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Curly Nikki

Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

By January 27th, 202136 Comments

Hola Chicas!

I’ve been using CurlFormers with great success to stretch my hair in order to bun or chunky twist for extended periods of time. I owned a pack of CurlFormers back in the day but gifted them to Maria in a giveaway last Christmas…. maybe 2 Christmases ago. Anyway, the sets are exactly like I remembered… puts me in the mind of an old school Press & Curl. It takes all the bulk out of my hair and makes it look very thin and scalpy. I do, however, appreciate how straight it gets it… especially the edges and roots, with NO HEAT! It’s almost bizarre.

If you remember, I like to keep my hair in a stretched state because it reduces tangling, single strand knots and breakage. I also like twisting on dry, previously stretched hair because the results appear much fuller than they would on wet hair.

I feel like I share this story all the time, but oh well… here it goes again ๐Ÿ™‚

The one time I saw an incredible jump in length retention… like, what literally took me from shoulder length (was stuck there forever) to arm pit length, was consistent CurlFormer sets styled in the Southern Tease Bun–

I’d re-wash and set every two weeks and do this low manipulation, super chic bun in the meantime. Major length retention!

I like the CurlFormers better than magnetic rollers because they’re easier and quicker to put in and the somewhat smooth results are a great primer for a dry set (bantu knot-out, twist-out, braid-out, pin curl or Twist-n-Curl). Sleeping in them is hell and I’m thinking I need to modify my routine so that I put the rollers in early in the a.m. and take them out before bed. The bonnet dryer is always an option but I hate sitting still for that long.

My process–

  • After my normal wash routine, in the evening, I get out of the shower and gently wring my clean, thoroughly rinsed hair to remove excess water.
  • I heavy handedly apply a layer of oil of the Argan variety.
  • Section hair into two halves and pin the right side out of the way.
  • Working from the nape of my neck to the front, I section out one piece at a time. I apply a bit of leave-in (Salerm 21 or whatever I have on hand… nothing sticky or buttery though) and put in the CurlFormer.
  • Continue until all hair is rolled… takes me around an hour.
  • Leave in until dry… 12 hours in my case.
  • Carefully remove one roller at a time.
  • Finger comb (with oily hands) and bun. I usually twist up several days later. And I don’t roll the ends on flexis until the night before I have somewhere to go. So 90% of the time I’m rocking a bun or chunky twists under a beanie.
  • While in the twists, once a week or so, I do the heated oil/moisturizer treatment with my heat cap.

And now… pics!

I (re) purchased the Salon kit last month from Sallys for way too much money.

I used all 40 Long and Wide rollers
Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

after a terrible night attempting sleep
Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Stylesgets the roots pretty smooth…
Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

bunned! I’ll keep it in the bun for a few days and will

probably twist it up using an Argan/Castor oil mix
over the weekend

Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

This particular CurlFormer set at the end of July…
Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

resulted in these dry sets….

Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles


Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

For the above Twist-n-Curls, I made 11 twists on my dry, Curlformer stretched hair, using Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee and lots of Treasured Locks Argan oil or my own Argan/Castor Oil mix. I wore the twists for several days (using the heat cap at least once) and the night before the respective events, I re-moisturized the ends and rolled them on skinny flexi rods. It’s that simple!

Boogie on the move! Peep the cardigan ๐Ÿ™‚

Adventures in CurlFormer Sets- Natural Hair Styles

Using CurlFormers too?

Share your experiences including a description of your hair (coily, wavy, dense, thin, etc.), the products you use, and the like ๐Ÿ™‚


  • ChicSista says:

    I'm getting these TODAY! Do you think Lottabody will be a good setting lotion to use?

  • Nic says:

    I just bought 3 packs of the short & narrow. I have 4a/4b CBL hair when stretched. My coils seem to get tighter the longer my hair becomes. After a year of no heat I've started resorting to my silver bird blowdryer to stretch before a twist out (that shrinks back into a foxy brown-angela davis-esque bush within 3 hours). I'm at my wits end contemplating shaving it back off again. I hope these provide some relief!

