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Styles of Hair Rollers

Women have used rollers in their home hair care for many years. Many women set their hair on rollers every evening at bedtime and remove them in the morning. The result is a head full of bouncy curls. Others might only use rollers after a shampoo; setting their wet hair and then sitting under a hooded dryer or just wearing them until their hair dried naturally. For those of you who have had little experience with rollers but are contemplating trying them out for the extra body and curl they provide, the following is a short description of several styles.

Sponge rollers are very easy to use for home curling. You simply start at the end of the strand of hair and start winding it toward the head. The tension from rolling the hair compresses the roller and helps to lock the hair onto it. The main problem with sponge rollers is that they tend to stay compressed after a season of use making a smaller roller than you intended. This happens sooner if you sleep with the rollers in your hair. Another problem is that stray hairs will become tightly wound around the roller and are very hard to remove, even needing clipping with shears to get them off.
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Velcro rollers are a type of self gripping roller. We call these Velcro rollers but they usually are made of a plastic mesh that only acts like Velcro. The hair clings to the mesh just like Velcro clings to itself. These rollers usually require no extra clips or pins to keep them in place. If your hair is very long or thick, the rollers will stay firmer with the use of roller clips. Since these rollers are on a hard plastic frame they retain their shape and size with extended use, however they collect stray hairs and require regular “combing” to keep them clean.

Magnetic rollers are made of hard plastic that is smooth on the outside. I’m not sure why these rollers are called magnetic because they require more work and expertise to keep them in the hair than the other rollers listed. A strand of wet hair is smoothed onto the roller and then the roller is wound up toward the scalp. The hair has to be wet to stay on the roller. Setting lotion or gel helps to “stick” the hair to the roller. Clips are required to hold this roller in place. Magnetic rollers are not easily used on dry hair.

Brush rollers are named for the nylon brush that is inside and aluminum frame. The brush does a good job of holding the hair in place and uses a single plastic stick pin or pik inserted through it to hold it in place. Stray hairs do get lodged in the brush and require removal by combing them out with a comb. Sleeping in these rollers is a problem because the brushes can be painful.

Benders are long bendable foam with a wire core. They may also be called a spiral roller. Benders are so called because once the hair is wound around the roller, the ends of the bender are folded in toward the center securing the roller without the use of clips. These rollers are very good for putting a lot of curl in long hair. The ends of a strand of hair are wound around the roller about two inches from one end. Then the hair is wound in a spiral fashion up the roller toward the other end until the entire strand is curled. Then the ends of the bender are bent in, securing it.

Helpful accessory End papers are sometimes helpful in keeping the hair smoothly wound on a roller. An end paper is a very thin piece of tissue paper that is often used in permanent waves. With rollers, the end paper is folded around the ends of the hair strand before they are placed on the roller. This keeps the ends lying smoothly. Without the papers the tips of the hair can fold back or to the side causing a frizzy finished look.


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