mastering hair rollers

Hair Rollers 101: Mastering the Basics

Everything you need to know about hair rollers, right here!

We’re spoiled with so many choices and endless options of hair styling tools. This is a good thing of course, but many of these seemingly easy-to-use tools actually turn out to be quite tricky. Hair rollers, which appear to be a rather simple and straightforward tool, can actually be rather complicated. But once you have the basics down, they can soon become your new hair BFF, trust us! Whether you’re using rollers to add curls and volume to straight hair, or stretching out and maximizing curly hair even more, we’ve got all the info you need on how to use hair rollers:

Everything You Need to Know About Hair Rollers

Before we get into the different kinds of hair rollers and all of the pros and cons, we should be explaining what a roller is in the first place! A hair roller is a styling tool that is rolled up into the hair in order to either curl straight hair or relax curly hair. There are standard hair rollers that you simply roll up into your hair and wait to create your desired texture, or you can use hot rollers, which heat up prior to placing them in your hair to speed up the curling process.

hair rollers orange plastic rollers
Remember: the bigger the roller, the looser the curl.

Hair Rollers Come in All Different Shapes and Sizes

There are many different kinds of hair rollers to choose from. Which roller you choose is dependent on your hair type, length, and the circumference of the curl you want. The larger the hair roller, the looser your curl is going to be. We recommend foam rollers for those who want to sleep while styling as opposed to plastic rollers, for comfort purposes. Magnetic and Velcro rollers work well if you have chemically treated, thick or fine hair, since they impart fuller body and long-lasting curls and only require about 15 minutes to lock in the style. Our fave rollers for natural hair are Flexi rods, perfect for creating beautiful and full ringlets. There are plenty of hair rollers out there, you just need to decide which is best based on your curling needs.

hair rollers velcro hair rollers
Velcro hair rollers are faster and provide more volume at the root!

The Pros and Cons of Hair Rollers

Pros: Hair rollers are a great option for those who want a more relaxed curl and more volume at the root of the hair. Rollers will provide more volume prior to using a hairspray and if you choose not to add any heat, they’ll look more natural and avoid heat damage. We also love hair rollers for relaxing curly hair. Instead of using multiple hot tools to reshape curly hair, a hair roller will work slowly and gently on curls to relax the style for a natural, looser wave.

Cons: With all of these pros come some cons. Hair rollers can be tricky to apply yourself and require patience and practice. It can also be a task trying to blow dry the curls properly and making sure you reach each curl for an even dry. If you mess up on the shape or roll of the curl, you risk needing to go back in with a hot tool anyway to correct the mistake.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Hair Rollers

hair rollers wavy brown hair
Use hair rollers to achieve sultry curls.

Step 1: Choose your rollers.

Choose your rollers based on the size of the curl you want and how much time you have for styling. If you’re pressed for time then go for a hot roller or a velcro roller. You can also use a hair dryer on non heated rollers to speed up the process and avoid unwanted frizz.

Step 2: Add product.

Prep your hair with a styling lotion and apply it section by section to your entire head, whether hair is wet or dry, before rolling. Styling lotions are essential to the hair rolling process; a setting lotion, styling foam or mousse like Nexxus Styling Mousse Pluwill work great here too, as the products provide a light hold and also add volume. You may not want to substitute them for a holding spray, unless you want to end up with crispy and crunchy curls. If you do, no judgment!

Step 3: Part and roll.

Vertically part and divide hair from the front of the hairline to the nape into three workable sections, clipping each section aside until you begin the rolling process. Starting at the middle, hold the section with your fingers as if you were to cut bangs. (Make sure there are no bumps!). Take your section of hair, bring it away from your head and place the rollers on the very ends. Roll hair firmly around the roller until you land at the root. When using a clipless or gripless roller, apply double-prong roller clips or a bobby pin to secure at the base. Continue this process until the entire head is coiled up.

Step 4: Heat or air dry.

Allow your hair to dry completely by using a hand-held blow-dryer or letting your hair air dry. If you’re using heat use a heat protectant like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. It’s important to keep the rollers in until your hair is completely dry to avoid frizzy curls!

Step 5: Set and cool.

Once your hair is completely dry, resist any touching your hair and let it set for about five to 10 minutes (a.k.a. the crucial “setting process”). While you’re waiting, spray locks with a shine spray before removing the rollers for some sheen.

Step 6: Remove and style.

Time for the big reveal! Remove each roller by gently unfurling them down the hair. Run your fingers through each lock, shake the curls out and style hair as desired. If you skipped the sheen in the last step but still want some added gleam, simply work a tiny amount of serum or hair oil like Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil onto hair for a glossy finish.

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