Hot Rollers vs Curling Iron: Which One You Should Choose

With lots of hairstyles and choices you can find nowadays, it has definitely become much harder to understand what products one should use.

Hot rollers vs curling iron is an ongoing debate among professional hairdressers, and here we want to layout characteristics of each method to help you find your own style.

Hot Rollers vs Curling Irons: A Quick History

If you are a fan of old Hollywood movies, you’ve probably seen both hot curling rods and hair rollers throughout the history of the cinema. Hot rollers had made it to the big screen much earlier than their counterpart.

hot rollers

The rise of popularity for rollers happened in the 50s when the perfect picture of ‘housewife’ contained a lady with a cup of coffee, a morning newspaper, and lots of hot rollers in her hair.

The product has changed over the years, and now you can find numerous forms and brands for hair rollers, both for professionals and common users.

As for curling iron, it has become a thing relatively recently. Somewhere in the 90s a turnaround happened when lush big hair of stars changed to something more simple and less voluminous.

Since then, all stylists couldn’t come to an agreement on hair rollers vs curling iron. A lot of hairstyles changed, new ones have been discovered, and both these products still play a great role in the beauty world.

A curling iron has become a necessity in our daily life, and sometimes it is hard to imagine what we would do with our bed hair every morning without such a tool.

Pros and Cons of Each Product

Curling irons are considered more damaging to the hair of a user because of the amount of heat this tool can produce, as it is the main principle of its work. Although, when working with hair of medium to long length, it is much more convenient to use an iron, especially if you prepare it with products that have a protective effect.

You can find such sprays or shampoos in professional salons, and they can help you a great deal because, believe me, you don’t want to dry out your dyed hair even more.

Moreover, when it comes to durability and long-lasting waves or curls, it is better to use a curling iron. As the effect is prolonged by the technique of using the tool because high heat affects the state of your hair for a long time.

There are different types of curlers, which allow you to change the setting of the tool, so you can work with a less heated surface.

Should You Use a Curling Iron?

Let’s be honest, working with a curling iron is much quicker, and it takes up a lot less space. It takes me two or three rolls to get just the perfect curls in the morning, and we all know that time is really important when you are in a rush.

pack of hot rollers

A curling iron is great for traveling, as it is usually made of light metal and has a slim form that can fit in almost any bag. Plus, if the temperature on the iron is set high enough, you will reach the desired effect in no time without damaging your hair.

Obviously, when it comes to beauty products, you would want to buy something of high quality. The price of curling irons does vary, but the good ones could be pricy. Of course, you don’t have to rush for the professional one, as there are a lot of them on the market that are affordable and effective.

You should remember that you cannot use curling iron too often. The overuse of any beauty product can be harmful, but when it comes to something as easily-damaged as hair, you should be extra cautions.

Moreover, a curling iron can get really hot, and your scalp and hands are always in danger of getting pretty bad burns, so we advise you to pay more attention to that.

three curling irons

Should You Use Hot Rollers?

How to use hot rollers? The base of the work for this tool is quite simple: you let them heat up a little bit, so they become warm, but not too hot, because you need to handle them with hands.

After that, you carefully roll them up to your hair to the scalp and leave them in for approximately 20 minutes. All set! Now you just need to wait until those lush curls settle in, and since your hands are not occupied, you have time to do your makeup or finish your morning coffee. While your rollers stay in, you have the time to prepare for work or night out, and doesn’t it sound great.

Curling hair with hot rollers seems much easier, and in some way, it really is, but when it comes to effectiveness and durability, the curls might be less steady, although they compensate in volume.

With rollers, you can get those voluminous Hollywood curls like in old movies, but prepare to sacrifice some time and space for that. Unfortunately, when it comes to traveling, hair rolls will definitely take up a lot of space in your bag, so you have to choose either curls or an additional pair of pants.


What everyone wants to know though is: “Are hot rollers less damaging?” The simple answer is yes, because they use less heat, so it doesn’t affect the state of your hair that much.

Usually, when you use this tool, you don’t need additional products that can protect your hair, but you need to understand that the effect of rollers probably won’t last much without additional strength.

We recommend you use hair sprays, which will help your curls save their form for the whole day, and yes, they probably have a terrible smell, but they compensate in great look throughout the time.

Hot rollers can also be more affordable, as they come in various forms. You don’t need a lot of them, and it is hard to break one. Although if you stumble upon broken ones, they will last from four to six sessions and then won’t help you achieve your goal in any way, so you should pay extra attention when picking your hair rollers.

Different brands can offer you rollers with additional characteristics like protective layers, quick charging, etc. But in your place, I would look for something simple that does its work effectively and quickly, without any ‘cool’ upgrades.

Hot Rollers and Curling Iron Both Have Their Uses

All in all, you can choose curling iron or hot rollers depending on what is more important to you and what style you are going for. Curling iron might be your choice if you work with short hair and just need some light touching up in the morning while rollers are helpless in this situation, as you definitely don’t have enough space on your head to clip them on.

If you are always late and don’t strive for the perfect girl look while you are on your way to work, curling iron can become your best friend, as it requires only several curls to reach easy and beautiful waves on your hair.

Let’s not forget about hot rollers too, as they have their benefits. If you are afraid to burn yourself too much or don’t care about additional space in your drawer, rollers can be a pretty helpful thing. Start your day slowly while curling your hair and doing your morning routine, without worrying about going extra stages.

Hair rollers reach their effect in just 20 minutes and do that with little heat, so your hair will stay healthy and lush. Some hot rollers can be left overnight if you want to prepare for some event beforehand, and this helps you a lot when dealing with other tasks without the need to constantly fix your hair. Maybe falling asleep will take some struggles, but it will pay off with beautiful curls in the morning.

curling iron and hot rollers


Are hot rollers more damaging than curling irons?

Usually, hot rollers are considered less damaging, but it all depends on how you use each product.

How long to leave hot rollers in?

You should leave hot rollers in for approximately 20 minutes to get the best result.

Which hair type should I have for a curling iron?

Curling irons work with any type of hair, but it is easier to work with it while your hair is straight.

Help Your Hair Be Lush

Now you are also involved in the hot rollers vs curling iron debate, and it is time to choose your side. Both of these products have their benefits and, depending on what hairstyle you want to rock, either hair rollers or curling iron can come in handy.

What tool do you prefer more? Do you curl your hair on daily basis? Please, share your opinion with us in the comments below.

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