Tutorial: How to Use Hair Rollers in 3 Easy Ways

Leona | 01 March 2019
How to use hot rollers brunette girl outside smiling with curls
30 minute Style Medium

An easy way to get bouncy, luxurious-looking curls.


Big curls and glamorous waves are highly sought after hairstyles. Having been worn by style icons and red carpet goers for decades, the desire for beautiful curls is as fervent as ever. But did you know that you don’t need a whole glam squad to achieve the look? Yes, you just need to know how to use hair rollers!

Women have been teaching themselves how to use hair rollers of all types (be it heated rollers, classic wet set hair rollers or flexi rods) for years now, to get gorgeous curls. And, if you’re yet to try hair rollers, you’re in luck: we’re showing you 3 different types of hair rollers and how to use them to create curls.

How to use hot rollers to get curls

Heated hair rollers come in different sizes; smaller rollers create tight curls, while larger ones create soft, beachy curls. Hot rollers are great for all hair types except for hair that’s damaged and prone to breakage. And, if you want big, bouncy curls fast, give our easy heated rollers tutorial a try.

a beautiful woman with wet hair sitting on

Warm up your rollers.

Plug in your hot rollers and allow them to heat up. We love the TONI&GUY Professional Extreme Rollers for their unique heat technology, which warms up the rollers is less than 2 minutes!

Forget download speed, it’s all about warm-up speed, here.

How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with damp long medium brown hair wearing a yellow jumpsuit spraying the VO5 Express Primer

Wash and prep your hair.

On freshly washed and air-dried hair, it’s essential to prep your tresses with a heat protection spray. Generously spritz the VO5 Express Primer Spray all over your mane to help prevent any damage by the hot rollers.

Remember: a protected head of hair is a happy head of hair!


How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with damp long medium brown hair wearing a yellow jumpsuit starting to roll a heated roller

Create sections in your hair.

Learning how to use hot rollers will be made so much simpler by dividing your hair into manageable sections – trust us.

Editor’s tip: Using your comb, divide your hair into 3 sections (a left, right and a middle section) starting front the front down to the nape of your neck, securing each one using your sectioning clips. 



How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with long medium brown hair wearing a yellow jumpsuit starting to roll a heated roller

Get rollin'!

Firstly, we must begin with our top tip: start at the front of your hair and work back. We say this because many people start at the back of their head, but believe us: it’s much easier and quicker to start from the front.

Now the fun part. Take a small portion of hair from the front of your middle section and spritz it with some VO5 Extra Hold Hairspray. This will help hold your curl, as well as protect against humidity and fight frizz for 24 hours.

For bountiful curls, take a roller and place it underneath your section of hair (about halfway up) and wrap the ends around the barrel. From here, roll up and back towards your head. Secure in place and repeat the process all over your middle section.

Tip: To create ‘dropped’ curls, which hang around the ends of your hair, we suggest placing your roller at the tips and rolling up. This will bring the majority of the weight down towards the ends of your hair.

How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with damp long medium brown hair wearing a yellow jumpsuit starting to roll a heated roller

Roll your hair on the sides.

Using the same method in step 4, start to roll the left and right sections away from your face, mixing it up with medium and large-sized barrel rollers.

Not only is the placement of rollers important, but you can also create different looks depending on the direction you roll your locks. Try rolling horizontally for major volume, or vertically for a loose tousled effect.

How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with damp long medium brown hair rolling a heated roller and leaving it too cool

Allow heated rollers to cool.

Keep your rollers in place until they completely cool down – this usually takes around 20-30 minutes. It’s important not to remove your rollers before they’ve fully cooled, or else you risk your curls becoming flat!
a woman using hot rollers on her hair

Remove your heated rollers.

Now that your rollers have completely cooled, begin to remove them one by one, allowing the curls to fall loose. Once they have all been removed, gently run your fingers through the curls to separate them and create more of a beach-inspired look.

Alternatively, use a hairbrush to create soft, glamorous waves. Be gentle, now, as you don’t want to ruin all your hard work!

How to use hot rollers: Brunette model with damp long medium brown hair finger combing her hair

Set your curls.

Keep your curls in shape by giving them a final spritz of the VO5 Extra Hold Hairspray

And there you have it: flawless curls in 8 simple steps – congratulations!


How to use wet set hair rollers to get curls

If you don’t want to use heat to get curls, try using wet set hair rollers, which can either be made out of velcro or mesh. They are usually applied to the hair while wet or slightly damp and left to air dry or are kept in overnight.

Watch our video below or keep on reading to learn how to use hair rollers to achieve bombshell curls.

How to use hair rollers (wet set method):

Step 1: Before reaching for your hair rollers, prep your dry hair with a setting letting lotion like the VO5 Volume Blow-dry Spray, to make your hair slightly damp.

This heat protective spray will help give you volume, thickness and also calm frizz.

Step 2: Blow dry your hair.

Step 3: Section hair and begin rolling.  Separate your locks into manageable sections and roll each one around a roller away from your face, starting from the ends.

Then, wind the roller all the way down to your scalp. Secure it with a pin or clip.

Step 4: Set your curls by either sleeping with your rollers in or blasting your velcro hair rollers with a blow drier. If you blow dry, allow your rollers to stay in for about 20-25 minutes after you’ve done so to cool and hold the shape of your curls.

Step 5: Remove your hair rollers one by one.

Step 6: Gently shake out the curls with your fingers.

Step 7: Set the look with a volumising hairspray like the VO5 Volume Hairspray, and that’s it. You did it, you now know how to use wet set hair rollers.

How to use flexi rods to get curls

If ringlets or defined curls are your hair goal, flexi rods are the type of hair rollers that will get you there. What makes them great is that they bend into any shape, which keeps them in place without pins or clips.

Flexi rods are also great for adding definition to kinky or curly hair textures, making them great hair rollers to rely on when you want to refresh your natural hair. Watch our video below to see how to use them, now!

How to use hair rollers on natural hair (flexi rods method):

Step 1: Detangle your natural hair.

Step 2: Section your hair into even sections.

Step 3: Wet the ends of your slightly so they are damp, to help to make wrapping your flexi rod easier.

Step 4: Apply a small amount of the VO5 Frizz Free Cream to your hair, to help make your hair easier to work with and leave you with a smooth, glossy finish.

Step 5: Take a section of loose hair and place a flexi rod at the tip. Twist and wrap the hair around the rod, moving up towards the roots.

Once all the hair is wrapped around the flexi rod, bend both ends inwards to secure.

Step 6: Repeat this process on the rest of your hair.

Step 7: Catch some beauty sleep to let the curls set.

Step 8: Gently unravel your hair to reveal gorgeous, bouncy curls.

Step 9: Style your baby hairs, and that’s it!

Editor’s tip: If you need a little extra volume, fluff your roots with a wide-toothed comb and you’re ready to go.


Shop the article

  1. TONI&GUY Professional Extreme Rollers
  2. VO5 Express Primer Spray
  3. Tail comb
  4. VO5 Extra Hold Hairspray
  5. VO5 Volume Blow-dry Spray
  6. VO5 Volume Hairspray
  7. VO5 Frizz Free Cream
  8. Flexi rods

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