Hot and Steamy: Our Forever Love Affair with Hair Rollers

Trends come and go, but hair rollers have been on a hot streak for a long time. In 1930, as the Great Depression took hold in the U.S., the beauty industry was poised for a big boost when African American inventor Solomon Harper* created the first electrically heated hair rollers. Harper updated his design in 1953, improving upon its ability to create the defined, lasting curls women have craved since the first cave-dwelling fashionista twirled a few strands around her finger.

The next wave of innovation took hot rollers to a whole new level. In 1959, a haircare visionary from Sicily named Julian Rizzuto invented a faster-drying bristle brush roller, which became a hot-seller among beauty parlors and supply stores. The success of his invention led Julian, with his wife Josephine and son Leandro, to found Continental Hair Products, Inc., which would grow to become Conair Corporation, a worldwide leader in beauty and haircare.

As hot rollers picked up steam throughout the fabulous ‘50s, they gave rise to endless bouffant and beehive hairstyles and set expectations for the glamorous, luxurious curls popular among the era’s biggest stars.

The wavy look of the 1950s

As the years wore on, hot rollers evolved and styles changed. Curlers have come a long way—and Conair has been at the forefront of hot-roller innovation.

Not Your Grandma’s Hot Curlers (Unless She’s Really Cool): InfinitiPRO by Conair® Gentle Curls Steam Rollers

Today, Conair markets a variety of hair rollers that make it easy to get full, bouncy curls worthy of the hottest stars and the most Instagrammable selfies. A recent addition to the lineup is the Infiniti PRO by Conair® Gentle Curls Steam Rollers—a popular twist on hot rollers that uses steam to lock in curls and avoid the damage that can come from exposure to dry heat.

Infinity PRO by Conair Gentle Curls Steam Rollers

InfinitiPRO by Conair® Gentle Curls Steam Rollers

Ideal for all hair types, this innovative styling system steams and conditions as it curls to create long-lasting volume. Hair becomes soft and shiny as the steam cools and evaporates with a gentle moisturizing effect, eliminating the static that causes frizzies and flyaways. And, unlike other models on the market, Gentle Curls steams four rollers at a time, so you get great results and even greater ease, speed and convenience.

On a Roll: The Twists and Turns of Hot-Roller Hairstyles

Back in the ‘50s, salons—commonly known back then as “beauty parlors”—became hives of hard-hat hair dryers, where women were abuzz with excitement over the styles they could achieve with non-electric rollers of various makes, shapes, and sizes. They sat and browsed books or magazines (lots of juicy gossip about blonde bombshells!) as heat from the dryers gave their curls lift and volume. The process could take an hour or more, but the payoff was voluminous curls that were pretty as a picture in a glossy Hollywood tabloid.

Decade after decade, hair rollers have played a pivotal role in defining iconic styles.

Classic and iconic look achieved with steam rollers

While there have been twists and turns, bombshell hot roller hairstyles have made a comeback, as Vogue reported.

Over the years, continuous improvements have helped hair rollers morph into marvels of trendsetting technology. From rag strips used in the 1800s to form ringlet curls, to bendy rollers that popularized tight, spirally styles in the 1980s, to the many luxurious looks made possible by modern electric rollers, hot curlers continue to be on a roll.

Trendy styles quick and easy with steam rollers

Steam Hair Rollers: A Hot Trend

Steam is a dream come true for women worried about the damaging effects of dry heat. The moisturizing steam of our Gentle Curls Steam Rollers provides an especially gentle yet effective type of heat styling, No matter what type of hair you have, this model makes it simple to get salon-style waves and curls; it comes with 12 rollers and you can steam four at once.

Hot, steamy, and dreamy—what’s not to love? And if you need a little inspiration to bring out your inner icon of luxurious curls and waves, here are The Most Iconic Curly Hairstyles Ever. Get your curls on, then get grammin’ at #MyConair.

*Soloman Harper is not associated with this product; used solely for historical context.