Woman With Hair Rollers in Salon

Hair rollers have always been one of the most widely-used hairstyling products and have been helpful for many years. If this is your first time using hair rollers, it might help get you up to speed.

Learn more about how to use hair rollers properly through this article.

Types of Hair Rollers

Hot Rollers

If you want to get tight curls but are worried about heat damage from electric heat curlers, you need to use hot rollers. If your hair is sensitive to heat damage, one of the best ways to get tight curls is with the help of hot rollers.

Unlike curling irons, where the heating element is right inside the tool, hot rollers are heated first using the heating device that came with the package.

After segmenting your hair, just like stripping hair dye from hair, put the heated rollers on and then wait for them to cool completely before removing them.

Velcro Rollers

As the name suggests, these rollers use strips of Velcro, specifically the hook strips. The rollers are covered with hook strips, making the hair stick to their surface. This hair roller is more comfortable than traditional plastic rollers because they are lighter.

They are also easier to use. However, you should not expect tight and bouncy curls when using Velcro rollers. These are only used to add waves and a bit of volume to your otherwise straight and flat hair. In addition, you have to use styling products to set the curls.

Foam Rollers

Just like Velcro rollers, foam rollers are not for making tight curls. Foam rollers are only meant to create loose curls or waves. However, because they are incredibly comfortable, you can wear them overnight while sleeping to get more consistent results.

As mentioned, do not expect foam curlers to give your hair a perm-like look. You will not get tight curls even when you wear these rollers overnight. However, these rollers will work as intended if you aim to deliver your straight hair a bit of volume and bounciness.

Flexi Rollers

Flexi rollers are foam hair rollers typically used by women of black ethnicity to give their naturally curly hair more form and uniformity. You will typically use this to create great-looking curls and eliminate frizz from the hair.

However, this product is not exclusively for people with naturally curly hair. Even those with straight hair can use this to create loose curls and give their hair more volume. The reason why these rollers are flexible is so they can make more curly hair segments.

They are also smaller in diameter because you can use them to make small and tight curls. The curlers also have rubberized surfaces, promoting ease in wrapping your hair tightly around them.

Flexi Hair Rollers

Spiral Curlers

Spiral curlers were quite popular in the late 90s and early 2000s as these were the easiest way to get the tight curls that pop stars wore back then. Unlike some of the other products in this list, spiral curlers are for making tight curls and not just waves.

Also, it is different from other rollers because the hair goes inside the spiral curlers. This means that when the hair dries, it will retain the shape of the curlers.

Because no heat is involved in making curls with spiral curlers, you might need to use a bit of hair spray to help the curls keep their shape.

How to Use Hair Rollers

Step 1 – Choose the proper hair curler for you

Decide what kind of curls you want to achieve. If you wish to have wavy hair, you can choose larger curlers. On the other hand, if you want tight curls, you have to use spiral curlers or foam curlers.

Different curlers can provide different results, so choose the suitable curlers for whatever curls you seek.

Step 2 – Style your curls the right way

Typically, curling your hair without heat will result in curls that do not last that long. Usually, they will not last until the end of the day. This means you must use hair products to help your curls keep their shape longer.

Also, you have to position the curlers in the direction where you want your curls to go.

Step 3 – Maintain your curls

If you want to make your curls last for over a day, use some curl cream. Wear a hair cap when you sleep to keep the curls from unraveling too much.

Also, wrap your hair around foam rollers and wear them overnight. However, you need to style your curls in the morning.

Step 4 – Use the right products for your curls

Aside from using suitable rollers, you should also use some hair products to create your desired curls. Use a good curl cream to help your curls retain their shape longer and prevent frizz from forming.

You do not need heat protection as you did not use heat to shape your curls.

Pros of Hair Rollers

Doesn’t Cause Any Heat Damage to Your Hair

Because you will be forming the curls without heat, your hair will not receive as much damage as it would have. This means your monthly hair growth will look more uniform as you do not need to repair damaged strands.

Easy to Use

You do not need any hairstyling skills to create low-maintenance medium hairstyles. You only need to know how to section your hair properly so that you can work on your curls properly.

