How Often Do You Use Hot Rollers?

Published in: Hair, Just For Fun

hot rollers

Even though I think I’m pretty adventurous with hair products and tools (don’t get me started on how I used to flat iron my hair with a real deal IRON), I’ve never used a set of hot rollers.


No particular reason why, really. I just never got around to it.

But curling irons can take forever to use! I’ve been wearing my hair curly a lot lately, and I want to get back some of the time (20 minutes in some cases) it takes me to curl.

That’s why I picked up a set of Jilbere ($35) ceramic hot rollers at Sally Beauty last weekend.

Please, oh, PLEASE, beauty gods, save me from burning myself while I figure them out! 🙂

How Often Do You Use Hot Rollers?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Amanda says:

    I have crazy curly hair so I never considered rollers. However, now that I think about it I wonder if they could help give me more consistent curls and help me get that movie star curly look rather than that crazy cat lady curly look I tend to have otherwise! Please let us know how they work!!

  2. Genesis C says:

    Actally, I never used hot rollers either! I have long wavy hair and I usually either iron it straight or diffuse it and make it crazy curly and voluminous. I’ve always wanted to try hot rollers but I’ve also been scared of burning myself. But at $35 for the set, I might have to get one myself! Let me know how it goes for you, I’ll be praying to the beauty gods for ya too ! lol 😀

  3. Roxanne says:

    I’m a hot roller virgin and proud of it. Don’t think my hair’s long enough for it though (in layers + ends just under my shoulders)!

  4. JillyB says:

    When I lived in Chicago I used them all the time. They were quick and easy. But now I live in Florida and with the humidity, the curl falls right out. Bummer, because I liked my curly hair. Even using setting spray and hairspray doesn’t help down here. But I think you’ll like them.

  5. CC says:

    I just bought a set and used them three days in a row. I think I really damaged my hair! I used heat protectant spray one or two of those days, but I think I left the rollers in way too long (when the directions says 10-15 minutes, listen to them!) or had the heat set too high because the next day my hair was looking raggedy in the underlying layers. I’m getting my hair cut to stave off any further damage, like split ends. Eek!

  6. CC says:

    Ooh, I have a question for Karen and other commenters. Do you recommend heated rollers or a large barrel curling iron to get beautiful Cosmopolitan-like waves? Which would cause less damage?

    • Karen says:

      Hi CC,

      I’ve only used a large barrel curling iron… it works great for big Victoria’s Secret hair, but it takes a looong time.

      I’ll let you know if these rollers work faster!

      *crosses fingers*

      Anyway, that’s such a bummer about your hair. What brand did you buy? Are the curlers ceramic? Those are supposed to be less damaging.

      • CC says:

        Hi Karen!

        I used Conair Infiniti ionic, ceramic rollers, which gets really great reviews, but it just didn’t turn out well for my hair. I think it was probably because I left them in waaay too long and set the heat a little too high. I’m going to get a new set one day with just jumbo rollers since I have no use for the smaller ones. Let us know if your rollers are good or not!

        • Karen says:

          Sure thing! I am a little scurred of burning my hair off… so I’ll take your advice and not leave them in for too long. 🙂

          The good thing about this Jilbere set is most of the rollers are jumbo-sized.

  7. Kate says:

    Hot rollers are my best friend! They cut down on blow drying time because I don’t have to get out the round brush and style so dilligently. They’re easy to put in and I rarely burn myself — whereas I burn myself almost every time with the straightener! I also love them in the morning because I roll them on in and leave them to set while doing my make-up and getting ready for work.

    Lift a section of hair up and roll it all the way down to the root and clip them in. You can change up how tightly or loosely your rolls are too. It can take a bit of trial and error to see what placement is best for individuals haircuts, but all in all, very simple to use, saves so much time and gives great results!

  8. Chris says:

    I used them all through junior high and high school (curling irons give me cotton hair) but I had a set with little teeny teeth on them and I am sure they did not get as hot as “modern” sets. This was in the early 80’s…..
    I loved the volume they gave me (curling irons couldn’t do that) and how easy it is to set and forget until they cool and do a quick brush out.

    Now I use the velcro rollers with metal backs and blast with dryer so I guess it’s a DIY hot roller trick.
    Use some heat protectant spray and don’t overdo it and should be fine 🙂

  9. Christina says:

    I have super curly hair, so I’ve never used them on myself (they’d straighten more than curl). I have, however, encouraged my straight-haired friends to give them a try and helped them learn how to use the rollers (not as easy as it looks!).

    I think they’re great, but even now with my shorter hair, they’d take too long to put in and take out. It’s much less time for me to use my straightening iron to make loose curls where I want them.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina,

      For the life of me I can’t figure out how to curl with my flat iron. I’ve seen people do it so I know it’s possible… maybe I’m just lacking the proper coordination.

