How to Use Curlers for Gorgeous Waves and Curls (3 EASY Steps)

Do you love heatless curls but are unsure of how to use curlers?

lady showing how to use curlers properly

Hot tools will give you great curls, but it also causes hair damage by stripping your hair off its natural moisture.

How do you avoid that? Simple. By curling your hair with heatless curlers that not only give you bouncy hair but cause no damage at all to your beautiful tresses.

No more bad hair days! Here are some exclusive hair care tips on how you do it.

Check: Best Hair Dryer That Straightens Hair Effectively

How to use Curlers: Step-by-Step Guide

There are many different types of hair rollers, and in this article, we will discuss how to get curls with flexible curling rods.

But, regardless of which curler you choose, the process is pretty much the same.

Step 1. Start With A Leave-In Conditioner

Apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner to your hair.

It helps add moisture to your hair and keeps your hair looking healthy [1], meaning when you take off your curlers in the morning, you will have beautiful, classic curls.

leave-on conditioner

Joseph Maine, Artistic Director of Color Wow Hair, says, “Most people need to have ultra moisture in the hair to get a hair roller style to stay.”

Step 2. Here Come The Rollers:

Here comes the tedious part but the most rewarding. Here’s how I like to do it. I section my hair into four equal parts and clip them up.

Then, I start working on the first section in the back.

I have reasonably thin hair, and I use about two hair rollers per section. So I brush my hair one last time, then take the curler and carefully roll hair around it.

When that is done, and I am sure my hair is secure around the curlers, the last step is to fold the edges of the hair rollers so they stay put and won’t budge throughout the night.

hair curlers

Repeat the same process on all the sections of your hair, and you’re done! 

Step 3. Play The Waiting Game

Good things come to those who wait. Or haven’t you heard? Hair rollers are a beauty tool that helps you achieve bombshell curls, but it does take time.

It is best to sleep with the rollers on and wake up to fabulous-looking hair.

 Sally Hershberger, a celebrity hairstylist, explains that the bigger the roller is, the bouncier your hair will be, and the smaller the roller, the tighter your curls will be.

Check out this video on how to use curlers.

Things To Consider When Using Curlers

Using curlers is pretty straightforward, but there are some critical things you need to be cautious of in order to achieve tight curls that will last a whole day.

Be Mindful Of How You’re Using Your Curlers

The curls you end up with have a lot to do with how you use the rollers around your hair.

It might take some getting used to, much like trying to get a blowout at your own home.

The direction in which you wind your hair around the curlers will determine your hair’s shape and bend.

Hairstylists suggest holding the curler at the root and gently wrapping your hair around the curler for uniform curls.   

Set Your Hair With Hairspray

Setting your hairstyle is key to how your curls look at the end of the day.

lady putting dry shampoo

Jose Domene of Hare & Bone London says, “Rollers are long-lasting as you can leave them to set the hair.”

After you let go of the curlers in the morning, comb your hair with your fingers and run a light hairspray through the hair to set the style.

You may also want to use it upon wrapping your hair in the curler itself if your hair doesn’t wrap around the hair roller.   

For defined curls use the rollers on damp hair and leave them till the hair drys.

Use Hot Rollers If You Can’t-Wait 8 Hours

If sleeping with curlers on is not your thing, then you might want to use hot rollers instead.

They can do the job in as little as ten minutes and have you leave your house with gorgeous curls.

Just like any hair tool, a point to be noted is that it can be pretty damaging to your fragile hair in the long run. Make sure to use a heat protectant [2] first.   

woman putting a protectant spray on her hair

There are various options in the market, but I suggest getting a steam roller like the Molecular Steam hair setter if you’ve got some money to spare.

The steam helps add moisture to your hair while curling it at the same time. 

Rod Anker, the founder of Rod Anker Salons, says, “If you are looking to add volume, use Velcro rollers. Use them when the hair is hot and leave them in as the hair cools down.”

Check out this hair curlers routine on TikTok.


Do we love the hair rollers? #haircurlers #beauty #makeup

♬ good form remix – emm.

Also Check: How To Keep Hair Dryer Cord From Twisting?


Do You Put Rollers In Wet Or Dry Hair?

lady spraying her hair with curlers

Since foam rollers do not need heat to give you curls, it is best to put them on your hair while it is damp. In doing so, your hair will dry around the rollers forming enviable curls.

Can You Sleep With Rollers In?

As long as you are not using heated rollers, you can sleep with rollers in your hair. However, sleeping with them may be slightly challenging, especially if you haven’t arranged your rollers properly around your head.

How Long Do Roller Curls Last?

lady wearing hair rollers

Regardless of whether you use hot hair rollers or foam rollers, the curls that come out last almost a day, depending on your hair type. If your hair doesn’t hold a curl, make sure to use a setting spray.

How Long Should You Leave Foam Rollers In?

For curls that will last you all day, leaving the foam rollers on your hair for eight hours is best. Anything less than that may not give you defined curls since heatless curls require a few hours to set properly. 

Final Thoughts

Iron curlers and hair straighteners can be quite damaging to the hair [3], especially if you have colored or fine hair.

If you are looking for ways to be nicer to your hair, which will pay off in the future, getting curls with rollers is the way to go. And rollers are great for a range of hair types

Now that you have a clue on how to use curlers why not give it a try.

lady wearing curlers

Do you have more tips on how to use curlers? Please share with us!


  • 1. Simple Secrets to Healthier, Fuller, Shinier Hair [Internet]. Healthline. 2015. Available from:
  • 2. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: An overview. International Journal of Trichology [Internet]. 2015;7:2. Available from:
  • 3. A Guide to Damaged Hair and 15 Ways to Fix It [Internet]. Healthline. 2018. Available from: