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13 Different Types of Rollers for Hair

Here are several different types of hair rollers showcasing various ways to curl your hair with each advantage and disadvantage to help you decide which hair roller is best for you.

This is a close look of a  woman wearing multiple hair rollers.

Hair rollers are nothing new. They may seem outdated to some, but the options for rollers are more diverse. Rollers are probably the best way to straighten and curl your hair.

It reduces the risk of heat damage, enhances moisture protection, and makes it much easier to style and maintain your hair. Rollers are an excellent option if you would like more volume and natural-looking curls.

In this article, we will look at 13 types of rollers for hair. Each one can create differently shaped curls that produce many distinct styles. These are the most popular sought-after hair rollers:

1. Foam Rollers/Sponge Rollers

36 Pieces Foam Sponge Hair Rollers - Soft Sleeping Hair Curlers Flexible Hair Styling Curlers Sponge Curlers for Hair Styling (Pink)

If you have pin-straight hair and struggle to achieve a curly look, you should consider purchasing foam rollers. Foam or sponge rollers can be worn comfortably overnight, but make sure that you do not roll them too tightly. 

The preferred way of using foam rollers is to roll it into dry hair in any direction you want so you can make natural-looking or semi-tightly weaved curls. Although rolling them into wet hair is not an issue, it does leave dips and lines in your curls.

You will not need any clips or pins for these rollers, making them easier to sleep with.

Tip: Wear a bonnet or satin wrap to keep your hair curls in place!

2. Velcro Rollers

Hair Rollers for Short Hair, 12Pcs Small Velcro Rollers Hair Curlers for Short Medium Long Fine Thin Hair Self Grip No Heat 3 Sizes(12pcs,Rose Red)

Velcro rollers are practical and easy to put in your hair. These rollers are made of smooth plastic with velcro pads secured around them for better grasp and application, which means you do not need to use pins to secure the rollers in your hair.

Sturdy and gripping, velcro rollers are perfect for brittle and damaged hair, and there is no risk of heat damage. Velcro rollers can be put in both wet and dry hair, but I suggest using them on wet or semi-dry hair for better results and greater grip.

These rollers create gentle waves, and on long hair, it creates a loose curly style. If you opt for a light and soft look, velcro rollers are a must-have as they enhance volume at the roots, making the hair look healthier and fuller.

3. Magnetic Rollers

Diane Magnetic Hair Roller, Grey, 2 Inch, Strong material, unbreakable material, curls, perm, holds hair in place, perfect for any hair style, sanitary, washable, 2, Static electricity holds hair in place, Wrap faster and easier, Fast and easy to clean, Use picks, pins or clips to hold hair

If you lack the precision and skills to wrap your hair around rollers adequately, magnetic rollers are ideal. It creates beautiful curls and does not require any heat to achieve a salon-perfect hairdo.

Magnetic rollers are automatically whirled into your hair. Position the rollers at the end of each section of hair, bend the roller upwards towards your scalp, and voilà! Add a metal clip to secure the rollers.

These rollers are quick and easy to use and must only be used on wet hair after shampooing and conditioning your hair. It does not rip or tug your hair when you remove it.

Overall, this is a great option for beginners or anyone who would like a curly hairdo without ruining your hair from the heat of a curler or curling iron.

4. Steam Rollers

Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter with 30 Rollers, 1.0 Count, (Pack of 1)

Steam rollers are elite in the hairstyling community. Their only purpose is not just to curl your hair but to soften, volumize and make your hair shinier. These rollers are healthy, and it is safe to use for all hair types.

It is the most recommended type of hair roller and can transform even the dullest

hair into glossy tendrils. With steam rollers, you can make a number of stylish hairstyles.

The main purpose of the steam is to open the hair cuticle, the layer that encircles the hair, so your hair soaks up the heat making the curls settle speedily.

5. Perm Rods

Perm Rods for Natural Hair,50 pcs Hair Rollers Large Long Short Hair Styling Tool Hair Curlers (Yellow)

These plastic curlers, known as perm rods, are specially used to create tight curls and because of their narrow design makes them easier to achieve. Perm rods are a great curling tool to use on very textured short to medium-length hair. It might take a while to put it in your hair since it demands precision. 

