FeaturesGame Changer

New Feature Post: Game Changer

One of my goals for this blog is to recommend products and pieces of clothing that can make life easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable.  Because when I find something that has that kind of utility, I want to shout it from the rooftops.  So I decided to launch a featured post for the new favorites and old standbys that I evangelize at ever opportunity.

And we’re starting the series with a product that I have been using for 25 years.

No, that’s not a typo.  I bought my first set of hot rollers in 1996, and I have never gone back.  I’ve changed the length of my hair, the style, the bang length, but I have primarily used hot rollers to style it.  Because once you master hot rollers and discover how easy life can be when your hair styles itself, you will not be able to quit.

These are the Conair Porcelain Series Hair Setter.  These are the best hot rollers ever made.  Full stop.  Here’s what makes them amazing.

  1. Uniformity.  Many hair setters contain multiple sizes of roller, I don’t want that.  I want each curl to be the same size.  And the 1.5″ size gives me big curls.
  2. Sticks vs. Clips.  This set comes with butterfly clips and metal clips.  Which one you use depends on which one you find simplest to use.  I like the metal sticks, but try both and decide for yourself.
  3. Flocking. The rollers in this set are porcelain, so they get really warm.  The flocking on the rollers prevents them from singeing the hair, while evenly distributing heat.
  4. Fast Heating Time. <5 minutes is how long it takes these rollers to heat up.  So I plug them in when I get in the shower, and they’re ready to go when I need them.

I love this particular set so much that I have three ‘new in box’ sets in the garage for when my current set dies.  Each set lasts me about 10 years, so these should get me through until I retire.

The reason hot rollers are a game changer for me is that once I roll up my hair, I am free to put on makeup, make my bed, get dressed, take the dogs out, and complete the rest of my morning routine unencumbered.  Because when I curly my hair with an iron, I am literally tethered to my bathroom.  My hair essentially styles itself while I go about my day.  And then, as a last step, I unroll it, spritz with hairspray, brush it out, and run out the door.

If you want to see how my hair looks when I use hot rollers, visit my Instagram.  I use them on my current shoulder length bob, and when my hair is longer.  The look is slightly different, but mostly the same.

You can achieve multiple styles with hot rollers.  To get my voluminous, smooth look with curled-under ends, you want to use the rolling technique from Sally Kim.  It’s like having a fresh blowout.

If you prefer a beachy wave, you can get that look by following Molly Sims tutorial.  My hair isn’t long enough for this technique right now.  If you have medium-length hair (or shorter) and you want to do a wave style, I would buy a setter with two rod sizes.  This Remington setter has 1″ and 1.25″ rollers, which are smaller than the 1.5″ rollers in the Conair set.  These smaller rods will allow you to get that wavy look.

Have questions about hot rollers?  Leave them in the comments.  There are many devotees in this community who will be happy to help me answer them.  Because hot rollers are a game changer for busy mornings.  My hair almost always looks great, and with much less effort than an iron takes.

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  1. Cait says:

    I love this feature! I am extremely interested in hot rollers since heading back to the office is really making me need to streamline my morning routine! I have all the questions though.
    What type of hair do you have? Thick/thin, fine/coarse, wavy/straight?
    Do you need to use them every day, or can the style hold for a few days?
    With the caveat that you’ve been practicing for 25(!) years, how long does it take you to put the rollers in your hair?
    Do you put any product in your hair before the rollers or just hairspray after?

    June 14, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I have fine, straight hair. I have friends with thick, wavy hair who get a blowout once a week and use rollers to freshen it up.

      I use Ouai Volume Spray to prep it if it’s wet. https://shopstyle.it/l/bvnry I use Drybar heat protectant dry spray if it’s dry, otherwise the ends get fried. https://shopstyle.it/l/bvnrB And any hairspray to hold it.

      The style looks good, not the same, but still good the next day.

      Once you get in a groove, which takes a few months, you’re talking 5-12 mins depending on how much hair you have.

      June 14, 2021/Reply
  2. E says:

    This is unrelated but still in the same form, but is there a tutorial on how to blow dry your hair to have it prepped? Normally I just sleep with wet hair (I know, I know), but I assume if you blow dry it first, better results?

    June 14, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You can just rough dry it with a hair dryer. But if you dry the night before, just throw a little dry shampoo on to freshen it up.

      I like to use a round brush to lift the roots a bit. And Kate has a tutorial for that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdoXcXK5Cc0

      June 14, 2021/Reply
  3. Jamie says:

    My old roommates and I came up with this technique where you curl a strand of hair with a curling iron and then when you release it, keep it curled up and pin it to your head with a bobby pin. It works better than any pesky hot roller set and has the exact same effect. We called it “pony hair”. Can’t totally remember why but it had to do with some joke about My Little Ponies having the best hair.

    June 14, 2021/Reply
    • Kay says:

      My stylist used this method for my wedding hair – amazing. Definitely works well but a bit tricky to master. I rarely have the patience and hot rollers are a great compromise for me – they are fast and effective.

      June 14, 2021/Reply
  4. Claire says:

    Amen! I have been using the 5 roller travel set version for 25 years. I swear by them. My friends know I will always have them. Adore! I prefer ease of butterfly clips. Good choice for first in the series.

    June 14, 2021/Reply
  5. Julia says:

    Probably a dumb question, but the reason I’ve never been able to use hot rollers (and I’ve tried!), is that the clips/sticks somehow seem to leave a dent in my hair… any clue what I’m doing wrong?

    June 15, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      What direction are you pointing the open end of the metal stick? So where on the curler does the rounded end go, front or back?

      June 15, 2021/Reply
      • Julia says:

        Hmm I haven’t tried in forever (gave up on figuring them out years ago)… I assume I pushed them up from the bottom or back from the front. So that would be pushed them on from where the hair loops on the curler towards where it is attached to my head. I don’t know if that makes sense! hahaha

        June 17, 2021/Reply
        • Belle says:

          So yes, they go back to front, with the hooked end pointing up. And you angle them up at a 15-degree angle.

          June 17, 2021/Reply
    • Kim says:

      I have the same problem and I use the butterfly clips. Definitely going to check out the tutorials!

      June 16, 2021/Reply