How to Use Hot Rollers: Tips for Properly and Effectively Styling Hair With Curlers

Hot rollers may conjure up visions of old ladies in bathrobes and it’s probably that old fashioned rap that has made hot rollers lose their popularity. However, if given a chance, hot rollers can turn flat, straight hair or an unruly bed head into a beautiful head of curls in the fraction of the time it takes when using a curling iron.

Choose Your Hot Rollers

There are several different types of hot rollers to choose from, but a 20-piece ceramic set with three different sizes of rollers such as the Infiniti Nano Hairsetter by Conair at Target or the Jilbere Ceramic 20 Roller Setter at Sally Beauty Supply seem to generate the most positive reviews from customers. The ceramic finish on the rollers is said to prevent the hair from sticking and provides even heat, while the variance in roller size allows users to create different looks. Most sets cost about $50.

Check the Weather

No matter the product or the technique, if the humidity is through the roof, the wind is blowing or the forecast calls for rain, hair is not always going to behave. For optimum results, make sure you check the weather before deciding to style with hot rollers.

Getting Started

One of the conveniences of using hot rollers is that hair can either be freshly washed and blow-dried or day-old and slept-on. Plug in the rollers and while waiting for the indicator button to change colors, which shows that the rollers are hot and ready to use, spray completely dry hair all over, including each layer with a thermal setting spray such as Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist, Kenra Thermal Styling Spray or a flexible hold hairspray. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the product, but make sure you’re still able to brush through your sprayed mane after the product dries.

Section and Roll

Hair should be divided into three large sections – right side, left side and middle (See photo A). Gather a small section of hair from the large middle section at the hairline in the middle of the forehead. Comb through the small section, then place the roller underneath and at the end of the section. Begin rolling the curler under, wrapping the ends of the hair as you go (See photo B). Once the entire section of hair is wrapped around the roller, secure with a pin or a clip, which come with the set of rollers. Gather another section of hair just behind the first roller and repeat the same process (See photo C) until the entire middle area of the head is wrapped. The left or the right section of the head may be completed next in the same manner (See photo D).

Spray Again

After each section of hair is wrapped and secured in a roller, mist over the head with flexible hold hairspray again. For added shine, a shine booster spray may also be applied in the same way, but to avoid that greasy look, only a silicone based shine spray should be used and even then it should be applied extremely sparingly. To avoid the risk of excess product and unraveled curls altogether and save a step in the process, consider using a shine boosting hairspray such as Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray or Pantene Ice Shine Hairspray.

Set and Cool

Another convenience of using hot rollers is the cool down time. The user is free to apply make-up or complete other tasks while the curls set. After the last roller is secured, wait 20 to 30 minutes before beginning removal.

Unwrap and Toss

Once the rollers have completely cooled, choose and unclip a roller at the bottom of the mass and gently unroll the hair. To avoid tangling, do not pull the roller out of the hair. Repeat until all the rollers have been removed. Toss hair, finger comb through curls and enjoy your soft, curly style.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like any technique, the more you practice it, the better you become and the better the final outcome. You may want to set aside some time for two or three trial runs with the hot rollers before relying on them for a work or night on the town hairstyle.

Investing in a set of hot rollers and using them correctly will ultimately save time and produce beautiful curls over and over again.

How to Plait a Rope Braid: Step-by-Step Instructions for Rope Braiding with Two Strands

Rope braids are technically not true braids, as they require a hair elastic to keep them from falling apart. Rather than being held together using a woven technique, rope braids rely on opposing tension to form the braid. Many people find rope braiding initially confusing because of the confusion caused by remembering when to twist clockwise and anti-clockwise; however, once the technique is learned rope braiding is extremely fast – quicker than a regular 3-strand plait. The resulting braids look much more complicated than they are!

How to Make a Two-Strand Rope Braid

  1. Divide your hair in half at the nape of the neck.
  2. Hold each half in a different hand, close to the scalp. Twist both halves in the same direction. It doesn’t matter which direction you use as long as you use the opposite direction later –in these instructions, you will be twisting clockwise, or to the right.
  3. Once both halves are twisted tightly for the top few inches of hair, twist the strands around each other in an anti-clockwise direction (opposite from the way you previously twisted them). This means the right-hand half goes to the left of the left-hand half by passing it over the top.
  4. Continue twisting the two halves clockwise for a few more inches.
  5. Twist the strands around each other in an anti-clockwise direction once again.
  6. Continue braiding in this manner down the length of the hair – twisting both strands clockwise, and then around each other anti-clockwise.
  7. Once you reach the end of your hair, hold the braid secure and use a hair elastic to prevent the braid unravelling. The strands and the braid will both want to untwist in opposite directions, but the opposing tensions and hair elastic will prevent them.

An Alternative Method for Two-Strand Rope Braiding

If the above method is confusing, it can be helpful to start using this method. This technique produces a braid that is slower to execute and not quite as neat, but it makes the principles of rope braiding clearer and is useful for beginners.

  1. Divide the hair in half at the nape of the neck.
  2. Take the right-hand half of your hair and twist it clockwise (to the right), all the way down until the entire strand of hair is twisted. Secure this twist by getting a friend to hold it, or hold it in your mouth (not glamorous, but efficient!)
  3. Take the left-hand half of your hair and do the same, making sure it is twisted clockwise, the same way as the other half.
  4. Hold both twists and twist them around each other anti-clockwise (to the left). It can be helpful to think about one strand only, imagining it winding to the left over and over the other strand.
  5. Secure the rope braid.

How to Make a Rose Bun

Rose buns are so named because the sections of a rope braid look like the petals of a rose when bunned.

To make a rose bun, take the finished rope braid and twist the whole thing a few times to tighten it up. Wrap the length of the braid around the base in a spiral, just as if you were making a regular bun ; tuck the end of the braid under the bun and use hair-friendly pins to secure.

How to Make a Hawser Braid

Hawser braids look similar to square four-strand braids, but are much easier to make. To make a hawser braid, make two identical rope braids close together at the back of the head. Then rope braid those braids together. You’ll need to twist both braids the same way (clockwise) and then wrap them around each other the opposite way (anticlockwise). Once they have been braided together remove the hair elastics and secure the braid with a single hair elastic.