Saturday, November 23, 2013

A few curlers from the "What were they thinking" category

I was pleased to come across two types of vintage rollers that I had never seem before: metal mesh rollers (or unknown brand) and Tip-Top "Controllers". Both seem quite unique.


Metal mesh rollers


I think these metal mesh rollers are made from aluminum because they are very light. They are also solid since they are somehow made from a single piece of metal (not a woven wire or nylon mesh the way most mesh rollers are) and smooth. Yes, smooth like a magnetic roller. But seem very hard to wind neatly because the hair does not cling to them the way it does with magnetic rollers. Unfortunately, the holes in them are a little to small for plastic roller piks to secure them, so I gave up trying them

These certainly seem like very high quality rollers, and with the metallic coloring even look nice. I'll have to find the narrow metal piks for German brush rollers and have another go at trying these curlers again sometime.

Tip-Top "Controllers"

 "Soft as foam, curls like magnetic, holds like a brush roller" is what it says on the package. 

Curls like magnetic rollers is probably true. They certainly don't grip the hair well like brush rollers should. The bristles are far apart and thin, and while hair slides around the roller almost like a mag roller, it stays loose. But the worst thing is the bristles which are poky uncomfortable to say the least. So bad I didn't even try them. I'm guessing you never see them because of that. A bit surprising from Tip-Top since they already had some very nice lines of curlers. But perhaps they worked well for really long hair in spite of  short curly hair shown on the package.

If you have ever come across or used either of these rollers, please let me know. It would interesting to know how they were actually used at the time.


  1. What a find with those metal curlers! Never seen anything quite like them, although I've seen similar ones made from rounded wire instead of flat (if that makes sense), which are probably the woven sort you were talking about. I agree that the plastic ones are poorly thought out. You think they would have found out in the testing phase!

  2. The metal rollers were used mainly on freshly permed hair as the new curl clung to the curve of the roller, which was secured by a metal hairpin pushed through the roller and against scalp. If you were lucky your hairdresser would place a thin strip of cotton wool under the rollers on the front hairline as after about 10 minutes under the dryer they became very hot and uncomfortable. A lot of clients constantly rang the bell to get their dryer turned down.