Magnetic Rollers

Woman with her hair wrapped around magnetic rollers
Photo: Pixelshot/Canva
Q: How do the magnetic rollers work? Do you use them to roll the hair when your hair is wet, or can you use them on dry hair? Do you curl when your hair is damp then set and finish blow drying? I'm interested in getting some to get away from hot curlers, but need to know more about them.
A: Magnetic rollers are hard plastic cylinders with ventilation holes that are called magnetic for the fact that wet hair seems to stick to them and they can be used to wrap hair for curl without styling product.
Of course, using styling gel or other products will make wrapping the hair easier as the products tend to have an adhesive effect on the hair.
Magnetic rollers work to curl the hair by reconfiguring the wave pattern of the hair. Since water and heat both break the physical side bonds of the hair – which are reformed when the hair dries and/or cools – wrapping wet hair on magnetic rollers then needs to be dried. This can be accomplished by allowing the hair to air-dry naturally, or by sitting under a hooded dryer and reinforcing the curl formation with heat. Once the dried hair cools, the curl will be more firmly set.
Therein lies the drawback to magnetic rollers: the need to allow for time to have the wet hair dry.
Of course, there are other non-heated rollers that can be used for quicker hair manipulation, such as Velcro rollers. These rollers are just as they sound - having tiny hook-like appendages all over the exterior surface. These can be used on dry hair and stay in place fairly well. The hair can then be warmed using a diffused hair dryer and allowed to cool in order to set the curl. Many people also use a light misting of hairspray or styling product after wrapping and before "warming" to strengthen the hold of the curl.
After warming the wrapped hair, allow the curls to cool completely and carefully unwind the hair. The curl from these rollers isn't typically as firm or long-lasting as with a magnetic roller wet set, but they are a faster, and more convenient way to add some wave and body to the hair.
See also:
How to style hair
Roller styling techniques