hair rollers review

Review | Nicky Clarke DesIRED Rapid Heat Roller System

Yes, folks, it’s another post about hair! Don’t worry: this one isn’t one my half-assed tutorials – it’s just a quick review of this new heated roller system I was sent last week. There’s still plenty of awkward photos, though, because OF COURSE. Anyway, the rollers!

Nicky Clarke rapid heat rollers

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, “rollers? How can they be rollers when there’s just one of them? Surely that’s just a rollER, singular?”

You’re right: that IS just one roller in the photo. That’s the beauty of this system, though. This, you see, is the Nicky Clarke DesIRED Rapid Heat Roller System, and as you can see, it’s pretty compact. That little black “dock” up there (I have no idea if “dock” is the right term for it, but I’m going to use it anyway) is used to heat each roller up individually: you place the roller onto the dock, press the “on” button, and within a few seconds, your roller is ready to use. As you wind it into your hair, you heat up the next one, and so on until you’re done. The idea is that, as well as being super-small, it’s also really fast: instead of waiting for the entire set to heat up, you can just switch it on and get rollin’ in a matter of seconds.

(There will be a lot of “rollin'” based jokes in this post. Sorry.)

The rollers are velvet-covered, which means the heat will have less chance of damaging your hair (or your fingers, for that matter: I burn myself frequently with my regular rollers, but these don’t ever feel unbearably hot to the touch…), and they come in three sizes – Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear. You can obviously just call them “rollers” if you want, but I prefer to think of them as bears, because… just because.

So: you’ve seen the rollers, you’ve seen the dock, and you’ve seen the pins. I guess the only remaining thing for you to see is a photo of me looking like I’m having my mugshot taken:

straight red hair

This is the “before” shot. I HAD intended that to mean “before I curled my hair with these new rollers,” but instead it came out more like, “Before the cops took away all my personal effects and told me I was entitled to one phone-call.” Whoops. I think that’s what you’d call a “forced” smile, no?

This, meanwhile, is what you’d call “possibly the most embarrassing photo of myself I’ve ever taken”:

heated rollers

As I shot the photos for this review, I took a moment to reflect on the fact that here I was, standing in the bathroom (for yes, these photos were taken in the bathroom: it’s the only room that has semi-decent natural light at this time of year) on a Wednesday afternoon, taking photos of myself in rollers for the internet. And that this was my job. And they all said I’d never make anything of myself, back in high school! Well, how do you like me now, suckers?!

So, anyway, this is me with my hair freshly “rolled”. A few points/observations about this:

1. As I mentioned, I’m using my own clips rather than the pins provided.

2. I used the smallest rollers on the shortest sections of hair (at the front), the middle ones on the mid-length sections, and the large ones on the longest strands. My only issue here was that there weren’t quite enough rollers in the smaller sizes. According to the box, the set comes with two rollers of each size: I was sent this as a review sample, and received some extra rollers, which gave me double that amount. It was definitely enough to roll all of my hair, but only just – if I’d only had the six rollers provided, I’d have struggled to get all of my hair up.

3. The heating process was very quick and straightforward. Each roller lights up as you connect it to the dock: it’s ready to use within about five seconds, but if you want to heat it to the maximum temperature possible (Which I did: my hair likes to spite me by resisting my attempts to curl it, so I always tend to use the hottest settings on hair tools) you just wait until the light goes out, which takes less than a minute. I found this method really handy: I’m forever deciding that I’ll curl my hair, only to emerge from the shower, put on my makeup, and then realise I forgot to heat up my rollers, so it’s good to know that you can use this right away.

Here’s what it looked like when I took the rollers out:

after rollers

For me, the best thing about these rollers was how smooth they left my hair in comparison to my regular set, which quite often leaves my hair looking a bit “crispy” and dull because of the heat. Even although I used the maximum amount of heat with these, though, the velvet-coating on the rollers was really kind to my hair, and created the smoothest, glossiest curls I’ve ever had from heated rollers. On the downside, the sizing issue I mentioned above meant that while the curls were nice and tight at the front (Where I’d used the smallest rollers), the back wasn’t nearly as curly. That could be something to do with my technique, of course (I’ve never been very good at styling the back of my head. Or, you know, the front of my head.), but I reckon a few more of the smaller rollers would’ve helped, too.

