'Old school hot rollers are making a comeback - so, I gave them a whirl. Here's what happened.'

According to the good people over on TikTok, hot rollers are having a revival! In fact, they’ve been reviving for pretty much the last year, so it makes sense that I have only jumped on this trend just now. Fashionably late is key, I reckon. You never want to look like you actually care what’s cool or even know what the kids are up to. 

So, while I may have missed the early-bird tickets to the roller rave, one thing that definitely didn’t escape my attention is ohhh, a little something called the Dyson Airwrap

For what feels like forever now, my collective feeds have been fat with people casually using thousand dollar appliances to style their hair. 

Watch: Speaking of hair... here are five ways to lift your hair game. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

If you didn’t have a grand or two knocking about, quietly collecting dust, it may feel like big, bouncy supermodel hair would forever be beyond your reach. But fear not, my fellow beauty lovers. Before expensive collagen supplements, our grandmothers had a good, old-fashioned beef stock. And before outrageously overpriced hair tools, they had rollers.


Gotta give it to the grandmas. They know how to (economically) live! 

So, allow me to take you back a couple of weeks to when I had a rather fancy little ‘do to get to. I’d just done a full grocery shop for my kids, and the current cost of living had me questioning if there might be a market for selling un-pedicured foot pics. 

The Airwrap fund contained nothing but tumbleweed and cobwebs, and I was feeling anxious about turning up to such a sparkly, beauty editor-filled event with frizzy and neglected home job hair.

Spending $100+ on a salon style was out of the question. But as I roamed the aisles of Priceline, I reasoned that $12 on a couple of packets of velcro rollers was not.

Later that night I washed my hair as usual, then did my best to dry it with a big round brush. I managed to get all of my hair, save about a third of it and wrapped around six large, green velcro rollers. 

I blasted them with my hair dryer to warm them up a bit, then sprayed them lightly with another grandma special, L’Oreal Elnett, the unrivalled OG for big, brushed out hair.

I then sat down and perfected my makeup, (even had a drink!) all the while my hair was basically doing itself, and tell me, what’s not to love about that?

Image: Supplied; Carly Sophia


How did you go with it?

Had I considered at the time that this may have inspired an article, I might have taken an ‘after’ shot. But as it were, I spent the night drinking champagne and hob-nobbing with Erin Docherty from You Beauty, and didn’t take any photos at all. 

The next day, even after sleeping on it, my hair was still fabulous and huge, and a love affair with rollers was born.

The thing about the velcro ones, though - they’re not exactly ‘set and forget’. They’re very affordable and very good, but because no heat is involved, you do need to take a little extra time to get the blow dryer on them for best results. 


Because of the nature of velcro, also, they can feel a little ‘rippy’ when you’re taking them out, and if your hair is fine, lightened or damaged, that’s no good.

My hair being all of those things, a week or so later, I splashed out and treated myself to a still-reasonable (and on-sale!) $130 set of jumbo hot rollers by Babyliss. I was SO excited that I used them as soon as they arrived, and hoo boy! I was not ready.

Image: Supplied; Carly Sophia


As even hot rollers don’t really ‘smooth’ hair, I dried my hair in sections, bending it slightly under, with my Hot Tools blowout brush first. I then coiled that section around a fat, warm velcro-flocked barrel, rolling ‘under’ and secured it tightly with the old, vintage style pins. 

The rollers actually come with both pins and plastic clips, and though the clips look easier, they’re actually the same in terms of effort but a bit more cumbersome since the bulk of them can interrupt the placement of other rollers. Pins all day. 

Then, after spending about 40 minutes doing my makeup and taking ‘progress’ selfies, I gently unraveled and revealed my new ‘do.

Before brushing. Image: Supplied/Carly Sophia


As someone who spent basically an entire decade with a scorching hot flat-iron in hand, I was woefully unprepared for hair this f*cking fabulous. It was serving straight Dolly, and if what she said about ‘the higher the hair the closer to god’ was true - I was looking positively saintly.

I actually brushed it back down because I was genuinely afraid of its power. We can’t just go from flat-as-sheet-paper to unbridled bombshell with no warning like that! Will scare the kids.

Image: Supplied; Carly Sophia


Final verdict.

I’ve since had time to accustom myself to being at least 75 per cent better looking. I now routinely rock big, Lana Del Rey-esque trailer park hair - and I’m not even a single bit sorry.

Twenty minutes of fiddly rolling and anywhere between 30 mins to an hour of setting (while I busy myself with other things, mind you) is well worth it for the best head I’ve ever had.

Martin Luther once said ‘The hair is the richest ornament of women’ so even though I still can’t afford an Airwrap, thanks to my hot rollers - I consider myself absolutely minted.

Any questions, or if you just wanna say hi, you can find me on my Instagram.                                

Have you tried the hot roller revival trend? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.          

Feature image: Supplied/Carly Sophia.

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