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How Do You Use Hot Rollers For Beginners?

Last updated Sep 27, 2023

Hair rollers are typically round tube that comes in various sizes and are used to curl and add volume to your hair. Rollers can be used on all hair types to help create various styles from big and beautiful curls to loose beach waves. If you’re yet to try to use hot rollers, read this article to learn how to use hot rollers, thus getting big, modern, dreamy, voluminous waves.

Hot rollers come in different sizes; smaller rollers create tight curls, while larger ones create soft, beachy curls. Hot rollers will add volume to your roots, keep your strands shiny and smooth, and give you curls that can last for almost a week(depending on your hair type, of course).

Thus, they are the best option for those people who want full-bodied curls, whether they have straight or curly hair.

Although hot rollers are great for all hair types, except for hair that’s damaged and prone to breakage. If your hair is brittle or very damaged from too much heat or chemical services, it’s best to not use hot rollers or any sort of heat styling. After all, the heat from the hot roller set will further exacerbate the fragility of the hair.

How To Use Hot Rollers

Please check out our how-to guide for using hot rollers on long hair.

Step 1 Prep Your Hair

Unlike the wet sets of yore, you need to start with dry hair before using your hot rollers. That is because once the heat of the rollers is applied to your hair, any moisture in your strands or oil at the scalp will sizzle and fry your hair. And if the hair is dripping wet, the hot rollers will take a really long time to work.


Therefore, be sure to spray a heat protectant on your hair for extra security after washing and detangling your hair, and then blow-dry your hair on a low heat setting. Although hot rollers are less damaging to hair than curling irons, they’re still a method of heat styling.

Step 2 Warm Up Your Rollers


Plugin your hot rollers and allow them to heat up. Different makes will require different times to heat up, so check the instructions to see how long they’ll take.

Step 3 Section Your Hair

Begin by sectioning your hair according to your desired parting to make it easier to style.

While the rollers are heating up, divide dry hair into four large sections with your comb and clip these sections—one over each ear, one in the back, and one on top. Then divide separately the four large sections into three parts, each about one and a half inches wide, and secure each one with your sectioning clips.

In this process, Make sure that each subsection of hair you grab for a roller is the same thickness as the width of your roller. As with a curling iron, if you take too large a section, your curl will fall flat in the end.

Step 4 Apply Hot Roller To Hair

Grab the one section closest to your hairline, pull it straight up, and spritz it with some hairspray to help hold your curls, as well as protect against humidity and fight frizz for 24 hours.


The next step is to place a roller under the hair a few inches from the ends. Leave the ends out and, keeping the hair pulled tautly, start rolling away from your face. After two complete rotations, tuck the loose ends around the roller and continue moving to your scalp. Finally, place the clip on the roller to secure it.

Step 5 Curl All Hair With Hot Rollers

Repeat step 4 process: First, use two or more rollers to curl the top sections to make them constantly roll away from your face. Then make a horizontal part in the middle of one of the side sections and roll top and bottom under. Next, divide the back into three one-and-a-half-inch sections and roll each one under. Finally, separate and move the remaining side.

Not only is the placement of rollers important, but you can also create different looks depending on the direction you roll your locks.

First of all, try to place rollers according to size. For long, cascading waves, you’ll want to place your medium-size rollers around the face, and your larger rollers down the center section towards the crown of the head where you want the most volume.

Rolling away from your face will create that wind-blown look you're probably after. You can try rolling horizontally for major volume, or vertically for a loose tousled effect.

Remember to use the same size rollers around the head and use them in the same direction, which will give you soft glamorous curls.

But if you want some variation, switch up the size of your rollers and the direction you place them in.

As you roll up each section of hair, be sure to fasten securely—your roller set should come with crease-free pins or clips.

Step 6 Allow Heated Rollers To Cool

Once hair is prepped and pinned, keep your rollers in place until they completely cool down. It usually takes around 20-30 minutes.

Also, it would be better to spritz on some hairspray, texturizing spray, or a dry-oil mist to lock the curls(depending on your hair's specific needs) while you wait.

In a word, do not remove your rollers before they’ve fully cooled, or else you risk your curls losing their shape and becoming flat!


Of course, you can also use the cool button on your blow dryer on low to speed up the cooling time.

Step 7 Remove Rollers From Hair


When your rollers have completely cooled, begin to remove them one by one, allowing the curls to fall loose.

Step 8 Style Your Curls

Once they have all been removed, gently run your fingers through the curls to separate them and create more of a beach-inspired look. Alternatively, you can use a hairbrush to create soft, glamorous waves. Be gentle to avoid destroying waves!

If you are interested in how to use hot rollers, please watch the following video as a reference. 

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