Friday, October 23, 2009

Comparing Hair Roller Options.

The purpose of this post is to supplement the video I made yesterday and to add some info that I may not have been able to mention there, due to time constraints. I get lots and lots of questions about hair rollers and yes, I do use many different kinds! Rollers are pretty important to achieve certain types of vintage looks, even if you have the pincurling thing down pat. So without further ado, here is a brief rundown of several different options for rollers and a few facts about them:


1. Sponge Rollers
What it is: A lightweight cylindrical sponge over a plastic rod and usually involving a plastic clip attached to the rod that snaps over the hair once it is rolled

What it does: provides a good stable curl that has less tendency to frizz than a pincurl but more than a hot roller. When rolled to the scalp, hair will have alot of volume and tons of curl. when rolled off base, it will provide a lovely bouncy curl, reminiscent of a youthful 1940's look.

Pros: authentic look, comfortable for sleeping in, long lasting curl (especially when used with a setting lotion), versatile styling options, comes in a variety of sizes

Cons: plastic clip tends to dent hair, sponge will fall apart after alot of use, plastic rod and clip comes unattached easily and can sometimes be a pain to find, when you're in a hurry.

2. Pillow or Soft Rollers
What it is: a sponge type roller inserted over a wire and encased in fabric. The wire ends are also covered in fabric and need simply to be twisted together in order to stay in place.

What it does: provides the same type of tight curl as a rag roller or a sponge roller.

Pros: The most comfortable set for sleeping, tight long lasting curls, less tendency to frizz than a pincurl, no denting since the closure doesnt touch the hair

Cons: When rolling damp hair, pillow rollers take longer to dry since they are covered in fabric and less air circulates, no different sizes to choose from usually, not as secure as a sponge roller set-tends to slide out, twisting at the ends can be difficult to master

3.Old Fashioned Rag Rollers:
What it is: a strip of fabric, about 10 inches long, folded in half. Hair wraps around the middle and ties after rolling, to secure.

What it does: makes tight and authentic curls, similar to but not quite the same as sponge roller curls.

Pros: the set just looks cute when you're wearing it, makes authentic and long lasting curls, easy to use, economical since you can make them yourself

Cons: curls have no round base to support them and therefore may not be uniform, curls can look 'dented' sometimes, can tend to frizz, depending on the type of fabric you use-hair can take a little longer to dry than a typical sponge roller set


1.Hot Roller
What it is: A plastic roller in varying sizes that comes in a set and is usually heated over a metal spindle. There are also steam setters that use steam to heat a sponge-flocked plastic roller. Traditional hot rollers are usually textured or flocked in velvet for added security while setting. They use pins or claw type clips to hold them in the hair.

What it does: When properly heated, makes a soft wave curl, the size of which is determined by the size roller used.

Pros: convenient, easy to use, provides a good base for updos and looks that simply need a little extra volume, time efficient, very little frizzing

Cons: heated products need a heat protectant spray to prevent damage to hair, not a very long lasting option, can be pricey, not a very authentic option usually, curl is loose and slippery, heat can cause burns if rollers get very hot (and they should get very hot), bulky for traveling

*for longer lasting curls with the same appearance as hot rolled ones, try a dry pincurl. Simply roll hair with a curling iron, slide the curl off the iron, and pin it to the scalp with a single pronged clip while the curl cools.

2.Hot Sticks
What it is: a bendable piece of rubbery plastic with a loop at one end and a heated coil inside. Roller secures by being inserted into itself.

What it does: provides the most authentic curls for vintage looks, as offered by a heated set. Curls are tight but easily relaxed through brushing and can be formed over hands to make locks, a pageboy, or waterfal waves.

Pros: convenient when a cold set is not possible, rollers get *hot* so the curl takes rather quickly, relatively easy to use, curls most hair types-even those typically difficult to curl, inexpensive, no denting from pins or clips, convenient for travel

Cons: not as secure as other rollers since ends pop open quite often, heat can be damaging to hair, tendency to frizz (can usually be overcome by more brushing), hot centers can burn fingers, texture of roller can pull hair if not careful

There are plenty of other roller options, such as velcro etc, but I am not familiar with those types at the time of this post. So we'll save those for another time. Until then, I hope this little guide is helpful for some of you.