Heated Roller Set

© alexkich, iStockphoto.com / A Set of Heated Rollers

Some women have many, others only a few. However, most women did not have much luck and mother nature was not very generous. The topic we are talking about are curls. Curly hair is the new fashion trend for both children and women. If you do not have natural curls, it’s definitely not the end of the world, since you can always use hair rollers to help you out. These handy little tools can quickly make a curly mane out of straight hair. In the following sections, you will learn when exactly hair curlers were invented, what types are available today, and how you can get beautiful angelic curls in just a few minutes.

1. Historical Review: From the Metal Tube to the Roller

Even in ancient Greece and Rome women used something similar to a curling iron. The so-called Calamistrum was a pipe made of iron or bronze, which was heated on hot wood ash and used similar to the heated rollers we know today. Alternatively, a hot rod was pushed through the tube which resulted pretty much in the same effect. Curly hair was particularly popular in the 1st century B.C. The women of that era, who were called “calamistratae”, surpassed each other all the time with their curls. Curls as a beauty ideal have also apparently existed in Egypt. Archaeologists found curler made of burnt clay during excavations, which were used by Egyptian women to bring their hair into a different shape.

With constantly changing hairstyle there was a need to further develop hair curlers. During the 70s women used very large curlers to shape their hair generously, to tease it and finally fix it with hair spray.

In 1906 the German hairdresser Karl Ludwig Nessler set a further milestone in the history of curlers with the invention of the permanent wave (patented in 1910). Ever since, women are able to wear permanent wavy hair. Nessler’s specially designed device for permanent waves, which first operated with fire-heated tongs and later with electric heated cartridges, is no longer used today.

The permanent wave can be chemically generated since the 1930s. A chemical solution changes the protein structure of the hair so that it can be deformed with hair curlers. An oxidizing agent (hydrogen peroxide) fixes the hair subsequently and ensures that the curls are permanently preserved.

Hair curlers are not only used in hairdressing salons, but are also available for home use. Even without the use of chemical means, hair curlers can create wonderful waves and curls – ranging from defined strands, which are casually hanging down, over generous, light curls for the braid, to the classic curly hair.

2. These Types of Hair Rollers Are Available

The shape of today’s hair rollers differs greatly from the curling iron of the past. For example, nowadays most rollers are made of plastic. However, there are also variants made from aluminum, brass wire and foam material. Thus, hair rollers can be distinguished by their material, size, purpose and quality.

The Advantages of Hair Rollers:

  • reasonable price
  • large selection
  • simple application
  • gentle to hair and scalp

2.1 Volume Rollers

Voluminous Curls

Volume rollers can be made of different materials. The diameter lies between 5 and 40 millimeters. The size of the volume roller determines how voluminous the curls will ultimately become. In the normal cases, they are inserted at right-angled to the head, one after another. Depending on the thickness of the roller, curly or wavy hair styles can be created. Also the length can vary and lies approximately between 35 and 70 millimeters. While the long form is used in most cases, short rollers are mainly used on the upper head.

Most volume rollers have a concave shape, in other words, the diameter decreases towards the center. This is to prevent loops. Some rollers also have a conical shape, which means that the ends are differently thick. These models allow you to create beautiful waves, which have a wide curve on one side and a narrow curve on the other. When placed in the hair, the roller is usually attached with special plastic or wire needles.

2.2 Velvet Rollers

Velvet rollers consist of light metals such as aluminum. They are coated with a non-woven plastic, which allows the roller to adhere very well. This makes it easier to twist them into the hair. However, the high absorbency of the fabric is a disadvantage. If the used setting lotion is absorbed, it can affect the impact on the hair.

2.3 Foam / Sleep Rollers

As the name suggests, foam rollers are made of foam. They are light and feel pleasantly soft. These hair rollers can be used on wet or dry hair. They have built-in clips and a fixed lock. Because of their soft consistency, they can be left in the hair overnight and removed the next morning. Foam rollers are therefore particularly suitable for people who have little time during the day but still want nice curls.

2.4 Velcro / Cling Rollers

Velcro rollers can be used on the hair without attachment aids or needles. The cling material, which is located on the surface of a self grip roller, functions similarly to a hook and loop fastener. The use of needles or clips is only necessary if the hair is too heavy or thick. Due to their easy handling, volume rollers and self grip rollers are among the most popular hair rollers. They are suitable for dry and damp hair. Although the volume effect is comparatively lower, the curly result is still very impressive. The size of the curls varies with use of different rollers. From the mini-croller to super cling roller with a diameter of 20 centimeters, everything is now available.

2.5 Metal Rollers

Metal rollers are made of fine wire mesh and have a protective light metal coating on both ends. These curlers are very light and inexpensive. However, when used frequently, their life expectancy tends to be very short. Also simple metal rollers can become quite hot when drying, which most people find quite unpleasant. Alternatively, there are so-called brush rollers (metal rollers with bristle inserts) which are partially coated with plastic. These rollers heat up very slowly and adhere better to the hair. However, due to the small bristles the cleaning is somewhat time consuming.

