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13 Best Hair Rollers 2021 – Types of Hair Rollers For Bouncy Curls – Cosmopolitan

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Cindy? Cher? Nope, it me.
Not to be that person, but I was a hair roller stan before TikTokers decided to reintroduce them back into the beauty sphere as this year’s unofficial cool trend. But! News! Flash! Hair rollers are not a trend—heck, they’re a classic. But not classic like your grandma’s tight pin curls and baby blue nightgown (though that can be done), classic like the big bouncy curls of the quintessential ’90s It girls. And if you want that look, you’re going to need one (or more!) of the 13 best hair rollers on the market.
The nineties and early aughts were known for those bouncy, bigger-is-better curls that look polished but not overdone. And I think it’s safe to say that the latter of 2020 and allll of 2021 has revived the lewk with several methods: If it’s not a round brush and a hair dryer, it’s a hair-dryer brush—yeah, we’ve gotten inventive in this modern-day—but I’m tellin’ ya, don’t sleep on the OG. When done correctly, the curls from hair rollers will hold great, last long, and look fabulous, and I’ve got quite the star-studded lineup of some of the top celebrity hairstylists to back me up on that.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the look and the tool that defined arguably the best decade. Here are 13 of the best hair rollers for bouncy curls.
Sure, I get it—all the throwback pics of supermodels getting glammed up typically feature velcro rollers. I can’t lie, they’re the OGs of the bouncy blowout. But times are a-changin’, and that means rollers have evolved too.
Velcro rollers, foam rollers, hot rollers, steam rollers, and so many more variations can be used to create the effortless and bouncy look you’re going for—it just depends on the size of the roller and the process you use. The bigger the roller, the bouncier the hair, the smaller the roller, the more tight the curls will be, explains Sally Hershberger, celebrity stylist and founder of Sally Hershberger 24K. “It’s common for people to think that any size roller will work when each size actually serves a different purpose,” she says.
If you’re working from wet to dry hair, you should use a product for volume, whereas if you’re starting with dry hair, you should use a light holding hairspray before setting, explains Eric Vaughn, stylist, owner of REV Hair, and Master Artistic Educator. “Most people need to have ultra moisture in the hair in order to get a hair roller style to stay,” says Joseph Maine, celebrity stylist and Artistic Director of Color Wow Hair.
To ensure that your hair is moisturized, a blowout mousse, spray, or balm will do the trick. If you’re working with curly hair, Maine recommends about 60 percent moisture in your hair before styling, versus if you have straighter hair, where you would only need about 20 percent moisture. “At the end of the day, curly and straight hair are the same, the curly hair just requires a few extra steps to finish the look,” says Tippi Shorter, celebrity hairstylist, Mizani Global Artistic Director, and curl pro. Shorter recommends using a leave-in conditioner to hydrate hair prior to using rollers, and finishing off the look by running hair oil through the hair for those with all types of curls.
Remember: Each hair roller is different, and each hair type will require unique steps. However, it’s a good idea to keep these general tips in mind if you’re looking to achieve a bouncy blowout at home:
K. So we’re prepped and primed, now it’s time to get to the fun part, and the reason y’all are here in the first place: The 13 best hair rollers for bouncy ’90s hair.
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of the best hot hair rollers, this here is your bb. Not only do the T3 hot rollers have a dual temperature setting, but they also promise a quick heat up and an even heat transfer. Hershberger recommends hot rollers for when you’re short on time. “Though these rollers do have heat, I do recommend beginning with damp hair,” she says. Be sure to use a heat protector before using hot rollers to ensure your hair stays healthy.
If you want to channel your inner backstage supermodel, these Drybar velcro rollers are perfect for achieving that bouncy blowout look. “These are my favorite to use as they are super fast! You can heat up the hair with either a blow dryer or hot tool and set with different size rollers to create more curl or more volume,” says Vaughn. You also won’t have to worry about these rollers falling out of your hair, considering they’re made with a self-grip surface.
As mentioned earlier, “in order to do a bouncy blowout, you want to use a brush and rollers that are on the larger side,” says Maine. These Conair Xtreme Big hair rollers are jumbo enough to create that perfect bouncy and smooth hairdo. In only 85 seconds, the curlers will heat up and be ready to go!
The foam variation is one of the best hair rollers on the market due to its easy-to-use design. “Once hair is almost dry, roll the foam from the bottom of the hair towards the scalp and secure. Either dry with a blow dryer or head to bed! In the morning, you should be left with gorgeous ringlets with lots of volume. These are my favorite because you can set it and forget it,” says Hershberger.
It is important to note that if you have drier hair, you should avoid classic foam rollers because they tend to suck up your hair’s moisture, explains Shorter. However, the Satin Sponge Hair Rollers by WillaBond are a great product made to combat that very problem. So if you have dry hair and want to try a foam roller, these are a great option to give it a go.
The Kitsch Ceramic Thermal Hair Rollers are some of the best hair rollers on the market essentially because they’re a classic. In fact, Shorter says these are the very rollers she uses on her celebrity clients. At only $14, you can have the hair of the ~stars~. The set comes with two two-and-a-quarter rollers, four two-inch rollers, and two one-and-a-half-inch rollers. Due to the large sizes of the hair rollers, you’ll achieve the bouncy blowout of your dreams.
If you have short hair and have always struggled to find the perfect roller set that will give you bouncy curls but work with your length, your search stops here. The Conair Instant Heat Travel Hot Rollers are the best on the market for short hair. The set comes with five one-and-a-half-inch rollers that are the perfect size and come with the ideal amount to glam up your short hair. 
If you have thick hair, you know the struggle of trying to style it. But this time, thick hair has met its match with the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter. Considering there are 20 hair rollers included in the set, you’ll have no problem pinning up each and every strand. 
Sure, you can sleep in foam rollers, but if you’re looking for a reallyyy comfy hair roller that will ensure a big bouncy blowout, look no further than the Annie Satin Pillow Rollers. I mean, it has ‘pillow’ in its name, how could it not be comfortable? Not only will these rollers give you an awesome hairdo, but they will also protect your hair from breakage and split ends. The large size will give you those bouncy curls in the morning, so you can literally say, “I woke up like this.” 
If you’re looking for a natural and wavy style, the CHI ceramic rollers will do just that! According to CHI, the heating technology of this set only heats the actual roller, meaning that the platform will be cool to the touch and won’t burn you. The velvet coating of the roller will gently curl your hair and add an extra oomph of volume.
“Retro hair is back in—think Farrah Fawcett, curtain bangs and volume,” Hershberger says. That being said, we at Cosmo understand how important it is not to neglect any bit of the hair. These Hair Fringe Rollers are specially designed to make sure your bangs get that extra little bit of TLC they deserve
According to Vaughn, steam rollers are “very similar to hot rollers, but use a different heat source.” Vaughn also notes that steam rollers typically tend to be a gentler source for the hair. Due to moisture provided by the steam, these rollers are a great option for those with drier hair. The Caruso steam rollers are as old school as it gets and, IMO, are undoubtedly the best steam rollers on the market. 
If you have fine hair, chances are you’ve struggled with styling it in the past. Sometimes, it can be hard to find products and tools that won’t weigh down your hair. These hot curlers by Remington use both ionic and ceramic features to keep that pretty hair of yours shiny and bouncy without weighing the strands down.

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