Tosanwunmi Tarre
Published on June 07, 2022

Roller sets are one of the most common hair curling tools used by naturals and non-naturals alike. They do not only give beautiful results, but they also do not need heat at all, thus causing no damage to gentle natural hair type. Here are all the how-to’s and inspiration you need to do stunning roller set hairstyles on natural hair.

Benefits of Using Roller Sets

If you image in the mirror when you’re wearing roller sets gives you some chuckles… well, this is the reason to have some fun, not to refuse from the tools! There are some good reasons why:

  1. Little to Zero Heat Damage: Probably, I don’t have to remind you that heat can leave your hair with weak ends and cause breakage – this is what makes healess curls such a good idea! Whether you choose to blow dry hair twisted around the roller sets or let it air dry, the damage will be still minimal compared to the use of a wand or a curling iron.
  2. Versatility: Knowing your hair type doesn’t mean being tied to one look. Roller sets differ in shape, size, and structure, which allows amazing versatility of curls that you can get.
  3. Styling Extensions: Heat can be damaging to hair extensions such as wigs, clip-ins, and ponytails, but you can always style these using a set of roller sets and change up your look while enjoying the added volume and length.

How to Use Roller Sets on Natural Hair

Firs of all, here is everything you need to have ready:

  • Rattail comb;
  • Spray bottle/Leave-in conditioner;
  • Wide-tooth comb/detangling brush;
  • Hair clips;
  • Natural hair oil;
  • Picker comb;
  • Spray shine;
  • Your roller set.

Thus, take these steps:

Step 1: Spritz Your Hair

Spritz your hair with water to make it damp. You will need to constantly wet your hair as you continue to work, meaning you don’t have to hide the bottle away.

Step 2: Section Your Hair and Comb

Part your hair into four sections and clip away each one with your hair clips. This makes it easier for you to focus on one section at a time without your hair tangling. Next, pick one section and detangle it with either your detangling brush or your wide-tooth comb.

Step 3: Use Your Rollers

Gently but firmly wrap your hair around the rollers from ends to roots, making sure each layer is next to, not on top pf the previous one. Repeat this step with all the other sections. Make sure you keep spritzing your hair to keep it from going dry as you work.

Step 4: Dry Your Hair

You can leave your hair to air-dry (this may take you between 3 to 12 hours, depending on the thickness of your hair). Or, dry it under a hood dryer/ with a hand dryer. Make sureyour hair is fully dry before you take out the set, otherwise your hair will be frizzy and the new curl texture might easily be lost.

Step 5: Take Out the Rollers

Gently take out the rollers by gradually untwisting your hair. As you do this, apply a few drops of your hair oil to your hair strands.

Step 6: Separate the Curls

After you have taken out the hair rollers, the next thing is to separate the curls into smaller ones. You can split your curls into three, four, or more, depending on how much volume you want.

Step 7: Spray Your Hair Shine

After separating your curls, you can use your picker comb to gently lift the roots of your hair for added volume. Then, spray your hair shine on your hair.

Your roller set hairstyle can last for as long as a week, depending on how well you maintain it. Spray your curls with a leave-in conditioner daily to keep them refreshed and use your satin bonnet at night to keep your curls from getting smashed and tangled.

10 Best Roller Set Hairstyles

You really need to experiment to know what type and size of roller sets will work for you best. As you do, remember these basic rules:

  • small diameter rods give you tight curls, the larger the diameter – the more relaxed the curl pattern is;
  • more rods equal more curls, so if you don’t get the expected result, try the same size rollers, but use more/fewer of them;
  • the shorter your hair, the smaller size of hair rollers you need, and vice versa;
  • don’t hesitate to use different size of rollers for one hairstyle – this will make your ‘do look more natural.

Now, let’s have a look at some stunning examples!

1. Curly Afro

You don’t have to choose between afro and roller sets. Blown out perm rod set, or curly afro, has really grown in popularity, and it’s not hard to know why. Who doesn’t want more movement and less tangles in their hairstyle?

Big Curly Afro Achieved Using Roller Sets

Instagram / @iydamichael

2. Tight Afro Curls

You need to use the smallest size of rollers to achieve tight and kinky curls in your Afro. The look is very close to what you get with finger coiling your hair. If you don’t have enough length or density, you can also start with an afro wig.

Short Neon Blue Natural Hair Styled with Small Roller Sets

Instagram / @slayedbytpolk

3. Roller Set Blowout on Natural Hair

Here is an amazing hack that helped @welltrainedhair ditch her flat iron. Why straighten hair if you can just use larger size rods and then smooth them around your head for some time.

4. Curled Sisterlocks

The beauty of sisterlocks is that they act very much like your natural hair and can be nicely curled with a rod set. Here is a splendid example that it is well worth it.

5. Loose Curls

Still remember the relation between the number of rods you use and the curl pattern? @jascoloredcurls used 11 pink (that is medium size) perm rods to create these lovely loose curl hairstyle.

Flexi Rods Hairstyle on Highlighted Natural Hair

Instagram / @jascoloredcurls

6. Sassy Waves

If you have relaxed hair, using rods to add some beach waves is a good way to change up your style without putting your hair through additional stress. To get the style using a flexi rod, try twisting your hair down from your root maintaining some distance, not coil next to the coil.

Bob Wig with Soft Waves for Black Women

Instagram / @naturalgirlwigs

7. Curly Bangs

@iydamichael’s roller set style is a great one to copy this summer. Not only can you make the color of the wig stand out, but it also allows you to rock trendy curly bangs for a while.

8. Elongated Defined Curls Using Flexi Rods

Do not let shrinkage steal any length! To achieve both length and definition, @jascoloredcurls placed the flexi rod close to the scalp and gradually moved down with a section, spacing out her rotation. Overall, used 16 flexi rods for the style.

Natural Hair Styled with Medium Size Perm Rods

Instagram / @jascoloredcurls

9. Long Spiral Curlformers Look

Do not like all that twisting? Let curlformers do the job for you. Although curlformers are easy to use, mind that it will still be your task to brush, moisturize and section hair nicely.

Curlformers Style Natural Hair

Instagram / @meriahjohn

10. Perm Rod Set Corkscrew Curls

Want some bouncy uniform corkscrew coils in your hair? Use perm rods of the preferred size and do not separate the curls. Just as easy as that!

Natural hair has so many styling opportunities! Whether you prefer protective hairstyles or sassy blowouts, you’ll definitely gain from having rod sets in your arsenal.

Big Curly Afro Achieved Using Roller SetsShort Neon Blue Natural Hair Styled with Small Roller SetsPerm Rods on SisterlocksFlexi Rods Hairstyle on Highlighted Natural HairBob Wig with Soft Waves for Black WomenNatural Hair Styled with Medium Size Perm RodsCurlformers Style Natural Hair