    I notice most people just wash, condition & use a setting product. I'm afraid of dryness. Does anyone moisturize, seal then use setting products to style? I currently use hair one or giovanni silk co wash/leave in, DC w homemade avocado,honey &egg treatment, qhemet biologics coco detangling gee, qhemet biologics AOHC, qhemet biologics OHHB, and then She Scent It Senai butter to seal.

  • Sydney says:

    CURL FORMERS ARE AMAZING! My mom saw them on a hair blog and I thought for sure they were just hype. I have 4B/C extremely thick natural hair that when straight reaches bra strap length. I had been suffering through failed twist outs while experimenting with wearing it curly for 8 months and had reverted to blow drying and flat ironing. Curl formers have changed everything! I am currently on day 3 of my third curl former set. My curls are perfect spirals and I just wear them pinned up in the front. I love controlled hair so I don't twist the curls or anything. I wear it for about 5 days then reset them. I'm amazed how smooth my hair looks and I think I can attribute that to brushing each section with a Denman brush previous to putting it in the former.
    One Anon mentioned poofy ends- Get yee a Denman! I was afraid of this too but the Denman really smoothes the hair.
    The products I used:
    Pre wash- organic coconut oil treatment, shampoo with cream of nature ultra moisturizing shampoo, co-wash/detangle with cream of nature moisturizing conditioner, Deep treatment with Miss Jessie's rapid recover. I then t-shirt dried my hair and sprayed on Aphogee green tea reconstructor protein spray and a little bit of Thermasilk leave in (now out of production), I then applied Lacio Lacio in sections and individually would re-apply lacio lacio and seal that with One N Only argan oil and brush with my Denman and then pull through the curl former. I made sure each section was damp and after about 6 hours in the formers my hair was completely dry! (This was shocking as I always used to wake up to wet twist outs). AMAZING results so far- I'm a curly head again!

  • Anonymous says:

    I got generic, neither curlformer or leverag, ones off of eBay and used them last night. I got the x-long wide ones. Originally, I bought the kit from Sally but had to return after discovering that my hair in the back is about 23 inches. The x-long were a little short but I just slid them down.

    OMG!! Hyped up products and devices NEVER work on my hair but I have perfect spiral curls this morning. I NEVER could have accomplished this with a blow dryer, flat iron, and blazing hot curling iron. Usually, despite nighttime efforts (twist, braid, new products, bun), my hair usually looks about the same.

    I washed and used a vinegar rinse to get all of the gunk out, put on organic coconut oil (cooking grade), and used Generic brand Paul Mitchell's Sculpting Lotion and Leave-in Conditioner. It was the worse night of sleep of my life but well worth it. I wasn't ready for this so I guess I'll separate the curls because this is too much perfection way too soon.

  • BreukelensFinest says:

    love it love it love it!!!!! and your daughter…oooo i cud just eat her up! too cute! and that sweater is fresh

  • Ai says:

    I've been transitioning for one year and CurlFormers became my staple style a little over a month ago. On Sunday's I wash my hair, deep condition and use TCB's Foaming Wrap-N-Set Lotion and Mizani's Thermasmooth Smooth Guard Smoothing Serum to set my hair before going to sleep. In the morning I take them out, separate the curls with a little coconut & olive oil and go. I normally get 2nd or third day hair by simply wearing my hair out and pinning it up under a satin scarf at night. On the third day I reset my hair after conditioning it, or just pull it back into a bun for the remainder of the week.

  • Anonymous says:

    BEautiful hair Nikki!

  • Sham says:

    As always your hair looks fab! I am slightly curious about trying curlformers, but I'm still recovering from my flexirod letdown. My heart needs more time to heal, LOL!

