If you love waves and curls, you’ve probably tried quite a few different ways to achieve them – curling irons, waving irons, straightening irons, braiding your hair while it’s wet, you name it.
What if we told you there’s a way to create stunning, bouncy curls and waves with much less effort? Would you give it a go? Enter, hot rollers.
We know, we know, when you think of hot rollers, it’s likely you think of the 80s. Maybe your mother, grandmother or perhaps a particularly fabulous aunt would never have been caught without perfectly set waves courtesy of their beloved hot rollers!
Well, they certainly don’t make them like that anymore (in the best possible way, promise!) – they’re now on trend again and feature the latest in hair styling technology from ceramic and titanium through to soft velvet flocking, it’s all a world away from velcro rollers which pull and get all caught up and tangled in your hair.
Forget spending hours with your curling wand trying to achieve the perfect beachy waves, today’s hot rollers will leave your hair smooth and silky yet voluminous and cascading with soft waves or curls.
- List of Top Products
- Best Hot Rollers
- 1. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter
- 2. Conair Xtreme Big Curls Hairsetter
- 3. Caruso Professional Molecular Steam Hair Setter
- 4. Conair Instant Heat Travel Hot Rollers
- 5. INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Ceramic Flocked Rollers
- 6. Revlon Curls-to-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers
- 7. HT02 Instant Heat Hot Rollers with 12PCS 2-Inch Super Jumbo Hair Setter
- 8. Curl Innovation by Conair 20 Roller Setter with Heated Clips
- 9. Calista Tools Ion Hot Rollers Short Style Set
- 10. T3 – Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe Premium Hair Curler Set
- Tips for using your hot rollers
- How to actually style your hair with hot rollers
List of Top Products
Here are our top picks for those in a hurry (Linked to Amazon), you can read the full review below:
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter
- Conair Xtreme Big Curls Hairsetter
- Caruso Professional Molecular Steam Hair Setter
- Conair Instant Heat Travel Hot Rollers
- INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Rollers
- Revlon Curls-to-Go
They’re quick and easy to use, you can pop them in then go do your makeup, read a magazine, scroll through your socials or even have a nap (where do you sign up, right?!). It’s no wonder they’re regaining popularity quicker than you can say K-Pop or Kim Kardashian.
So, how to choose a set. Do you pick one and hope for the best? Ask your sister or best friend or hair dresser? Don’t worry, we can help you out!
Best Hot Rollers
We’ve rounded up ten of our favourites whether you’re after big rollers, smaller ones or a mix to achieve the perfect style every time. And, for those of you on the go regularly? There are plenty of travel friendly options too! Below, we’ve also put together some tips and how-to’s. You’re welcome!
1. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter
This professional quality set from BaBylissPRO comes complete with twenty rollers of various sizes including 6 small 3/4 inch size, 6 medium 1 inch and 8 large 1¼ inch. The range of size will ensure you finish with a style that boasts more volume and a better overall look.
Whether you want to create natural, bouncy curls or even just lighter waves, you’ll be able to achieve a range of styles with the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter.
The rollers are nano titanium ceramic and so give off a gentle, far-infrared heat to style hair yet leave it looking healthy. The rollers come with 20 butterfly clips and 20 metal clips so you can choose which you prefer to hold the velvety-flocked rollers in with.
The on/off switch has an indicator light so it’s simple and easy to operate and also heats up fast.
2. Conair Xtreme Big Curls Hairsetter
Create big, super long-lasting curls with this set from Conair. It’ll give great volume while minimising frizz and adding plenty of shine to your strands. The rollers come with velvety flocking to help protect your hair, twice as much as some other roller sets, as well as flexible wire clips to hold the rollers without leaving any pesky crimp marks.
Each of the 12 rollers in the Conair Xtreme Big Curls Hairsetter is 1.5 inches and perfect for achieving large curls and waves.
The set also includes a Steam Reservoir which will help to add more moisture and lessen the amount of frizz in your hair which will help produce long-lasting results.
3. Caruso Professional Molecular Steam Hair Setter
The Caruso brand hair setter will create both waves and perfect tight curls which are long-lasting and can stay over a number of days, all with fantastic volume and a healthy shine.
The system uses steam molecules to penetrate each individual hair shaft and create beautiful curls while maintaining strong, healthy hair. It sets in just 5 to 10 minutes or, if you’re short on time, simply blow dry to evaporate the moisture and achieve curls in just 30 seconds.
The Caruso Professional Molecular Hairsetter is suitable for all hair types and includes a variety of roller sizes for greater styling flexibility including 6 petite, 6 small, 6 medium, 6 large and 6 jumbo-sized rollers. The set also includes comb clips, a styling guide and even a handy carry case.
4. Conair Instant Heat Travel Hot Rollers
Create voluminous waves and curls with the Conair Travel Hairsetter. It features five jumbo-sized 1.5 inch wide rollers, each velvety-flocked to deliver a smooth, frizz-free finish.
