Which Roller Set Is for Me? Nine Types of Roller Sets To Try

Are you looking for bombshell, stretched curls but without the hassle of a curling iron or wand? Well, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of 9 roller sets you should try to achieve these same results with half of the work!

What Are Roller sets?

Roller sets are roll-shaped hair tools that you wrap your hair around, which set your hair into a curled style. They were first invented in 1930 by the Black inventor, Solomon Harper. According to Conair, he created the first heated hair rollers. He then tweaked his design and improved upon it in 1953, achieving long-lasting, defined curls.

Roller sets come in many variations, but they all work similarly. The idea behind the rollers is to curl your hair without the need for a handheld hot tool. Typically, rollers are barrel-shaped. You wrap your hair around the rollers, set it, and then take your hair down to reveal voluminous curls. Roller sets can be heated or without heat, which makes them perfect for many hair types.

Today, roller sets have been an innovative hair styling tool for all women. From the finest to even the coarsest hair, hair rollers can give voluminous curls while also stretching your hair to its fullest lengths. There’s a roller set out there for every hair type and texture. Through this article, we hope to help you find the perfect roller set for yours!

1. Perm Rods

Easy perm rod set

Perm rods are a versatile roller set and come in many sizes. The rods are secured by a fastener that comes attached to the rods. The rods are usually color-coded in their sizing. Different colors can be a way of telling what size the rods are; however, some companies color-code them differently, so always double-check for certainty.

Perm rods are good rollers for any hair type, length, and texture since there are so many forms and sizes to choose from. They are particularly great for TWA (teeny weeny afro, or short afros) natural hair, as the rods are available in small enough sizes to be useful.

It is essential to choose your rods based on the type of curl you wish to receive. As stated, different sizes will yield different types of curls. The smaller the rods are, the tighter your curls will be, and the larger they are, the looser they will be. It all depends on the look you’re hoping to achieve.

Tropic Isle Living - Jamaican Black Castor Oil 8oz

Tropic Isle Living – Jamaican Black Castor Oil 8oz



  • This is a perfect roller set on natural hair. The rods are small enough to curl a TWA.
  • They come in several sizes to create different types of curls.


  • This roller set works best for shorter hair lengths, so longer hair may not yield the same results.

2. Flexi Rods

The Horseshoe Method-Flexi Rod Set Hack

Flexi rods are plush, bendable rollers. They don’t need any extra fastener to attach them as they fold around themselves to keep their place. You simply moisturize your hair, apply a setting product (foam, hairspray, etc.), and wrap your hair around the rod. You bend the rod to keep your hair in place.

Once your hair is dry, you can take the rods out to reveal bouncy, spiraled curls. These are typically applied on wet hair, but they can be applied to dry or blown dry hair. Like perm rods, flexi rods are color-coded by size.

Flexi rods are a great roller set option for all hair types. They work better on medium to long hair as opposed to shorter hair.

Flexi rods come in many sizes. They can give you tighter, small curls. They can also give you more voluminous, large curls. The color rod you choose will determine the rod’s size, but different companies may have another coding system. These rods will give you more of a springy, spiraled curl.


  • No fasteners are required. Your hair stays in place with the rods themselves being bent and molded into place.
  • You can have a variety of sized curls.


  • Learning to bend them properly to where your hair is firmly secured can take some trial and error.

3. Steam Rollers

Steam Rollers on Natural Hair

Steam rollers are a progressed hot roller technique. The idea is the same, but the method slightly shifts. Like hot rollers, steam rollers use heat to create a long-lasting curl with rollers. However, with steam rollers, you one by one heat the rollers up with a steam device and then roll the hair up. You secure the roller with an attached clamp.

Once all your curls have cooled, you can release your hair to reveal voluminous curls. These rollers can come in different sizes for large or small curls.

Steam rollers can be used on all hair types, but it may be a bit trickier for coarser hair types. The recommended directions are right for looser hair types, but for 3C to 4A hair, your texture will not react the same.

Consider starting on fully stretched hair as opposed to just air-dried or wet hair. Also, leave your rollers over the steam for a longer time before applying them to your hair, and make sure you roll your hair in small sections. These rollers will also work best on medium to long hair.

Steam rollers can produce different sized curls but will overall give you a ringlet type of curl.


  • They are meant to give you a more long-lasting curl.
  • These rollers are less damaging than traditional hot rollers.


  • These rollers will require a different application for coarser hair textures and may not provide the same long-lasting results for looser hair textures.

4. CurlFormers

Easy Curlformers on natural hair – spiral Curlformers vs barrel Curlformers

Curlformers are not your traditional type of roller set, but they produce beautiful results. The method of which you must apply them may also take a bit getting used to.

Curlformers are spiral-shaped and require a hook to use them. First, you’ll take the hook and feed it through to the top of the curl former. You’ll take a section of damp hair and attach the hook to the root of the area.

Twist your hair slightly to make it easier and then using the hook feed your hair through to the end of the curl former. If you’ve done it correctly, your hair should stay inside, and the curlformer will spring up once you’ve detached your hook. The curlformers come in many color-coded sizes.

