Can you use hot rollers on wet hair?

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 08/26/22

Caution: Do not use heated rollers on soaking wet hair!

Hot rollers are great for creating bouncy curls. It’s the go-to heating tool when you can’t be bothered to use the curling iron during a morning rush.

There are various choices for hair rollers. Velcro rollers are amongst the most famous type of hot rollers ideal for thick hair. Medium rollers are suitable for those who prefer voluminous bouncy curls.

In this article, Lucky Curl answers the question “can you use hot rollers on wet hair?” So, keep reading until the end!

Do heated rollers work better on wet or dry hair?

Heated rollers definitely work better on dry hair. 

Your hair has to be dry or a little bit damp for the hair rollers to work. It’s the perfect moment to put the rollers on your hair as it allows the curls to set properly.

On a side note, if you’re using foam rollers, your hair has to be freshly blown out to create softer curls.

The Velcro rollers are a top choice if you’re looking to add extra volume to dry hair. Go for the stick rollers if you want defined curls but start with slightly damp hair and leave the hot rollers in until your hair dry.

Still, the major premise is to never ever use hot rollers on sopping wet hair!

What happens if you put rollers on wet hair?

Putting hot rollers on wet hair can cause heat damage. It’s going to fry up your locks resulting in dry and brittle hair.

So, be sure to prep your hair before using the hot rollers. This includes using a heat protection spray to safeguard your hair from potential heat damage.

Don’t get me wrong. You can curl wet hair!

In fact, there is a method called wet set, a curling method that involves using hair rollers on wet hair. In this method, you’ll allow your hair to dry with the rollers in it. This does not involve any heat and that means less damage to your hair.

How to Prepare Your Hair For Hot Rollers

For zero to minimal heat damage, here’s how to prep your hair for hot rollers:

  1. Start with clean dry hair.
  2. Roll from the root.
  3. Take time to cool off.

I’d say skip the brush. You’d be begging for frizz if you don’t! 

As for the final touches, add some pomade if your hair is a little bit dry and crunchy. This will add more polish and definition to your curls. That said, hot rollers work!


It is safer to use hot rollers on dry hair. Using heated rollers when the hair is soaking wet is a no-no and is going to be disastrous!

You can use the heated rollers on slightly damp hair to achieve tight curls that last longer. Also, be sure to completely cool your curls before finger combing. This will set the style and will make the curls last longer!

If you’re undecided between a curling iron and a hot roller set, read our article about hot rollers vs curling iron.

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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