Will Sponge Rollers Damage Your Hair

For those with fine or damaged hair, styling is a challenge. Heat is the last thing you want to use on your hair, but if it’s not curled, straightened up, or blow-dried, it tends to look a little rough and wild. We all know that using heating tools for drying, curling, or straightening can damage hair. But what about rollers, especially the soft kind like sponge or foam rollers? Are they safe to use? Learn more about it as you read on below:

What are Hair Rollers?

Hair rollers are basic styling equipment used to style the hair by inducing curls. When attached to the hair and worn in a particular way, it can bend the hair to produce the desired curls.

There are different types of rollers:

  • Heat rollers
  • Sponge/foam rollers
  • Velcro rollers
  • Steam hair rollers
  • Flexi rods/bendy rollers

What are Sponge Rollers and How do They Work?

Sponge rollers  make curling easy for natural or relaxed hair. Putting two-strand twists makes an attractive style and will make you stretch the hair more. It gives hair some volume by lifting the roots.

Sponge rollers work by manipulating the hair into a curl by absorbing the moisture from the hair. The foam absorbs the moisture as the hair dries, letting the curls set.

You will be leaving the hair to dry without using heat, but this can take a long time. A brief blast with the blow drier can help speed up the process, and it is still less harmful to the hair than using tongs or heated rollers.

Sponge rollers come in different sizes: extra small, small, medium, and large. Extra small rollers are for making tight, fine curls. Small rollers are best for short or cropped hair, and it’s the most comfortable size to wear for sleeping. Sponge curlers are hard to use for hair that’s less than four inches.

Meanwhile, medium and large sponge rollers are great for medium to long hair lengths and create loose curls with a nice bounce.

How to Use Sponge Rollers Properly for Curling Hair

The best way to use sponge rollers is on cleaned, moisturized, and detangled hair. The hair must be damp with water or a hair styling product. Before use, you have to section your hair and detangle, so you can make beautiful, refined curls without damaging your hair.

Use a comb instead of fingers for sectioning your hair to achieve even, well-balanced curls. Part your hair into small to medium sections, then apply a setting lotion  or curl enhancing cream  to make curls more defined. Don’t’ make sections too large as the roller won’t clip properly, and the resulting curl is not as smooth as it must be. You can create 15-20 sections, depending on your desired hairstyle or thickness of hair.

How to Use Sponge Rollers Overnight

Letting your hair dry while you sleep with foam rollers is a safe curling option for your hair. The clip attachment in sponge rollers can keep it in place while you sleep, and the foam makes it comfortable to wear.

While the rollers are on, put satin bonnet over your hair to keep everything in place. Make sure that your hair is dry before you remove the rollers, as dampness can cause frizz.

Do Sponge Rollers Damage Hair?

Damage and breakage to the hair are mostly caused by hair damage and breakage. It can cause hair cuticles to break, making it brittle. Denaturing also happens because it damages the protein of the hair during heat styling.

It’s difficult to retain moisture that the hair has lost due to heat because the cuticles that protect the hair has cracked and lost its protective ability. Frequent hair styling can cause the hair to be weak, damaged, and dry. This is the reason why rollers are a safer choice if you want to curl your hair.

Sponge rollers work by taking away moisture from hair and keeping the curls from unfurling in a short period of time. The oils and moisture from the hair can be depleted by the use of sponge rollers.

Sponge rollers tend to be smooth, soft, and gentle on its own, but if you want to be extra kind to your hair, try satin-covered sponge rollers . Some women find sponge rollers to drying to use on hair, but satin can help reduce the dryness factor. Satin rollers are recommended for use at night.

Tangles can also cause damage when you’re working with rollers. You can avoid hair damage by properly detangling the hair before installing the rollers. Hair strands can also break if you twist the hair too tight on the sponge roller. All types of rollers can put the hair under tension, damaging hair if it’s already fragile. If rollers are wound too tight, it can break along the hair shaft or even from the root.

If you use rollers regularly, it can lead to traction alopecia and hair loss if the follicles itself becomes damaged. To avoid this, don’t wrap the hair too tightly around the rollers and make sure you’re not using it daily. It’s okay to sleep in rollers occasionally, but as much as possible, don’t – even if the rollers are designed for overnight wear. Doing so can increase the tension at the roots, making hair loss very likely.


Rollers, in general, are kinder to the hair than curling tongs and irons. Satin-covered sponge rollers are the kindest, especially if there’s little to no heat used. But if you want to use heat, it’s best to apply a protective spray first.

Sponge rollers are generally safe, given that you use it properly to avoid tangling and breakage of your hair. But when used every day, it can cause long-term damage to your hair follicles. Use caution and use rollers sparingly if you are dedicated to keeping your hair strong and healthy.