The drying step is equally time-consuming. It would take an average of 45-50 minutes to dry normal
density hair of shoulder length in a roller set. More dense hair, or hair wrapped on fewer rollers than normal would take longer because
of the thickness of the hair layer around the rollers.
All totaled, a roller set can take between 2-3 hours to complete. However, during
the drying time, you can either relax or perform other simple tasks to get ready. This is a good use of the time if you are getting
ready for a function. In addition, you can expect the style to hold for several days (or until the next shampooing) under ideal
conditions. Many women who have curly hairstyles love roller sets because they can get their hair done, and with a little “freshening up”
each morning, have a style that will carry them through the week.
Adding curl with a curling iron is typically easier and simpler than performing a wet roller set
because: A) the hair is dry when curled, and B) the curl can be added where desired, allowing you to add as much or as little as you
want. A woman with shoulder-length hair of normal density who wanted to add all-over curls with a curling iron would probably spend
about and hour to an hour-and-a-half doing so – more, if her hair is denser than normal.
To create the curl, the curling iron uses heat to break the physical side bonds and reshape the wave
pattern as the hair is wrapped around the heated barrel of the curling iron. When the iron is removed and the curl is allowed to cool
completely (an important step) the side bonds reform in the new wave pattern. The curls created this way are reasonably strong,
especially when strong-hold styling products are used in the process.
Curling irons are now available in many barrel sizes and shapes to allow the creation of everything
from pencil-thin curls to large, soft waves and even geometrically-shaped coils. On the downside, adding curl with a curling iron is a
labor-intensive process that requires careful attention as you do it to avoid scorching, singeing or downright burning the hair. The
use of curling irons and flat irons are the most common causes of heat-styling damage to the hair. The use of conditioning agents
designed to protect against this type of damage are always recommended.
As for the longevity of curling-iron curls, they don’t tend to hold up as well as roller sets. This
is especially true with longer hair. The curls tend to go flat as the day wears on, and usually need to be redone if you want the style
to continue into the evening after a day at work.
Many women cheered when the first hot rollers were marketed. Finally, there was a tool that allowed
women to use a familiar method of adding curl (rollers) without the time requirements of a traditional wet set. The hot rollers could be
used to add curl where desired, just like a curling iron, but were much less likely to result in burns on the scalp and fingers.
Of course, it did take a few mishaps for some women to get the hang of letting the hot rollers cool
completely before removing them. Because the hot rollers create curl by using heat to break the side bonds, failing to let the rollers
cool completely meant that when the rollers were removed and the curls were still warm the weight of the hair pulled the curls right
out. However, the waiting period for cooling meant that the woman could put the hot rollers in, apply her make-up or continue getting
dressed, and finish styling her hair once she was done and the rollers had cooled completely. It was a convenient and time-saving addition to the styling routine.