This technique does not require you to use any chemicals or heat before or after putting in the rods.

It comes in various sizes that determine the shape of your curls. The smaller the perm rods are, the tighter your curls will be. However, medium-sized perm rods are easier to handle, and there is a lesser chance of causing damage to the hair.

For greater results, roll the rods into slightly wet hair and use pins to secure them. You can also wrap your hair with paper or wear a bonnet to prevent it from frizzing.

6. Mesh Rollers

Annie 7/8" Wire Mesh Hair Rollers - 12 Pcs.

Mesh rollers may not be the most popular option, but they can easily roll into wet hair, and you can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process if you are in a rush.  

The only negative attribute about mesh rollers is that they can get stuck in thick hair, and you need to replace them regularly, so you do not have to deal with the wired rollers tangling your hair.

Unlike other rollers, the mesh rollers do not self-grip, so you have to use pins or clips to secure them. Mesh rollers are suitable for all hair types.

7. Flexi Rods

30 Pieces Flexible Curling Rods Twist Foam Hair Rollers Soft Foam No Heat Hair Rods Rollers and 1 Steel Pintail Comb Rat Tail Comb for Women Girls Long and Short Hair (9.45 x 0.55, Purple)

Flexi rods, often called bendy rollers, are trouble-free and can be used on almost all hair types, regardless of length and texture. They are made up of soft foam, and you can bend them any way you want without using pins.

If you are opting for tight spiral curls, then Flexi rods are the way to go. It allows you the curl even the most hard-to-reach parts on your head.

The best way to use these rollers is on clean and dry hair. However, many people prefer to twist it in wet hair because it creates bouncier curls and greater volume. I recommend wearing them overnight to achieve the desired results. They do not feel uncomfortable while you sleep.

Once you are ready to remove the Flexi rods from your hair, style your hair with your fingers and not a brush; otherwise, it might ruin your curls.

8. Ribbon Rollers

2 Pieces Heatless Hair Rollers No Heat Curls Silk Ribbon Curling Rods Headband Sleep In Overnight Soft Foam Hair Curlers DIY Hair Styling Tools for Long Medium Hair (Blue+Pink)

Ribbon rollers create lengthy and lasting spiral curls, but they are meant to be used on damp medium-length to long hair. These rollers are appropriate for all hair types and come in many different sizes.

Use the hook that comes along with the ribbon rollers when you purchase it to part and tug a small section through the ribbon, let go and watch it spiral around the roller. Repeat until you are finished, and let the ribbon rollers set overnight.

These super soft rollers are comfortable to sleep with and leave you with extra volume to your hair and natural-looking spiral curls.

9. Hot Rollers

Conair Jumbo and Super Jumbo Ceramic Hot Rollers, Bonus Super Clips Included (Amazon Exclusive)

Hot rollers are timeless. They are known for being reliable and efficacious and have improved over the years to not only make beautiful curls but also to moisturize and nourish your hair.

These rollers come in different sizes. I suggest buying a hot roller set containing the various sizes to get creative and style your hair however you would like to. Normally the smaller rollers are used at the bottom half of your hair, and the jumbo rollers are used on the top layers of your hair to create soft, wavy curls.

The curls can last for up to three days if you properly prepare your hair beforehand. Since these rollers are quick to heat up, it does not take long for them to style and curl your hair. Once you have twirled a few in your hair, you will find it easier to do the rest.

Hot rollers are compact and easy to travel with, but you do need a power supply to use them.

10. Soft Rollers

Aimin Hair Soft Overnight Hair Rollers Heatless Sleep in Hair Curlers for Thick Hair Large Cloth Pillow Hair Roller for Long Hair Curlers Sponge Foam DIY Hair Rollers Gift Product (30 pcs, Pink)

Soft rollers are made of fabric, usually satin, and reduce strain on brittle hair. Their soft and, since they have wiring to keep them in place, do not require pins, which makes them perfect for overnight use.

