Hair Curlers That Won't Break Hair

The right curlers won't damage your hair.

Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Va-va-voom volume and luscious bouncy waves -- hair curlers can do a lot for you that traditional curling irons can’t. But you don’t want to have curly hair at the expense of your hair's health. If you’ve experienced damage and breakage from hair curlers in the past, looking for a few key aspects can help you choose the right set to avoid future damage.


If your hair curlers of choice are hot rollers, some hot rollers can heat unevenly, which creates “hot spots” that mean some parts of your hair get curled more than others. To keep this from happening to you, choose curlers made from a material known to heat more evenly, such as ceramic rollers. Because these materials heat more evenly, you will reduce the chance that your rollers will break your hair.

Felt/Padded Finish

If you have hair that is longer than shoulder-length, you’ve likely experienced hair breakage at some point in time from hair that has gotten caught or twisted in a roller. For longer lengths, use a curler or hot roller that has an easy-slip surface, such as one that is covered with material or a felt finish. While plastic or metal rollers will curl your hair, fabric-covered options tend to be less damaging. These rollers will still “grab” the hair, but they won’t grab it and then break it. While other, more-sticky rollers shouldn’t break hair that is shorter, hair that is past your shoulders may get twisted and stuck on the roller, which can lead to damage.


Ionic hair products are designed to give a smooth, shiny texture to your hair. Both hot and regular curlers can come in ionic form. These curler types give off ions that help to keep the hair-styling tool from causing the hair shaft to flake or become damaged. By keeping the hair shaft as intact as possible, ionic hair products can help you achieve softer and shinier hair.

Take the Heat

If you are applying heated rollers to your hair, ensure that the heat won’t damage your hair by applying a heat-protectant spray before you put the curlers in your hair. This can create a barrier between your hair and the hot roller itself to reduce the likelihood that the heat will take moisture from your hair and contribute to breakage.

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