Get your hairstyle completed in no time as the set heats up in just two minutes and provides all day hold for curls. The super clips will hold the rollers safely and securely until you’re ready to let the volume and curls loose. Perfect for travelling, the set is dual voltage, compact and features a 5 foot long cord.
5. INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Ceramic Flocked Rollers
Be flexible and create a range of styles from tight curls through to big, bouncy curls with the INIFINITIPRO set from Conair. It features 20 rollers including small (3/4 inch), medium (1 inch) and large (1¼ inch) sizes.
The rollers use ceramic technology to quickly heat up and evenly transfer heat to each strand, as well as emit natural ions to tackle frizz and leave hair looking healthier and shinier
The INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Ceramic Flocked Rollers can be set to 12 different temperature levels to cater for a range of hair types and needs. It heats up in just two minutes to get the job done quickly and easily.
With the set as an added bonus is an argan oil treatment to help condition hair and further help to control frizz and add shine.
6. Revlon Curls-to-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers
Enjoy easy styling and bouncy curls with the Revlon Curls-to-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers. The rollers utilise tourmaline ionic technology to deliver smooth, frizz-free and shiny results.
Each of the 10 rollers includes a triple ceramic coating to deliver fast results and comes with sturdy clips to hold the rollers securely for the best results at home and while travelling. The cool touch tips help avoid burns and allow for easy roller handling. Each roller also includes a ready dot indicator to show when they’re heated and ready to use.
Perfect for on-the-go styling, this Revlon set comes complete with a storage pouch for travel and is dual voltage.
7. HT02 Instant Heat Hot Rollers with 12PCS 2-Inch Super Jumbo Hair Setter
Quickly and easily create long-lasting styles with gorgeous curls and waves using the HT02 Instant Heat Hot Rollers. The 12 rollers are perfect for creating small and medium-sized curls.
The ultra-fast heat up means you can be styling in less than 5 minutes and the clipless rollers make the experience easier and more convenient. It also includes an adjustable temperature from 176 to 446℉ to match your hair type and needs.
Worry less as the unit includes an auto shut off feature when it is not used for more than 30 minutes, perfect for if you’re always in a hurry and happen to forget occasionally. The set also comes with a manual, glove and a 12 month warranty.
8. Curl Innovation by Conair 20 Roller Setter with Heated Clips
Achieve great curls and waves with this set of 20 flocked ceramic rollers from Conair. The flocking on each roller gives heat protection to minimise damage to your tresses while the ceramic technology ensures gentle, even heat distribution.
The set includes three different sized rollers for maximum flexibility – ¾ inch, 1 inch and 1¼ inch – which all heat up in just over sixty seconds, along with clips for each of the rollers which are heated directly on the elements.
9. Calista Tools Ion Hot Rollers Short Style Set
Get the perfect look whether you’re after curls, waves or just volume and body with the Calista Tools Ion Hot Rollers Short Style Set. Use the short, long or body wavers to achieve the desired look and the two different temperature settings to cater for a variety of hair types.
The heating elements are built in to each roller which menas they heat up faster and retain heat better than traditional hot rollers. Ionic technology in the rollers help to infuse moisture into strands as you style. The set also comes with a travel case and butterfly clips.
10. T3 – Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe Premium Hair Curler Set
Enjoy volume and shine as you style your hair into curls and waves with the Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe Premium Hair Curler Set. It comes complete with 8 rollers – 4 large, 1.5 inch rollers and 4 extra-large, 1.75 inch sized rollers – as well as 8 clips to ensure no crimping or creasing gets in the way of your perfect style.
Utilising T3 HeatCore technology and two temperature settings, the rollers will heat up quickly and help to transfer the heat well for the longest lasting results. Indicators on each roller let you know when they’re reached the selected temperature setting, while the CoolTouch tips and velvet flocking make them easy to handle while styling.
No need to worry if you sometimes forget to turn off your styling tools before you leave the house – the T3 set automatically turns off after 1 hour. They are also perfect for travelling with Auto World Voltage ranging from 100-240V and a luxurious storage case to keep them protected.
Tips for using your hot rollers
So, you’ve chosen your perfect hot rollers but now have no clue how to use them to achieve the style of your dreams? It can be quite confronting to pull your new set out of the box with no idea where to start. There are rollers, there are clips, there are pins, there are cords. Don’t stress though, we’ve got some tips to help!
First things first, before you go anywhere near those rollers, make sure your hair is actually dry. Whether you let it air dry or give it a quick blow dry to help add shine, just make sure it’s completely dry before you begin, it’ll help your new style to last longer.
The other important pre-roller preparation? A heat protection serum, of course – you want to protect your hair no matter what heat styling tool you use and a lightweight protection serum will help immensely. Don’t use hairspray before the rollers as it can easily turn into a sticky, icky mess – you don’t want that, trust us!
If you want to change your part, now is the time. Go super glamourous with a deep side part or easy and carefree with a centre part.
