best hair rollers for creating waves and curls

8 Useful Types Of Hair Rollers And How To Use Them (Updated 2024)

Using different types of hair rollers like foam rollers, hot rollers, flexi rods, etc. can help you get curls and waves without using styling tools.

In This Article:

  1. Top Types of Hair Rollers 2024
  2. How To Curl Hair At Home With Hair Rollers
  3. FAQs

What do you think of when you hear the word hair rollers? A Hollywood starlet with their vintage curls? An old grandma? Dressing up from prom? The thing is, hair rollers are timeless.

Almost every woman of every age and era still uses them. And that’s because they work beautifully!

A hair roller is typically in the shape of a barrel around which you need to wrap a section of your hair.

Some rollers need to be kept overnight for the waves to form. Others need the application of heat to set your curls

Types of Hair Rollers Best Product
Hot Rollers T3 Luxe Volumizing Hot Rollers
Velcro Rollers Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers
Foam Hair Rollers Conair Soft, Bouncy Curls Foam Rollers
Flexi-Rods Red by Kiss Flexi Rods
Magnetic Rollers Diane Magnetic Hair Roller
Steam Hair Rollers Caruso Molecular Steam Hairsetter
Brush Hair Rollers Conair Brush Rollers
Spoolies Spoolies Original Hair Curlers

Top Types of Hair Rollers 2024

Hot Rollers

Hot rollers are the most popular types of hair rollers. They create waves and curls in your tresses in no time. These rollers are best for the impatient folks out there. Have an urgent meeting? Want to get ready for that date last minute? These rollers are the right choice for you.

They use heat to set your hair. So they’re not unlike hair straighteners or curling irons. Hot rollers come in various sizes. They usually come with a storage box that doubles as a heater. 

All you have to do is section your hair, heat the rollers up, and place them strategically on your strands.

They give you bouncy and amazing-looking tresses in no time. You can go for the larger, jumbo hot rollers for loose, beachy-waves or smaller rollers for curls. 

As these products use heat to set your hair, they are no different from other styling tools. So we do suggest using them once in a while to protect your tresses from damage.  

T3 Luxe Volumizing Hot Rollers

best hair curler for beach waves

Babyliss Boutique Salon Ceramic Rollers

 Best Types Of Hair Rollers

Velcro Rollers (Self Grip Hair Rollers)

Remember those good old plastic hair rollers? Well, velcro rollers are just an improved version of these classics. They come with a strip of velcro on them. These help grip the hair into curls and prevent any stray strands from ruining your look. So these are perfect for short hair styling.

The best part about these velcro rollers is that you can use them to create different styles easily.

It all depends on the size of the rollers and the way you use them. We suggest prepping your tresses with hairspray before putting on the rollers. 

Also, make sure that the section of hair you’re taking matches the size of the rollers. If you have a very thin or very large section of locks then the rollers won’t grip your tresses well. 

Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers

types of hair rollers for long hair

Foam Hair Rollers

If you’re in no hurry and want to leave hair rollers on overnight, we suggest using foam hair rollers instead of the other types. These are simply more comfortable. And if you keep them a bit loose around the hairline, they prevent pulling and breakage of your strands too. 

Foam rollers are also known as sponge rollers. These are the perfect choice for folks with finer or more damaged hair types. Hot rollers and velcro rollers can increase heat damage and friction but the foam ones, despite being old school are much better for your tresses.

You can create tight curls using these foam hair rollers by wrapping sections of dry or slightly damp hair with them overnight. For waves, you can leave the roots and end sections loose and focus only on mid ends for a modern look. 

Conair Soft, Bouncy Curls Foam Rollers

Best Hair Rollers For Creating Natural Waves And Curls


If the hairstyle you’re looking to create is those stylish ringlets or corkscrew curls, then Flexi-rods is your best bet. These rollers have been around for some time now but have become even more popular in recent years. 

The best thing about these rollers is that they are, as their name suggests, super flexible. You can twist them into any shape you want. And you don’t even need extra pins or clips to hold them up in place.

While most rollers are designed for adding waves and curls to straight hair, Flexi-rods are great for adding curl definition to Afro hair as well. You can even use a Flexi-rod with a larger diameter to stretch out your type 4 hair. 

