I first tried steam curlers* when I was in college. I had been torturing my hair with curling irons and hairspray - and my curls always disappeared within two hours. My dorm-mate (who had waist-length blonde hair) offered to curl my hair for me. She brought out a pastel contraption, filled it with water and salt, and put the warm foam rollers in my hair. I was amazed at the results - curls that lasted for days - not hours!
Last year, I decided to purchase my own set of steam rollers. After researching on the internet, I found out that steam rollers using salt were no longer made (I wish they were - from the reviews it seems that they locked in the curls for longer, and the units lasted forever!). I chose to purchase the Caruso Professional ProSet Steam Hairsetter from Sally Beauty Supply - but they are also available on Amazon. (Link HERE).
What it does: The curlers are filled with steam - this steam affects your hair's molecular core, creating a curl that lasts until you shampoo it out.
How it works: You fill the unit with water (I use filtered water, as many units stop working because of mineral build-up). After a minute or so, steam starts coming out of the unit. You put the foam curler on the steam spout for 5-10 seconds, and place it in your hair. You can heat the curler cover for 3-5 seconds too. After rolling up all of your hair, wait 10-30 minutes, and take the curlers out. You can use hairspray to set the curl (I didn't).
1) My hair, freshly washed and air-dried
2) With the curlers in my hair
3) Right after taking the curlers out (looks like a horrible perm!)
4) After finger-combing my hair and rearranging the curls
5) The next morning, after sleeping on the hairstyle
6) That night (24 hours after the steam set)
For a product that gives great result with zero damage to your hair, you can't beat these curlers. As I have very fine silky hair, I have to be very careful not to damage my hair. I never blow-dry my hair, and I rarely use products in it. These steam curlers let me have body and style without heat damage or product build-up. The steam makes my hair very shiny, and the curls really do last a long time. I'm going to grow my hair long this year, and want to use this product to get loose beachy waves.
-It is hard using rollers to curl hair - I still have to perfect my technique to achieve the hairstyle that I want. I'm more used to styling with curling irons.
-I do think the "salt-added" units locked in the curls for longer. I may have to search on eBay and see if I can find an older unit. (I think the new rollers will fit on the older units - I do NOT want to reuse old curlers - yuck!)
-I have to figure out what products I can use with this (for when I style my hair for special occasions). I've tried heat protectant and setting lotion - these made my hair greasy and my curls limp. I want to try Bumble & Bumble Thickening Lotion, and also something to give my roots volume.
Disclaimer: I purchased this item myself, and was not paid to review it.
*These are NOT to be confused with Hot Rollers, which are found at most pharmacies, and contain rollers in a heated box. Steam rollers require water, and are heated up one at a time.
Have you ever used steam curlers? What did you think of them? What hair products do you think I should try with this?