Which is better: Hot Rollers or Curling Iron for Thick Hair?

By: | Last Updated: April 13, 2019

To make sure that you’ve covered all bases when it comes to styling your hair at home, you might also want to know which type of tool fares better: a curling iron or hot rollers.

The latter has been around for much longer than styling wands, so you might be more familiar with it. It is an excellent product if you want to achieve more retro, defined curls that are uniform in size and look. It can give you a nice pin-up, seductive vibe, but is it better than a curling iron?

What kind of look do you want?

The answer here lies on the look you want to achieve. If you’re going for a more classic look, then hot rollers could be your top bet. However, if you want a more contemporary look, a curling iron is the better option. Curling irons provide flexibility in creating your curls as you can opt for it to be tousled, tight, or perfectly wavy just by swapping barrel sizes.

How much prep time do you have?

Your prep time can also dictate which one is the better option for you. If you want to get quick results, curling irons are the clear winners. Their small size, fast heating, and simple storage will let you style your hair in an hour or less, while hot rollers take a lot of time in heating, putting in, removing, and storing. In other words, curling irons are a lot easier to use, while hot rollers are fussier. However, there are newer hot roller types that are less of a hassle than their traditional counterparts.

If you have enough time for the curls to set whilst you have breakfast or drink coffee (or do something else), you can choose hot rollers. But if you’re in a hurry, better use a curling iron.

How long do you want the curls in place?

Lastly, you should also consider how long the curls stay. With the right curling wand, curls can stay for a few days even with long, thick tresses. This isn’t always the same for hot rollers, though. You may need a lot of product (hair spray) to keep the curls stay for a couple of hours and then you’ll need to wash your hair afterward to avoid product build up.

It’s possible for hot roller curls to last for 2-3 days though, as Cathy shows us in this tutorial video:

In the end, hot rollers and curling irons both have their own merits. This is why it is totally up to you to decide which one to opt for.

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