Red by Kiss Flexi Rods

curly girl method roller set

Magnetic Rollers

Magnetic hair rollers are very similar to velcro hair rollers, except that instead of a velcro patch they have a magnetic closure. If you are new to using hair rollers, this one is a fantastic choice. You can easily put them in your tresses and then snap them into place.

But there’s just one catch! You have to use these rollers when your hair is wet. Otherwise, they don’t work as well.  

Diane Magnetic Hair Roller

best hair roller machine

Steam Hair Rollers

Steam rollers are a good option if you want the speed of hot rollers without the additional damage. Unlike a hot roller that you have to heat in a separate container, these rollers are heated separately over steam. 

Then they are applied over the hair and set until they cool off. These rollers are great for creating waves and curls of all styles.  

Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter with 30 Rollers

how to use hot rollers on short hair

Brush Hair Rollers

Brush hair rollers are the perfect substitute for the round brush when you are blow-drying your tresses. If you want to add volume or waves without holding the brush for several minutes, these rollers offer a more comfortable alternative.

As the name says, brush rollers come with bristles on the inside. 

Conair Brush Rollers

brush hair rollers


Spoolies are an amazing way to get the pin curls to look without using hairpins at all. These types of rollers have been in use for decades. But the modern ones, made of silicone, are heat resistant and can be used along with a blow dryer. 

So now you don’t have to keep them on overnight to achieve the pin curls. Silicone spoolies are also better than foam or plastic ones as they don’t absorb natural oils from your tresses or create static. 

Spoolies Original Hair Curlers

hair rollers for curly hair

How To Curl Hair At Home With Hair Rollers

There are a lot of ways to curl hair at home using hair rollers. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Choose the right size of hair roller - The size of the hair roller you use will determine the severity of the curl. Start with a smaller roller and work your way up if you want tighter curls.
  2. Section your hair into small subsections - Before curling your hair, section it into small subsections using a brush or your fingers. This will make curling much easier and less time-consuming.
  3. Apply heat to the hair (if using heated hair roller) - After sectioning your hair, apply heat to each subsection using the roller. Use a heat setting that is slightly higher than you would use for normal curling. This will help to create stronger curls and prevent them from becoming too loose.
  4. Let the curls cool down - Once you've applied heat and curled the hair, let it cool down for a few minutes before moving on to the next section of hair. This will help keep the curls in place and prevent them from becoming frizzy.

Why You Should Trust Us?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.


Which rollers are best for loose curls?

Velcro rollers or magnetic rollers are the best if you want loose curls. Their diameter is easy to adjust. This helps you aim for either looser or tighter curls as you please. Plus, they do not require extra heating and can be left overnight.

What are cold wave rods used for?

Cold wave rods are a type of plastic hair rollers that are used to create a kinky, Afro-type hair texture. These are used on wet hair and give tighter curls to already curly or wavy hair. Or leave an 80s perm-like look on straight tresses.

What are the best hair rollers for naturally curly hair?

Flexi rods are the best type of hair rollers for naturally curly hair. They come in various diameters and are often thin enough to wrap around coily, 4C hair textures.
Unlike other rollers that need heat to set hairstyles, these help achieve curl definition without any blow-drying.
You can pick a thicker Flexi-rod roller to loosen your 4c hair to 4a or even 3c textures. And a thinner rod can be used on loose curls to make them more defined.

Velcro vs hot rollers: Which one is better?

Velcro rollers and heated rollers both have their uses. While velcro rollers are great for overnight use as they keep your strands in place, hot rollers are better if you want to curl your hair urgently. The application of heat sets your hairstyle within minutes.
Velcro rollers are also a better option if you have damaged hair and do not want to ruin your tresses with the additional heat from the hot rollers.

Which rollers are best for African American hair?

There is no one single answer to this question as different hair types require different hair rollers. However, some of the most popular hair rollers that are suitable for African American hair include the Chi Chi Hair Rollers, the TWA Hair Rollers, and the GHD Hair Rollers. Each of these hair rollers has its own unique set of features that make them ideal for use with African American hair.


With these different types of rollers, you don’t need to spend hours with a curling iron creating those perfect ringlets.

All you need to do is pick the best hair rollers for creating natural waves and curls, and you’re sorted.

Don’t forget to sprinkle on some hairspray to make your curls last longer. A little bit of serum, applied before you put on the rollers, can also help keep the frizz away. 

Also Read:

Tips On How To Prevent Heat Damage While Using Heat Styling Tools

How To Create S Waves In Hair

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