When I was in college, a freshman rushing my sorority came up to me and said, “Your hair is amazing, what’s your secret?” It wasn’t the first time I’d heard the question. My long, bouncy locks with their big, Victoria’s Secret-worthy curls had garnered attention for most of my life. “Oh, this is just the way it looks when I wake up in the morning,” I sweetly replied.
Lies. My roommate standing next to me burst out laughing, as no one was more familiar with my hair routine than she. Here’s the truth: Every morning, since I was tall enough to see my reflection above the bathroom sink, I’ve curled my hair in hot rollers. Is it an addiction? Well, there was that time I managed to find an outlet on a ferry crossing the Mediterranean Sea because I needed get my curl on…but I digress.
While hot rollers have an old time-y stigma, they are a magical hair tool in that they are super easy to use, they take no time at all to put in your hair, and—here’s my favorite part—while they’re setting you can do your makeup, or make your kids dinner, or watch Real Housewives. You’re not standing in the bathroom curling strand by strand for twenty minutes while your arms ache. (Which isn’t to say I don’t like curling irons—I do, but they admittedly take more time and effort than my beloved rollers.) After some exhaustive research, I’ve found the five best hot roller sets you can currently buy. Whether you’re looking for something you can travel with or something that is budget friendly, all of the below will get you the bouncy curls I’m so hooked on, and they’re sure to add some major volume to your hair as well. Happy curling, friends!
1. T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe
The most luxurious set in our roundup, this set comprises eight rollers that are embedded with a ceramic core and are flocked in velvet, which makes hair wrapping easy. Butterfly clips prevent creasing and the sleek black case is small enough for traveling.
2. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Professional Jumbo Roller Hairsetter
Pretty much every product hair titan BaBylissPRO churns out is gold, and these jumbo rollers are no exception. Embedded with the brand’s nano titantium technology (more mumbo jumbo: each roller is heated via far infrared), the velvet rollers smooth hair and product long-lasting curls.
BUY FROM: Amazon, $59.99
3. Remington Ceramic Compact Hair Setter
Confession: I’ve been using these $14 rollers for the past 15 years. The same set. (Yes, these are the ones I plugged in on that Greek ferry!) Ideal for traveling, the 10 rollers (5 large, 5 medium) heat it up in under two minutes, produce shiny, long-lasting curls and help control static in the winter months. Oh, and clearly this is a durable product, as I’ve used it pretty much every single day for 15 years.
4. Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Jumbo and Super Jumbo Hot Rollers
Resembling the same curlers we loved in the ‘80s, this modernized version features ceramic-infused technology that creates long-lasting curls without the damage. Comprised of four super-jumbo- and eight jumbo-sized velvet rollers, the set comes with butterfly clips and heats up in 85 seconds.
5. Remington T|Studio Silk Ceramic Heated Clip Setter
The largest set in our roundup, this is also the most innovative because it features two heat sources. The rollers warm the curl from the inside, while the clips heat from the outside—double the heat! The clips are also embedded with a silk resin that boosts shine. The result is a locked-in curl, and given the set’s 20 rollers, it’s ideal for someone with lots of hair.
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