2.6 Perm Rods / Rollers

Perm Rods

Every women should have permanent wave rollers. With the aid of these rollers, it is possible to create a permanent wave, also known as perm. Included with these slim and usually two-colour rollers are retaining rubbers, which fixate them in the hair. The diameters range from 3 millimeters to 1.5 centimeters. Thus, the “permanent waves” in the hair subsequently turn out smaller or larger. For permanent waves with larger curls, hairdressers nowadays also resort to classic volume rollers.

2.7 Bendy Hair Rollers

Bendy hair rollers – a particularly flexible and light roller type – consist of a soft foam rubber, which can be bent in any desired direction thanks to a wire that has been pulled through the middle. They are a good choice to make curly hairstyles. However, even light and natural looking permanent waves or cold waves succeed with the help of foam hair rollers excellently. The snake-like foam rods are simply attached into dry or wet hair and bent to such a point that the strands of hair are held securely. Subsequently, the hair is blow-dried or dried in the open air.

2.8 Thermo / Hot Rollers

Thermo rollers or hot rollers continue to be popular with women, even if hairdressing salons today largely refrain from using them. The partially of aluminum made rollers, are heated in hot water and then attached into the hair. During cooling, the hair takes on a curly shape.

2.9 Heated Rollers

The modern successor of thermo rollers are the heated rollers. This fairly new roller type, which usually has a ceramic and velvet coating, is being used more and more by hairdressers in salons. The rollers are not heated like thermo rollers in hot water, but can simply be heated at the push of a button in an electrical appliance designed specifically for this purpose. This set is also suitable for home use. After a heating time of 3 to 30 minutes (depending on the product) in the heating box, the rollers can be used on the hair like normal curlers and attached to the hairline with a clip.

The use of heated rollers requires some practice at the beginning. Some succeed immediately, others require several attempts to optimize the technique. After the intended time (approx. 45 minutes), the rollers are carefully taken off again. The curly hair can be seen even when you take out the rollers. The rollers are then cleaned, if necessary, and returned to the heating box. Some storage boxes also have space for the clips. Due to the innovative technique, these rollers are more expensive than other types of curlers, but offer a high efficiency and savings in time.

Note on safety: If you remove the warmed rollers from the unit, they can still be very hot. Those who want to be on the safe side should wear suitable protective gloves. Heat resistant gloves are already included in some sets.

3. The Correct Use of Hair Rollers

The curling result depends on the type of hair roller and the correct application. In order to succeed at creating beautiful curls at home, it is advisable to set up some tools in advance.

Besides the hair rollers, you will also need the following things: comb, brush, hair clips, needles, hair clamps (if not already included in the set), a mirror and styling products (mousse).

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Before you start to attach the rollers, you should wash the hair and comb it well. Work styling mousse into your hair. The care products ensure that the hair does not become brittle and the curls last longer.
  2. Divide the hair into several batches and separate them with hair clips.
  3. The first hair roller is placed in front of the forehead. For this purpose, a strand must be pulled upwards with the help of a comb, after which you apply the roller centrally on the inner side, pull it up to the strand tip and attach tightly. As soon as the roller rests on the hairline, it can be fixed with a hair clip. Make sure that the strands are narrower than the hair roller before you start.
  4. Additional strands are curled up with rollers. It is advisable to start at the upper head and work your way slowly to the back. The sides can then be dealt with from the front to back.
  5. When the complete hair or the desired strands are curled up, you can dry them with a hair dryer. This is not necessary for some types of hair rollers since they remain in the hair overnight. Before the hair rollers are removed, they must be completely cooled off. After that remove them carefully from the hair.
  6. Loosen the strands slightly up in the last step. To fixate the curls, you can use some hairspray. This should especially be done with the tips, so that the curls do not vanish so quickly.

Important: Keep in mind that frequent blow-drying and curling can damage the hair. Treat your hair from time to time with a hair care treatment so that it looks shiny and healthy.

4. Important Manufacturers of Heated Rollers

4.1 Remington

The lifestyle brand Remington is one of the leading providers of innovative technologies and high-quality products in the field of personal care. The company works closely with consumers, hair experts and hairdressers. All newly developed products, including hair curlers, are based on the ideas and suggestions of all participants.

4.2 BaByliss

BaByliss is a Paris-based company that sells products for wellness, hair removal and hair care. The history of the brand began in the 1960s with the invention of the curling wand by the hairdresser Lelièvre. Today, electronic beauty devices are developed and tested in 4 major research centers. In addition to curling wands and hair dryers, hair rollers also play an important role.

Different Heated Rollers

4.3 Revlon

Founded in 1932 by Charles Lachman and Charles/Joseph Revson, Revlon is a company that is headquartered in New York. Its growth is due, among other things, to the former trend of the permanent wave. As a result, one of the main focus of the company is still hair care and the production of various hair care devices.

4.4 Cloud Nine

Robert Powls founded Cloud Nine in 2008, which mainly develops hair care products and devices. In addition to curling wands and flat irons, the company also offers hair dryers, heated rollers and many other hair care products.

