Sleep Rollers you can actually sleep in
I remember the rollers that my mum would put in my hair when I was little, they were similar to these Sleep-in Rollers (above) in that they were pink and foam, but they had a built-in plastic clip that locked them in which didn't feel too good while sleeping. It made me have dreams that my head was caught in a chicken-wire fence. And then when I was a bit older, my hair was curled with these hard plastic steam rollers that had notches on them, they were really heavy and poked your scalp, and I'm pretty sure they were a torture device modified into a beauty product. As a teen I tried the cut-up rag method. I twisted each tiny section super-tight, just to be sure, and tied a strip of torn pillow case around each one. When I undid them in the morning - and I'm not exaggerating even slightly - the sides of my hair were parallel with the top of my head. I looked like Roseanne Roseannadanna. I tried to put a hat on to flatten it and looked like this.
Curling irons, no matter the size of the barrel, also proved disastrous. Some pieces wouldn't curl at all, and the ones that did looked like transplants from the head of a 1980s cheerleader. It's been years and years since I gave up the notion of big, bouncy hair. But I'd been thinking about trying again, I have long brown hair that reminds me daily that I only have one trick: the blow-out. So when I received an email about Sleep-in Rollers recently, a nice and simple foam roller just like the originals and covered with Velcro, I asked if I could review a set. Lovely Loti sent me two packs of 10 rollers each and a pink storage bag, which is what you get when you buy a set (currently priced at £16.50) plus a pouch of Kirby hair grips which you can purchase separately (£3.50), or use your own if you already have them. (The rollers stay put on their own but the grips will keep them snug so you get the most out of your curl.)
So the other night I went for it. I followed the recommendation that they work best on clean, dry hair. Because I take three times as long to do anything (my husband will eagerly confirm this), and I've never been good at doing my own hair, I was expecting I'd be at the bathroom mirror until my eyes were about to fall out. To my delight, I had my hair rolled in 10 minutes and they were so light I kept forgetting I had a head that had doubled in circumference. And despite the length of my hair I had three rollers left over, so the set should be enough for mostly everyone.
Time for the real test: could I have a good night's sleep in them? The foam core is meant to flatten when you lie down. So I put my head on the pillow. At first it felt like I had two pillows under my head. I could feel the Velcro touching my scalp, but it didn't hurt or itch. It couldn't have been bad because I was soon asleep and slept through the night. I think once you settled into the pillow, the rollers slowly collapse so they become more comfortable a few minutes on. In the morning I couldn't feel the same sensation I felt when I first put my head down.
And the final test: did my hair curl? I took them out and had noticeably bouncy hair with a lot of body, which was exactly what I was going for. I didn't use heat or any product, not even hairspray, and I've still got volume the next morning.
Final verdict: I will use my Sleep-in Rollers again, and that's saying a lot coming from someone who has no patience for fussy or time-consuming grooming rituals and is totally inept at hair styling.
If you want to have a go yourself, you can buy Sleep-in Rollers here, and you'll also find tips for how to use them if, like me, you need some styling tutelage!
Photo © The Swelle Life