How to Use Sponge Rollers to Make Ringlets

by Melissa J. Bell

Shirley Temple has no monopoly on ringlets -- it's open season on these spiral curls, whether you're looking to go totally girly or just add a little spring to your style. Many stylists' time-tested tricks for ringlets involve curling irons, but the constant heat from these styling tools damages hair shafts and leaves your do looking less than desirable. Just say no to breakage, split ends and dry, frizzy hair -- while still sporting the bouncy coils you love -- with a safer, heat-free, sponge-roller wet set.

Dampen your hair with water and spritz it evenly with hair-curling serum.

Section off the hair above the crown and the hair just below the crown, leaving only the hair at the nape of the neck. Clip the top sections to the top of the head.

Take a 1-inch section of hair from the section nearest the nape of the neck and smooth it out with a brush.

Hold a sponge roller vertically against the scalp, right beside the hair section.

Twist the section of hair, then wrap it around the top of the roller once.

Wrap the section around the roller again, slightly lower than the first pass. Continue wrapping the twisted section all the way down the roller until you reach the hair tips.

Fold a perming paper in half and wrap it around the hair tips to cushion them.

Bend the roller in half, directing the hair tips toward the roots, to secure the roller and hold the perming paper in place. The more you bend the roller, the tighter the hold. If your type of roller includes a circular holding ring, slide it over the roller ends for extra security.

Twist and wrap 1-inch sections all over the nape area, holding the rollers vertically.

Take down the middle hair section and twist and wrap 1-inch sections again, this time with the rollers held horizontally. Wrap the hair upward, toward the hairline. Twist and wrap until all of the hair in the middle section is in rollers.

Take down the top hair section and twist and wrap the hair horizontally and upward around the rollers until the entire section is in rollers.

Let the hair dry completely. Take out the rollers and neaten the curls with your fingers only.

Items you will need

  • Hair-curling serum
  • Comb
  • Hair-styling clips
  • Hairbrush
  • Bendy sponge rollers
  • Perming papers


  • For smaller ringlets, use smaller sections. For larger ringlets like sausage curls, use 2- to 3-inch wide sections.
  • Thick sponge rollers will hold a curl set on their own but flimsy versions may need some help. Make sure your set of rollers comes with enough end connectors to finish the style.


  • Make-Up Artistry; Julia Conway
  • Hair & Makeup; Philippa Wingate and Felicity Everett
  • Great Hair: Secrets to Looking Fabulous and Feeling Beautifu; Every Day; Nick Arrojo

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images