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How to Use Hot Rollers For Long, Cascading Waves

This article comes from Byrdie.

How to Use Hot Rollers For Long, Cascading Waves

Some stylists use velcro rollers, flexi rods, or magnetic rollers—depending on the final look they’re trying to achieve—but hot rollers specifically can produce some pretty stunning long, cascading curls (for pretty minimal effort).

Prepping the Hair

Unlike the original roller sets that brought women into the salon on a weekly basis (also known as a wet set), you’re going to start off with fully dry hair before you use your hot rollers. Any moisture in your strands or oil at the scalp will sizzle and fry your hair once the heat of the rollers is applied, so it’s important to start off with clean, dry hair. Even though there’s less heat damage involved with hot rollers, I’d suggest spraying a heat protectant in your hair before blow drying and keeping your dryer on a low heat setting.

How to Secure Your Set

Section. Section the hair according to your desired parting to make it easier to style. You can section in quadrants or you can do this around a mohawk section — whatever makes the most sense for you and your growth pattern, length, and desired result. The main goal is to stay organized and help you manage your hair neatly as you go. Make sure that each subsection of hair you grab for a roller is the same thickness as is the width of your roller. If you take too large a section, your curl will fall flat in the end. (The same is true when curling your hair with an iron, so it’s a good rule to remember.)

Direction. The key to getting major volume from using hot rollers is the same when using any heat application or tool: Direction. When you over-direct your hair one way and then lay it in the opposite direction, you’re creating lift in the hair. So when you place your rollers in, the angle at which you’re holding your hair out when rolling it down to the scalp is going to dictate how much volume you get once the roller is removed.

Placement. For long, cascading waves, you’ll want to place your medium rollers around the face, and your larger rollers down the mohawk center section towards the crown of the head where you want the most volume. The length of your hair will determine what size roller you want to stick with. Using the same size rollers all the way around the head (and using them in the same direction) will give you that soft glam kind of curl when you’re finished. But if you want some variation, switch up the size of your rollers and the direction you place them in. Just remember that the smaller the roller, the tighter the curl. And regardless of the roller size you choose, rolling away from your face will create that wind-blown look that you’re probably after. As you roll up each section of hair, be sure to fasten securely—your roller set should come with crease-free pins or clips.

Final Touches

To get the bouncy curls you want from hot rollers, leave them in for 15-20 minutes. It’s a perfect time to do your makeup, get dressed, pack your bags, or whatever it is you need to do before leaving the house. You can also apply a spritz of hairspray, texturizing spray, or a dry-oil mist during this time (depending on your hair’s specific needs).

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