Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
If you have straight hair but want bouncy sexy curls without having to get a perm, an electric hairsetter tool with heated rollers or clips is a fast, easy alternative. Hairsetters come in a variety of materials, styles and prices, plus hairsetters help seal in moisture, unlike blow-drying and curling irons. Whether it's made of ceramic or tourmaline or uses steam or an ionic charge, a hairsetter can take your hair from flat to fab in under 20 minutes.
Hairsetters are the evolved form of the old hot rollers, but basically they're the same thing. The difference is the new materials and technology in the products. Setters use steam, ionic charge or far-infrared to provide moist heat that keeps your hair cuticles smooth and shiny, not frizzy. Setters typically have coils made from either ceramic -- which heats quickly and maintains consistent temperatures, preventing hot spots -- or tourmaline that magnifies negative ions six-fold for ultra-glossy hair.
Hard rollers may sound painful, but today's styles are hollow and lightweight, so they won't make you feel like you're wearing a helmet. The editors of "More Magazine" like the Babyliss Instant Heat 12 Roller Ceramic Hair Setter, calling it a "fool-proof way to tame your mane." The rollers are designed for maximum root lift, while the ceramic titanium core will give you the most heat bang for your buck. Plus, the set includes 12 butterfly clips and 12 metal clips.
Flexible rollers don't require clips, so they're really easy to use, and you can let your creativity run wild, bending and twisting your hair into a variety of shapes. Folica.com recommends Conair Candi Sticks Jelly Rollers, with 16 interlocking rollers in three sizes that will give you curls, waves, tiny tendrils or a combination. The unit heats up in minutes, which is great if you're in a hurry.
Flocked hairsetters can be either hard or soft, but each roller will be wrapped in a velvety-soft covering that is gentle on your delicate tresses. Beyoncé’s hairstylist Kimberly Kimble uses Babyliss Pro Professional Ceramic 5 Jumbo Roller Hairsetter to create the singer's gorgeous curls in under 20 minutes. The jumbo-sized rollers will create loose curls with more body and volume. The editors of "Allure" also like the Hot Tools Professional Ionic Hairsetter With 20 Flocked Rollers, which will give you more options for both soft waves and tighter curls.
If the thought of using rollers makes you intimidated, try one of the newest hairsetter innovations using clips. "Allure" magazine gave the Instyler TopStyler a Best of Beauty pick for 2011 because you can create "bouncy ringlets, beachy waves, and anything in between." Simply wrap sections of hair around a finger and clip with one of the 10 large or 10 small shells and you're done. "Essence" magazine gave a 2011 Beauty Award to the Remington T-Studio Pearl Ceramic Heated Clip Setters for its easy-to-use hinged comfort clips that will set your style in as little as five minutes.
For curls on the go, Folica.com recommends the Hot Tools HotSetter Ultra 05 Travel Rollers with compact design and convenient cord storage. Plus it has dual voltage, great to have if you're a globetrotter.