Q: What is the difference between a hair setter and hot rollers?
A: For the most part, it’s a matter of terminology. When the innovation of home hair styling expanded to include the creation of rollers that were heated and used to wrap the hair and create curl in the hair, they
were called simply and appropriately, “hot rollers”. However, in the decades since, these tools have been redesigned and advanced with features to improve their functionality and allow them to work better.
The rollers were suddenly developed to include steam and more recently ionic charge as part of the curling process. Since these weren’t just “hot rollers” any more, manufacturer’s
(rightfully) wanted a new name that reflected that these were MORE. Thus, “hair setter” was born as a more “generic” term that expresses what these tools do, but can be applied to a variety of such tools that share
that purpose, even if they are dramatically different in how they work.
There are some common elements, namely that most hair setters use roller-type devices upon which the hair is wound. However, there are often dramatic differences in the methods by
which these work – such as using combinations of steam and ionic charge to provide moist heat (which breaks the physical side bonds) that keeps the cuticle smooth (the ionic charge keeps the cuticle layer lying flat
and helps the hair remain shiny and silky).
Other specifics may vary as well – clips, finishes, etc. – but all these devices used to curl the hair (including plain “hot” rollers) are hair setters these days.