Newfangled Hot Rollers Are the Key to Retro-Glam Hair

Now that we've all tromped around with bedhead styles, it's time to run a brush through our hair and try to look pretty. (Shout-out to Mom.) The new ladylike look we're seeing everywhere from supermarket runs to red carpet events is easily achievable using hot rollers. But these aren't your mother's curlers—they've got new tech and are being used in new ways. We asked celebrity hairstylist Cervando Maldonado of 454 North Salon in West Hollywood (whose clients include Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Coppola and Rosie Whiteley-Huntington) to help us brush up on our skills.

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How are new hot curlers different from the ones previous generations used?
Today, hot curlers (like the set from T3 I use) are made out of material that's not scorching plastic but velvety. And they don't get too hot and fry the hair. Also, they are made with clips that don't dent the hair as much as the old metal hooks did. 

We associate hot rollers with big beauty-pageant-looking curls. Or stiff Proper Lady curls. But what about hipper looks?
To create a more modern, relaxed look, use fewer rollers. Use one roller on top, one on each side and two in the back. I roll them back on top, and down on the sides and on the back I do them both down. Leave them in five to ten minutes, then when you take them out, it will smooth the hair out. It’s basically like a really nice full blow-out.

What about products?
If you need to dry shampoo, do it after you take it out, not before. And to make the most of the curl, before you put in the rollers, use mousse on the ends and a volumizer on the root. A bit of spray afterward, and you’re good to go.

How do you style when you take out your rollers?
Let your hair cool a few moments, then use a light wire brush or detangling comb to style it. Or just run your fingers through your hair.

 What if it looks too curly?
If your hair looks too bouncy right away, then brush out the curliness before the hair cools completely.

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Why are hot rollers so popular again?
Part of it is that what's on the runway is moving quickly to the street. And part of it is the new tech of the rollers, and how easy they are to use. And retro anything is big, including big Christie Brinkley Cosmo cover hair from back in the day.

And we're all busy.
Right. Because you can just put the rollers in the morning after you've fallen asleep with wet hair, and it's great.

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...