5. Long Lasting Curls – How It Works

Care products such as heat protection spray, mousse and hair spray, ensure a long lasting vitality of curls. At the same time they are protected from wind and humidity. But not just styling products help to preserve curls longer. Nourishing shampoo, hair conditioner and hair treatments should also be used from time to time to keep the hair shiny and healthy.

If the care is neglected for too long, hair breakage, split ends and dull hair can occur. Products with high alcohol content should be avoided at all costs so that the curls do not become brittle and look unattractive.

6. This Is How You Care Properly for Your Rollers

In addition to the hair, hair rollers also need regular care. To begin with, all hair should be thoroughly removed from the rollers after use. They can then be cleaned with a cloth, water and a light detergent or hair shampoo. In the case of stubborn dirt it helps to soak the rollers for some time. It is important that no aggressive substances are used for cleaning, because possible remnants in the rollers could be transferred to the hair or the scalp during the next application and cause irritation.

Caution with heated rollers: After cleaning, they should be absolutely dry before they are put into the box for reheating and used again.

7. Alternative Tools for Curling

7.1 Curling Wands & Tongs

Remington Curling Wand

Curling wands and tongs work with similar temperatures as hair straighteners. Depending on the product, they are provided with a coating of Teflon or ceramic and have an elongated, slim shape. The coating uniformly distributes the heat generated in the interior of the appliance and prevents adhesion of care products. Many models are equipped with a clip that holds the hair. With the help of a curling wand curls of different sizes can be produced. Great waves are possible as well as small angelic curls.

7.2 Hot Air Brushes & Dryers

While a hair dryer is often used with normal hair rollers to dry the hair, whereas a round hot air brush produces stylish curly hair. When purchasing a hot air brush, a good quality of the cable joint and the bristles should be taken into account. Different temperature levels and a good power output also play a role.

7.3 Hair Straighteners & Flat Irons

Hair straighteners or flat irons, unlike other hair curlers, produce the exact opposite: they transform frizzy or curly hair into smooth hair. Similar to a curling wand, the two inner sides are made of conductive materials such as Teflon or ceramic. In this way, the generated heat (about 180 to 230°C) is gently released on the hair without damaging the hair structure.

8. Conclusion on Hair Rollers

The use of hair rollers at home is particularly suitable if you have little time or would like to save yourself the way to the hairdresser. Once the rollers are attached, you can simply do things around the house or apply your make-up comfortably for the day.

The price plays an equally important role. Many hair rollers are available individually or as sets for a cheap price. While the handling is quite simple for most rollers, some models require a little practice. Some have to stay a very short amount of time in the hair while others need must be worn even overnight. But it is worth it and the results are really impressive!

You can quickly create classic curls or waves for the day or a romantic curly hairstyle for the evening. The selection of hair rollers ranges from volume to foam rollers and heated rollers, which are heated similar to a curling wand with the help of electricity.

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Should I Look for When Buying Hair Rollers?

The number of required hair rollers depends, among other things, on the length and thickness of the hair. Depending on the type and size of the rollers, approximately 5 to 8 are needed for short and medium hair. For long hair at least 12 rollers should be used. The hair rollers should be suitable for the respective hair. A particularly important aspect when buying hair rollers is also the price. Depending on the type and size, some rollers are available at very reasonable prices. They are frequently offered in complete sets, for example, with clips, needles or rubbers. Heated rollers are more expensive in their purchase than simple variants, but they are easy to handle and of high quality.

How Do I Use Hair Rollers Correctly?

At first, it takes some practice to use rollers correctly. It is particularly important to comb the hair well beforehand and then divide it into different parts of the head. In this way, the hair rollers can be attached gradually. The rollers are applied from the hair tips and fixed at the head. Take it slow, particularly at the beginning and practice a little. Soon the use of the hair rollers will be easy.

What Hair Rollers Are Best for Long Hair?

In general, small rollers are used for short to medium hair, while rollers with large diameters are used for long hair. For long hair, heated rollers are also recommended, as these can form the hair intensively and provide long lasting curls. A finish with hairspray can also prolong the lifetime of the curls, especially when the hair is heavy.

Are Hair Rollers Used on Wet Hair?

While normal hair rollers can be used with wet and dry hair, heated rollers should only be used with dry hair. The reason for this is that the moisture could damage the heated rollers and the drying process would take too long.

My Curls Won’t Last – What Should I Do?

If the curling result is somewhat disappointing, this can have several causes. In some cases the hair structure is too smooth. In the case of long, heavy hair, the curls can also vanish quickly. Care products, such as heat protection sprays and mousse, which are worked into the hair before the treatment, can provide a relief. The curls can then be fixated with hair spray.

Lena Bergmann

Lena Bergmann, Editor

Lena is a freelance editor and part of our team. She is interested in the latest beauty and fashion trends and thanks to her small family with her dog "Eddy" she is our expert in the categories household, leisure and drugstore.