Hair rollers are a type of hair styling tool that helps curl hair via either a manual or heated method. The curling works by rolling a section of hair around the barrel, and then “setting” the hair—either by leaving it for a few minutes to applying some heat—which makes it follow the roller’s shape, thus creating a curl.
Using hair rollers for curls has been a styling method for centuries. While the first heated hair curlers were invented in 1930, there are so many different types of hair rollers these days, you’re sure to find one that fits your time restraints, hair texture and desired final curl look.
If you’ve been wondering which hair roller is right for you, we’ve got the lowdown on our favorite hair rollers and how they work. Read on to learn more about the different types of hair rollers:
- Hot Rollers
- Foam Curlers
- Velcro Rollers
- Steam Hair Rollers
- Heated Rollers
- Magnetic Rollers
- Brush Hair Rollers
- Sponge Rollers
Types of Hair Rollers
1. Hot Hair Rollers
Hot rollers are one of our favorite types of hair rollers for super quick curls. They’re so great because you can create totally different looks depending on the size of the rollers and how you roll your hair. A set of hot rollers usually comes with rollers of different sizes in a container that both stores your rollers and heats them up. You just roll in the mini electric rollers, clip them in place and let them cool down for curled looks that will last you all day and night and probably the next day too. You can also consider jumbo hot rollers if you’re looking to create a looser and wavier curl. To set your curls, use TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Boost Hold Level 3 Hair Spray.
2. Foam Hair Rollers
Foam rollers (also known as sponge hair rollers) may seem a little old school but they are super useful. If you want to get gorgeous defined ringlets without heat styling your hair, they are the only way. Just roll your slightly damp hair in small sections from the ends all the way up to the roots and use the attached clip to hold it in place while you sleep. In the morning, take out all the rollers and you can style your ringlets. If they need a little shine and definition, spray Bed Head By TIGI Foxy Curls Spray.
3. Velcro Rollers
Velcro rollers are plastic hair rollers with a velcro pad attached to the top. This structure allows for strong curls that will stay defined and intact for hours. Keep going till you’ve covered your whole head and all the curls cool. When yours are all cooled off, unwrap for the biggest hair of your life.
4. Steam Hair Rollers
Steam rollers are very similar to hot rollers with the added benefit of steam to help set your curls. Using steam gives your hair a really strong set so your curls will last even longer. This is different from a hot roller set only in the first step: Instead of having a container that heats the mini barrels, you heat one at a time for just a few seconds over the steamer. Then you roll and set in the same way. When your curls are cool, just let them loose!
Flexi-rods (or bendy rollers) have been around for what seems like forever, but they’re still super effective for creating spiral curls without having to rely on pins or clips. Distinguishable by their long, flexible, cushioned rods, they’ll allow you to achieve high-impact, bouncy ringlets that are super cute and bang on-trend.
These spiral perm rods should be used on wet, detangled locks, especially if you’re looking to achieve tight, coiled curls. Make sure to use a detangler, like TRESemmé Pro Pure Detangle and Smooth Leave-in-Conditioner if hair is especially knotty. Then, divide your hair into small sections (about one-inch thick), then wrap each one around a flexi-rod before rolling it up towards your scalp, before fixing it in place. Versatile and perfect for natural hair, flexi-rods are available in all shapes and sizes!
6. Heated Rollers
The ultimate quick fix, heated rollers and steam hair rollers are a hair stylist’s dream when it comes to creating long-lasting curls quickly with minimum frizz. Start by spritzing some heat protectant onto your hair like TIGI Copyright Custom Create Heat Protection Spray. Then, position the rollers once they’re hot enough and remove them once they’ve cooled down (which should take about 20-30 minutes). Again, choosing the right hot rollers will depend entirely on the size of the curls you are hoping to achieve.
7. Magnetic Rollers
Magnetic hair rollers are a great option for those of us who are less coordinated and experienced in the hair roller department. These rollers promise exactly what their title provides: an easy magnetic snap closure that does a lot of the coordinating for you. One caveat: You only get the magnetic effect when your hair is wet. Wet hair is what snaps onto the rollers.
8. Brush Hair Rollers
If you’ve ever wished you could give your arms a break mid-blow dry or easily afford a salon blowout each week, brush hair rollers might be the best option for you. These curlers include bristles on the surface to help lock your hair in and keep it smooth. A few hours in these rollers will leave you with silky smooth beautiful curls.
9. Sponge Rollers
Sponge rollers make sleeping with rollers in your hair so much easier. If you want to preserve your curly style overnight without any pain, try using this styling tool. We love to use this type of rollers to achieve pillow-soft curls.