By Christi­na of The Mane Objec­tive

A few weeks ago, I was crav­ing some super cute curls. Not that I don’t love my sat­in strips, I just want­ed some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. So I sat around think­ing — Curl­form­ers? Nah, don’t feel like spend­ing that much mon­ey. Flexi Rods? Eh, those didn’t work out as well as I want­ed to, plus sleep­ing in them was some­thing I wasn’t exact­ly look­ing for­ward to. Ban­tu knots? More sleep uncom­fort­able-ness + Jada Pin­kett Smith syn­drome. Then it dawned on me: what about a straw set?

So I took to YouTube, search­ing for straw sets done on longer hair.…and the results were dis­mal. Sure, there are plen­ty of straw set tuto­ri­als out there, but none of the ladies had my same length of hair. The clos­est one to my length involved boba straws (no thanks, I might as well get Flexi Rods) — so I pret­ty much decid­ed to ven­ture into unchart­ed ter­ri­to­ry: a straw set on long, tran­si­tion­ing hair.

What I dis­cov­ered in this process is that the straw set is a super-cute and com­plete­ly viable option for bar­gain-hunt­ing tran­si­tion­ers that want a taste of the full-curly expe­ri­ence. I am super impa­tient (iron­ic for a long-term tran­si­tion­er, I know), but the straw set gave me a glimpse into my hair’s full potential…once this heat dam­age is obso­lete.

Here is how my process went:

  • I start­ed the night before with a dry fin­ger detan­gle using my DIY fluffy styling cream. I also lath­ered on a bit more, so it could set overnight as a pre-poo treat­ment. I lay­ered on a Tar­get bag, a sat­in scarf, and called it a night.
  • The next day, I co-washed and con­di­tioned with Trader Joe’s Nour­ish Spa con­di­tion­er.
  • I part­ed my hair into four large sec­tions, and began work­ing in small sec­tions. Note: I end­ed up with 90 straw curls. Indi­vid­u­al results may vary.
  • I lay­ered my hair with mois­ture, pro­tein, leave-in and styling pro­duct. For mois­ture I used a few spritzes of water. Pro­tein, my trusty ApHogee Ker­at­in & Green Tea Restruc­tur­iz­er. My leave-in was a con­coc­tion com­prised of water, Trader Joe’s Nour­ish Spa con­di­tion­er, and a teen­sy bit of DIY fluffy styling cream. I want­ed my curls nour­ished, but still spring-load­ed. Final­ly, I set my hair with flax seed gel.
  • I coiled the end of each sec­tion of hair around the straw, mak­ing sure the ends of my hair faced upward toward the top of the straw (for extra secu­ri­ty). After twist­ing the straw around about 1/3 of the way, I went back and secured the end with a small bob­by pin. Once the hair was coiled around the straw and close to my scalp (but not too tight or pulling), I secured the top of the straw with a large bob­by pin.
  • Because it took forever to do (almost 4 hours), and I wasn’t heavy-hand­ed with pro­duct, I only sat under the dry­er for about an hour just to make sure every­thing was dry. Once that was com­plete, I lath­ered DIY fluffy styling cream on my hands and removed all bob­by pins and straws. Note: you may want to wait a few min­utes before remov­ing bob­by pins. I def­i­nite­ly burned my fin­ger­tips a few times.
  • At this cross­roads in the game, I laid it down for the night. I left my 90 curls in tact with plans to sep­a­rate them the next day.
  • After gym­ming the next day, I took to the task of sep­a­rat­ing each curl. To get a more fluffy, less defined, big hair fro-esque look, I sep­a­rat­ed each curl into 3 or 4 dif­fer­ent curls, with my hands slathered in DIY fluffy styling cream. Yes, it took forever.
  • Shake and go!

The curls look some­thing like this before they’re sep­a­rat­ed. I kin­da felt like I had locs for a (half) day.
Post fluff and shake, I was work­ing with this for a few days:

I call my straw set a reces­sion-proof style because it is one of the most effec­tive uni­form curl-set­ting styles out there. You prob­a­bly already have a bob­by pin arse­nal, and straws are $2 or $3, tops.

Ladies have you tried this style? How did it turn out?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and liv­ing in Los Ange­les, Christi­na is BGLH’s res­i­dent tran­si­tion­ing expert and pro­duct junkie. In addi­tion to lov­ing all things hair, she is a fit­ness novice and advo­cate of wear­ing san­dals year-round. For more infor­ma­tion on tran­si­tion­ing, nat­u­ral hair, and her own hair jour­ney, vis­it Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "Transitioning Style: Straw Set Tutorial"

Notify of

This style is awe­some. I tried it and had it in for 2 weeks. The part i ddn’t know how­ev­er was how bad­ly tan­gled my hair would be after­wards. Please any­one with BEST tips for detan­gling this style on transitioning,dry,4c hair??? Thanks alot


Before wash­ing your hair let con­di­tion­er set on your hair for awhile to loosen your curls.


next time you do this style you should make a video tuto­ri­al!


Just got to know about this yesterday.I would love to try it on my hair and see how it turns out.


[…] can see more about straw sets here, but let me just sum­marise real […]


This style was very dif­fer­ent for me. I was won­der­ing if any­one has any advice on how to elon­gate the the curls. Mine came out very tight. It was dif­fer­ent. I have a big head lol so not sure if this was a great style for me unless I can make the curls longer. And how did you make them last, btw??
[imgcomment image[/img]


I have been tran­si­tion­ing since Sep­tem­ber 2012 and its dif­fi­cult. I’m not ready to do to the big chop but I’m ready to cut off a inch or two. I have been doing blow outs because the curly roots and straight ends real­ly frus­trate me.


Thank you so much for this post. I heard of this style for tran­si­tion­ing, but didn’t under­stand how to keep the straws in. Makes sense to use bob­by pins.

I can’t wait to try this!

Tran­si­tion­ing — - 3 months since last relax­er — tran­si­tion style is roller set.

ta ney-ney

peo­ple slay me think­ing that their nat­u­ral curls are going to turn out like a straw set. you might get loose strands or some real­ly kinky tight curls .…. or every­thing between. just manip­u­late your hair so it can look like what­ev­er you want. i think some peo­ple go nat­u­ral think­ing they are going to look like Chilli or Halle Berry smh, gir stoppp! 



Peo­ple “slay” me when they are so neg­a­tive. You have no idea of the tex­ture of each indi­vid­u­als nat­u­ral hair. “Gir stoppp”


Real­ly pret­ty, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to fluff each curl. I’d also need to find straws as long as flexirods.


Real­ly pret­ty!! I love it, might try this when my hair gets longer.

jenna marie christian

beau­ti­ful! if i can get over my lazi­ness i’d love to give it a try.


wow nice love it


Looks like a lot of work, but worth it in the end! Your hair came out gor­geous! I’m def­i­nite­ly gonna try it.






That’s great, but why are you scream­ing?