The newbie's guide to the perfect velcro roller volume

Seasons change, skinny jeans come and go, but voluminous locks never go out of style. And if you want a bold, blown-out look that lasts (without dropping big bucks at the salon or using hot tools every day), velcro rollers are your new BFF.

"Velcro rollers are great for setting your style," explains hairstylist Harry Josh. "Since you're allowing your hair to cool while wrapped around a roller, it's going to last much longer."

Rollers have been a secret weapon in celeb hairstylists' kits for years - and now it's time for your own induction to the Big Hair Club. Bonus? It's all surprisingly easy.

Prep and prime

The biggest key to bouncy hair? Start with slightly dirty locks. Your hair's natural oils plus day two or three grit will help with hold. Want to start fresh after washing? The right products make all the difference, emphasizes hairstylist Phillip Nathaniel: "I love prepping with a volumizing mousse on damp hair for big, fluffy blowouts. Mousse gives your hair that extra oomph it needs to lock in curls, while heat protectant keeps your strands happy."

And when it comes to choosing your rollers, size matters. Basically, the smaller the roller, the tighter the curl, explains Nathaniel. Your pick will depend on your hair length, but for most people, 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-inch rollers are the sweet spot for voluminous curls. 


Get rolling 

If you're looking for the bouncy blowout that Matilda Djerf is known for, you'll want to heat up your hair in preparation for your velcro roller. Take a blowout brush (we heart the Drybar The Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush, $155) or a curling iron and work with 1-inch sections, says Nathaniel. 

Run the hot barrel brush or iron through each section of hair, starting on the sides as you work your way back and leaving the face-framing pieces on the top of your head for last. Then, follow up immediately with your roller while the section is still hot by pulling the strands taut and placing the roller underneath the hair an inch or two from the bottom. Wrap the ends under and around the roller and roll the rest of the hair around it until you reach your scalp. "Use a setting clip with a flat design to hold the roller without damaging the curl," advises Josh.

When you get to those pieces at the top, roll your hair up and away from your forehead (instead of down and under). This frames your face and gives the top of your hairstyle extra volume. 

Once you've covered your head in rollers, a light coat of hairspray sets the style. Then, as sections cool, your curls will set in that perfect round shape. 


The big, bouncy reveal

The rollers are ready to come out when all of your hair has cooled—and the longer you wait, the better your curl, says Josh. (Think: 45 minutes to an hour tops as you finish your makeup, pick out your outfit and text your besties.)

To remove the rollers, go in the same order you applied them. "Slowly unfurl the roller at the root, then once you are midway through, turn the roller down and gently pull out," Josh explains. Don't be afraid to pull it—the velcro acts as a holder for the curl but also does the work of a brush as you take it down.

Once you've removed all your rollers, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently brush out the curls, then finish with one last coat of hairspray. Bouncy, babe!

Wave wonders

Right this way for long-lasting locks with volume worthy of a '90s supermodel.

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, $8 | Davines This is a Volume Boosting Mousse, $35 | Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold One-Step Volumizer and Hair Dryer, $80 | Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Makeup Wave Setting Clips, $25 | Goldwell Kerasilk Style Fixing Effect Hairspray, $16 

Choose your curl

Different rollers give your hair different looks: These are your best bets for max bounce.

1. Wavy Baby


TRY: Conair Self Grip Extra Large Hair Rollers, $10

2. Building Body


TRY: Mermade Velcro Roller Kit + Clips, $17

3. Curly Girlie


TRY: Kamay's Small Size Hair Rollers Curlers, $5

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our October/November 2023 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Top image: @zendaya
Slider image: @k.els.e.y


by Erin Sargent | 10/2/2023