      How’s the packing going?

      • Christina says:


        Do you think your hair might be too heavy to curl that way? Maybe because of the length… mine didn’t respond well to iron-curls until after the cut.

        The packing… well, I have boxes now, so that’s good. Pretty much as far as I’ve gotten. How has your Tuesday been so far?

        • Karen says:

          LOL, naaw, I suspect I might have funky wrist action or something. Maybe if I worked reeeally hard on the technique I could get there!

          Packing is not fun. Unpacking — even more not fun. At least you’re on the lesser evil of the spectrum now!

          My Tuesday has been good. I’ve been feeling the flow lately and have been shockingly productive. I think I should reward myself with some Nutella.

          How’s yours?

          • Christina says:

            Hmm… wasn’t super productive yesterday in terms of my checklist, but did some reading that helped change my perspective about a few things. That and some TV made it a good day.

            And I hope you went for the Nutella!

  10. nikki says:

    curlers are wonderful! my hair is naturally wavy, but on days it is lacking its normal volume i just pop some curlers in! they are wonderful, but take a few uses to really get the hang of. just make sure to use heat protecting products so you dont totally friz your hair

  11. Tatiana says:

    I try but for some reason, I can’t get the volume to stay or hold. My mom is a pro though…damn it.

  12. Kypris says:

    I think curlers would be good for getting that extra volume… and also, I’m horrible with a curling iron (I don’t own one, so perhaps it’s a matter of practice…). Maybe I’ll try curlers or the curling iron sometime.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kypris,

      Once you get the hang of the curling iron it’s quite easy… the only thing is it takes so long! Maybe borrow one from a friend for a week and see if you like using it.

  13. Stacie says:

    My hair is pretty curly already, so I’ve never tried them. Also, my hair and heat styling don’t mix. Seriously, last time I used even a blow dryer my hair threw a temper tantrum! (Yes, seriously, it throws tantrums. What, your hair doesn’t have a temper? 😉 Okay, fine. In plain English, it frizzed like crazy and nothing would calm it down–for about a week.)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stacie,

      Sometimes when I’m overzealous with the dryer my hair frizzes like crazy too. Did you use a styling lotion before you blew it dry?

      • Stacie says:

        Hmm, I don’t remember! It’s been a couple of years. The good thing about my hair is I can just scrunch in some gel and let it air dry, and it looks pretty good. Honestly though, sometimes no matter how much product I use, I’m going to get a fine halo of fly-away frizz! That’s because it’s baby fine. So I try to just avoid the heat, since it makes matters worse!

  14. I used to use the Caruso hot steam rollers from back in the day…do they even still sell/make those? They worked really well, as I needed super curly hair during my show choir performance days. Now, I prefer my hair straight so I actually got the Japanese Hair Straightening done, which is good for your hair and keeps it healthy, shiny, and striaght! I love showering, towel drying my hair, and then letting it be free! No more flat irons for me…until my hair grows out that is…hehe.
    .-= Kajal Couture’s last blog post… Meeeow! A Smoky Cat Eye =-.

  15. keerthamina says:

    hot roller virgin here, but I just had to pitch in that I used to iron my hair with a straight-up IRON too! hahaha. I actually still do it on occasion – I’ll use a proper straightening iron if I’m going for a sleek/soft look, but on the days when my waves are just a little too out of control and I want to flatten them a bit (while still maintaining most of the waviness and texture), I’ll press them down lightly with my trusty travel iron. :O
    .-= keerthamina’s last blog post… notd: illamasqua hectic =-.

  16. Tavia says:

    Hi Karen! Well I’m a hot roller virgin and I think I will be one for a long time. My hair is very thin and won’t stand any challenge. Sometimes after I take a bath and I put lot of volume foam in it, I make a bun and I let it dry like this. It will stay curly for a few hours but I need to sprinkle it with some vitamin water to define curls.
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Estee Lauder – Blacker Than Black – Winter 2009 Collection =-.

  17. Hazel says:

    I’ve never used them before! I’d like to try though. But then I might as well just get a perm- I’ve always wanted one anyway. I hate having straight wavy hair, so bored of it.

  18. Sarah says:

    I use hot rollers every day. Although I only started about a month ago…

    I don’t use anything to protect my hair, but I do use a deep conditioner every couple days. Maybe I should step up on that… My hair doesnt look fried?

    My typical procedure is to section off the hair, and do the front working back. For the curls I want, I have to remember when I section off the hair and start rolling to keep the angle straight out of my head, otherwise they tend not to stay in my hair as well, and it deflates a bit of my root volume.