All of that said, I was pretty impressed with how healthy and smooth my hair felt after using these. I know it sounds silly, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that there might be heat-styling tools out there that WOULDN’T wreck my hair (I know there are products you can use to protect your hair from heat, but I don’t think you’d need them with these), so this was quite the revelation for me. In fact, I don’t think it’s over-stating things to say that it has totally changed my life.

OK, that probably WOULD be over-stating things a little, wouldn’t it? I’ll just say that they’re decent rollers, and I like them, then: that sounds a bit more reasonable, no?

[Disclosure: my rollers were sent to me as a review sample. All opinions and awkward facial expressions are my own. You can buy your own set of Nicky Clarke DesIRED Rapid Heat Rollers here.]

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  • I’m talking about hair again on the blog today: #scottishbloggers #scotbloggers

    February 27, 2014
  • amy


    Hi Amber!

    I love your hair in these shots….could you tell me if you curled your hair towards or away from your face at the front?

    I’ve got the Cloud 9 rollers and love them but struggle to get this look with them!


    February 27, 2014
  • I am trying to master the hair rolling techniques when using heated rollers, so I really like your review posts concerning this topic. I have a steam set a little similar to this, and it also leaves my hair feeling smooth and therefore I can’t help but think healthy as well. Now if we could just get the hair in the back curled right… 🙂

    February 27, 2014
  • You are hilarious!!! Thanks for sharing your review!

    February 27, 2014
  • Ghalia


    Really loved these when I first saw them here, but then realised that they cost 100 pounds…. & you only get 6 rollers?! Really?! Who does that? I mean, am I missing something? I thought I needed a full set of rollers (at least 15) to style my head. Are there people in this world who only use 6 with good results?

    Their product description claims that it is “Compact unit – a fraction of the size of traditional roller sets.” Ummmm, with only 6 rollers, of course it’s only going to be a fraction of the size…..

    I mean, is one able to buy extra rollers separately from the “pack”? That might be something that would make me consider buying this, because I do think it’s a great idea. otherwise, I don’t see how I could make any use of this thing.

    February 27, 2014
  • This week I took photos of myself in rollers and posted them on the internets. Full post here:

    February 28, 2014
  • I’ve been reviewing the magintone pulsar on my blog and I’ve had that same conversation with myself that you had in the bathroom. I’m sick of taking photos of myself and uploading them and picking which ones and just looking at them in general, tomorrow is day seven then I can be done with it and I’m never posting another closeup of my face AGAIN! Ha. Poor people who had had the pleasure of looking at the for the past week!

    The rollers look fantastic. This post reminded me that I wanted to put my hair in rags tonight, but doom, Its almost 1am and I’m in bed so I guess no rags for me!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Corinne x

    March 1, 2014
  • A review of a compact heated roller set from @foreveramber for those of you with glamorous jetsetting lifestyles!

    March 3, 2014
  • Come back. COME BACK.

    I bought the mascara you recommended and did a terrible attempt at my first ‘make-up review’ post. Winner! I’ll go back to posting photos about pretty dresses now, I think.

    Corinne x

    March 7, 2014
  • Hi Amber.
    I was referred to you by Catherine of Not dressed as Lamb, and Annette, from Lady of Style. They didn’t know that I follow you site, but Catherine said I should stip by as you look like a younger version of myself. I like your post on the hot rollar/s. My hair is poker straight and red too> I use hot rollars, as Veronica Lake of the 40s, is my hair idol, that side part, holly wave hair style. It looks really good.

    When you have time perhaps you can stop by my site:

    I am wearing a dress that reminds me of Mad Men, and modeling some black cat eyes, from readers, but I need them in a prescription, as I like you in cat eye as well!

    March 10, 2014