Crimped hair may have had its heyday in the '80s. But more subtle, romantic spins on the classic crinkly 'do have ladies scrounging the aisles looking for crimping tools. You can reach for a crimping iron in a crunch, but if you really want to go back to your roots, crimping rollers are the way to go.
Different Kind of Roller
If you're an expert at wrapping your hair around a set of rollers, you might be baffled by the distinctive look of crimping rollers. Traditional rollers typically use heat or steam to set your hair in romantic curls or twisted waves, but crimping rollers need an external heat medium. Instead of wrapping your strands around a single barrel, crimping rollers are made of several small barrels that open and close around your hair like a large barrette. Instead of rolling your hair, you clamp your strands between the alternating barrels of the roller. Although you can use crimpers on dry hair, you'll get better results if you go with wet hair and use blow dryer heat to set the crimp.
Using crimping rollers instead of a crimping iron on your hair limits the amount of damage you'll deliver to your strands. Crimping irons work with high heat to alter your hair's shape, so you run the risk of burning your strands in your effort to get crimped. Crimping rollers don't need the extreme temperature to get the semi-curly look, and the biggest risk you take is getting a strand or two trapped in the plastic clamp.
Crimping rollers aren't as popular as larger curling rollers, so your first battle will be finding the rollers at a beauty supply store or through an Internet retailer. Each roller holds a limited amount of hair, so if your hair is particularly long or thick, you'll have to manage a lot of plastic crimping rollers to get all-over coverage. Applying each roller to your hair is labor intensive, and when you build in the time it takes for your hair to dry before you remove the pieces, you're looking at a crimping process that takes more time than just heating up a crimping iron and getting to work.
Once you pick up your package of crimping rollers from a beauty supply store, hop in the shower and get your hair wet for the best results. Work with well-combed, damp hair -- tangles will only mess up the crimp design. Use hair sections that are as wide as the rollers and start clamping each section in a roller starting from the root. For long hair, you'll need several rollers to get from root to tip. After all your hair is clamped, blow dryer heat will help keep the crimping action in place. Just unclamp, finish with some medium-hold hairspray and you're ready to go.