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the best tools for big, bouncy waves and curls

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  • Big hair, don’t care

    Heated rollers, velcro rollers, curling wands and tongs. With so much choice it’s hard to work out which hair rollers are the best for getting red carpet-worthy curly and wavy hair at home.

    But good news, hair roller fans: we’ve gone and done the hard work for you – trying and testing all of the best heated, unheated and bendy rollers out there to help you get your wavy/curly hairstyle of dreams.

    If you can’t quite master the art of the curly blow dry using one of the best hair dryers, then rollers are a great, quick-fix shortcut to getting the waves you’ve always wanted. You just have to find the right ones.

    So grab yourself a cuppa, light your favourite luxury candle, and settle in for our pick of the best rollers for gorgeous, Zoom-ready waves and curls this party season.

    Best velcro rollers

    Denman Thermoceramic Rollers : £5 for 5 | Lookfantastic

    Best for: Thin hair
    Don’t underestimate the power of the humble velcro roller. Sure, they’re associated with fluffy slippers, bathrobes and grannies, but they’re also a sure fire way to get add lift to roots while curling the length of your hair. Prep each one with hairspray before using them to give them extra grip and your hair hold, then give them a blast with your hairdryer to add heat.

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    How to use velcro rollers

    1. Use some styling mousse on your towel-dried hair. It will give your hair the right texture and add definition to your curls.
    2. Dry off your hair with a hairdryer, tipping your head upside down as you dry it to give you lift at the roots.
    3. For extra hold and definition, spray each section of hair with a light and flexible hairspray before applying a roller.
    4. Collect a section of hair an inch in thickness and blast with heat from your hair dryer, focussing on the full length.
    5. Holding the ends of your hair against a roller, roll from the ends of your hair up to the roots, rotating inwards so the the roller is underneath the section of hair at all times. Apply heat again using a blow dryer for 15-20 minutes in order to dry your hair or “activate” the rollers applied on dry hair. You can also let your hair dry naturally for 4-6 hours.
    6. Once your hair is cooled, remove the rollers by twisting out the same way you twisted in.

    Best foam rollers

    Conair Foam Rollers (pack of 48): £13.81 | Amazon
    Best for: Time efficiency
    If you can’t be bothered curling your hair during the day, do it while you catch a few zzz’s with foam rollers. The plastic clip on the outside holds your hair in place while you toss and turn in your sleep, while the foam allows for comfort, so you barely even notice they’re there. Use them while your hair is slightly damp (not wet – you don’t want to catch a cold!).

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    How to use foam rollers

    1. Wash your hair and towel dry it. You want it damp enough to style, yet not so wet that it can’t dry out and hold its curls.
    2. Roll the front of your hair first. Section your hair to the width of the roller – the amount depends on how many curls you want – and rotate inwards so that your hair is always on top of the roller.
    3. Snap the holder over the top to keep the curls in place as you sleep.
    4. Switch to medium or small rollers as you get closer to your neck.
    5. In the morning, unsnap each roller and gently remove it.

    best hair rollers

    Best heated rollers

    T3 Luxe Volumizing Hot Rollers: £115 | Lookfantastic 
    Best for: Thick hair
    If your hair is the type that curls quickly only to drop five minutes later, these salon-quality t3 rollers are well worth an investment. They’re instantly hot, so you don’t have to wait for your hair dryer to heat them up, they come in a variety of sizes so you can use the bigger ones for volume at the crown of your head and you simply let them cool down for your hair to set. Think big, buoyant curls.

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    How to use heated rollers

    1. Spray your hair with flexible hold hairspray or prep with a volumising mousse.
    2. Divide your hair into sections that are 1 – 2 inches thick.
    3. Starting in the front, take a section of hair and wrap it around the first roller. Roll your hair back toward your head so that the front of your hair pulls away from your forehead and over the roller.
    4. Spray your hair with hairspray and allow to cool.
    5. Unwind the same way you wound in.

    Spoolies

    Babyliss Heated Curl Pods: £29.99 | Argos
    Best for: Defined curls
    Also known as button curlers or peco hair rollers, these odd looking caps can create loose curls (when wrapped at the ends) or defined corkscrew curls (when wrapped from roots to tips). They can also withstand heat to give your hair long lasting body.

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    How to use spoolies

    1. Put the curlers into the pod completely open so that they get even heat distribution.
    2. Ensure your hair is completely dry before and then take a section of hair, around two inches wide, and wrap it around the barrel. Starting at the ends of the hair, wind the hair around the barrel towards the top of the head.
    3. Close together once you have reached the ideal position for your style.
    4. Allow the pods to cool completely before removing. This allows the hair to cool and set the curl for lasting effect.

    best heated rollers

    Bendy rollers

    Bendy Rollers (42-pack): £9.99 | Amazon
    Best for: Shorter hair
    Not only are these rollers soft and versatile, they can be used to create tight and loose curls as well as more natural wavy styles. Blow dry your hair on a medium heat and wrap your hair around a roller before bending it over to lock the curl in place. Allow the curls to cool and set before releasing them from the roller.

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    Nothing’s quite as easy as whacking your hair in rollers while you make breakfast, catch up on some emails and otherwise sort your life out – it’s just a matter of adding the right ones to basket.

    Happy shopping!

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