Sponge rollers are gentle on a child's hair.

How to Curl a Child's Hair With Curlers

by Mimi Bullock

When your child needs a curlier hairdo for a formal event or for a special afternoon tea party, you can easily get a the look with curlers. Depending on your child's age and willingness to endure a hairstyling session, you have some styling choices. You can try heated velvet-covered curlers or plastic styling rollers. The child's hair length, how you position the curlers and how long you leave them in can affect the finished product.

Sponge Rollers

Wash the child's hair then towel dry it. Brush the tangles from the hair. The hair should feel slightly damp when you roll it.

Pull the hair into clipped sections to keep the strands out of the way. Remove a section of the hair that is slightly smaller than the length of the the sponge roller.

Open the roller clip and wrap the end of the hair around the sponge. Roll the hair under, onto the roller.

Turn the roller until it rests on the scalp and clip it closed. Allow the hair to dry overnight or until the hair is completely dry.

Hot Rollers

Dry the child's hair completely with a blow dryer or allow it to air dry. Section off the hair with alligator clips. You can put one clip on either side of the head, two at the back and two on the top of the head.

Choose the right-sized rollers from the hot-roller unit. If you want large curls, try the medium-sized rollers. For smaller, tighter curls, use the smallest rollers in the set. The largest rollers may be too large for a child's small head.

Wrap the end of the hair around the hot roller and roll it up to just below the scalp. Clip the roller in place and continue rolling up sections of hair until all the hair is rolled.

Tuck clips or combs between the child's scalp and the heated rollers if she has heat sensitivity. Spray the hair lightly and leave the rollers in until they cool completely.

Remove the rollers and come through, or fluff the hair with your fingers to preserve a bit more wave.

Items you will need

  • Towel
  • Brush
  • Alligator hair clips
  • Sponge rollers
  • Blow dryer
  • Velvet-covered hot rollers
  • Hair clips
  • Combs


  • Try a dab of styling gel or mousse in the hair before your roll it. This helps to control frizziness.


  • Rolling your hair with sponges while the hair is still wet can make the hair smell sour the next day.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images