Different Types of Hair Rollers And How to Use Them

If hair rollers conjure an image of an old lady in a bathrobe surrounded by cats, you may be surprised at what all you can do with hair rollers.  They can transform your hair from straight to wavy, curly, and even trendy beach waves.  You can even use them to add some body to your existing style without using heat appliances, which can damage your hair.

If you've tried shopping for hair rollers, you no doubt saw that there are many different types of hair rollers available.  The best one for you depends on the texture of your hair and your hair length.  Keep reading to learn about the different types of hair rollers and how to use them.  You may need to buy a set with different sizes or two or more sets depending on what type of curls you want.

Different Types of Hair Rollers And How to Use Them

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Types of Hair Rollers and How to Use Them

Heated Rollers

Heated rollers usually come in a set with a variety of sizes with an electric base that stores the rollers and heats them when you're ready to use them.  Heated rollers give you a longer lasting curl with less frizz, but using heat to style your hair can damage your hair over time.  Be sure to use a heat protection spray before you use them.  Always use heated rollers on dry hair and make sure the ends of your hair are tucked in to avoid a crease.
Conair Extreme Instant Heat

Foam Rollers

Foam rollers are popular because they are very inexpensive, and they are also more comfortable than other styles.  The con is that you'll need to leave them in for hours, but you can put them in before bed and sleep on them.
Goody Foam Rollers

Twirlers or Rod Style

These are long, flexible rods that have some padding on them.  These are best to create spiral curls.  Although you use these on wet hair, your hair dries quickly because of the mesh in the curler.
Twist Flex Rods

Velcro Hair Rollers

Velcro hair rollers are easy to use because you don't need a clip to hold them in place.  However, if your hair is really long, thick, or heavy, you might want to use a clip for more support.  You use Velcro rollers on dry or damp hair.  These are great for a soft curl or to add volume.
Velcro Rollers

Magnetic Rollers

For a smooth curl and volume, use magnetic rollers.  These are used on wet hair, but they can take hours to set the curl.  You can also put them in before you go to bed to wake up with more volume.

Magnetic Rollers
Now that you know the different types of hair rollers, you need to know which one is best for your hair type.

  • Smooth hair works best with Velcro rollers because they don't tangle as easily.
  • Thick hair needs a roller with a large diameter so you can wrap easier.  
  • Fine hair needs a roller with a small diameter.  Hot rollers will probably be better than other types.  
  • Long hair should be rolled in jumbo rollers so all of your hair can wrap around it.  
  • Damaged hair should use Velcro or foam rollers because they cause the least amount of damage.  

Other Accessories

If you plan to curl your hair with rollers often, you might want to have these on hand.

Duck Bill Clips

Use these to hold curlers in place.  You can also use the to section off your hair to make curling easier.

Duck Bill Clips

Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are a staple for styling your hair.  They can also be used to hold curlers in place.

Hair Serum

Before you start to curl your hair, prevent frizz by using a hair serum or my DIY shine spray recipe.

Frizz Ease


Help your curls stay longer by spraying with a hairspray with a flexible hold.

Aveda Be Curly

Hair Rolling Tips

  • You can use non heated hair rollers before you take a shower.  Put on a shower cap and let the steam set your curl.
  • The longer you leave your curlers in, the longer your curls will last.  
  • The wider the roller, the fuller the final curl.  Small curlers will have a tight curl.
  • If your hair is hard to curl, don't condition it before you curl.  
And now you know the different types of hair rollers and how to use them!

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