick or tangles easily, you may need to use a detangling conditioner in addition to the moisturizing styling lotion.
- African-American hair breaks easily. If your hair is severely tangled, comb it carefully starting at the ends and working your way to the roots. Combing from the roots out will cause breakage and damage to your scalp.
- Do not use mineral oil-based, or petroleum-based products when you wet wrap hair. These products clog the pores and the hair cannot absorb them properly. Use vegetable-based oils, such as olive or carrot which absorb more easily into the hair.
- Avoid alcohol-based styling lotions. These products can dry out your hair and cause breakage.
Video: The Easiest Way To Wrap Your Hair While Wet
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