The Case of Curling Irons vs. Hot Rollers

Even in this age of tolerance, I have to admit that not all hair-curling tools are created equal.  Or at least that was the start of my rant when my boyfriend once again threw up his hands at the "redundant" (his word, not mine) products and gadgets I have scattered about the bathroom.  I channeled my inner defense attorney and argued the case of Curling Irons vs. Hot Rollers.

how to use hot rollers

The Curling Iron

I use my curling iron for minor touch-ups, for just flipping the ends out or under, or cute spirals.  It’s great for travel when I don’t want to pack the hot rollers.  I have more control for adding a curl here and there.  Plus, I have really thick hair so being able to control the temperature is healthier for my locks long-term.

Hot Rollers

My hot rollers are essential because I can style my entire head in less time. These days time is of the essence – with rollers I can set my hair, then put on my make-up, text my BFF, respond to my emails and check my schedule for the day.  Voila – hair curled. If you’re saying, “Oh, I have naturally curly hair, so I don’t need rollers, in fact I wish my hair wasn't so curly,” then re-think your no-roller plan. Hot rollers will loosen and soften your curls. Rollers are also gentler on the hair so if you have delicate and/or fine hair these should be your go-to appliance.

Drybar Detox dry shampoo

Either way, you’ll need some specific hair products:

For example, shampoo.  (OK, we need shampoo even when not styling our hair afterwards.)  But here’s where I’m going to throw you for a loop:  it’s better if you don’t wash your hair before curling.  Curling doesn't hold as well if hair is shiny, smooth and uber-clean.  So, get yourself a dry shampoo (such as Drybar Detox dry shampoo).

Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Curl

If you are one of those people who must wash her hair, then fine (who am I to come between a gal and her quirks.)  Just be sure to apply a mousse, gel, or curl-enhancing cream before drying or you’ll be in for a world of limp frizz.  (That may sound like anoxy-moron but it happens.  Look at Sarah Jessica Parker the early years.)

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray
Try Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier or Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Holding foam if you prefer mousse. Apply a heat protectant before curling your dry hair (such as Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray).
Chi Helmet Head Extra Firm

Now, have you surfed the internet and painted your nails?  Then your curls are probably set and finished cooling off.  Don’t stop now – you've put in all this time so you want the curls to last.  Top it all off with a finishing spray (try Chi Helmet Head Extra Firm).

I tried to explain the above to my boyfriend.  I don’t know if I won the case, but I certainly wore down the opposition.  I believe the gavel came down when he sighed and said:

“I have no idea what that all means, but I will say your hair always looks good.”



  • During my wedding, my stylist used hot rollers to make my medium-length straight hair a little more wavy than usual. Problem was, I have thin mane. (got it from my dad who, at a young age, already had receding hairline).. anyway, because I don’t have thick locks, the hot rollers did their job a little too well for my liking. The end result – my hair turned into a curly top, (think of Selena Gomez’s curly hairstyle). I remember not being happy about it, but my wedding had to go on, so I walked down the aisle with a little curlier hair.. From then on, I never wanted to use hot rollers again.

  • Isabelle says:

    From someone who constantly treat her hair, I think that the curling iron would last longer and look better.

  • Misty says:

    I actually prefer the curling iron because it’s easy for me to use. I’m afraid hot rollers burn my hair a lot more.

  • Claire says:

    I can’t choose between the two, coz I actually use both and they work great on my hair. Curling Irons and Hot rollers are okay with me.

  • Raiza V. says:

    Hot rollers! Definitely hot rollers for me, because I still get to move and do some stuffs while the rollers stay on my head. Very convenient, in my opinion.

  • I think I prefer hot rollers, too, because it doesn’t do much damage to my hair, compared to the heat coming from curling irons.

  • Daphne says:

    I like using curling iron; in my experience, they’re a lot easier and manageable to use, especially clip-less ones. Works pretty good on my hair, and only takes a short time to get big loose curls!

  • Arianne says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips and the hair treatment products to use. I think both (curling irons and hot rollers) work well with my hair, but I got to make sure that I use the right shampoo and hair treatments so my hair won’t end up getting fried and twisted.

  • Nicky says:

    I have short hair, as in really short bob hair, so I don’t really use curling iron or hot rollers, but long before, my hair used to reach my shoulder caps, and every time I need to go somewhere, I used curling iron just to make it a little wavy.

