Flexi rods have become popular to create, tame, and shape defined curls in hair. You can start with completely straight hair, but this product can also be used on tresses that are naturally curly or permed.
The curlers produce tight, bouncy coils without using heat, which means that you can set your hair without damaging it. The soft foam is comfortable and reduces the wear and tear on your tresses. However, using them can be tricky.
If you're wondering how to use the rods, follow these tips for the best head of hair you've ever had.
Flexi Rod Basics
Curling rods come in several sizes. The narrower ones will produce tighter coils. However, you also have to take the length of your hair into account. No matter how tight you want your curls, the smallest rod won't product results in long hair.
Hair Glamourista provides a simple chart that you can use to determine the ideal rod size:
- 1/4" to 3/8" diameter — Short hair, tight curls
- 7/16" to 1/2" diameter — Mid-length to long hair, medium curls
- 5/8" to 7/8" diameter — Long hair, large curls, extra volume
To install the rollers, begin with wet hair. Shampooing and conditioning your hair before using the rods may help the curls last longer.
Next, run a small amount of setting lotion through your hair. This will help your tresses hold their shape as they dry around the curlers. Don't use too much, and brush it through your hair to disperse it evenly. If the product is not well distributed, you may end up with crunchy strands.
There are different techniques for rolling your hair around the rods. We will discuss those in a bit. The general guideline is to roll your hair around the rod in a spiral pattern. You don't want to wrap your hair around the rod more than twice in the same spot.
Begin at the back of your head, and work toward the front. Use small, 1-inch sections of hair. After wrapping each section, bend the rod into a horseshoe or ring to secure it.
Wrap your head in a silk scarf to prevent the hair from rubbing against your pillow or anything else. Alternatively, you can sleep on a satin pillowcase.
You can leave the curlers in overnight or let them dry for several hours. Sitting under a gentle bonnet dryer can help the process go faster.
Don't remove the rods until your hair is completely dry. Otherwise, the curls won't last.
Flexi Rods Techniques
You can follow different techniques for inserting the rods to achieve different effects.
When you do not twist the hair as you roll it around the rod, you end up with flat, spiral curls. You can enhance this look by straightening your hair with a flat iron before wrapping it around the rods.
For a more natural look, try twisting the hair as you wrap it around the rod. You can twist the segment of hair before coiling it. You can also twist the rod itself as you insert it. This video shows how to make twisted coils.
Vary The Sizes
The hair at the top of your head and near your face naturally develops tighter curls than the lower layers. Section your hair before putting it in the rods.
Use larger rods for the hair at the back of your head. As you move toward the top and front, use smaller rods.
Taking Out The Rods
When your hair is fully dry, remove the rods by straightening them out. At that point, the rod should slide out of your hair. If it doesn't, carefully unroll it so that you don't create a tangled mess.
To enhance your natural look, use your fingers to split each curled segment three or four times. This will separate the strands of hair so that they don't look like coiled snakes coming out of your scalp.
Do not use a brush after removing the rods unless you want a frizzy look. A brush will make your hair poufy and separate the curls.
Wet or Dry?
If you find that your hair doesn't dry well once the rods are in, try starting with dry tresses. Use a deep conditioner and a styling lotion first. Then detangle your hair using a wide-toothed comb or brush. Finally, wrap the strands around the rod.
If you notice that your locks are wet when you remove the first rod, use a hair dryer to dry each curl before removing it from the curler.
The Horseshoe Technique
This technique uses one rod to coil two sections of hair. It makes the process go faster and uses fewer rods. This is ideal if you are just starting out and haven't purchased a huge set.
The horseshoe method also reduces unnecessary bulk while you're wearing the rods. It's more comfortable to sleep when you have fewer curlers sticking out of your hair.
Start by bending the rod in half. Take a medium-sized section of hair (up to 4 inches), and apply your styling product. Detangle that section.
Place the horseshoe over that section, with the ends of the rod facing down. Push the ends of the rod together to secure it as you go through the next steps.
Split the hair segment into two pieces. Twist one piece, and pin it up above the rod.
Detangle the piece of hair that you're working with. Then, twist it around the rod from root to tip. When you get to the bottom, bend the end of the rod to secure it. Repeat those steps with the other section of hair.
Keeping Smooth Roots
After curling your hair, you might find that your roots are frizzy or don't have enough volume. To avoid frizz, get the curlers as close to the scalp as possible when wrapping the hair.
After unwinding the rods, use a pick to fluff up the sections closest to the scalp. Don't pull the pick or comb through the curls. Simply use it to lift the roots.
You can also use a narrow flat iron at the roots to create volume. The flat iron will also seal the cuticle and help prevent frizz.
Transitioning Using Flexi Rods on Short Natural Hair
If you're trying to transition your hair into a more natural style, you might go through a period during which your afro is less than voluminous. You might be dealing with stringy strands that are straight at the tips. This is the perfect time to use these flexible curlers.
Try putting the rods in when your hair is dry. Use plenty of moisturizing styling products.
After removing the rods, separate the curls with your fingers. Each curl will seem to have a natural place where it wants to separate. Don't force it; go with the flow.
If any of the curls seem frizzy, coat your finger with an oil-based styling product or coconut oil. Wrap each curl around your finger for extra bounce. Take your time with this step.
How to Use Flexi Rods on Weave
Flexible curlers are perfect for weaves because they don't require heat, which can damage some types of extensions.
You can use the same techniques for your weave as you would use for natural hair. If your hair is longer, you can start by working with separate sections.
Part it down the middle. Then, separate each half into three or four sections. Twist the segments and pin them to the top of your head when you're not working with them. This prevents your long hair from getting in the way as you're inserting the rods.
You can also use the rods on your extensions before you attach them to your head. To do this, follow the same rolling technique as you use on the rest of your hair. After you have rolled the extensions and the hair on your head, have your weave put in. You might need to re-roll some pieces of your weave with your natural hair to blend the layers.
Quick Tips for Using Flexi Rods on Natural Hair
- Work with hair that is at least 5 inches long for best results.
- Use small segments of hair per rod.
- Select uniform segments to make sure that your curls are even.
- Thoroughly detangle each segment before wrapping it around the rod.
- Keep your hair wet with product or water while inserting the rods.
- Apply a water-based styling product to your hair before inserting the rods.
- Add leave-in conditioner before the styling lotion to maintain moisture in your strands.
- Use enough product at the ends of your strands to avoid frizz.
- Let your locks dry completely before removing the rods.
- If you have long hair, you might want to partially or fully dry your hair before using this product to cut down on drying time.
- Use a cream or butter to seal the finished curls.
- Give your hair added dimension by applying hair chalk before putting in the rods.