Hot Roller Hair Tutorial

For months, I’ve been dreaming of finding a routine where I could use hot rollers to get a little extra body and volume and curl. Maxi is BUSY and while I like to get ready before she wakes up, I prefer to use that time a little more efficiently than sitting curling layers upon layers of hair.

My girlfriend, Diana, kept telling me I needed to convert to hot rollers. But I had questions:

  1. Won’t it make me look like I have spiral curls? I used hot rollers when I was little and I most certainly had tight curls.
  2. But I NEED a clamp. How do I style my hair without a clamp? I will sleep on wet hair some nights, so I like that the clamp of a curling iron can smooth and straighten out any bumps or waves.
  3. Which ones would work for my hair?

I had ordered hot rollers while pregnant thinking ahead to this moment. I kept researching, “Which rollers do pageant girls use?” I knew their curls lasted all day! One random website led me to steam rollers and that was well…a mess. I didn’t like those at all. I returned the rollers and just went back to the curling iron for 2 years.

After seeing 500 Insta Stories of Diana in her rollers being able to cook her son breakfast, do laundry, answer e-mails, all while doing her hair, I went back to the research board.

I settled on BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter from Amazon. I got the 20-roller set, but if you have longer hair you could do 30. I have pretty textured hair with layers, so I feel like 20-rollers would be a great size box for most girls with medium-length hair like myself.

So, now that I’ve tried these for a few weeks, have I tossed all my other hot tools? Not necessarily. Do I think this is a valuable addition to my hot tools collection? 150%

Reasons I Love Hot Rollers

  1. Efficiency. Let’s state the obvious, the reason these are so appealing is the fact that I can get stuff done instead of standing with a curling rod to my head. I will do my makeup, heat up the rollers, put them in {it takes 5 minutes}, then start Maxi’s breakfast. By the time she wakes up her breakfast is ready and I just am letting my rollers cool. I’ll take them out once I get her ready and we are ready for the day. But just so you know for time wise, sometimes I just let them sit for 10-15 minutes and I get the exact same look!
  2. Body & Volume. Because I like to keep the same color and haircut, I do get tired of my curls some days. Lately, I’ve been wanting more volume, less wave. I joke that I want to look like a news anchor because their hair is seriously perfect with body and volume for days! Hot rollers give me that specific type of volume I love.
  3. I Love The Way My Hair Falls. If I curl my hair with an iron, it rains, then my hair just looks very flat and like it has vertical beach waves. The waves become sharper, not softer. Here is a great photo of how my hair falls with a curling iron, and I’m not in love with the look. That may not make sense, but I just wanted my hair to fall like I had gotten a blowout. So when I use hot rollers day 1 of my hair wash when I don’t have a ton of oil or product in my hair to stick, my hair will fall closer to the evening. But it falls in such a soft way! My hair looks like I left Dry Bar and got a blowout with lots of bounce. It feels softer and less harsh than when my traditional waves fall.
  4. Extends My Style. I hope I didn’t turn you off by saying my hair falls the first day, because if I did, this may save it. I am beyond obsessed to use hot rollers on Day 2, 3, 4, or 5 of my style. Then I wash! Because I don’t use so much pressured heat like with a clamp, I find that when I use hot rollers to touch up a style, my hair ends up lasting longer in between washes. I use less hair product and I find that I am still loving my hair on Day 4 and 5 instead of wanting to do a top knot. These photos were taken on Day 2 of my hair. So if I straighten hair Day 1 or curl it with my traditional curling iron, I’ll use rollers the rest of the week and it takes 5 minutes to touch up, less pressured heat like a metal clamp and makes my hair feel softer. I feel like this has to be a little better for your hair, no?!

If you don’t want your hair to fall Day 1, then I find using hot rollers after Day 1 of washing is best! Now, you will HAVE to play around with your hot rollers, that may be the scariest part to some. It’s not like a wand where most of the time you can’t mess it up. You have to find the right curl pattern for your hair and how to get the best volume. Some people roll under, I roll under in the middle section and up and away from my face on the sides. I say give these a week to play around with and if you stick with it, you really will find the easiest way to use these!

So while I still use my straightening iron or curling iron 50% of Day 1 wash days, I am faithfully using my hot rollers the other days and feel like my hair looks SO much more full than it was looking!

This is how my curls fall Day 1 of using hot rollers if I just blow dry, then use the rollers!

If I curl my hair, then touch up day 3 or so with hot rollers, this is how it falls and looks!

I wanted to share how I roll my hair with my rollers, so you can see if this is a good option for you or not!

