Your Ultimate Guide To Using Hot Rollers On Long Hair

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Behind every voluminous hair look, there is a trusty set of hot rollers. While many believe that hot rollers are a tool of the past, as they date back to our grandmothers' era, they are still relevant today. Many of those big, bold hair looks we see on the red carpet are made possible by hot rollers.


Hot rollers blew up in mainstream media once again in early 2022, as the Dyson Airwrap gained traction. Women everywhere were looking for a way to achieve voluminous, bouncy hair at a fraction of the cost of the trendy Dyson blow dryer. It was then that TikTok star Deanna Giuletti discovered that she could create the same look for less than $40 with Conair hot rollers. When speaking to Harper's Bazaar about hot rollers blowing up in popularity, Giuletti stresses the ease and convenience as she asks, "Why did no one tell me about hot rollers? You plug it in. I wait maybe a minute. And then I roll them."

If you are one of the millions of people with long hair and little volume, hot rollers are a quick and affordable way to get a red-carpet-worthy look. Don't know where to start with rollers? You aren't alone, which is why we have curated the ultimate guide to using hot rollers on long hair.


First things first

The process of using hot rollers should begin on dry and clean hair. Wet or super oily hair will sizzle when the hot rollers are applied causing damage that can be easily avoided. Plus, wet hair is going to take much longer to create any volume. If your hair is still wet after applying products, let it air dry or hit it with a blow dryer. In fact, YouTube star and hairdresser Brad Mondo says that the best hot roller hair looks begin with a blowout — especially on long hair. 


The blowout doesn't need to be fancy, just enough to get the hair dry and remove any frizz. This will give you a great base to begin using your hot rollers. And whether or not you choose to blow dry, it is best to apply your favorite heat protectant before using any heated hair tools to avoid excess damage.

Begin rolling, paying attention to roller size and direction

After you have prepped your hair, it is time to separate it into sections. Sectioning your hair should be based on where you part your hair, the size of the curls you would like, and your overall desired end result. Once your hair is sectioned off, it is time to begin rolling. The direction of the roll and size of the rollers are the key to luscious volume.


To create lift in your hair, you will need to focus on the angle where you are putting in the rollers. To get more volume along the crown of your head, you will want to use large rollers and roll the hair up towards the back of the head, creating a roller mohawk along the center of the head. This is what YouTube star Gillian Grace does to create a salon blowout look at home. Gillian also recommends if you have layers, use the tail end of your comb to make sure those ends get tucked into the roller. There are plenty of other hairstyle types you can get with your rollers as well, including tight curls with small rollers and using medium rollers around the face to create mermaid waves.

Secure the rollers and wait

After rolling up the hair, it will need to be secured into place while you wait for the rollers to work their magic. Roller sets often come with some form of crease-free clip to keep them in place. If not, large and rounded claw clips will work. After the rollers are set in place, spritzing some setting spray or hairspray can help your hair stay curled and voluminous all day, especially if you have long hair with a tendency to fall flat.


As you are waiting on your hot rollers to work, continue your beauty routine — whether that is washing your face, applying makeup, or painting your nails. "The main advantage of using hot rollers is you get to multitask as you get ready," Gregga Prothero, master stylist and founder of Gregga LA, explained to Byrdie. After 15 to 20 minutes, your hair should be ready.

Remove the rollers

Before you begin ripping the rollers from your hair, there are precautions you should take. First, you should ensure that the hot rollers have cooled down. The hot rollers should be completely cool to ensure that the curls will hold their shape throughout the day. If you are in a rush, feel free to help the rollers cool down faster by blasting the cool section on your hairdryer across the rollers.


After you have ensured the rollers are ready to remove, begin gently unrolling them, rather than pulling them out rapidly. As YouTube vlogger Claire Bridges shows in her video about how she gets the perfect curls, pulling out your curlers can cause unnecessary tangles and may even rip some of your hair out. A gentle removal will ensure that you get those bouncy curls and volume sans tangles. After removing the curlers, you will have big, beautiful hair ready to style and go!

Style your hair

Once you take your hair out of the hot rollers, you can choose to end the process then and there. You will have perfect volume ready to last all day. If you are seeing less curl than preferred, you can use a curling iron to hit any missed pieces or use a blow dryer to add extra "oomph" to the ends of your hair with a round brush.


While it is perfectly acceptable to remove your hot rollers and run out the door, you also have the option to style your hair in any other way you would like. Ponytails, claw clips, headbands — nothing is off the table! With '90s style coming back in full swing, we love the idea of combining these voluminous curls with classic hair-dos. One way to add to the voluminous look is by using a classic '90s staple, the banana clip, as seen on Instagram hairstylist @hopedomshair. To add a casual vibe to your voluminous curls, try covering your crown with a ball cap, allowing your large curls to hang from the ends. No matter what details you plan to add to your hot roller curls, your hair is sure to stand out in the crowd.