Velcro Rollers Vs. Hot Rollers: What's The Difference, And Which Should You Choose For Your Hair?

If you look at #hairtok, you'll quickly notice the common denominator between a handful of its most popular posts — big, voluminous hair. Hair fanatics are flaunting shiny, bouncy hair like it's nobody's business. The hashtag #bigcurls garnered 75M views on TikTok. To get a picture of the trend, think less about recreating Serena Van Der Woodson's tussled beach hair and instead about recreating Julia Robert's iconic '90s curls.


The look is far from low-key and effortless. It's glamorous and unapologetically styled. However, the styling technique to achieve this look is more low maintenance than expected. As of late, curling irons are out, and hair rollers are in. Hairstylist for Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa, and other celebs, Priscilla Valles, told Glamour "I feel like I talk about [Velcro hair rollers] in every interview. We're bringing them back. I love that look. It's soft '90s glam." Two popular kinds of rollers that people are using include velcro rollers and hot rollers. The two are pretty different, so it's good to consider what will be best for your hair goals before investing in either.

What velcro rollers will do to your hair

We typically associate velcro rollers with 50s slumber parties or our grandma's tried and true hair routine. But, they are a hair styling tool that many modern women are rediscovering and using. Hairstylist and YouTuber Glam Girl Gabi explained to her viewers that velcro rollers are "Plastic cylinders that have velcro on one side. The velcro sticks to your hair and allows it to stay in its position without clips." She warns people interested in velcro rollers that "they are not intended for curling your hair; they are intended for lift, volume, and a little bit of bevel or movement in the hair." So, if you're going for the '90s volume trend, they'll be your best friend.


If you want to avoid using heat, velcro rollers can be a great option. Hairstylist Michael Dueñas revealed to Allure, "You can brush your hair smooth when it is damp, apply your rollers, and let your hair air-dry," he says.​​ " ... As your hair dries, formed to the curler, your style will last hours, if not days longer." What's more, you can find quality sets for under $15. Despite these many pros, it's important to note that velcro rollers are often better suited for stronger, thicker hair. YouTuber Kayley Melissa mentions, "If you have very fine, sparse hair, you may find that these just hold way too hard for​​ you ... " In this case, hot rollers may be the friendlier option.

What hot rollers will do to your hair

In a YouTube video by Cosmopolitan UK, three staff members attempted to use hot rollers, showing viewers how the tool works. First, they heat the rollers in an incubator for two or three minutes. If you look closely, you'll also notice that hot rollers have a smooth barrel and attached hair clip to keep them in place rather than velcro. Another difference to note between hot rollers and velcro rollers is that they are intended to be used on dry hair because wet hair is weaker and at greater risk for heat damage, reports Good Housekeeping.


If your hair is already dry, hot rollers are your quickest styling option when trying to get a voluminous bounce. Hairstylist Matt Fugate told Allure,  "They're instant heat, instant set, and instant style." Luckily, Shelly Aguirre, Stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, remarked to Harper's Bazaar, "Most hot rollers are made of ceramic so there won't be too much heat damage." In summary, if your schedule doesn't give you much prep time and your hair is more fragile, hot rollers could be a great match for your needs.