What are the Different Types of Hair Rollers?

When it comes to achieving fabulous hairstyles, hair rollers are among the indispensable tools in the collection of many women. For decades, hair rollers have been a popular styling choice, allowing people to create voluminous curls, bouncy waves, and sleek styles with ease. They are perhaps the only beauty product linked with both models backstage at Fashion Week and grandmas in bunny slippers and nightgowns. There are also as many different types of hair rollers as there are cool styles to create with them.

Since there is a wide variety of options, it is quite challenging to know where to start and which hair roller to use to get the texture that you want. But no worries, as we are here to help you explore the diverse world of hair rollers. In this article, we are going to discuss the different types and effects they can produce, along with the benefits and the things you need to consider when choosing a hair roller.

Benefits of Using Hair Rollers

woman at home with rollers on her hair while using the laptop and sipping coffee

Before we give you the different types of hair rollers, let us first learn about the benefits of using them. In addition to their ability to form swell curls with the least effort, below are some of the other benefits that you can get from using hair rollers:

Less Risk of Heat Damage

Unlike flat irons and curling wands, hair rollers will not expose your hair strands to the massive blow of high heat at an extremely close range. Hot rollers do provide heat, but they are consistent and relatively gentler as they help cushion the blow of the heat on your locks. The use of hair rollers results in long-lasting and healthy curls that do not need an elaborate follow-up care routine.


With the use of the right roller sets, you’ll be able to whip up multitudes of curly hairstyles, such as tight ringlet curls or kinky curls, long and loose beach waves, and natural-looking bouncy curls. Aside from that, what’s more impressive is that you don’t need to spend 20 to 30 minutes just blowdrying your hair before styling. It’s because you can put hair rollers into damp hair, and they can dry and curl your hair simultaneously. All you have to do is wash and deep condition your hair to prepare it before using hair rollers.

Volume Boost

When you place hair rollers strategically, you’ll be able to spruce up your generally flat and limped-down hair with a noticeable volume boost. Even if you want to have a straight hairdo and only want some volume around the crown, it is possible with the use of hair rollers. They will provide your roots with a nice lift, giving your hair a strikingly thick and full appearance.

Ease of Use

While flat irons and curling wands can provide you greater control over the outcome of your curls, they are quite challenging to use. In fact, you won’t be able to eat snacks or check your social media accounts while using them. But with hair rollers, all you need to do is fix them into your hair and you are free to do other things that you wish while the curlers do their job. This makes hair rollers easy to use.

Long-Lasting Curls

It is truly disappointing to spend almost an hour perfecting curls that will lose their shape in just a couple of hours. But the ability of hair rollers to simultaneously dry and curl temporarily resets the hydrogen bonds of the hair. This boosts the strength and elasticity of the hair strands, which give way to well-defined, texturized, and long-lasting curls.

The Different Types of Hair Rollers

Now that you know the benefits that you can get from using hair rollers, let us now move on to their different types. Below are the different types of hair rollers that you may bump into while browsing through your options and what each of them offers:

Velcro Rollers

pink and orange Velcro rollers

Velcro rollers are made from strong and smooth plastic. They feature Velcro pads attached to them for grip. These hair rollers eliminate the need for using pins or clips in order to secure the locks. These rollers are also self-gripping, making them easy to use, and are pocket-friendly, too. There is also no risk of heat-induced damage, making them perfect for curling brittle and vulnerable hair.

You can use Velcro rollers on both wet and dry hair, but it is highly recommended to use them on wet hair for better hold and well-defined curls. It is a type of hair roller that is perfect for creating long and gentle waves, as well as loose curls on long and thick hair.

Foam / Sponge Rollers

green foam hair rollers

If you have pin-straight hair and find it difficult to achieve a curly look, you might want to consider using foam rollers, sometimes called sponge rollers. This type of hair roller can be worn comfortably overnight, but do not roll them too tight. This is a go-to type of hair roller if you want to achieve a head full of semi-tightly weaved curls or the 80s retro look without exposing your strands to high heat.

To use foam rollers, roll them into dry hair in any direction you like to create natural-looking or semi-tightly weaved curls. You may also roll them into wet hair, but doing this may leave dips and lines in your curls. Foam rollers also do not require the use of clips or pins, making them easier to use and sleep with. It is also a good idea to wear a bonnet or satin wrap to keep your hair curls in place.

Steam Rollers

In addition to curling your hair, steam rollers are also used to soften, volumize, and make your hair shinier. This type of hair roller is safe to use for all types of hair. In fact, it is the most recommended hair roller type that can transform even the dullest hair into glossy vines. You can use steam rollers to make various stylish hairstyles. The main purpose of the steam is to open the hair cuticle, which is the layer that encircles the hair. This way, your hair will soak up the heat, which will make the curls settle quickly.

Heat Rollers

a set of hot rollers

Heat rollers are also referred to as hot rollers. They are great if you really want to maximize your waves. However, this is by far the costliest and the most potentially damaging to the hair. But its efficiency and swiftness are high. There are two types of hot rollers. One is ribbed and the other is flocked.

