GOOD Roller / BAD ROLLER?
Sometimes when our sets fail, it is not the fault of inexperienced fingers; sometimes we can actually blame the roller itself. With so many designs, you may not be using the best roller for you or your hair type. Here's how to spot when and how to check if the roller you are using is good enough...
The adjective needed for rollers is: Smooth. Repetitive, we may seem, still, smooth is the word to describe how practically all your hair tools should be, in particular rollers. Rollers need to be smooth, free from any teeth, any cracks, or hard, random plastic spikes that protrude due to cheap manufacturing or poor quality plastic. If your rollers are not smooth, then your hair cannot be smooth on your rollers, and you are comprising your results, as well as your hair condition.
All in all, your rollers have to be in good nick. Anything that sticks up from your rollers can cause hair to snag when you wind it onto the roller. Then, as you wind down to remove the rollers, tangles ensue as those plastic ridges snag your strands. Ever had rollers hang from your hair without cover or pin? -Don't think that you rolled your hair incorrectly: It's the rollers that were at fault. A good roller unfastened by a cover or pin should speedily glide out of your hair. Anything less and it is the fault of the roller.
don't believe the hype
Rollers fully gripped with plastic teeth were, and still are, billed as a saviour to thick curly hair. Don't believe the hype! While it is true that natural hair needs the grip to smoothen itself out, that grip shouldn't come with teeth. To smoothen out natural hair, in tight coils and curls you need good technique, good product, and good technique. So it's down to your rolling technique, your ability to retain tension as you roll; not those built in plastic spikes. These hair death grips, that are way too common on rollers, hold fiercely to individual strands, especially once your hair is dry. Then, the pull and determination it takes to remove those rollers, often shreds, rips and tears your strands. BEWARE. Avoid these tools and go for good smooth rollers that your fingers can glide over. Don't be afraid to closely examine and get a general feel of the rollers before purchasing to ensure that they are quality rollers without the poor craftmanship, and/or plastic clenches.
If you have rollers that are good condition, but the surface is not as smooth as you would like, perhaps the rollers has small rounded bumps in its design, (see photo below). You can cover the roller with end paper, when setting, to get the smooth surface that your hair deserves.
What, a perm rod?! These tools are not just for perming straight hair curly. In fact, they are good on curly styles, great for when you want to change up your curl pattern and go for a set.
The curlier and more rebellious your hair is, then the firmer your elastic fastener needs to be. It needs to hold the tension that you have wound your hair up in; once you've snapped it into place, the tension should not be released. To do this the perm rod must be in tip-top shape; look out for dry rotting on the elastic fasteners and tears in the elastic that will affect your set - too severe a tear renders the fastener useless.
Like with rollers, rods should have a smooth surface, without cracks or bumps, but this may be too hard too find. Perm rod manufacturers tend to pride themselves on their gripping design; the slight, small bumps that aid hair from falling too easily off the roller. But, those same grip aids, if not large and rounded enough, can cause hair to snag. Individual strands can grip onto them, separating from the set curl, so when you remove the roller, unknowingly, you're ripping strands. Just like with rollers, rods too can receive a simple fix: end paper. If the grips on the rod can easily be masked by end papers then your hair can be protected and perm rod-ed to perfection. Now, all you have to do is prevent your hair from getting caught in the fastener, and for that you need clean small sections.
The best thing about flexi rods is their smoothness. The completely even surface allows your hair to be set without causing damage. But when wrinkles occur - and they do after some serious bending and multiple sets - it might be time to replace the rod. Especially if those wrinkles are stiff, upright and impossible to flatten out; remember a smooth surface creates the best sets.
A good flexi rod still maintains its flexibility, enabling you to bend the rod in all directions to suit your setting style and length of hair. If you find that your flexi rod is quite stiff then you will not be able to set your hair optimally and gain the best results.
The biggest danger with flexi rods is the plastic cap ends that enclose the inner wire on either end of the rod. Hair strands can be easily caught mid-setting, as the plastic cap tends to open and close as the flexi rod is twisted and bent. Although meant to secure the rod, and prevent the inner metal wire from having any contact with your hair, the plastic cap can loosen after a few uses. To prevent your hair from being snagged, avoid wrapping your strands over the tips, and buy flexi rods with foam and cap connections that can't be easily separated.
On a care note; it is best to wipe flexi rods clean, to avoid rust developing on the inner wire when washing.
DHA Hair Care Experts
Dominican Hair Alliance