Curling up
September 13, 2012 1:24 PM   Subscribe

What should I look for in hot rollers/curlers?

I'm looking for a decent set of hot rollers for my thick, wavy, mid-length hair. I have steam rollers and velcro rollers but I want a set up hot rollers. I picked up a used set at Goodwill to see if they worked in my hair and I do like the effect but the set I have is pretty janky (missing rollers, no clips, takes a while to heat up). I bought some replacement clips but they don't fit right and I think I just need to upgrade to a fully new set of rollers. The options are crazy-making: ionic, tourmaline, ceramic, I don't know!

Recommendations for specific sets would be appreciated but also what to look for in a good set would be just as helpful. I've looked at MakeupAlley and nothing really jumps out as clearly better 9maybe nothing is) and Consumer Reports doesn't cover them.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Also, flocked or pronged?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2012

Oh man. Search eBay for Lock n Roll. They are Revlon, maybe Clairol. I have thick, wavy hair and the have worked the best out of any hot roller. They no longer make them, but I got a set in the 90s and it lasted until... 2008? Then I found a set on eBay and they are still going strong.
posted by peacrow at 1:57 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a set of flocked (Remington) and a set with little spikes on them (clairol, I think). And a third set of like Jumbo rollers.

I hated the flocked set when I first got them and now I like them ok. The unfortunate truth about hot rollers is practice, and it takes a bit to figure out what you like. For me, I just use them to add body to my hair, so I prefer a set with more large and medium rollers. If you want more curl, go for smaller rollers.
posted by bilabial at 1:57 PM on September 13, 2012

Right - I'm more interested in medium and larger sizes though with my hair at its current length a couple small ones are still needed.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:15 PM on September 13, 2012

My mom's always used hot rollers, so I've gotten into using them too once in a while - my hair's got some natural curl so I have several ways I do curls. My hair's fairly thick, and now it's long but I've used them with medium hair too. I like the effect most on my long hair - smooth volume on top with elegant curls at the ends. I can leave them in until cool and not end up looking like little orphan Annie.

We've had many different sets over the years and I prefer the pronged ones. It's a bit easier on my fingers to handle the hot roller by the prongs as I'm winding them. I also find they stay in place better, the smooth ones fall out on me more often. I can get them wrapped tighter.

We have bought both new sets from retail stores and used ones from garage sales or 2nd hand stores. The old sets do a better job in my opinion, and they hold up to wear better too. The lid on my new set melted and warped, yet the rolls don't get hot enough - i have to wrap pretty small segments, needed a second set to finish. Might just be a bad set period. My preferred set is an old pronged set I got from a garage sale for $2 last summer, saw several sets for sale that year. I can do my whole head with just the one set. It has 5 large, 8 medium and 4 small rollers I think. Will let you know what make/model it is when I get home.

We keep the pins when a roller set craps out, I've got a little basket-full now. Never toss them;)
posted by lizbunny at 2:55 PM on September 13, 2012

I have a Remington set with clips that I love. It heats up fast and the curls hold well. My only complaint is that I can't buy more medium size rollers for it. It comes with 8 medium and 12 large and I never use the large ones since I'm looking more for curl than body. (If anyone has this set and wants more large rollers, let's trade!)
posted by platinum at 7:17 PM on September 13, 2012

Do the kinda with clips leave dents in your hair? I've only used the kind with metal pins and I tried using clips with my set and it turned out awful with big dents where the clips had been.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:11 PM on September 13, 2012

BaByliss Pro Ceramic is what you want. This set (which I have and love) comes with both clips and metal pins.

I think they also make sets with smaller-sized rollers and perhaps even a set with variable sizes.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:59 PM on September 13, 2012

I love hot rollers. I have naturally curly hair but I hate my natural curls so I've been known to straighten my hair and then put it up in hot rollers. (Yes, I am that ridiculous.)

THIS is basically the set I have and I kind of love them.

- Flocked, for me, worked better. Gave my hair more to grip to, and made getting the ends wrapped around nicely and evenly a lot easier.
- I prefered the ones with clips (mine have a metal plate so that they are heated too). I at first had a problem with dents, but then I started:
1) making sure I rolled them up as high and as snugly as they would go
2) rolled them in such a way that each roller would hold up the ones beside it
3) tucked all my hair under a shower cap while I let the hot rollers do their thing and cool off. Seems to hold the rollers up and support them better so dents aren't happening as much
- Experiment with different patterns to see what gives you the best end result. For me I find I get best non-dented result when I do a sort of mohawk strip of rollers down the center of my head and then do the rest of my head following that line
- Watch some youtube tutorials on using hot rollers. MissChevious does one and that helped me. (She actually is worth checking out regardless.)

As said above, using hot rollers takes practice. Clips or pins, flocked or not, you just need to play around until you find what works for you. I spent many an evening at home when I had nothing much to do putting my hair up in rollers, just to practice.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:15 AM on September 14, 2012

I ended up order the 30-piece BaBybliss set (had to get the order in before sales tax kicks in). A lot of people seem to like that Remington set and it's cheaper but there were also a lot of people that really hated it. So far it's been my experiences that spending a little more for hair styling tools really does get you a better product so I'm hopeful about this set.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:57 AM on September 14, 2012

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