Ribbed hot rollers feature ribbed edges to give a nice and strong grip on straight and silky hair. It also has multiple size options. Small rollers can be used for concentrated ringlet curls toward the bottom and jumbo rollers are for classic long waves or soft curls on the top layers.

Flocked hot rollers, on the other hand, feature smoother edges. They have a velvety coating that holds the rollers in place. They are often designed with keratin or argan oil-infused ceramic or titanium. The glossy surface of flocked hot rollers can curl, condition, and rejuvenate your hair at the same time. It is ideally used for extremely coarse, frizz-prone, and unruly hair as it can seal essential moisture into the hair cuticles, making the strands shiny and smooth.

Flexi Rods

blue flexi rods hair roller

Flexi rods are sometimes referred to as bendy rollers. They are trouble-free hair rollers that can be used on almost all hair types, no matter the length and texture. These hair rollers are made of soft foam, and they can be bent anyway you like without using pins. They are great if you are aiming for tight spiral curls. They can also curl even the most hard-to-reach parts of your head.

The best way to use flexi rods is on clean and dry hair. But a lot of people prefer to twist these rods in wet hair as it creates bouncier curls and more volume. It is also best to wear them overnight if you want to achieve the desired results. They are soft and will not feel uncomfortable while you sleep. After removing them, you can style your hair using your fingers and not a brush as it might ruin your curls.

Magnetic Rollers

woman with lots of hair rollers

If you are one of those who lack enough fine motor skills or coordination needed for twirling and rolling the hair around the barrel, then magnetic rollers are perfect for you. These are advanced rollers that come with magnetic snap closures that automatically make the strands wound up around the rollers. But these rollers can only be used on wet hair as the magnetic effect won’t be activated on dry hair.

Ribbon Rollers

Ribbon rollers are spiral-shaped ribbon curlers that work quite differently from traditional hair rollers. They are perfect if you want to create stretchy and long-lasting spiral curls on medium or long hair. These rollers are great for all types of hair and they also come in different sizes.

To use them, you can utilize the hook that comes along the ribbon rollers to part and tug a small section of your hair through the ribbon. After that, let it go and watch your hair spiral around the roller. Repeat these steps until all of your hair is rolled and let the ribbon rollers set overnight. These rollers are also soft and comfortable to sleep with. They will also leave you with extra volume to your hair and natural-looking spiral curls.


Spoolies have been around for quite some time. They are made popular in the 1950s and are great for tight, pin-up curls or classic beach waves. They can be used to create any curls you like. Also, since they are made of silicone, they will not distort from the heat of your hairdryer. They have also become more popular in recent years as people always come up with new ideas on how to use them to style their hair.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Hair Roller

woman choosing hair rollers in a store

With the many different types of rollers available, you may become overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which one to use. Some might think that it is not a big deal to others, but picking the right type of rollers for your hair is essential. To help you, below are the important things to consider when choosing a hair roller:

Heated vs. Non-Heated Rollers

One of the things you need to consider is choosing between heated and non-heated rollers. If time is very important for you and your hair struggles to hold its shape for more than a few hours, it is better to choose heated rollers. These can help you save time and can give you flexible curls in as fast as ten to twenty minutes.

However, if you wish to lift your roots and add a bit of movement to your curls, non-heated rollers, such as foam and Velcro rollers are the best options. Also, if you do not like sleeping with hair rollers, you can simply blow dry your hair to 80 to 85% before wrapping it up. This will give you awesome curls in less than an hour.

Hair Texture

Most hair rollers are suitable for all hair types. However, if you have dry and damaged hair, the best option is to use steam rollers. Using hair treatment before curling your hair can also help restore your hair to its healthy condition. If you have naturally smooth hair, Velcro rollers are great as they will not tangle your hair when you remove them.


The material of the hair rollers is also an important consideration when choosing what type to use. For instance, ceramic rollers are popular for instant heat up and heat recovery combined with excellent heat conduction. However, it is not great for ultra-thick and tightly coiled hair.

Non-heat-activated hair rollers are commonly made from microfibers, silicone, and polymeric foam. These materials are sturdy, but they have a tendency to slip from their position due to their smooth surface.

Roller Size

When picking the right hair roller size, the general rule of thumb is to choose large rollers for big and loose curls or waves. Large rollers can help add tons of volume to your curls. Small rollers, on the other hand, can help form beautifully defined, tight wave patterns, and ringlet curls. If you have long, thick, and coarse locks, using small rollers is great. But if you want to take your curling game to the next level, choose a hair roller set with around 3 to 5 assorted sizes of rollers.

Number of Rollers

After figuring out the right size of rollers for your hair, you also have to choose how many rollers are perfect for the hairstyle that you want. If you are aiming for a larger number of tightly woven curls, then you need several small rollers in a concentrated area. But if you are going for long-bodied gentle and smoother curls or beach waves, using a few big rollers on the center, back, and sides of your head is ideal.


Hair rollers are among the best tools for anyone seeking to create beautiful and versatile hairstyles. Whether you want to add volume, create loose waves, or achieve tight curls, experimenting with different hair roller types can help you achieve your desired look. As you embark on your hairstyling journey with hair rollers, don’t be afraid to mix and match the different types of rollers to create unique and personalized styles. We hope this article helped you learn more about the different types of hair rollers.