What size rollers to use
While you might have seen someone using lots of smaller rollers in the past, for a much more modern look (you’re not in the 80s, after all) go for a roller that is a minimum of 1.5 inches.
This will help create softer waves with a larger roller. Though if it is tighter curls you’re after, experiment with some smaller sizes and see what works for your hair.
The best roller size will also depend on your hair type and length. Those with thicker hair should stick to using larger rollers while fine hair types will benefit from using smaller rollers, particularly around the part to help achieve extra volume.
Those with short hair should try using less rollers, around five in total should be enough, while girls with longer hair should be using large (or even jumbo) rollers for the best results.
Also, if it’s a curlier style you’re after, use smaller rollers to achieve a tighter curl, or for voluminous waves go for a larger size for free-flowing, beachy look.
How to roll – the right way
Using hot rollers can take practice, getting the right positioning for the rollers depends on both your hair type and the kind of style you’re hoping to achieve.
To start with, section off your hair, at least into four main sections – two sides, top centre and back centre – and then make sure the hair you’re wrapping around is the same width as the roller.
When you’ve got your rollers ready, you can choose whether you want to wrap from the ends for a lot of extra bounce or start at the top so the ends aren’t so tight.
If you’re after some pretty amazing volume, roll horizontally, but if you prefer a more low-key, softer effect, roll vertically and generally you want to be rolling away from your face. If you’d prefer a more natural look, wrapping both ways will help to achieve a more natural look to your style.
Finish off, the right way
Once you take the rollers out, it might be tempting to layer on the hairspray but we suggest you don’t. Instead? Finish your style off using a texturizing or beach spray, it’ll leave you with tousled, more modern waves.
Oh, and if you went a little over the top and are left with too much curl, run a straightening iron through quickly to help break up the curls and turn them into beautiful, flowing waves.
More: Hot Air Brush
How to actually style your hair with hot rollers
Now you’ve got some tips, how about a run through of how to actually achieve the style you’re after, step by step? If you want curls instead of waves, there’s a few key differences in the way you tackle the process, including which styling products to use. Try these out and see how you go.
How to: Get classic curls using hot rollers
- Plug your hot rollers in and heat them up. Be sure to follow the instructions provided with your particular kit and let them heat up fully before you start.
- While they’re heating up, ensure your hair is totally dry and apply some heat protection serum or product to help prevent damage and provide some help to hold your style. Using hot rollers on wet hair is never a good idea.
- Section your hair – divide it up into 4 or 5 sections now, or more for longer hair, and it’ll make the job a lot easier (and faster, too!).
- Start rolling the top and back sections first. Be sure not to use sections wider than the roller or too much hair on each, otherwise it won’t get that beautiful curl. Secure each roller with the clips or pins included in your hot rollers set. Continue through all sections of hair until you’re done. If you prefer a more natural look, roll different sections backwards and forwards to achieve a more undone look.
- Use a medium-hold hairspray over all of the rollers to help your curls stay intact once you take them out. Leave the rollers to cool completely – I might take a while for longer or thicker hair but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded.
- Once they’re cool, take out the rollers by removing the clips and or pins and let the curls each fall away easily. Separate the curls using your fingers and use another coat of hairspray or some dry texturizing spray to help hold the style.
- That’s it, you’re done – woo hoo!
How to: Get bouncy, beautiful waves using hot rollers
- Heat up your rollers. Don’t forget, to achieve waves you’ll want to use larger rollers than you would for curls. Be sure they all heat up properly before you begin.
- Again, make sure your hair is dry before you attempt any hot rolling. Smooth some mousse into dry hair to help it keep the waves better and longer.
- Section it off. Just like for curls, it’ll make you job a whole lot easier and faster if you section into about 4 sections, more for thicker or longer hair.
- Start from the top section and work to the back, then you can tackle the sides. For loose waves, be sure to roll your hair in the same direction. If you want to add some more interest to your style, you can try using different sized hot rollers for a variety of wave sizes.
- Mist with a light hold hairspray and leave your hair to set. Be sure they’re completely cooled before you take them out – use the time to do your makeup or just kick back and relax for twenty or thirty minutes.
- Let the rollers out gently and use either your fingers or a brush to help the curls into waves. Use some more mousse for a long-lasting style.
- You’re all done and ready to go!
The key to using hot rollers and achieving the perfect waves or curls is practice. With so many different sizes available you should test a few out on your hair and see how they turn out.
Everyone has a slightly different hair type and length combination so see what works for you as an individual, it’ll make future hot rolling sessions even more efficient and you’ll be able to achieve the best style for your unique hair type in no time.
With a new hair styling system as easy as this, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t got onto it sooner – and why you bothered for so long with all those straightening irons, curling wands and other styling tools!
With all of these tips, how-to’s and a fancy new set of hot rollers, you’ll be achieving beautiful, glossy waves in no time at all. The question is – will you share your new secret with your friends?