Curlformers work great for all hair types, textures, and lengths. They can sometimes work best for short to medium length hair.

Curlformers produce a springy curl, although they can be in many sizes.


  • You don’t need to dry your hair before using curlformers.


  • Learning to use curlformers can be a complicated process. The technique may take a few tries to do it correctly.

5. Hot Rollers

Hot rollers are one of the more well-used roller set methods. With hot rollers, you can create almost instantaneous curls. The roller set will usually come with multiple sized rollers to use. To use them, you choose which sized rollers you want to try. You’ll place them in a container that will heat the rollers.

Once the rollers are heated, let them cool enough so you can apply them to your hair. You’ll roll your hair up as usual and use the clamps to keep the rollers in place. Once your hair is cooled, release your hair.

Hot rollers can be used on all hair types. However, for coarser hair types, you’ll want to make sure your hair is stretched to receive the best results. These are best on medium to long hair.

Hot rollers can vary in the type of curl they give you. You can use much larger ones for wavier hair and smaller ones for tighter curls.


  • They give quick curl results.
  • The curls can be long-lasting.


  • The rollers give off more heat to your hair than other roller set options and can be damaging.

6. Velcro Rollers

How To Use Velcro Rollers

Velcro rollers are made of a Velcro material, as the name suggests. The velcro texture is what keeps your hair in place without the need for pins or clamps. These rollers are best applied to wet or damp hair.

Apply foam or hairspray to your hair to set it while in the rollers. After making sure your hair is completely smoothed, firmly roll your hair up. You can have them air dry or for thicker hair, blow-dry the hair. Once your hair is cooled from the dryer, you can take your hair down to display beautiful curls.

Velcro rollers are suitable for all hair types. In fact, Velcro rollers can be one of the more effective rollers for coarser hair as the rugged texture makes smoothing natural hair out more manageable. This will make for a smooth and stretched finish on your hair when it’s dry.

Velcro rollers can vary in the type of curl they give you. Larger rollers will produce big curls or waves, while smaller ones will provide tighter curls.


  • They are an excellent roller set option for natural hair textures.
  • Your hair does not need to be dry to apply these rollers.


  • For thicker hair, drying time can be lengthened before you can take the rollers out.

7. Magnetic Rollers

How To Wet Roller Set With Magnetic Rollers

Magnetic rollers have tiny holes throughout the rollers that give off a magnetic effect when applied to wet hair. The wet hair clings onto the rollers due to these holes and makes the rolling process simpler. You secure them with a clamp and allow your hair to dry.

A hairspray or foam can be applied to the hair, further encouraging the rollers’ magnetism and making the hair hold its curls better. These can be air-dried, or you can use a blow dryer. Allow the hair to cool before removing the rollers.

Magnetic rollers can be used on all hair types. They work very well on natural hair; however, damp hair may be better than entirely wet hair if your natural hair is thick.

Magnetic rollers come in many sizes, which will give you different curls. The larger the roller, the looser the curl, and the smaller the roller, the tighter the curl.


  • Your hair doesn’t need to be dry to apply the rollers.
  • They give a long-lasting curl.


  • They aren’t the best roller if you do want to apply them to dry hair. It is not impossible, but the curls will be loose and not as long-lasting.

8. Sponge Rollers

Sponge rollers on wet natural hair

Sponge rollers are the ideal roller option for a good night’s rest. You will find other rollers impossible to sleep in, but these rollers’ soft spongey texture makes it possible. With these rollers, you should apply hairspray or foam to set your curls in place. These rollers work best when used on dry hair or possibly damp. Apply the rollers as usual and clasp them into place. Go to sleep with them in, and when you wake up, you can take them down to reveal soft pillow curls.

Sponge rollers are great for all hair types, lengths, and textures.

Sponge rollers can give off different curls depending on the size of the roller you use. Large rollers mean loose curls, while small rollers mean tight and defined curls.


  • They are very soft and can be left in overnight.


  • You may have to wait for your hair to be dry before applying these for the best results.

9. Soft Pillow Rollers

Soft pillow rollers are another great overnight roller set alternative. As their name suggests, these are soft and make sleeping in them extremely easy. These curlers work best on dry hair.

Simply apply hairspray or foam, wrap your hair around the curlers, and tuck the roller’s ends. These rollers have a thin wire inside that allows you to bend them. They keep their shape without using a clasp. Sleep on them, and by morning you’ll have beautiful curls.

Soft pillow rollers can be used on all hair types, lengths, and textures. Soft pillow curlers will produce gorgeous ringlets throughout your hair.


  • You can sleep in these curlers overnight.


  • Your hair will need to be dry or damp before applying these rollers for the best results.

With all the possibilities for roller sets, you’re bound to find your perfect match! We hope you try one or try them all to reveal luxurious, bouncy curls. Curious about simply perfecting a sleek and straight look?

Read Silk Press Pros and Cons to decide whether a silk press is the best route for your hair needs!

Traneah Ford

By Traneah Ford

Traneah is a content writer based in St.louis, MO. She also writes for the Arkansawyer newspaper, a campus-based newspaper for The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Bio