What is a Flexi-Rod?
You may or may not have seen these funny looking, tubular, rubbery contraptions before. Or you may think you’ve seen one but you may be mistaking it for a perm rod. This is a flexi rod:
Don’t be intimidated by its strange shape. Flexi-rods are bendable and – hence the name – flexible enough to form to your hair and producing a fabulous curl.
Benefits of Flexi Rods
Flexi rods are versatile objects. Flexi-rods work well on natural curls while they’re wet or while in a blown-out state; which is natural hair in a stretched/semi-straightened state using a blow dryer or various other methods without heat.
Flexi rod sets are an awesome way to get voluminous curls without heat. As opposed to other methods natural girls use to curl their hair (such as using perm rods, pin curls, and curlformers) flexi-rods provide a better grip when applying and therefore forming a more seamless curl.
If you enjoy voluminous hair, using flexi-rods will definitely give you that big, curly look. While they’re a little tricky to master at first, once you get the hang of using them, you’ll fall in love with the curl.
How to Install Flexi Rods (A Very Basic Guide)
With natural hair, you must have moisture in your hair for it to form to the shape of the flexi rod. If you wrap your hair around the rod in a dampened state, the hair will dry around the shape of the flexi rod to form the curl.
However, if you wrap your hair around the flexi rod in a dry state, it will have a harder time forming around the shape of the flexi rod. It’s not true that you won’t get some sort of curl if you install flexi rods onto your completely dry hair, however, using flexi rods on wet or damp hair will produce fuller and longer lasting results.
Even if your hair is in a blown-out state, it is recommended that you add just a little bit of water or moisturizer such as Jane Carter Solution Condition & Sculpt to your hair before applying the flexi rods. How you install the flexi rods onto your hair is a choice within itself.
It is recommended that you work in small to medium sections to ensure that your hair will be dry when you take your hair down. Your hair must be completely dry when you take your flexi rods out.
Not DAMP but DRY. This cannot be emphasized enough.
If you don’t wait until your hair is completely dried and you decide to take your hair down, your hair will probably look beautiful at first, but throughout the day it will turn into a frizzy ball of mess. This comes from experience; so please leave them in until they have completely dried.
There are a few methods you can try when installing the flexi rod to your hair:
Method 1: Wrap the ends of your hair around the flexi rod and roll the hair up. Fold both ends of the flexi rod to hold in place. This will produce a Shirley Temple-esque curl.
Method 2: Wrap the ends of your hair around the flexi rod and twist the hair from around the rod from bottom to top while twirling your wrist in a circular motion. Secure the flexi rod at the top by bending the top down. Check out this video by Naptural85 to get a better understanding.
Method 3: This one is a little harder to explain. It’s called the “Horseshoe Method” by some and is done by folding the flexi rod over a section of your hair and splitting that section into two pieces. Then twisting each sectioned piece around each side of the flexi rod and folding the ends to secure. Yes, that is confusing. Watch this video by CurlDaze to see what i’m attempting to explain.
Products to Use for Installing Flexi Rods
Here’s a list of products that may prove to be a starting point to help you get the flexi rod set results that you desire.
The first is Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie. This stuff is amazing. It’s very moisturizing so it is recommended to only use a small amount on each section of your hair to add softness and definition.
Another favorite is as mentioned in Curldaze’s video. The shine on her hair speaks for itself doesn’t it. I think so. This twist and define cream will not weigh your hair down and will provide sleek results.
It does take awhile for flexi rod sets to dry. It would be best to use a bonnet dryer attachment with your hair dryer for a quicker drying time.
Remember, these are only recommendations and not requirements.
It is recommended that you use a light gel, like homemade flax seed gel or Miss Jessies Quick Curls if you want a firmer hold.
Best Flexi Rods for Natural Hair
Flexi rods match the versatility of black hair. It does not matter your hair type: flexi rods will work for your hair.
There are different methods and different flexi rod sizes that you can use to get the type of curl that you desire. It’s all about having the patience to learn which method works for you and that takes trial and error.
You can use smaller flexi rods for a tighter curl and you can use big flexi rods for a looser curl.
How to Maintain Flexi-Rods
Flexi rods can either be kept in the bag that they came in or in a small plastic storage bin, which can be placed under the bathroom sink or anywhere that you can find a place for them. The actual flexi rods themselves are very durable and long lasting.
