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Ready, set, roll! Women have been curling their hair for more than 1,000 years, using a variety of heated devices to set their styles. Don’t let extensions stop you from getting your curl on. Traditional rollers were invented in the 1900s, providing women with a hands-free method of setting curls. The 21st century brought more-advanced styling tools, including steam rollers. The best steam rollers will add curls or waves along with shine and volume to your natural hair and your extensions.
A wide variety of companies manufacture traditional hot rollers and ionic rollers. As of November 2011, the steam roller market was dominated by Caruso Professional Steam hair setters. Types of steam rollers include the Molecular Ionic Steam Rollers, the SalonPro 30 Molecular Steam Rollers and a smaller travel size. The best type of roller to use depends on the frequency with which you will use it, the size of roller you need, and the length of your hair. Steam rollers come in a variety of sizes ranging from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches.
How They Work
These are not your mama's rollers. Steam rollers are made of soft foam that becomes infused with the gentle moisture of the steam. Wrap extensions or natural hair around the steam-infused roller and cover it with the shield. The rollers are designed to allow circulation and enhance the steam's evaporation. During the process, your extensions and natural hair are penetrated with moisture, which allows it to curl. Hair is set in curls within five to 10 minutes.
Feel free to roll your lovely locks up into steam rollers: These moisturizing setting tools lock in curls while also softening hair and enhancing shine. Because the heat is tempered by moisture -- and it is less intense than a curling iron or traditional hot roller -- all types of steam rollers are safe to use on extensions. Whether you have human hair or synthetic extensions, you can achieve bouncing curls with minimal effort. Use filtered water in the steam setter to avoid developing mineral deposits in the mechanism.
Other Styling Tips
The aroma of burning hair is not hot. Using traditional heat tools can be dangerous for extensions. Since they do not receive nutrients from your scalp, they require a bit more gentleness and care than your natural hair. Avoid scorching your extensions by using blow dryers or other heat-driven styling tools on a low setting. Similarly, avoid using hair spray that contains alcohol since this may dry your extensions -- and the rest of your hair -- out, leaving it dull and lifeless.