    Hey G-Baby! I see ya doin big thangs this summer! *kisses*

  • Lyn says:

    Nikki, your hair is gorgeous and smooth with endless sheen! If this is the result of henna, I need to stop hesitating and procrastinating, and order some pronto! I love your results, and your hair looks to healthy. This will probably be a good stretch-out style for me, but I may need a little more length. I currently only have 6"-7" of hair right now. Boo-hoo! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Admiring your hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have tried the Magic Leverage version and they work great on my hair. I have 4a/b hair and its collarbone length when stretched. I have never tried curlformers so I cant compare the 2 but hey for $7/set of 18 (including shipping) its worth a try. I bought 2 sets just to be sure. The only thing is they are shipping from china so it takes a few weeks. Niki your hair is gorgeous and baby Gia is a doll!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have yet to try curlformers! I have to put that on my list! Can I just say that Baby G is sooooooooo freakin' cayute!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair turned out great with the curlformers. In some of those photos it looks like you got a press and curl (but I know you didn't) smile.
    Also, Baby Gia is workin' her yellow hairband and matching teenie tiny cardigan. (Waaaayyyyy tooo cute.)
    Allnatural1 (A.K.A. Michelle in TX)

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone tried the magic leverag version of these? They are literally a fraction of the cost on ebay. I think I'm going to give them a shot. It's so cheap if it doesn't work out, I haven't lost much!

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone with 4c/4d tried these…I'm interested and don't want to waste money

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @MrsDjRass, no prob! products that are thicker that don't provide a lot of slip seem to hinder the process. And sticky products can make your hair stick to the rollers which will lead to breakage. I would stick to lighter leave-ins and the moisturize with a heavier butter later… like when you twist or knot or braid.

    thanks ladies!

  • MrsDjRass says:

    Nikki, thanks for posting this! Is there a reason, you don't like the idea of any butters. Does the hair get stuck or something? I'm just checking because all I have is some curly butter, as I'm new to the healthy hair journey and my products aren't as plentiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Your results are enough to make me run out to sallys right now. Thanks for the review and your hair is beautiful! I love your professional photos.

  • Maria says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone tried the generic "As Seen on TV" version? Back-to-school shopping has my wallet on the light side, but I want to give this a try. Here's the link: . Could someone with the real thing tell me if this looks about the same?

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, I definitely don't have the patience or time for this one. Your hair looks great.

    My stretching routine:
    I just wash, towel dry a bit, air dry a little longer then add a leave-in. Twist my hair in anywhere from 4-10 twists, pull them together in groups and band them. Easy peasy, has enhanced my length retention and is oh, so quick.
    This routine has worked well with my 6 day a wk intense cardio (SWEATING) workouts.

    May try the curlformers on a relaxed weekend, if I can borrow a few from someone or just buy 2 or 3 on the cheap. Dont know if that's possible to do, but I don't want to be like the guy in the movie, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" who orders one rib!

  • Nikcoils says:

    I love my curlformers. I used them when my hair was little past BSL and the long and wide from sally's were too short for my hair…so i had to purchase the extra long and wide from the website and they work great. my hair is very thick and small coils so i have major shrinkage SL when wet. I recently cut 12 inches of my hair so I revisted them and i love them even more on my shorter hair it resemble more of a jawlength bob because i seperate them to make them have a less child like appearance. I then twist the set after the 2nd or 3rd day. I use Elasta QP setting foam and coconut oil.

  • Anonymous says:

    Curlformers were one of the best investments I've ever made! And I also use them to help minimize breakage, knots, and tangles!!

    I usually use Sally's GVP Paul Mitchell The Conditioner with aloe vera juice as a leave in and JBCO to seal…I then use my denman and add a little Lottabody to each section before adding the curlformer

    I wear this set pinned to the side or pinned up in some fashion for a few days – and then use a little Taliah Waajid's Protective Mist Bodifier to help pull out the curls – and bun it for the rest of the time…

    I do this every two weeks! Works great – anyone who's afraid to try them…I don't think you'll be disappointed!!