  • Johanna says:

    I make sure that I apply mouse when I get my hair curled or ironed. I feel more comfortable knowing that my mane isn’t totally burned after a hot encounter.

  • Helga says:

    thanks for the shampoo and treatments suggestion, those are exactly what I need and consider more important when I need to “heat my locks”

  • Princess Lia says:

    I used Drybar Detox dry shampoo before, it’s great for my hair!

  • I prefer hot rollers because these are pretty much easier to handle and use, especially on a busy cramming day.

  • Faye says:

    Not all hair-curling tools are created equal, that much is true. But I’d rather invest more with the hair products and treatments to make sure I won’t get damaged hair during the hot-curling process.

  • MJ Walters says:

    I tried the Catwalk Hair Curler/Amplifier, it’s very effective in maintaining my curls. I actually use hot rollers, I prefer using it because I can move freely while they’re on my head.

  • Aaliyah Jane says:

    I don’t mind using hot rollers or irons. What matters is, my hair stays manageable and frizz-free and won’t get damaged after all the treatments.

  • Ursula says:

    I am more of a curling iron lady, I like how easily I can manage my curls with the iron on my hand. At least I can control the heat coming from it.

  • SHINODA KENT says:

    I used both curling iron and hot roller. I can curl my hair with both. They are very useful for my hair.

  • Taranee says:

    I use curling iron, I can manage my hair better when I hold the iron instead of just leaving rollers on my head.

  • I’ve been using hot rollers for years. I just started using curling irons a year ago when one of my colleagues gifted it to me last christmas.

  • Ann says:

    oh, I don’t think I can choose, since I use both. When I am in a rush and want to do things while I do my hair, I use hot rollers, practical and flexible to use. But when I got enough time and when I want to place the curls in the desired spots, I use curling irons instead. Thanks for the tips, by the way, regarding the use of shampoos and treatments. Really beneficial info 🙂

  • kylie rachel says:

    I prefer using curling iron for my hair, I want to be the one in control with the hairstyle I want and the amount of heat that I need to handle my locks.

  • loreleichung says:

    I used to do my hair with curling iron a lot, but then my hair got damaged and now I cut it into a boy’s cut. I like it now, no need to use hot curlers or iron.

  • Korinne Desmond says:

    Most often I use hair curlers, they’re more efficient to use and allows me to move freely while on m head. Thanks for the tips for hair treatments/lotion when using hair curling products 🙂

  • Taylor G. says:

    I prefer using hot rollers because it allows me to move freely and do more, so it waste less time than standing doing nothing but curling my hair.

  • Wena says:

    Definitely hot rollers, so I can move around and still do some work while my head is busy. 🙂 Saves time!

  • Cherry Grace says:

    Hot Rollers – that’s what I use to bring life to my straight jetblack hair. I prefer curls over straight any given day.

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks for the tips on maintaining hair’s essence even while doing curls using iron and rollers. Really appreciate the help 🙂

  • Blue says:

    Thanks for sharing about the hair products, because for me, it doesn’t matter which method I choose, as long as my hair don’t get damaged in the process.

  • Tiffany says:

    When it comes to time-saving & easy access to everything, I use hot rollers, especially when I’m running late to an appointment. I make use of curling irons when I have time and I want to control the waves I want to wear to an event.

  • Steffi says:

    I prefer using Hot rollers, too, it’s much more practical and convenient to use based on my experience.

  • Airish Sophia says:

    I’m a hot rollers kind of girl. Can’t help but admire the way bounce after I get rid of the hot rollers on my hair.

  • Darla says:

    I’ve been using curling irons ever since I discovered it. I didn’t have much patience with hot rollers, it takes time putting them on and then waiting another long minutes before I take it off. Curling irons are better, in my opinion.

  • Charlotte says:

    My hair is unruly, I could never manage to tame my mane. I always have a love-hate relationship with both curling irons and hot rollers. I don’t know which one to really choose. Ugh.

  • Diana Tatum says:

    I actually use curling irons for my hair.. I thought I could handle my hair better with them.

  • Mariella Parker says:

    Either steps works for me. I use hot rollers at home sometimes and when I am on go travel, curling irons are my best friends.

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