How to actually use hair rollers, because you’re probably doing it wrong

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How to actually use hair rollers, because you’re probably doing it wrong


If you’re unsure where you stand on hair rollers, you might be surprised to hear that they’re more popular than ever before. In fact, search #hairrollers on TikTok and you’ll see they’ve been tagged almost 1.5 billion times. From that, we’d say there’s a whole host of people out there who want to know how to get that big, bouncy salon blow-dry effect at home.

So, whether you want to scoll through the hundreds and thousands of tutorials on TikTok or simply read what the experts have to say on the matter below, we guarantee you’ll be rocking Barbie-esque curls in no time.

What type of hair rollers are best?

There are two types of roller – Velcro and heated. “Traditional velcro rollers are the most cost-effective option and work well to create volume and bounce while heated rollers offer longevity. There are also foam rods which achieve a tighter wave but aren’t rollers ‘per se’,” explains Tyler Moore, expert stylist at Live True London. “The choice is really down to personal preference.”

Do rollers work on short hair?

“Yes, but your hair just needs to be long enough to get a bend in it to create volume or to get a full rotation of the roller,” says A-list hairdresser and salon owner, Luke Benson.

Can you use rollers if you have fine hair?

Of course and they can be great for creating volume, especially if you place them at the roots but you might find your hair feels quite slippy, which is when the prep work and a styling spray becomes most important.

Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

How should you prep your hair for rollers?

“I recommend washing the hair and, while still damp, prepping it with L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Pli,” says top stylist and L’Oreal Professionnel’s UK Editorial Ambassador, Adam Reed. “Pli was originally designed for volumising and wet setting so this product couldn’t be more perfect. If you are looking for a super volumised look then absolutely add a mousse [try Hershesons Zhoosh Foam or Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse], alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more modern and wearable, your best is to use something with less hold and a bit more texture like TECNI.ART Rebel Push Up – it’s about choosing the right product for the look you are trying to achieve.”

Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse

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Do you always put rollers in dry hair?

That would be a firm yes if you’re using hot rollers but it doesn’t have to be bone dry if you’re using velcro rollers – about 75% dry is fine.

“Spray each section of the hair with your styling spray and then wrap the hair around the roller while ever so slightly damp,” says Adam. “What is absolutely key, is you dry the hair 100% before removing the roller, otherwise it will simply flop.” You can blast the velcro rollers with heat once in place as it will help to ‘set’ your curls, then leave them to cool gradually.

What is the best technique for using rollers?

“Make sure you are placing the rollers in your hair in the pattern you want, exactly like a blow-dry and think about where your parting sits. It is hard once set to change the direction of the hair,” continues Adam. As a general rule, it’s best to start with your fringe first, before tackling the central sections behind it. Then work outwards from your crown. But play around and work out what works best for you.

Luke also adds that it’s important to make sure all the hair stays on the roller and it’s as smooth as possible to avoid frizz and any messiness – remember this is about glossy curls not beachy waves.





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