Everyone, regardless of their hair type, length, and style, has tried hair rollers at least once in their lives. And with heat-styling becoming more frowned upon than ever, the glorious hair roller, once a tool resigned to images of the '60s, has made a comeback like no other. Not just a dated tool anymore, if you want curly hair without the added baggage and damage of using a heat styling tool like a curling tong, hair rollers are back to claim their spot in the sun — and they're about to make getting beach waves, defined curls, and coils easier than ever. However, if you're new to the realm of hair rollers and need a refresher, here's a definitive guide to the tool — from what they are, how to choose them, and how to use hair rollers. Read on!


What Is A Hair Roller?

What Is A Hair Roller?

Hair rollers consist of different types of hair tools, each of which help curl the hair, and even straighten curly hair sometimes. Ranging from heated rollers to velcro rollers, each hair roller serves a different purpose and caters to different hair types, but the goal is the same — amping up your hairstyle. To give you more of an in-depth insight on the different types of hair rollers before we jump into how to use hair rollers, we're listing an exhaustive guide ahead of all the kinds of hair rollers you can use.


Types Of Hair Rollers

Types Of Hair Rollers

01. Velcro Rollers

Velcro rollers are perhaps the most commonly-seen type of hair roller in pop culture, and also the most widely-used. They have the ability to turn any hair into voluminous curls, or even tight ringlets, depending on the roller's size and usage. Available in different sizes to match different hair types and needs, velcro rollers are self holding and can be used to create different types of curls without any heat.

02. Flexi Rods

Perfect for attaining gorgeous ringlets, flexi rods are, as the name suggests, flexible rods that can bend into different shapes that allows them to be put in place without any holds. These are available in different diameters, and can be used to stretch out tight curls, create ringlets, and they work especially well on shorter hair.

Types Of Hair Rollers

03. Foam Rollers

If flexi rods and velcro rollers are a little uncomfortable for your scalp, or if you want to style your mane overnight, turn to foam rollers. These sponge-like rollers require clips to hold 'em in place, but don't worry — they protect you from all irritation if you toss and turn at night. They're mainly used for nighttime styling because they take a little longer to work, but if you've got time to spare, then you can use these for a few hours all day to let them work their magic. Just make sure to keep them a little loose near your hairline, because they can tug at your strands and hairline a little bit.

04. Steam Rollers

While the name is a little misleading, steam rollers are actually a gentler, safer alternative to heat styling, and you can create gorgeous looking ringlets just by wrapping your strands around the cylinder. Once you've wrapped your strands around the cylinder, wait for about 20 minutes and let 'em loose — you'll have soft, bouncy curls with almost no effort.

Hot Rollers

05. Hot Rollers

Available in various sizes, hot rollers are perhaps the quickest way to curl your hair. With instant heat and set time, these classic hair roller options are all about giving you glossy, loose waves to tight, ringlet-y curls depending on the size that you use. The best part? There are so many options to choose from, and each is so versatile!


How To Use Hair Rollers

How To Use Hair Rollers

With choosing different rollers and having different hair types and wanting different hairstyles, the question of how to use hair rollers has a diversified set of answers. If you want glorious, movie star curls, but have thin hair, one type of hair roller might be more suited to you, or if you have thick hair and want ringlets, you might want to choose another, and so on and so forth. But fret not! We've created a definitive guide on how to use hair rollers ahead, so read on...

01. For Dry, Damaged Hair

If you have dry and damaged hair, chances are that you aren't too keen on using heat and steam rollers to create fabulous curls. Skip the hot rollers and turn to flexi rods to give you gorgeous looking curls. Here's how:

Step 01: Once you've washed your hair, prep it with a little bit of leave-in serum to ensure your curls come out looking glossy and frizz-free. Brush out your hair and ensure that there are no tangles, and then take the flexi rods.

Step 02: Based on how thick or how thin your hair is, and also the volume you want in your curls, take anywhere between 4-10 flexi rods.

Step 03: Section your hair in equal parts and place the first flexi rod at the end of the first section.

Step 04: Slowly, roll the rod back up on the selected strand until you get to the scalp, while making sure that your hair wraps around the roller evenly.

Step 05: Bend the flexi roller in a way that it stays in place securely, and follow the same steps for the rest of the sections.

Step 06: Once a few hours have passed, undo the roller. If you want loose waves, run your hands through your hair. If tight curls are more your style, you can use a holding spray to ensure they stay in place and don't come undone.

