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Friday, October 23, 2009

Comparing Hair Roller Options.

The purpose of this post is to supplement the video I made yesterday and to add some info that I may not have been able to mention there, due to time constraints. I get lots and lots of questions about hair rollers and yes, I do use many different kinds! Rollers are pretty important to achieve certain types of vintage looks, even if you have the pincurling thing down pat. So without further ado, here is a brief rundown of several different options for rollers and a few facts about them:


1. Sponge Rollers
What it is: A lightweight cylindrical sponge over a plastic rod and usually involving a plastic clip attached to the rod that snaps over the hair once it is rolled

What it does: provides a good stable curl that has less tendency to frizz than a pincurl but more than a hot roller. When rolled to the scalp, hair will have alot of volume and tons of curl. when rolled off base, it will provide a lovely bouncy curl, reminiscent of a youthful 1940's look.

Pros: authentic look, comfortable for sleeping in, long lasting curl (especially when used with a setting lotion), versatile styling options, comes in a variety of sizes

Cons: plastic clip tends to dent hair, sponge will fall apart after alot of use, plastic rod and clip comes unattached easily and can sometimes be a pain to find, when you're in a hurry.

2. Pillow or Soft Rollers
What it is: a sponge type roller inserted over a wire and encased in fabric. The wire ends are also covered in fabric and need simply to be twisted together in order to stay in place.

What it does: provides the same type of tight curl as a rag roller or a sponge roller.

Pros: The most comfortable set for sleeping, tight long lasting curls, less tendency to frizz than a pincurl, no denting since the closure doesnt touch the hair

Cons: When rolling damp hair, pillow rollers take longer to dry since they are covered in fabric and less air circulates, no different sizes to choose from usually, not as secure as a sponge roller set-tends to slide out, twisting at the ends can be difficult to master

3.Old Fashioned Rag Rollers:
What it is: a strip of fabric, about 10 inches long, folded in half. Hair wraps around the middle and ties after rolling, to secure.

What it does: makes tight and authentic curls, similar to but not quite the same as sponge roller curls.

Pros: the set just looks cute when you're wearing it, makes authentic and long lasting curls, easy to use, economical since you can make them yourself

Cons: curls have no round base to support them and therefore may not be uniform, curls can look 'dented' sometimes, can tend to frizz, depending on the type of fabric you use-hair can take a little longer to dry than a typical sponge roller set


1.Hot Roller
What it is: A plastic roller in varying sizes that comes in a set and is usually heated over a metal spindle. There are also steam setters that use steam to heat a sponge-flocked plastic roller. Traditional hot rollers are usually textured or flocked in velvet for added security while setting. They use pins or claw type clips to hold them in the hair.

What it does: When properly heated, makes a soft wave curl, the size of which is determined by the size roller used.

Pros: convenient, easy to use, provides a good base for updos and looks that simply need a little extra volume, time efficient, very little frizzing

Cons: heated products need a heat protectant spray to prevent damage to hair, not a very long lasting option, can be pricey, not a very authentic option usually, curl is loose and slippery, heat can cause burns if rollers get very hot (and they should get very hot), bulky for traveling

*for longer lasting curls with the same appearance as hot rolled ones, try a dry pincurl. Simply roll hair with a curling iron, slide the curl off the iron, and pin it to the scalp with a single pronged clip while the curl cools.

2.Hot Sticks
What it is: a bendable piece of rubbery plastic with a loop at one end and a heated coil inside. Roller secures by being inserted into itself.

What it does: provides the most authentic curls for vintage looks, as offered by a heated set. Curls are tight but easily relaxed through brushing and can be formed over hands to make locks, a pageboy, or waterfal waves.

Pros: convenient when a cold set is not possible, rollers get *hot* so the curl takes rather quickly, relatively easy to use, curls most hair types-even those typically difficult to curl, inexpensive, no denting from pins or clips, convenient for travel

Cons: not as secure as other rollers since ends pop open quite often, heat can be damaging to hair, tendency to frizz (can usually be overcome by more brushing), hot centers can burn fingers, texture of roller can pull hair if not careful

There are plenty of other roller options, such as velcro etc, but I am not familiar with those types at the time of this post. So we'll save those for another time. Until then, I hope this little guide is helpful for some of you.


Lauren said...

Thanks for the review! I am determined to someday master pincurls, but for now it's sponge rollers for me! I'm curious though if there is a way to get the bigger, loose curls with a cold set. My hair takes curl VERY well, and it sometimes it can take me forever to brush out my Shirley Temple sponge roller curls to a manageable state.

Amanda said...

Great info. Unfortunately becasue of my long, thick hair the only thing that works for me is pin curls.

Anonymous said...

Thanks this was really helpful! Love the new videos too!! xxx

Kate said...

I have found a product that gives the bigger loose curls as I my hair holds curls really well too! I look like a poodle sometimes!
They are flat tongs you use with hot irons and they are amazing! You have to check them out www.mycurl.me

casey said...

Thank you for the run down of these curling options! At this point, I really only use hot rollers or pin curls, so it's great to know the pros and cons of the other options. ;)

- Casey

aurelia.donka said...

My hair must be some kind of frizz machine. The only set that doesn't turn out frizzy for me is a pincurl set.

My hair is fine and waistlength, so I only use standing pincurls. Even curls made on magnetic rollers frizz for me, and those are supposed to be the smoothest sets you can do.

Miss Jess said...

Hmm, I know this may be beating a dead horse, but I have not yet found a solid answer for this. Do you have any experience or reviews on using plastic perm rods for wet sets? I usually pincurl, hot rollers don't work for me... but I'm interested in trying the perm rods. Thanks!

jewlover2 said...

Miss Jess. I have not tried them myself. So sorry. I'll look into it certainly. I need some tips on how to set it though...any one you know that can supply a setting pattern?

Jennifer said...

Miss Jess I have used perm rods they will make a very tight curl almost too tight and not very comfortable to say the least. But you will definitely get curl.

alexevansishot said...

hello this is stacey i want to know what the best thing is to cutl my hair as i have very thick hair and recently had it cut up to my sholder's and every time i curl it with hot rollers my curls fall flat is their any other opption that i could use for my hair please let me know if any one has any sugestions please email me alexevansishot@live.com.au

thank you and please send me a message A.S.A.P :-))))

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