13 Different Types of Hair Rollers

types of hair rollers

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At first glance, hair rollers may seem like things of the past. In fact, you may have seen your grandmother wearing them around the house in the morning or heard stories of how your mother had to wear rag rollers to bed each night as a girl.

However, today’s roller options are incredibly diverse, letting you create nearly any shape or style of curl you want for your unique hair type. Many of them can even be adjusted to create the more modern look of beachy waves or fullness without ringlets.

Whether spiral curls or volumized waves is the best look for you, one of these 13 types of hair rollers is sure to fit the bill.

See Also: 13 Types of Hair Brushes

Types of Hair Rollers

1. Velcro Rollers

velcro rollers

Velcro rollers are the unsung heroes of the hair curler world. Incredibly affordable and simple to use, they are often a good choice for those just getting started with rollers. Plus, because these rollers come in all sorts of different sizes, they work well for all hair types and can create everything from tight ringlets to loose waves.

The key to achieving a good curl with a Velcro roller is to section off small widths of hair. In addition, try to roll with the same tension for each curl to achieve a uniform look.

Velcro rollers are best used on dry hair that has been prepped with a hair spray or other medium-hold hair product. They should stay on for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Foam Rollers

foam rollers

Foam rollers are another affordable choice that is a great option for you if you want to sleep in rollers overnight. As long as you do not roll them too tightly, they should be soft and easy to get used to in bed.

These rollers are a great option if you have naturally stick-straight hair. While you can use them on wet hair, you might wake up with lines or dents in your curls.

Keep it more modern and volumized by rolling dry hair in multiple directions to create natural-looking curls.

3. Mesh Rollers

mesh rollers

Mesh rollers may not be nearly as comfortable as foam rollers, but they do have one incredible benefit. They can easily be used on wet hair because the mesh allows plenty of air to get through to all sides of each curl.

In addition, if you want to speed up the drying process, you can use a hair dryer to blow warm air gently through the side of each curler.

Most of these rollers are quite lightweight and difficult to bend or break, thanks to their spiral wire construction. However, be sure to replace them occasionally to prevent wires from breaking off and becoming tangled in your hair.

See Also: How to Prevent Hair From Getting Tangled

4. Magnetic Rollers

magnetic rollers

Magnetic rollers are well-loved because of how easy they are to use. They roll into your hair quickly and are easy to close, thanks to magnetic roller caps. This lets you easily reach all areas of your head without having to twist awkwardly to see into a mirror.

Keep in mind that the roller caps could leave a crease in your hair. To avoid this problem as much as possible, turn the roller cap so that it rests towards the bottom of each roller. Also, be sure to leave these rollers in for no more than 30 minutes.

5. Brush Rollers

brush rollers

Although brush rollers may not be as easy to find as many of these other options are, they may be well worth your investment of money and time if you are looking for a salon-worthy blowout.

These typically large rollers have surface bristles to help hold your hair in place. They are ideal for incredible hair volume and a few waves but do not produce tightly wound curls unless you use a very small version of brush rollers and dry out wet curls under heat.

Related: 15 Different Types of Hair Clips

6. Rag Rollers

rag cloth rollers

Women have used rag rollers since the early 1800s, but today’s rag roller methods are far easier and more efficient to use than those of yesteryear.

Instead of using individual strips of fabric, rag roller sets today look more like headbands with strips sewn vertically from the top. This lets you easily twist your hair around the soft fabrics, which are perfectly comfortable to sleep on at night.

7. Soft Rollers

soft hair rollers

Another good option for nighttime use is a set of soft rollers. These look more like strips of fabric than rollers but can easily be tucked together with no pins necessary, thanks to the covered wire construction.

Search for soft rollers made from satin that are gentle on your hair and reduce tension on already fragile strands. You can use these rollers from root to end or simply at the ends for a more modern look.

8. Curling Rods

curling rods

If you long for tight curls that look more like traditional ringlets or spirals, flexible curling rods are definitely the way to go.

These incredibly soft and comfortable rods can bend in any direction, letting you achieve curls on even the most difficult parts of your head to reach. Plus, they work well for hair of nearly any length or texture.

Before using these rods, make sure that your hair is almost completely dry. You can then let your curls finish air-drying or speed up the process with your hair dryer. Once you remove the rods, be sure to finger-comb through your ringlets for a more natural look.

9. Perm Rods

perm rods

These plastic rods may be marketed for at-home perms, but you can actually use them to make incredible curls without any chemicals needed. Because perm rods are very narrow, they are another good choice for tight curls, particularly if you have highly textured hair.

However, consider using wrapping papers with these rods to keep your hair frizz-free.

10. Ribbon Rollers

ribbon rollers

Joining the group of rollers used primarily for spiral curls, ribbon rollers are both fun to use and incredibly effective as long as your hair is not too long. Use these on damp hair.

Simply use the hook to pull a small section of your hair through the center of the ribbon before letting go and watching your hair magically curl around the roller.

You can let your hair air-dry or can speed up the process with a hair dryer for amazing corkscrew-shaped curls.

Read Also: 17 Different Kinds of Braids

11. Hot Rollers

hot rollers

Hot rollers come in a variety of sizes. If you are looking for plenty of volume and a wavy hairstyle, jumbo rollers are the best choice. However, you may want to instead purchase a roller set that includes a variety of sizes so that you can use smaller rollers on the longest sections of your hair.

The rollers heat up quickly and give you nearly instantaneous style. The only downsides with hot rollers are that you will need an electricity source and that the roller set may take up plenty of prime real estate in your bathroom.

12. Steam Rollers

steam rollers

Steam rollers are similar to hot rollers but may feel a bit more gentle on your scalp. If you want to use them merely for waves, start rolling them an inch or two from your roots.

For a more traditional curl, roll your hair from the ends to the roots. Be sure to let the rollers cool for at least 20 minutes before removing them.

13. Spoolies


Once a beloved hair product in the 1950s and 1960s, Spoolies has made a comeback recently with a modern twist to appeal to today’s women.

These rollers are very fun and easy to use with silicone tops that simply pop down over the roller to hold the hair in place. Spoolies create traditional pin curls.

One of these 13 roller types will give you the texture and style you want for your hair.

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