You won’t have to worry about these breaking they are very durable.
How Long Does It Take for Flexi Rods to Curl Your Hair?
It varies. If you have longer and/or thicker hair, then your hair will take longer to curl with flexi rods than someone who has thinner and/or shorter hair.
Flexi rod sets take a longer time to dry on wet hair than dry/blown out hair that has moisture added to it. Hair that has a lot of product in it will take more time to dry than hair that has little to no product in it.
Tightly coily/curly hair types will take longer to dry than hair that has a looser curl pattern. Also, the size of the flexi rod may determine how long your hair takes to form the curl with the flexi rod.
Generally, the smaller the flexi rod, the less time it takes for the hair to dry.
How to Use Flexi Rods on Short vs. Long Hair
Let’s use this image for reference:
Flexi rods for lengths on the top left will be very difficult to install unless you’re using the smallest sized flexi rod. You will certainly get an extremely tight curl and these curls will be extremely long lasting.
For the length represented on the top right of the picture, small to medium flexi rods will be easier to install. However, with effort, you can use the bigger rods but the curls may not be as voluminous.
All sizes will be simple to install. Much like the previous picture, the bigger rods may not be as full but still very pretty. Flexi rod sets for hair lengths on the bottom right will be easier to install but will take A LOT more time (especially if your hair is on the thicker side).
How to Use Flexi Rods on Relaxed vs. Kinky/Curly hair
If you’re relaxed, do not worry about whether you can get great results with flexi rods. You can.
With both relaxed and kinky/curly hair, you will need to use a moisturizer such as ApHogee Style & Wrap Mousse or even water to dampen your hair, so your hair will dry around the flexi rod to produce a curl. You can also install flexi rods with your damp/wet hair freshly washed.
With relaxed hair, you can wear flexi rods for a curly look – I would recommend using small to medium sized rods for fuller and bouncier curls – but you can also use them to get a “body wrap”. After you blow dry and/or flat iron your hair (flat ironed hair will produce a sleeker look), use a bit of jojoba oil which won’t weigh your hair down and install the flexi rods.
Once your hair is completely dry, unravel the rods and then brush them down using a paddle brush. Once your hair is brushed out, wrap your hair (using the paddle brush and bobby pins if needed) in a circular motion around your head and tie with a silk scarf.
When you’re ready to leave your house or just ready to take your hair down, brush it down using either the paddle brush or a wide toothed comb and style to your liking.
Your hair will be full and dynamic. Natural girls can achieve this look with heat but heatless styling is always more natural girl friendly.
How to Use Flexi Rods on Weave & Natural Hair Extensions
Using Flexi rods on weave/natural hair extensions is very simple. You only truly need water.
Spray some water on the weave using a spray bottle and install the flexi rods to your liking. If your weave is feeling a little dry, use only a SMALL amount of oil to the ends of the weave, some say it’s best to not use product when installing your flexi rods. I personally don’t believe that; if your weave is human hair then you will always want to use a light weight oil on the ends of the hair such as argan oil when you take down your flexi rods after your hair has completely dried.
Using flexi rods on straight or wavy weave will produce a more elongated curl. Using flexi rods on a kinky/curly weave will have a lot of shrinkage and will produce a curl with a lot of texture.
Curlformers vs. Natural Hair
These are Curlformers:
Much like flexi rods, Curlformers come in different lengths and sizes. However, Curlformers are generally more expensive (prices ranging from $13.99 for the smallest size to around $60 for a case of the larger sizes) and they use a latch hook to install.Curlformers, while still uncomfortable to sleep in, are a little more flexible which allows for an easier night of sleep than with the flexi rods. Curlformers always give a bigger, Shirley Temple curl and don’t have as much versatility in their style as with flexi rods.
They also are slightly harder to install than flexi rods.
Different Hair Styles Achieved After Using Flexi Rods
You don’t have to keep your hair in the big and curly look after taking your flexi rods out. These are hair styles you can achieve after taking your flexi rods out or once your curls are older:
Use all of these tips, photos, videos, and words to guide you with installing your flexi rods. Even if all of these methods and products won’t work for you, some of them definitely will.
Natural hair is all about patience, trial, and error. You will almost certainly achieve beautiful hairstyles on your natural hair if you work with it and embrace your beauty.
Because your hair is beautiful.
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.