For Oily Hair

02. For Oily Hair

If your mane is a little more on the oily side, you can get away with using a hot roller — with heat protection of course! Hot rollers will give you instant results too, so this one's perfect for anyone who wants quick styling. Here's how to use hot rollers:

Step 01: Start by prepping your mane with a heat protectant, and heating up your roller to the right temperature. Brush out all the knots from your mane.

Step 02: Divide your hair into one-inch sections, and place the roller towards the end. Roll the hot roller towards your hair while wrapping the strands around the roller, and once it's sufficiently ringlet-y, let it loose.

Pro-tip: Make sure to not leave the roller on for very long, especially if you have thin hair, since you might end up overheating. Instead, do it section by section to avoid unevenness and heat damage.

Step 03: Run your fingers through your hair for a softer look, or use a holding spray to keep it in place. And that's it!

For Straight Hair

03. For Straight Hair

If you have straight hair, foam rollers are your best bet, since they add voluminous, fluffed-out curls that look natural too. Here's how to use them:
Step 01: Section off your dry hair into even parts, and start clipping the foam rollers onto your sections one by one. Try to go in different directions instead of just towards the root, since that will bring a natural-looking effect to the mane.

Step 02: Once your strands have been wrapped around the rollers, make sure you clip them in place.

Step 03: Leave foam rollers on overnight, and you'll wake up with gorgeous, fluffed-out locks. Brush them out with a large paddle brush, to ensure that you get the 'I-woke-up-like-this' effect.

For All Hair Types

04. For All Hair Types

If you're looking for a one-size-fits-all kind of way to use a hair roller, turn to velcro rollers. Depending on the size, you can get loose curls and ringlets, here's how to use them:

Step 01: Brush out your hair to remove the knots, and divide it into even sections. Prep with a holding hairspray, and make sure that you start with a section that's pulled tight to get the velcro to stick to the hair.

Step 02: Roll the chosen section of your hair around the roller, making sure that your hair sticks to it.

Step 03: Leave it on for around 15-20 minutes to lock it in, and use your fingers to brush through the curls for a beautiful effect.


Dos And Don'ts Of Using Hair Rollers

Dos And Don'ts Of Using Hair Rollers

While learning how to use hair rollers was easy, it doesn't come without its dos and don'ts. Ahead, we're listing down what to do, and what not to do when you use hair rollers.

01. DO: Use Foam Rollers For Overnight Styling

Foam rollers are soft and spongy, making them perfect for overnight use. You won't have any trouble sleeping with these on, making them ideal for overnight styling.

02. DON'T: Use Heated Rollers Without Heat Protection

Just because they're gentler alternatives to using a curling iron, doesn't mean you can use hot rollers and steam rollers without heat protection. These rollers, no matter how mild, still work with heat, and therefore, a heat protectant needs to be sprayed on your hair before using them.

DO: Set Your Curls

03. DO: Set Your Curls

You want your curls to stay on for a long time since you've spent so much time creating them, don't you? Always use a holding spray to make sure that your curls don't waver and last you a long time.

04. DON'T: Leave Heated Rollers On For Too Long

Leaving heated rollers on for too long can overheat your locks, and cause major hair damage, which may be something you're trying to avoid. Try to use hot rollers and steam rollers on one section at a time, to prevent your mane from overheating.

DO: Brush Out The Tangles

05. DO: Brush Out The Tangles

This may be overlooked, but before you start using hair rollers, always brush out the tangles — if you don't, your curls could come out messy, and not the way you were hoping at all!

06. DON'T: Pull Your Hair Too Tight

You may have the urge to pull your hair back as tight as possible with hair rollers, but don't! Pulling your hair to the point of discomfort is not only a potential cause for headaches; but if done over and over again, it can lead to hair fall, and even recede your hairline.


01. Are hair rollers bad for your hair?

Not really! Hair rollers are safer, gentler alternatives to heat styling tools, so, on the contrary, they're actually better for your hair than hot tools! Even heated rollers are mostly safe!

02. Are hair rollers better than curling irons?

Yes, they are! Curling irons, while an often quicker alternative to hair rollers, actually cause a lot of hair damage due to constant exposure to heat. Hair rollers, on the other hand, are mostly heat-free, although a little time-consuming, and even the heated ones are gentler than curling irons.

03. Does rolling hair everyday damage it?

Unless you're pulling too tight, have pre-existing hair damage, or using hot rollers without protection, rolling your hair is unlikely to cause you any damage.

04. How do you use hair rollers overnight?

As mentioned above, you can use sponge-like foam rollers on your hair overnight by clipping them in place. They won't cause any discomfort as you get your beauty rest, but will give you dreamy curls in the AM!