8 best hair curlers of 2021 and how to use them for perfect curls


Whether you’ve seen them on TikTok or just admired someone’s bouncy, voluminous curls, curlers are suddenly everywhere. These aren’t the awkward, uncomfortable rollers of yesteryear, either – today’s rollers are easy to use, intuitive, and give you personalized results whether you want beach waves or just want to accentuate your pattern. of natural curls.

“I like curlers for their versatility – they can be used to create curls or volume to refresh a dry style, or to create curl formation when wet,“explains Pekela Riley, member of the Ulta Beauty Pro team.” The hair is wrapped around the cylindrical body of the rollers and the hair takes on a circular shape, adding body or curls. that work much like a curling iron, foam rollers you can sleep on, velcro rollers you can use while you blow dry, and even steam rollers that gently curl hair.

Check out some of our favorite curlers below to achieve the curls of your dreams. We’ve rounded up Riley’s suggestions, editor favorites, and online reviewer’s obsessions so you can have the most voluminous, bouncy curls – without a curling iron or curling wand.

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Best hot curlers

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter


$ 59.99

These curlers make it look like you just went to the salon for a rash – they are so good. With enough rollers to cover most of your head (yes, even if you have thick hair!) They’re easy to use and leave you with movie star glamor coils.. The curls on these rollers also last for days – no touch up required.

How to use the hot rollers: “To help the hair adhere to the rollers, glue the ends of the hair to the roller first.” Riley said. From there, wrap them up to where you want the curls to start and use a clip or pin. Wait until the rolls are no longer hot (about ten minutes) and gently unwind.

  • 1.5 inch diameter; 12 rolls included
  • Heat curls hair quickly
  • Very popular

Best Foam Curlers

Soft foam rollers

“Foam rollers help curl the hair while providing comfort,” says Riley. “The foam is soft so you can lie down comfortably while you sleep.” If you want foam rollers that are soft enough to sleep in, Riley recommends these rollers from Hot Tools, which come in two different sizes for customizable reels. “They’re just as sweet as you remember them and just as affordable,” says an online reviewer.

How to use foam rollers: Let your hair air dry before rolling it from below so you don’t wake up with your hair still damp. If you go for foam rollers, Riley suggests using end wraps, which protect and smooth the ends of the hair, as foam rollers can dry out the hair.

  • 8 small and 8 medium rolls included
  • Ideal for the night; comfortable to sleep
  • Without heat

Best Velcro Hair Rollers

Drybar High Tops hook and loop rollers

Velcro rollers are hook-and-loop, so you don’t need pins or clips to hold them in place – Velcro holds hair and stays in place on your head. Don’t be fooled – these rollers aren’t so much for big, bouncy curls as they are for hair with tons of volume. Think of a flawless blowout that leaves your hair with movement and a gentle curl.

How to use the velcro rollers: When the hair is almost dry, roll it into your crown and hit your hair with a little heat from a blow dryer, and you will have salon-worthy hair without having to worry about whether you hold your round brush in the correct direction.

  • 3 medium and 3 large rolls included
  • Creates tons of volume and lift
  • Ideal for fine hair

Best steam curlers

Molecular Steam Hairdresser

An old school classic, these curlers may look familiar. Steam rollers have stood the test of time – and for good reason. “The best part about these rollers is that they actually improve the quality of my hair,” notes one reviewer. “Gently steeping in steam allows my leave-in product to penetrate better and gives my hair incredible shine and bounce, something I didn’t think was possible because my hair was damaged. ”Keep in mind that it may take longer than some of the options as they heat up individually, but the end result is 100% worth it .

How to use the steam rollers: After the roller is heated by the steam, place these rollers in the ends of your hair and roll them up, securing them with the clamp. Place the next roll on the steamer before rolling to save time.

  • 30 rolls of 5 different sizes
  • Harmless heat
  • Gentle on hair
  • May take longer to complete

Best Flexi Rod Hair Rollers

42 Pack 7 ” Flexible Curling Rods

Beauty Tifara

$ 13.99

“Flexi rods are available in assorted sizes so the styles can be easily customized to suit the look you want,” says Riley. “In addition, they are quite comfortable and very versatile for all types of texture.“Flexi Rods are one of her favorite hair tools:“ I am currently obsessed with smaller flexible rods and old-fashioned permanent rods mainly because of their versatility and accessibility. ”

How to use the flexible rollers: Flexi rods “can be used wet or dry, and the flexible body of the rollers provides stability without the use of clips and pins,” says Riley. When you are done rolling the flexible rods, simply bend the sides to secure them in your hair.

  • 42 rolls of 7 different sizes
  • Soft and comfortable to wear
  • Does not require additional pins or clips

Most versatile hot hair rollers

Luxury Volumizing Hot Rolls Box

If your end goal is bouncy, voluminous curls in under 20 minutes, these are the rollers for you. Recommended by Riley and great for sliding through your hair as you get ready, these rollers give you tons of lift. With four giant rolls (1.75 “) and four large (1.5”) included, you can make curls of different sizes. If you have thick hair, this will only cover the top layers, but for lift and bounce this is more than enough.

Pro tip for hot rollers: “Always use a fixing product, ”advises Riley. When using heated rollers, she recommends using something to hydrate the hair, like a leave-in conditioner.

  • 8 rollers (2 diameters) included
  • Heat curls hair quickly

Best hot rollers for big curls

Xtreme Big Curls Hairstyle Set

Heated rollers are amazing for refreshing a style,” says Riley. “The heat allows the hair to reform without causing any type of thermal damage. They are also great for multitasking – throw them away for a quick touch up and let them set while you get dressed“These rollers are 1.5 inches in diameter,” so the result is a lot of volume and smooth, loose curls, ”says one reviewer.“ The rollers heat up quickly and are gentle enough for my hair to use every day. . “

Pro tip for heated rollers: “They’re great for multitasking,” Riley shares. “Throw them in for a quick touch-up and let them set while getting dressed. “

  • 12 rolls; 1.5 inch diameter for big bouncy curls
  • Works quickly

Best hot hair rollers for thick hair

H5600H Ionic Conditioner Hair Set


$ 20.99

For a head full of bouncy curls, you can’t go wrong with these rollers. They come in three different sizes, so you can really control your waves. “These are definitely the easiest to use rollers I have ever owned,” one reviewer enthuses. “They heat up quickly, attach firmly without effort, and create a beautiful curl. They are also designed in such a way that you can handle them without getting burned. “

How to use the hot rollers: When you pull them back, back the hair and move forward. This will reduce the risk of tangling hair and damaging your curls!

  • Easy to use
  • 20 rolls of 3 different sizes
  • Gives bouncy curls in a minimum of time
  • Customizable buckles

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