Let me start by saying that I have stick straight hair and I have not embraced it. Being from the south and a product of the 80's, curly hair and I have never parted. As my hair (and my sensibilities) can no longer tolerate perms, I had to find a tool that would give me the BIG hair I need and most importantly, maintain the volume throughout the day.
I can't even begin to count the number of "hot roller" units I have tried over the years. I have tried the steam ones, the wire bending ones, the ones with velcro, the smooth ones. If they made it, I tried it.
One morning I saw an infomercial for the Curaso Molecular Steam Roller Set. I was skeptical of the claims that they would hold a curl all day. This was mostly due to the method of heating and the rolling process that was very foreign to me. They claimed that the roller only required 2-3 seconds of "molecular steam" to set your hair all day. When buzzwords like "ions" and "molecular" started being thrown around, I turned the channel off. I don't know about you, but when I hear a lot of scientific words being introduced in something like a hair setter, I get nervous. It always seems I'm being scammed.
One day I was in a Sally's looking for, what else, hot rollers. I saw this unit and asked the salesperson if they had any experience with it. She told me that she had heard it worked. Well, I was still highly skeptical, but I bought one. I still don't know about ions and molecular steam but regardless, it works. It holds my hair all day and sometimes even into the next day. I have not had another hot roller set, even those with steam, hold my hair a fraction of that time. The only way I've ever achieved curls like this is rolling my hair when damp and letting it dry for 10 or 12 hours. I haven't done that since I was a teen and do not plan to ever do it again. I would embrace the straight before resorting to that.
How the Curaso Unit differs from other hot rollers.
Typical hair setters / hot roller units are based on the same general principle. They have a base unit with steel heating poles that each individual roller fits on. The rollers are made of plastic with a steel core that retains the heat from the base unit and gently emits the heat through the plastic as the roller is in the hair. To achieve a set, it generally takes 15 to 20 minutes to heat (this can vary according to model, some higher priced models heat up more quickly) and then it takes 10-30 minutes to place the rollers in your hair using clips or pins to hold them. The rollers then must be allowed to cool while in the hair, which takes 15-45 minutes. The longer they are in, the tighter the curl and the longer they will last. For me, it never last more than a few hours. Even with product to help maintain hold. My hair always converts back to its straight form.
The Curaso Steam Roller is different. The first thing you notice is that it is compact. The base unit is made of a plastic tub (that holds about 4 ounces of water) and a heating unit that sits on top of the tub. The heating unit pulls a bit of water from the base and converts it to a small emission of steam in about 5 seconds after turning on the unit. There is a holder on top of the unit for the roller to be placed in that aligns it with the steam. Each roller is made of plastic and foam with a cap that fits it. They are soft and comfortable to wear. Each roller is placed on the heating unit individually and allowed to steam for 2-3 seconds (enough time to get a strand of hair ready). As you remove the roller from the heating unit, you place the cap of the roller on the heating unit and allow it to steam for 2-3 seconds (enough time to place the roller in your hair). By working back and forth between setting the rollers on the steam unit and placing them in your hair, it takes only about 10 minutes to set your hair. Because the rollers do not get very hot, the cooling time in your hair is shortened to about 10 minutes and your hair is not dried out. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't.
Comparison of Time. Using a standard hot roller hair setting unit, it takes me about an hour to heat up, set and cool my hair. I have thick shoulder length layered hair. It is stick straight as you can see in picture 2. Using the Curaso setting unit, I can heat, set and cool my hair in about 15-20 minutes. Another great thing about this unit is that it is very travel-friendly. It is light-weight and small.
But it really comes down to the curl. Having the extra time is great, but it wouldn't matter to me if it did not put curls in my hair that last through the day. These curls last. In pic 3, this is after 8 hours!! I can set it with loose curls by using the jumbo curlers, or set it to ringlets by using the small petite ones. Normally, I mix it up and use a variety of all for a very natural curly look. And my hair is never dry.
In Summary. I've used this hair setter for 7 years, setting my hair normally at least 5 times per week. I've went through 3 units (they don't last forever, but do have a 1 year warranty). The method of rolling your hair using this hair setter takes some getting used to with the timing of the steam, but it will give you curls that last for days!