In New York, designer Donna Karan reportedly throws a few jumbo curlers in her hair while eating lunch at her desk.
Matrix Essentials, a leading hair-products company, released their Fall '91 trends early in the year, predicting "high rollers in high style," with "the haute couture-salon look" replacing casual styles. Photos of Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and other famous models in curlers larger than their egos illustrated the report.
Big hair is on the upsweep but with a twist. It's longer, softer, wavier and curlier. Women are using words like "setting," "finger-brush" and "hairdressing" again as hair goes back to glamour.
The styling-tool industry is producing wider and longer rods. Gordon Nelson, international creative director for Regis and Saks Fifth Avenue Salons, says his stylists are using larger rods for full perms, as few as 20 for the entire head. "And for the first time in years, we're teasing to achieve volume," he says.
But one stylist's volume is another's rat's nest.
"It's important here to differentiate between 'big hair' and 'mall hair,'" says Suzanne-Marie Pellegrini, public relations director for John Paul Mitchell Systems a hair-product company. "We're seeing lots of volume and movement in both short and long styles, but without the ratty, fly-away, brittle look that marked the "Charlie's Angels" era."
"Mademoiselle" magazine was one of the first to herald the comeback of the roller last spring. They called them "tubular tools." No one was fooled a roller by any other name is still a roller.
But today's rollers are made with sponge or touch fasteners. And some hairstyles don't require the setting lotion or water used when rollers ruled in the 1960s. (Remember? The Extra-Jumbo Size Goody Rollers weren't big enough, so you improvised with a Coke can.)
Back then, rollers were used for high-rise hairdos. Today, rollers are used to add fullness or volume to hair.