    My set is a handme down that has more curlers than clips, so I end up taking out the front ones when I get to the back. I have shoulder length hair, and so it doesnt take me that long, maybe 5 minutes? Depending on how interested my cats are in me that morning…

    Oh, and I don’t leave them in more than maybe 5 minutes max? I try to do my makeup while the back catches up timewise with the front, but when I do that its usually only eyeliner and blush. So, not that long. I hope that helps a little?

    And for the record, I think hotrollers are way easier than curlers, but I’ve only curled my hair maybe twice.

    You should do a review of the hotrollers you bought – I’m on the hunt for a new set!

  19. Beth says:

    I use them for special occasions to give my hair really extra volume (mostly for updos or the Victorian kind of curl). My hair takes very grudgingly to the curling iron, but hot rollers make curls stay in for hours.

  20. Jocelynn says:

    i’m on a no heat in my hair kick right now 🙂 My hair is naturally very curly so when I want big bouncy curls I do Bantu Knots. I learned how to do them from watching some you tube videos.
    so depending how im feeling that day the bigger the bantu knot the bigger the curl I just put in a leave in conditoner do my knots and the next day I have big bouncy curls. Never tried hot rollers maybe after i get off no heat kick lol!!

  21. Shiny says:

    When I straighten or curl my hair I wear a glove on my left hand which allows me to handle the hair without burning myself. It looks a little ridiculous, but it works really well! I use those cheap stretchy gloves from the dollar store and keep it with my hair products so it’s always on hand.

  22. Katy says:

    Hey Karen,

    They may seem antiquated, but I used hot rollers all the time when I was a kid (hey, it was the 80s). My mom used them on the regular when I was growing up, and I did a lot of musical theater that required curly hair. I haven’t owned a set of my own in years, but now I’m reconsidering it! The only problem is that it’s harder to control the shape of the curl when use rollers vs. and iron.


  23. piamarie says:

    Hey Karen! I own those exact same rollers and I love them – they are super high quality. I used PurseBuzz video tutorials to help me figure out how to use them and they were a huge help – she is much better than explaining than I could ever be 🙂

  24. gio says:

    I’m a hot roller virgin too. I have very fine and thin hair that won’t hold a curl for long, so I never considered using them.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… Looks: Orange and Red =-.

  25. teresa says:

    Hi karen!
    I’ve been wanting to use hot rollers since forever but I’ve just never gotten around to buying a set (and worried about the heat damage of course!), please please pretty please do a post about your update? :D?
    .-= teresa’s last blog post… lalaloverly: mMmm. water with lime is making my dayy right now. little things, little things. =-.

  26. Ellie says:

    My mom is the hot roller QUEEN. As a kid, I loved when she did my hair for fancy occasions. I have fine hair, and making sure the rollers didn’t start out too hot was the key: I could leave them in until they were cold, helping the curl stay.

  27. Heather T. says:

    puhleeze do a review on these [i might get it!]

  28. Kylie says:

    I have butch hair now, so it would be impossible, but I used to use them in junior high on the daily. Every morning at like 6 am I would put ’em in, but they were these conair ones that got hella hot and looked like ancient torture tools, and then I would put my hair in a curly pony tail. My sister never understood why I took the time to use hot rollers just to put my hair up in a pony but whatev, I can’t explain my genius to her.

  29. Kelsey says:

    I’ve used them maybe twice in my life. I have curly hair so to curl with an iron or rollers I have to straighten it first, which is a lot of work.
    .-= Kelsey’s last blog post… Beauty Products I’m Currently Using =-.

  30. Megan says:

    You’ve just inspired me to break my own set out! I actually love using them but sometimes I get out of the habit. They really are easy once you’ve gotten the hang of them and I too love how you can throw them in, do your makeup, and the hair styling is basically done for you.

    Sometimes I have issues with getting my ends to lay flat in the rollers if I start rolling from the ends. So when I’m having issues with that, I will place the curler in the middle of a section of hair, wrap the ends around, and continue rolling up the rest of the hair to the my head.

    I’ve also found that my fine hair doesn’t do well with those metal pins that sets often come with so I picked up a huge bag of clips for cheap and sallys and I clip the rollers in that way (the huge clips that will go over the roller and cover it. In my experience, the rollers do not get hot enough to worry about plastic clips melting or anything crazy like that.
    .-= Megan’s last blog post… A Challenge! =-.

  31. Jenna says:

    I tried it once, and failed miserably. I just think that my hair can’t take a curl well, and I need to accept this. (But my hair is naturally WAVY so how is that possible?) I had some well-reviewed Caruso steam rollers that were AWFUL, barely even got warm, had to steam them one at a time, took forever. And of course, the curls came undone in minutes and made my hair actually straighter than it naturally is…

  32. Aniroc says:

    OMGosh! I just had my hair in curlers for the first time (okay maybe not THE first time, but its been a long time) today at the salon. After getting my hair dyed Jo, my fab stylist said “lets try these”. Looking like a whacked out pin cushion, I only had these steam rollers in for 5 mins and my already curly-wavy hair came out boinging! We were all laughing cause I looked like Shirley Temple, with fat round curled up tresses. Needless to say, Jo had to calm out my curls with a flat iron. Perhaps I’d use them every once in a while but I don’t need or want to look like I’m one of those irish dancing girls with the bouncing curls again.