If you want to stop putting your hair in a ponytail daily, use hair curlers to mix it up.

Won’t Dry Your Hair

The problem with curling irons is that they can dehydrate your hair, making it brittle and prone to breaking. You will need to apply a leave-in conditioner to replace the lost moisture.

With hair curlers, your hair will retain its moisture. You can even use them while your hair is damp to make your curls tighter.


You can create a variety of hairstyles depending on what hair curlers you use or whatever combination of them you use. Create large and loose waves using large curlers.

You can also use tight curls using spiral curlers. You can get more styles using curling irons, but you can still choose from many options with hair curlers.

Cons of Hair Rollers

Curls Aren’t That Long-Lasting

Although you can use hair products to make the curls made by hair rollers last longer, they typically do not last more than half a day, especially if you have straight hair.

If so, your curls will start straightening after a few hours. This is true if you do not use curl cream or other hair products.

Takes a Lot Longer to Create Curls

You will not get curls as instantaneously as you would if you used a curling iron. Hair curlers usually take a couple of hours for the curls to set in your hair. You will typically even need to wear the curlers overnight if you want your curls to develop better and last longer.

You Can Still Damage Your Hair

You must be careful when using heatless curlers, as heat is not the only cause of hair damage. If you wrap your hair tightly around the curlers, the curls will look better.

However, stretching your hair too much can also cause the strands to break; this is especially true when you curl your hair while it is wet.

Quick Tips to Keep in Mind

Don’t Use Hair Conditioner Before Using Hair Rollers

Applying conditioner before you use hair rollers will make the strands a bit too smooth and you will have trouble wrapping them around the rollers.

If you want, you can use a leave-in conditioner after you remove the rollers and while styling your hair, just like after washing your hair after coloring.

Use Velcro Rollers If You Have Thick Hair

You might find using other kinds of hair rollers challenging if you have straight and thick hair. For your hair type, you need to use a Velcro roller.

The hooks on the surface of this kind of roller will be strong enough to hold onto your hair strands and make them curl up the way you want them to.

Use More Rollers to Get More Curls

This might seem obvious, but many people think they can get lots of curls just by using large rollers and then splitting them afterward. The best way to get more curls is to section your hair as often as possible and use separate hair rollers for each.

Use Different Sizes of Hair Rollers

If you want to add more volume and bounce to your hair, it is best to use different sizes of rollers to make your curls look more natural.

Wear Them While Your Hair Is Damp Overnight

You will get the best results by styling your hair for the night using hair rollers. If you intend to leave your curlers on overnight, do it after you wash your hair that night.

Do not use a hair dryer. Just towel dry your hair (still wet but not dripping wet) and then put on the curlers. Sleeping with wet hair isn’t a pleasant experience.

Only Use Your Fingers to Comb Your New Curls

Using a comb will only make your curls frizz, wasting the hours you waited. What you should do, instead, is flip your hair from front to back. After that, gently run your fingers through your hair to loosen the curls and make them look more natural.


Should you put hair rollers on wet or dry hair?

It is best to put hair rollers on damp hair. The curls will look better and last longer if your hair dries while still in the rollers. However, your hair does not need to be that wet. It just needs to be a bit damp.

How long should you leave your hair rollers on?

It will depend on how tight you want your curls to be. If you want to give your straight hair a bit of volume, wearing hair rollers for 30 minutes to an hour will be enough.

However, if you want luscious curls, wear your hair rollers until your damp hair completely dries, which could take at least a few hours.

What type of hair rollers should you use on your hair texture?

Some hair rollers work best on certain hair textures. For instance, for naturally curly hair, foam hair rollers work better. If you have thick and straight hair, you will need large Velcro hair rollers as they are the ones that hold onto this type of hair texture better.

Does the size of the hair rollers matter?

Yes, because the size of the hair rollers will determine the size of the curls you will get. For instance, if you want to curl the middle and ends of your hair for a butterfly cut, you should use large hair rollers to get the right effect.

If you want tight curls, wrap your hair around small foam rollers.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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