Hot Rollers Vs Curling Irons: Which Is Better And Why

Hot Rollers Vs Curling Irons: Which Is Better And Why
Published: Apr 03, 2024

The hot roller vs. curling iron issue has long perplexed anybody looking to curl their hair with little harm. Both of these heat styling products can give you the curled hair you've always wanted, but it hasn't stopped people from questioning which is superior. It is worth mentioning that heated rollers have been around for decades, although curling irons are a recent development. Does that imply that the later is an enhanced version of the former? Keep reading to make your own decision!

What Are Hot Rollers?

Hair rollers have long been a woman's finest style tool. Along with beautiful curls, they added volume to women's hair. They were an essential component of women's style equipment until the 1950s, when hot rollers acquired widespread. Soloman Harper, an electrical engineer, developed the first electric hair rollers in 1930. The introduction of rollers to the market revolutionized the landscape of hairstyles. From the '60s bouffants to Jennifer Aniston's 'The Rachel' haircut, large, voluminous, and curly locks have been the vogue of the day.

Hot rollers operated differently from hair rollers, which could be used to sleep and wake up with gorgeous, bouncy curls. They saved you time by allowing you to easily style your hair whenever you wished. You may use these rollers before starting your makeup and have stunning curled hair by the time you're finished getting dressed. 

Read also:

What Are Curling Irons?

curling iron for small curls for Sale OFF 75%

They believe that necessity is the mother of all inventions. The same is true with curling irons. Women gradually developed a need for diversity in their curls. They did not always desire strong and large curls, preferring something more modest and relaxing. Here's where the curling iron comes in.

Curling irons, unlike hot rollers, feature a long wand with a heating barrel in the front that the hair is wrapped around. Typically, it comes with a chord that must be connected to an electrical outlet to function. Contemporary brands also have battery-operated versions. Curling irons include temperature control features and must be handled manually to curl hair. Its creation enabled ladies to dress their curls whatever they desired, from sharp curls to bouncy waves. They immediately gained popularity and were an essential part of any woman's cosmetics kit.

Kaitlin Elaine, a blogger, explained how her curls remain naturally on her wavy hair. She has been using a curling iron since she was 15 to get nice waves. In her blog, she stated, "I've been using a curling iron since I was, oh, I don't know, 15 or so, and even though I've tried all other methods and the newest hot tools out there, I always go back to my tried and true, good old-fashioned regular curling iron." My hair curls fairly beautifully and has a natural wave to it.

Hot Rollers Vs. Curling Irons : Key Differences

1. Method Of Curling

  • For hot rollers, start by plugging the case of the roller and letting it heat. When they are warm enough, start wrapping your hair around it in the opposite direction to your face. If you want a big loop, take a thick strand of hair and wound it tightly; but if you want individual spirals, wrap thin sections of hair around the roller loosely. Leave them on for 10-15 minutes and slowly unpin them. If you are going for big curls, you will have to separate the strands with your fingers after letting them down.
  • To curl your hair using a curling iron, section your hair into 2-3 cm and wrap it around the iron’s barrel. Let it sit for a few seconds and unwind the curl. Continue this until your entire hair is curled. If you want a bouncy look, use your fingers to separate the strands.

2. Heat Distribution

  • The rollers get heated only when they are in their case and used separately. Many rollers come with a temperature control feature. They automatically switch off after the desired heat temperature is reached. And when you put them on your hair, you do not have to worry about controlling the temperature of the device. You need to leave them on your hair until they are completely cool, and then take them off. However, sometimes the roller may cool before your curls have set in.
  • Curling irons heat up when they are plugged into electrical points. You can control the heat settings and temperature and set your curls as you want. Although most irons come with a safety-off feature, it may be possible that it gets heated more than needed and burns your hair. Hence, it is advisable to remain cautious while curling with them. 

3. Versatility

  • Rollers offer variety both in size and material. Concerning size, you can get small rollers for tight curls, medium rollers for some lift and loose curls or mermaid waves, and large hair rollers to create soft waves and add some body to them. As for materials, you can opt for ceramic-coated rollers to reduce static and frizz; titanium if you have thick hair and want a styling device that heats quickly while giving it a smooth and shiny finish; aluminum if you want soft and wavy curls; or velvet if you are a beginner and do not want your hair to tangle or break. Hot rollers can give you big blowout curls that are super-voluminous at the roots and have big waves on the length of the tresses. They let you control the size of the curls, which is not possible with a curling iron..
  • Curling iron contains one barrel either tapered or cylindrical. The tapered one allows you to create various types of curls; you can use the smaller end for tighter ringlets and the larger one for loose curls. They are not your best bet if you want subtle waves compared to individual ringlets. That being said, curling iron lets you create beachy waves, tight ringlets, coily locks, or a mix of all these, unlike hot rollers. They are a better option for people with shorter hair for whom rollers are not a viable choice. 

Read also: 

4. Time Required

  • Hot rollers do not take much time to curl your hair. Plug in your roller and wait for them to heat up. Be careful they do not get heated much as you need to hold them in your hands. After pinning your hair, leave them on for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you can continue with other work, such as makeup and dressing. When the rollers start getting cold, let your hair down and flaunt those beautiful curls. Usually, they are considered a more time-efficient alternative.
  • When using a curling iron, you cannot do anything else other than curling your hair. You need to curl each section of your hair yourself, one by one. The time you take to complete curling your hair depends on the quantity and quality of your hair. If you have thin, less dense hair or you want to curl only a small section of your hair, this is a better option.

5. Hair Damage

  • Using hair styling tools too often can damage your hair from heat. Albeit heat protectants offer some shield, frequent use can deteriorate the quality of your hair eventually. Curling irons get extremely hot and need to be constantly regulated to control the temperature. When used rarely and with necessary protection, they may not be harmful but using them too much is advised against by professional hair stylists.
  • In contrast, hair rollers heat once but do not reach as high a temperature as curling irons. They cool down while curling your hair and hence do much less damage. They are the safer option of the two for curling your hair.

6. Personal Safety

  • The maximum heat that the rollers reach makes them warm but never so hot as to burn your scalp or your hands. They come with plastic ends that you can hold while rolling to prevent you from accidentally burning your hand.
  • Curling iron plates get so hot that you can burn your scalp, your hands, and your ears . Although most curling irons come with a smart-off feature, you still need to be careful while handling them. You can use heat-resistant gloves for additional protection while styling your hair using curling irons.

7. Affordability

The price of both gadgets varies depending on the brand. Hot rollers of a higher quality cost more than curling irons sold in local stores, and vice versa. Curling irons cannot curl hair without heat, although hot rollers can.

Hot rollers and curling irons have been in use for a long time. Rollers stay in your hair and perform their job without needing regular care, unlike curling with irons requires hands-on labor. While the former produces dramatic, voluminous curls, the latter offers greater diversity. An iron allows you to effortlessly produce tight curls, beach waves, or single ringlets. However, when it comes to handling the two, hot rollers are the preferable option, however using a curling iron becomes easier with time. The argument over hot rollers vs. curling irons might continue, but you can use this advice to determine which is best for you.