  33. Catherine says:

    I just chopped 10 inches of hair off about a month and a half ago, but I’d never really used much of anything for my hair before that! I do own a curling iron (HotTools) and a flat iron (Herstyler) but they were just so hard to use for me that I never bothered LOL. Sad too, because right after I cut off my hair I found out about these little foam balls you could wrap your hair in and wear to sleep which sounded suuuuper easy. Hahaha. I’d love to hear how these work out for you though – for if I ever decide to grow my hair out again. =)
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… ekimura’s & ekiLove giveaways =-.

  34. Maria says:

    I use it for special occasions, I don’t use it everyday because I have A LOT of hair compared to other girls D:.

  35. Kathleen says:

    Karen, I’ve been reading you via google reader for a couple months and I haven’t commented before but I HAD to say something on this post….I used to use hot rollers to curl my hair every day before school when I was in 8th grade. Every freakin’ day! Sigh…14-year-old me had so much more hair dedication than 24-year-old me. I do still pull them out for special occasions but I’m mostly letting my natural texture run free these days!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      I know where you’re coming from. It used to take me (gulp) an hour and half to get ready for school; I’m now down to 20 minutes, LOL!

      I blame the ADD on the internet…

  36. Nicole says:

    I hardly ever. I tried them when I was younger, but I didn’t like the result. Plus to me, it’s much more of a fuss trying to roll them up and get them to STAY. I got my Conair curler & straightener to help me get my curls 🙂

  37. A says:

    I LOVE hot rollers! They are very convenient because I can put them into my hair and get it set while doing my makeup! Love, love, love! 🙂

  38. Elle says:

    Haven’t used them myself yet–well, my mom used them every day and used to put them in my hair when I was a little kid (for fun), but haven’t done it myself. Since my hair is like yours I’m curious to see how you like them.

  39. amy says:

    I like to use hot rollers once in a while to save my hair from the heat. I like hot rollers because they are less time consuming. When I use hot rollers I can do my makeup at the same time or do something else. With curling irons I have to stand there and do my hair for up to an hour because my hair is hard to curl. I do like the look of the curls better with a curling iron better than the hot rollers though.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… Dior Cristal Boreale Holiday 2009 Collection: Smokey Crystal #089 5 Couleurs Palette Fard À Paupières Lumières Vibrantes Review, Swatches and Product Pictures =-.

  40. Christy says:

    Love to use them, but rarely do I ever. My hair isn’t quite shaped for it at the moment. If I grew it out down to my waist again I would use hot rollers. I have two sets so I can get loads of volume when I get the urge. 😀
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… FOTD: Volturi Twilight Myth, Dusk & Dawn, MAC Nuance & Shimpagne =-.

  41. Chris says:

    Heat protectant sprays – I like John Friedas but also Its a 10.
    I’ve heard good things about something called Miracle 7 from Sally’s and that is next up to try.

  42. Aureen says:

    Hi ate Karen,
    Missed you on thanksgiving. Anyway, my younger sister uses hot rollers all the time. When I want curly hair I usually ask her to do it for me, since I don’t have one. I’m not sure what brand she uses, but it totally beats the curling iron.

  43. Susan says:

    I used to use them all the time when I was in college, but now they are more for special occasions only. I like the way they smooth out my naturally curly (crazy cat lady curly :)) hair into silkier, shinier curls. Maybe I need to dig those curlers out of the closet more often!

  44. Nora says:

    Forget curlers, I can’t even use a curling iron. I tried once and ruined my friend’s hair. We spoke again later on, but she never let me near her hair again, it was perhaps for the best for both of us.

  45. Cheryl says:

    Will still use the hot rollers for work – loved them in college – able to get make-up done , eat breakfast, ready for the day while my hair was in those hot rollers – loved those 80s!!!!

  46. Cat says:

    I have very long baby fine hair, and I use Caruso steam rollers. I haven’t tried regular hot rollers, but the Caruso does an awesome job at curling my hair. The rollers come in four sizes, and since my hair is so fine, I use the smallest one to get the best curl for me. They are pretty easy to use: spray setting lotion throughout hair, place roller on steam for a few seconds, twist a strand of dry hair, roll it onto the roller, place the steamed outer cap and continue until all the hair is up. It takes me ten minutes to put them in, and I usually only leave them in for ten minutes or so. When I take them off, my hair looks amazing. The best part is they do not damage one’s hair at all!

    I do this maybe once or twice a month.

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