Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Luxurious curls and waves are a fashion "do," but because not every fashionista is blessed with them naturally, gals everywhere turn to curling their hair with rollers. Two types of rollers a diva can grab are mesh and brush rollers. These rollers look alike, but they aren't the same in terms of how they feel, the smoothness of curl they give you or how much they damage your tresses.
In terms of design, mesh and brush rollers look essentially the same on the outside. They are made of an aluminum frame that is mainly open with plenty of spaces for air to pass through and dry your locks. However, brush rollers have a brush made of nylon stuck inside the aluminum frame. The nylon bristles of the brush stick out of the frame a little bit, so these rollers are the porcupines of the roller world.
Damage to Hair
Because there are so many holes in the aluminum frame of a mesh roller, your hair might get caught in the roller. You have to unwind it carefully or use roller papers to prevent tangles. By comparison, the nylon brush of a brush roller tends to cling to your tresses like glue on paper. They pull and tangle much more than a plain mesh roller that doesn't have a brush and thus are much more damaging. Dr. Jerome Z. Litt, author of "Your Skin from A to Z," lists brush rollers as one of the main tools that end up breaking hair. The flip side of this, however, is that the roller stays put more easily. That can be a good thing if your hair tends to be out of control, but the mesh means you don't get curls that are ultra-smooth.
Sleeping and Comfort
Because the bristles of a brush roller stick out of the roller, they can poke your scalp or scratch you as you move around, especially if they're rolled loosely. Many gals find them difficult, if not impossible, to sleep on. Mesh rollers aren't much better for sleeping because they're hard, but they at least don't poke and scratch you the way brush rollers can.
A brush roller is essentially just a mesh roller with bristles stuck inside. Many women buy brush rollers, pop out the brush, and then use the mesh frame as regular mesh rollers. Both types of rollers are fairly inexpensive, but if your hair is too sensitive to use the brush type, or if you find brushes put a crimp in your comfort, look for the plain mesh ones so you don't end up with a bunch of brushes that clutter your bathroom cabinet or hair tools tub.