It's not difficult to do, but there are a few tricks to making it come out right. You'll need to start with wet, but towel dried hair. Because Carol likes the "That Girl" style, I used mesh rollers in the two largest sizes. They give you body and lift, but not a lot of curl.
The next requirement for a good wet set is setting lotion. Now my hair is very amenable to a wet set, so I usually just use a spray gel. It's easier to find than true setting lotion. That was a bit of a mistake with Carol's set. Her hair didn't respond as well to the gel as I would have liked. It gave us the body, but not the tight curl needed to give her that iconic flip.
One of the tricks to a good wet set has to do with the direction of the set. In order to create the full crown I wanted for Carol I rolled the hair on top of her head over the rollers, not under. That gave me lift. I also over directed the curls, which means that I held the hank of hair away from the scalp at an angle in the direction I intended on rolling it, rather than directly perpendicular to the head.
This allows the roller to work on all the hair in the hank - the hair at the front of the roller doesn't slope up to it, it wraps around.
Once her hair was rolled, it was time to go under the drier. Now you can do a wet set without a drier. Remember all those women in the supermarket with curlers under a scarf? You can, however, dry it more quickly if you use a hard or soft top drier. They can be found on eBay and in thrift shops.
Once she was completely dry we stowed the drier and removed the curlers. Upon combing out her locks I was pleased with the body, but disappointed by the lack of curl. Next time I'll use a firmer setting lotion. I gave the back of the crown a bit of back combing for height, loaned her a pair of earrings, applied some luxurious false lashes and took some glamour shots.
Have any of you tried a wet set? Was it successful? My friend Thanos in Greece has been making quite a name for himself doing hair for fashion shoots. He's promised to do me over on his next trip to New York. I'm sure it will require some time under my hard top drier!