3 Hairstyles That Start With Foam Rollers

Foam rollers are the OG of the curl world, but I use them to create some pretty modern hairstyles.
Publish date:
August 4, 2014
Davines, updos, buns, hairstyles, foam rollers, fauxhawks, second day curls, curls

I’ve had short hair for five years now--and I’m tired of it. My hair has gone from a super short pixie to a grown-out bob twice now. These days I just tug at my ends and whisper, "Grow, you ungrateful jerks. Grow!"

In an effort to grow this shag out, I’ve been babying it the way only a 24-year-old with minimal maternal instincts knows how: I hoard moisture-promising products, I eat a diet full of lean proteins and healthy fats, and I avoid heat styling whenever possible. That means air-drying my hair. Ugh.

Sometimes my air-dried hair clings flat to my head like it has totally given up on life. Other times it expands into a brownish halo of cotton candy-esque frizz. In the search for a solution, I remembered foam rollers--the OG of the curl world, which I've been using since junior high.

My hair has some natural curl to it, but I’ve always dreamed of big, wild, take-over-half-the-cab curls. What I lack in God-given volume, I more than make up for in my ability to sleep with a head full of tiny, squishy rollers.

Let’s talk about how amazing these curlers are, and three ways you can style your hair after you take them out.

How To Prep And Roll Your Hair

To prep your hair for rollers, go easy on the conditioner in the shower. I gave my hair a quick scrub-a-dub with Davines Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo, which I’ve just recently started using and loving. Out of the shower, I ran my fingers through my hair a bit to detangle and then waited until it was about half dry.

I worked a small amount of This Is A Curl Moisturizing Mousse into my hair from root to tip. Then, using one-inch sections of hair, I began rolling my hair up into the foam rollers. The rollers I have came in six sizes (denoted by their color) and I like to stick to the smallest sizes for tighter curls.

This is no project for those with faint hearts or weak arms. I recommend putting on a TV show or movie while you put the curlers in. The whole process lasted me about two John Prine albums and one episode of Gossip Girl. (The Thanksgiving one where Blair eats the whole pie and everyone finds out Dan’s dad used to give it to Serena’s mom.)

After your hair is all rolled up like so many tiny burritos, it’s bedtime! The rollers are soft, so sleeping isn’t too difficult. If you’d rather not have your beauty sleep hindered, you could let the rollers set all day as well. I suggest leaving them in for at least eight hours. If you remove them before your hair is totally dry, the curl won’t set as well.

Unfurl the rollers patiently to avoid breakage or tangles. The curls will be coiled up tightly, so your hair will look much shorter than it is, which is always fun!

After all of the rollers are out, I flip my head over and shake out the curls. Then I warm a teeny bit of serum in my hands to avoid frizz before running my fingers through my hair.

The curls alone are sort of ridiculous, especially with hair as short as mine. However, the volume and texture works great for styling.

The Curly Faux-Hawk

Remember when every handsome dude in America had a faux-hawk? Was that David Beckham’s fault? Regardless, it’s a fun look for ladies, too, and it's easy to achieve with these cray-cray curls.

Just grab hair from the sides, push it back, then pin it down so that most of the hair chills on the top of your hair like a beautiful, fancy mohawk of cascading curls. You can hairspray it if you want, but I like to let it get a little messy as the day goes on.

The Fancy Headband

Lots of volume paired with a headband is such a classic look. Embrace your forehead!

The Messy “Bun”

Divide your hair into two sections and twist and roll them toward the back of your head. Where the two rolls of hair meet, rather than trying to tuck them under, let all the curls poof out like a fluffy little rabbit tail.

Use a second mirror to see the back of your head, and use bobby pins to make sure pieces aren’t sticking out strangely. I like my updos a bit on the messier side, but you can make these looks as precise as you prefer.

Are y’all fans of foam rollers? Or Gossip Girl? Tell me everything. Xoxo.