Among the less-favorable features of the magnetic rollers is the fact that their design means there is less air-flow through the hair when wound onto the roller, and therefore they
require a significantly longer drying time for drying naturally, or must be used with a hair dryer if faster drying is needed. The construction of the rollers also necessitates the use of tools to secure the rollers at the
scalp so as to maintain the tautness of the wrapped curl. This can be uncomfortable, especially with longer wear.
Mesh Rollers have been around nearly as long as the previous two types, although their design seems dramatically different. Mesh rollers feature a metal coil that is then covered
using a plastic mesh netting. This creates a rigid frame around which an air-circulating covering resides allowing the hair to be wound around the tool with maximum air circulation. Some mesh rollers also feature a round
bristle core inside the tube whose bristles extend just slightly beyond the exterior mesh. This allows the roller to grip the hair and give a tighter wrap, for firmer curl.
The design and construction make these tools great for wrapping the hair for air-drying, although they work equally well with a hair-dryer in order to speed the drying time. The
rollers are easily cleaned, even with the bristle core, since it can be removed and cleaned separately.
The drawbacks to the mesh rollers are that without the bristle core, the rollers can be difficult to use, since the surface area doesn’t contribute to attracting the wet hair the
way a magnetic roller would, and they require additional tools – such as a plastic pin or bob pin – to hold the roller in place and unless this is secured tightly, the rollers are prone to loosening and can result in weaker
curls. Even when the tools are secured tightly, the methods needed to do so can be uncomfortable to wear.
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Another traditional roller design is the sponge roller. A thin plastic “axle” with a hinged rectangular frame is surrounded by a foam/sponge rubber core pad that becomes secured by
the frame that clips into place on the opposite end of the axle. Its design came as a result of the desire for a roller that would be comfortable to wear, particularly since the majority of women who wanted to allow their
hair to air dry would need to ultimately try to sleep on the tools.
The soft-cushion center of the sponge roller makes them comfortable to wear, and since they need no additional tools to secure they are easy to track and store. They provide
firm-holding curls, and can be used with or without styling products as desired.
Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that they can be used with a hair dryer in order to shorten the drying time, they often break down as a result of repeated heating and
cooling/wetting and drying (especially depending on the composition of the sponge center). They take longer to dry naturally, but this is mitigated by the fact that the rollers are more comfortable to sleep while
wearing. Finally, the breakdown of the spongy material results in a limited lifespan for the rollers and makes them difficult to clean effectively.
The Velcro roller is a new roller design that is becoming increasingly popular for specific uses. The design features a soft-plastic “cage” that has a micro-mesh sleeve covered with
thousands of tiny plastic “hooks”. This mesh is the “catching” portion of the product called “Velcro” and works reasonably well to grab onto the hair which is wound around it.