With these soft rollers, you can effortlessly enclose and roll your locks from the ends of your hair to the roots. If you want to go for a more relaxed look, the soft rollers will work flawlessly.

11. Brush Rollers

2 Packs (14 total) MEDIUM BRUSH ROLLERS & PINS Hair Curlers Bristles 2 1/2"x 3/4" NEW

Nowadays, brush rollers are hard to find, so if you come across them, make sure to snag a few sets. The bristles on these rollers help keep them in place and ensure frizz-free hair.

Roll it upwards in your wet hair, leave it in for a few hours until your hair is dry to reveal beautifully volumized and wavy tresses. It almost looks like a professional salon blowout.

12. Spoolies

Original Spoolies Hair Curlers, Medium Size – 24 Count (Silver Edition) - Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Rollers for Retro Styles, Hair Extensions + Wigs

This hair styling tool has been around for quite some time. Made popular in the 1950s, it is the perfect roller for tight, pin-up curls or classic beach waves. You can use spoolies to create any curls you want, and because they are made of silicone, they will not distort from the heat of your hairdryer.

Spoolies have become more popular in recent years, with people coming up with new ideas on how to use them to style their hair.

13. Fabric Curlers/Rag Rollers

40 Pieces Hair Rollers DIY Hair Styling Rollers Tools Soft Sleep Foam Pillow Hair Curler Rollers Sponge (Color Set 1)

This old-school hair curling method has proven to be effective despite not being as favored as the rollers mentioned previously. Fabric rollers are simple to use, give you shinier and bouncy curls without tearing your hair, and do not take too much time to roll in.

Usually, a button is attached to one end of the rag roller to secure your hair. It is recommended that you keep the rollers in overnight, and because of their soft fabric, the rollers will not disturb your sleep.

Before rolling your hair, make sure that your hair is clean and damp. If it is too dry, spray a bit of water on your hair or moisturize it with mousse or lotion.  For looser curls, use bigger sections of hair.

As soon as you remove the rollers, style your hair as you wish. 

How to Choose the Proper Rollers for Your Hair

With the endless types of rollers on the market today, you can quickly become overwhelmed. It may not appear to be a big deal to others, but choosing the proper type of rollers for your hair is important.

Here are some of the details you need to choose the best hair rollers:

Size of Hair Rollers

Hair Rollers Set, Self Grip, Salon Hair Dressing Curlers(Jumbo, Large, Medium, Small), Heatless Hair Curlers for Long Hair & Short Hair 24 Packs

Roller size is an important detail that you have to look at before you purchase hair rollers. The smaller the rollers, the more defined and tighter the curls are. Small rollers work beautifully with thick long hair.

Large rollers create big loose curls and add more “oomph” to the curls. It is the ideal size if you want a more natural-looking hairdo.

I recommend buying a set of different-sized rollers so you can mix up your curls when you put in your rollers. You can roll them into the hair in any direction (upward or downward spiral).

Texture of Hair

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Gentle Curls Steam Rollers; 3/4-inch Hot Rollers , 13 Piece Set

While there are many rollers that are suitable for all hair types, if your hair is dry and damaged, the best option is to invest in steam rollers. You can clearly see a difference in the texture of your hair after you put in the steam rollers. Using a hair treatment beforehand can also help restore your hair to its healthy condition.

Hair rollers such as Velcro rollers work effectively on naturally smooth hair and will not tangle your hair when you remove them.

Heated Hair Rollers or Non-Heated Hair Rollers?

Conair Magnetic Rollers, Set of 75, Pink

Non-heated rollers, e.g., magnetic rollers or velcro rollers, are the better choice if you would like to add more bounce to your curls and volume to your roots. Most non-heated hair rollers are comfortable to wear overnight, so if you are up to it, try sleeping with them for longer-lasting and lusciously shaped curls.

Heated rollers work well on straight hair that struggles to achieve curly locks, and the curls will last much longer. It also saves a lot of time (it takes approximately 15-20 minutes), especially if you have a rushed schedule.