    I think my hair is normal density – curly – maybe type 4a mixed with a little 3c – and I've had very positive results with the curlformers

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful results Nikki! I love your hair!

  • Candace4life says:

    Wow your hair came out great with the curlformers. Baby Gia walking good in the picture ๐Ÿ™‚ soon she is gonna be running all over the house getting into trouble lol…..

    For those with little girls as well check out this gorgeous little girl with all of this natural hair. I don't have kids yet but I hope her hair is as long as this little girls with the maintance that I would give to it.

  • Chantel says:

    I use them. I bought a set 2 weeks ago and have used them twice. The second time, I used JC wrap and roll and my hair came out crunchy (I think I was a little heavy handed). But I like them. I have 4b hair almost 6 inches long. My ends are poofy when I remove them, but I don't mind. I use them to stretch my hair for a twist out.

  • Anonymous says:

    How long does your hair have to be? I have about 4-4.5 inches of hair all around.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    You can definitely return them. While in grad school, I worked at Sally's for like 6 months… I'm the QUEEN of the product junkies, lol. You can return most things as long as you have a receipt, and they'll take back other stuff (even half empty bottles) without a receipt, you'll just get an instore credit. Try it!

  • Anonymous says:

    Can you return them? Because I used mine once and while it worked very well the first day, the second day the ends of my hair were very tangled and a matted mess. I was going to sale them on ebay, but if Sally's will take them back that's better. It's way to much work for me. I think I'll stick with a flat twist out.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Ms. Lisa, you can return them if you don't like them. I have seen women around the interwebs with hair similar to your description… it works on them too. Again, if you're like me, you may not want to wear the set as is, and if that's the case, you'll be very happy with their ability to straighten and smooth the hair for your actual dry set.

  • Ms. Lisa says:

    I was just on the curlformers website yesterday contemplating a purchase. I want something to stretch my hair other than the blow dryer but I'm scared of how these will act on my thick, kinky 4B hair; scared my hair won't smooth to my liking. But I'm going to buy them anyway and hope for the best.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @anon 3:00 girl the patience… it takes forever, but it also lasts forever. So for me, it's worth the initial effort.

    @anon 2:41, thanks chica!!! And my ends don't poof, but some of the length does… it's like it doesn't pull it straight… but it's cool cause I don't wear the set as is anyway. I notice more consistent (straighter, smoother) results when I do it on damp hair… but it's also harder to get the curlformers in on hair that isn't sopping wet.


  • Anonymous says:

    I really do admire you patience – the last time I did a roller set was almost 2 years ago and I have never attempted to use the curl formers. And I know I would get good results – but it just looks like a lot of work. : )

  • Curly Film Chick says:

    I love curl formers and primarily use them to stretch my hair out so that I can do bantu-knots, buns, or other styles. I'll occasionally wear the set for a day or two, but I love how easy they are to use and how they get my hair stretched out without heat!

  • Anonymous says:

    btw, that photoshoot pic of you is you absolutely breathtaking! go, you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki– We have really similar hair types and when I have the time [and wlling-ness to not sleep] I love Curlformers, too! No matter what I do though, the roots and length of my hair will be curled and/or stretched but the ends of my hair will just be poofs— sort of as if the curlformer isn't grasping the ends or able to curl then or maybe the hook is disrupting the way the ends lie? Has this happened to you? If so, what do you recommend to fix it? I hate wasting an hour + sleep doing my hair one way only to have to rewet and style in another more traditional/reliable style. My ends aren't damaged [I've never really used heat in my hair and I've never had a perm/relaxer, etc.] — I'm so confused!

  • naadii salaam says:

    nikki, thanx for letting me know how useful these have been for you! i too invested in the salon set via Sally's and was smh at the price but figured it was an investment in future beauty. i don't have half of your length, so for me at this point, the curlformers are just so-so. but it's a good look to know that these will come in handy down the line in my journey, so i won't be making a gift out of these to anyone!!!

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