Roll Up Your Hair to Perfection

Hair rollers—soft, hard, or hot—might seem like ancient tools compared to the fancy curling irons and wands of today. But hear us out, because rollers create better curls, cause less damage, and add long-lasting volume. Take a tip from your grandmother's beauty routine and try your hand (or rather hair) at rollers!

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In the beauty routines of the mid-20th century, hair rollers were commonly used, no matter hair type or length. They were applied at home, and women often had weekly appointments at the beauty salon, where their hair would get carefully rolled and placed under dryers. They patiently waited for their pristine styles while conversing and reading—it was a slow way of living that yielded great results.

You can wear them anywhere you want to, if that's what you want. Photograph courtesy of Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images
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Fast-forward to the present, and curling irons reign supreme: they are quick and efficient tools to create soft, glamorous waves and tight, springy coils. But they contribute to breakage by providing direct heat to hair, and, when used in a rush, they can burn your ears and hands.

So, get back into the old ways of doing things and give your hair some bounce with the wide array of rollers out there. Here's a simple guide to finding the right ones for your desired styles.

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The Roller: Velcro

High Tops Self-Grip Rollers, $10, thedrybar.com.
Thermoceramic Self Grip Rollers by Denman, $7, folica.com.
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The Purpose: When you want voluminous hair without too much curl but just the right amount of bend. Think more casual, less structure.

How to Use: Separate your hair into three sections (left, center, right) going from front to back. Starting with the middle area, pull out a small section of hair and place the velcro on the tips and roll under until the roller touches your scalp—they should take the shape of a mohawk. On the flanking areas, repeat the same method, except rollers should face out to the side they're on to create flowing body. Finish off with hairspray and let sit for at least 25 minutes. Remove and part your hair however you want—coat strands in a sheen spray and style as usual.

The Roller: Perm Rods

Long White 9/16-Inch Curved Perm Rods by Salon Care, $3, sallybeauty.com.
Cold Wave Rods by Annie, $1, houseofbeautyworld.com.
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The Purpose: When you want to loosen up the curl on textured hair, pop these in to create sleek, frizz-free patterns. And for those of you with shorter lengths, these are great too!

How to Use: For the best results, use these on wet hair. Prep strands with a styling cream or foam and then grab a small section. Apply the rod and roll from tip to root. Roll them in any fashion according to how you want the curls to fall, but we suggest placing the rollers vertically against your head.

The Roller: Flexi Rod

Style It Out Flexible Rod Rollers by Goody, $15, target.com.
18-Piece Spiral Rod Roller Set by Conair, $13, bedbathandbeyond.com.

The Purpose: For the long-haired folks who want tighter coils that will last for days.

How to Use: Dampen hair and break hair into little sections. Apply a smoothing serum and a gel or style cream to the individual parts and wrap hair around the length of the rod. Secure the ends by bending the rods' ends and let dry (by air or by sitting under a hood or blow dryer). Once you remove, finger comb your mane to loosen things up a little and give your head a shake.

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The Roller: Foam

Foam Rollers by Hot Tools, $3, ulta.com.
Foam Rollers by Goody, $8, target.com.

The Purpose: Get softer curls overnight with these cushiony tools.

How to Use: Run a light styling product through dry hair and roll the foam from tip to root on little sections. Let them set while you get a good night's rest and unravel them in the morning. Keep the curls as is or brush them out for a more glamorous aesthetic.

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The Roller: Hot Rollers

Voluminous Hot Rollers by T3, $99, nordstrom.com.
T Studio Luxe Setter by Remington, $45, ulta.com.

The Purpose: For those of you in a hurry (and who can't quite let go of hot curling implements), get a set of hot rollers that will give you Brigitte Bardot-level waves.

How to Use: Let the rollers warm and carefully add them to your hair, exactly how you would when using velcro rollers (see above). Let sit for a couple of minutes (depending on the package instructions) and unfurl the curlers once they cool down. Run your fingers through strands and style as needed.

The Roller: Pillow Soft

Satin Pillow Soft Rollers by Soft 'N Style, $14, walmart.com.
Soft Rollers by Conair, $10, riteaid.com.

The Purpose: When you want beachy waves and your sea-salt spray just isn't cutting it.

How to Use: Roll small sections from the tip to midway up the strands, then tie the rollers. Leave them in overnight (they're pillow soft, after all!) and untie them in the morning. Separate with your fingers and add some hairspray so they stay intact throughout the day.

From: Seventeen
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