If I am using rollers Day 1 of hair I use my blow dryer and I HAVE to blow dry it smooth and straight. One thing to note with hot rollers is that for me, the rollers won’t smooth out a cowlick or specific wave. If I use my Dyson or Revlon dryer, I have no issues and the rollers work perfectly! I just wanted you to know, I can’t sleep on my hair wet, wake up with bed head all over the place, toss my rollers in and achieve this look. While I haven’t tried it, I just think it’s important to give the rollers a good canvas to start on. I will use this heat protectant before I blow dry, then start with the rollers.

I start by dividing my hair into three sections: left, middle, and right. I start at the top with the pieces framing my face and roll the roller “up and away” from my face. Then when I’m to the middle, I just roll down. I generally use the large and medium-sized rollers. Sometimes I’ll use the smaller rollers in the bottom layer of my hair. I will use the larger rollers in the middle section and at the “crown” of my hair where I want the biggest volume. Then I use the medium rollers on the face-framing pieces.

I let my hair sit like this for at least 10 or 15 minutes, but I typically will leave them in for longer since they completely cool and I just cook Maxi breakfast or whatever I need to do.

Once the rollers are completely cool, I will remove them starting with the rollers I first placed in my hair.

Once the rollers are completely removed, I flip my head upside down and spray my hair and shake my fingers through. I don’t completely brush through, but I more so just tossle the crown of my hair to get volume.

I’ll tease the crown of my hair like I traditionally do and my curls are complete!

That’s how I style my hair with my rollers in the morning and I’m so obsessed with this time-saving hack I can’t believe it took me this long to try them again. There’s also something sentimental about hot rollers because I remember using them so much when I was a younger girl. My mom would roll my hair, we’d eat pancakes and watch Good Morning America, and I’d take them out right after. So let me know, are you a hot rollers girl?!

Shop my rollers here: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter

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  1. I’ve never tried curling my hair with rollers, it’s always seemed so old school! But I guess they work super well! I love the curly hair on you, Katey! 🙂 ?

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  2. Kelly wrote:

    I used to be a diehard hot rollers girl — I had this fabulous set from the 1970s that was my mom’s, and it worked like a charm every single time. Once we had a couple sparks and electrical surge scares (yikes!) from them being SO FREAKING OLD, I decided to retire the old set and get a new one. Now there’s a huge learning curve I haven’t mastered, so I need to just get back in it and try again. It’s so hard figuring out the right pattern! Part of the issue is that the new set has the hinge-pin clamps (for lack of a better term — similar to the one you showed). I have found issues with my hair crimping where the clamp lands. Any tips on placement of those? My 1970s set had pins to hold the curlers in place, so this is new to me! Thanks for reinspiring me to pull them out!

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Girl, this sounds like me!! And I adore you with this comment! haha. I will use something until it breaks and I’m like, “Oh maybe that wasn’t the best.” I had a curling iron like that in college! This set of rollers comes with the pin clips too so I don’t get the clamp. I haven’t really figured out a way {minus smoothing over with my straightening iron} to avoid the crease, but oddly enough I only get them in one or two spots with these clips! I hope that helps! xo, Katey

      Published 18 Mar 19Reply
  3. Megan wrote:

    Would you mind linking the clips you used to hold the rollers??

    Thank you!

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Megan! The clips I am using come in the set with the rollers! 🙂 xx, Katey

      Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  4. Beth wrote:

    I love the look! Do you use all three sizes of the rollers?

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Beth! For the most part I just use large and medium, but if I run out I use the smaller! 🙂 xx, Katey

      Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  5. Jannah wrote:

    I SWEAR by hot rollers and have been using them (and being teased for it) since college! All of my friends and co-workers always gawk over my hair and ask how I did it and I’m always trying to convince them. Using them literally cuts my getting ready time by over half and the heat damage is minimal compared to a curling iron! I also personally feel like they hold better – I can sleep on hot roller curled hair for 2 nights and have it still look fabulous that third day. Love that you shared this!

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  6. Sarah wrote:

    Your hair looks amazing! I used hot rollers a few years ago…maybe it’s time to get them back out. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  7. Laura Leigh wrote:

    This is such a fun and informative post! My hair is too short for rollers right now but will definitely be doing this when it grows out!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  8. Annaliese wrote:

    I think you have convinced me! I wake up at 3:30 weekdays for my job as a morning radio host, and often I don’t have time to curl my hair with my wand before work! These sound so practical! Do you think they’d work well on someone with long, thick hair too?

    xoxo A

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi love! Oh yes! You’d need more rollers than me with your hair, but I think they would! 🙂 xo, Katey

      Published 18 Mar 19Reply
  9. Sara wrote:

    Your hair look amazing!! I remember my mom using hot rollers on my hair when I was younger! I will have to try this! I also loved your birthday post yesterday!!

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply
  10. Carol wrote:

    Yes! This makes me so happy! Bring back the volume of the ‘80s. I grew-up on these and recently returned to them.

    Published 06 Mar 19Reply