When in the pursuit of perfect spirals, coils, and curls, think of flexi-rods as the magic wand in your bag of natural hair tricks. With the correct size rods for your hair length, the right products, and a desired style in mind, these lanky rollers can help create a protective style that will, in most cases, last longer than a wash-and-go—without the lengthy commitment of a braided or twisted style. Here, find your complete guide on how to use flexi-rods on natural hair.
What Are Flexi-Rods?
As the name suggests, these foam curlers bend easily around your hair and around themselves to secure their position. Think of it as a long hair roller. You can wrap your hair around each one and then fold the ends inward to keep it in place while your curl sets. These curling rods for natural hair are offered in different lengths, which comes in handy not only for various hair lengths but also depending on the style you’re going for.
What Size of Flexi-Rods Should I Use?
Speaking of different hair rod sizes, flexi-rod curlers can range in diameter anywhere from ¼” up to ⅞”. You should choose a size based on your hair length and the size of the spirals you’re looking to create. Your hair has to be able to wrap fully around the curler, so if your strands are on the shorter side, you’ll most likely need a smaller curler. If you have some length to play with, think about the style you want. Curling rods with a smaller diameter, around ¼”, will leave you with a tighter coil that most closely resembles natural curls. Curling hair with larger hair rods can result in a look that’s similar to what a roller set would give you, with bigger, bouncier spirals.
How Do You Use Flexi-Rods?
If your hair already has product in it, your curls may end up limp and stiff, so start with freshly washed strands. This will ensure that you get the maximum amount of bounce out of your rod set. There are two main ways to do a rod set: with your blow-dryer or without. No matter which method you choose, apply the Almond Milk Leave-In Conditioner to damp hair and thoroughly detangle into sections. From there, here are your two options:
1. If you’re going for the heat-free method, part hair into one-inch pieces and apply the Pracaxi Nectar Style & Hold Foam to each section. Wrap hair around the rod and secure them by twisting the ends. Repeat this process until your hair is full of curling rods.
2. If you prefer a sleeker set of flexi-rod curls, try the blow-dry technique. After applying the leave-in and the Pracaxi Nectar Straight Blow Dry Cream, blow-dry hair on a low heat setting. Once dry, apply the Pracaxi Nectar Curl Twisting Custard to one-inch sections, from root to tip, and then wrap hair around each rod.
How Long Do Flexi-Rods Take to Use?
Of all the protective and natural curly hairstyles out there, flexi-rods certainly aren’t the most time-consuming. If you’re opting for bigger curls, it’ll take less time. Smaller curls may take a bit longer, but it all depends on how defined and precise you get with parting your sections. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be super meticulous with your parts. The curls will sit loose enough once you take the rods out that you won’t see the sections that you created while rolling.
Is it Better to Flexi Rod Your Hair Wet or Dry?
While we’ve given you a foolproof way to use your curlers (with two slight variations), you do have another option for doing a flexi-rod set: creating your curls on dry hair. However, keep in mind that the true styling premise of a flexi-rod goes back to the old school method of setting wet hair around rollers. So, while you can use flexi-rods on dry hair to get natural curls, you’ll still need to add some moisture with the Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer. You’ll get the best results at the onset if your hair is wet. Even if you are using the curling rods to revive a coil, it’s still best to apply either a styling cream or the Hair Milk Refresher Spray to re-moisten hair.
What Products Can I Use with Flexi-Rods?
What’s most important when using these rollers are the types of natural hair styling products you’re using to set the hair. You can pretty much use any product with flexi-rods, but what’s key is having something that will give hair a bit of hold, like the Monoi Ora Flexible Volume Spray, as it sets around the rollers. A setting lotion like the Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Foam, mousse, a lightweight gel, or the Coco Creme Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter also all work well with flexi-rods.
How Long Do You Leave Flexi-Rods in Your Hair?
Styling with flexi-rods definitely requires a bit of patience. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a full-on wet set or the blow-dry version, it’s super important that you let your hair dry completely before removing the flexi-rods. Taking them out before your hair is dry will not only mess with how well the curls form, but you’ll likely also have to deal with frizz as your hair air dries. If your hair typically takes a long time to dry, you may want to either hit it with a blow dryer on a low heat setting or sit under a hooded dryer for a bit.
How can you tell when the hair rods are ready to be removed? Besides feeling your strands to see if they’re completely dry, you can unroll one rod as a test curl. Pick a not-so-visible area of your head and remove the flexi-rod so you can judge whether the hair has set. If your curl doesn’t seem perfectly formed, allow the rest of your curling rods more time.
Can You Sleep in Flexi-Rods?
Yes. To be completely honest, sleeping with flexi-rods in isn’t the most comfortable, but they are soft at the center, so it won’t be too hard on your head. It’s doable, but really a matter of preference and comfort—just being real with you! If you’re doing a wet set and your hair takes a long time to dry, this may be the way to go so your curls can set overnight.
How Long Do Flexi-Rod Curls Last on Natural Hair?
Like any protective style, how long your flexi-rod curls will last really depends on how you care for them, particularly at night. With a good initial set that has dried completely and has a bit of hold from the curling hair products you used, you can probably get at least a week out of your flexi-rod style.
How Do You Maintain a Flexi-Rod Set?
Think of a flexi-rod set as being similar to a wash-and-go style. You want to avoid compromising the individual curls with anything that’s going to make them frizz. Put hair up into a pineapple hairstyle and wrap it in a silk scarf. You can smooth and revive your curls in the morning by gently rubbing a bit of the Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hair Sheen, a hair oil, or the Mimosa Hair Honey over top.
What Are the Benefits of Flexi-Rods?
Once you get the hang of doing it, a flexi-rod set may be your go-to naturally curly hairstyle. Flexi-rods are really a styling tool that gives you the flexibility to create defined curls in a way that you may not be able to achieve with a wash-and-go. Having options on the diameter of the curls you’re creating also makes for more versatile styling options, so you can switch up your style as you please.
How to Use Flexi-Rods on a Weave
If you know how to curl natural hair with flexi-rods, you can use the same technique for styling a weave—it’s the exact same process. The only difference may be in how long it takes for it to dry, and this depends greatly on the type of hair your weave is made out of. Like human hair, weave hair has different porosities, so some may take longer to set than others. If this is the case, consider a quick dry set using a blow dryer.
What do you say, are you officially a flexi-rod pro? Next, let’s introduce you to 20 Natural Hair Products to Try in 2020.