Before I start this review, I have to explain a couple of things about my hair. You see, my hair is fine. Super-fine, in fact. It’s poker straight. It’s long. It does not hold a curl AT ALL. Ever. The length and weight of my hair will drag out any curl within a few minutes of its creation, which means that my dreams of having a head of Carrie-Bradshaw style tousled curls are doomed to remain just a dream, and the most I can realistically expect from any kind of curling product is that it will give me some big, loose waves, and add a bit of body to my normally flat-as-a-pancake hair.
It was with this in mind that, after weeks of indecision, I finally succumbed to the lure of the Babyliss Pro Ceramic Roller Set I wrote about back in January, although, because I have rather a lot of hair, I decided to go for the 30 piece set rather than the 20 piece set I’d originally looked at. I bought my set from Cool Blades, which was the cheapest place I could find these online, and who I can’t recommend highly enough. As well as charging just £31.45 compared to the £40 – £45 I’d seen these for elsewhere, they also arrived the day after I placed my order, which was a pleasant surprise, as I hadn’t expected (or paid for!) next day delivery.
The rollers themselves are pretty cool (or hot, rather. They ARE heated rollers, after all.). They come in a plastic case which you can stand up as shown in the image, or lie flat, and there are 30 altogether, in a range of sizes: 8 jumbo, 8 large, 8 medium and 6 small. There’s also a selection of plastic clips and metal pins to hold them on: I find that the smaller rollers work best with the metal pins, while the larger ones can be easily secured with the plastic grips. I like to use the plastic ones on the rollers closest to my neck and ears, purely because they shield the skin from the heat and stop me burning myself!
My only real criticism of these (And it’s a very minor one) is that there’s nothing to tell you when they’re ready to use. Once plugged in, you flick a switch on the bottom of the plastic case to switch them on, but unlike other rollers (or straighteners, or curling tongs) I’ve used, there’s no blinking light or beeping sound, or anything else to tell you they’re ready to use: you have to just work it out for yourself. Again, this is a minor criticism: I find they’re hot enough to use after 10 minutes or so, and it’s not hard to work out how hot they are, although obviously you’re going to want to avoid touching the centre of the roller, or you’ll burn your finger. Not that I’ve done that, you understand. Ahem.
As for actually using them, well, they’re super-easy to use, and I’m sure no one needs me to tell them how to do it: it’s simply a matter of rolling a strand of hair around the roller, securing with your pin or grip, and continuing until you’ve covered the full head. The longer you leave them in, the better the curl, and the longer it will last, and working out which rollers to use where is a matter of trial and error. I started out using up the largest size first, and concentrating them on the top and back of my head, while keeping the smaller sizes for the shorter strands at the front, but actually I’ve found that, for my hair, the curl will last longer if I use up the smaller sizes first, and save the jumbo rollers for the strands that are left at the bottom of my head. This gives a smaller, tighter curl, while, on me, the jumbo rollers don’t do much more than curl the ends under. Again, I need to emphasise that this is mostly because of my hair type. If your hair is shorter, and better at holding a curl, you’ll get different results, and it’ll be a matter of trying out the different sizes to see what works best for you.
I should also say at this point that I tend not to use much in the way of product on my hair, other than a quick blast of hairspray when I’m done. There are various types of styling products out there that you can use before putting in the rollers, to make your curls last longer, but as I haven’t used them, I can’t recommend any – will try to get to that in a future review! In the meantime, my best advice is not to use the rollers on freshly washed hair if you can avoid it. I find the curl stays in longer on next-day hair – I give it a blast of Batiste Dry Shampoo at the roots, and that gives me a longer-lasting result than I’d get from hair that’s straight out of the shower.
What do the results actually look like, though? Well, here’s my hair right after the rollers come out:
Once it’s been brushed out, I end up with something like this:
All things considered, I would definitely recommend this set: I think it’s fantastic value for 30 rollers, it’s quick and easy to use, and if you have the type of hair that holds a curl, the variety of roller sizes will let you create lots of different looks. One warning: the curly hair gets addictive: I’d do this every day if I possibly could, but on hair like mine, it can be quite a time-consuming process – for the photos above, it took me about 25- 30 minutes to cover my whole head (I used all of the 30 rollers for this, but if I have less time and just want to give my hair a bit of body I can do it in about 15, using the larger rollers, and therefore larger strands of hair), and then another 30 or more to let them cool down. Not something I have time for every day, sadly, but worth it for a special occasion!