How to Plop Your Hair: What Every Curly Girl Needs to Hear

curly haired woman reading a book

Curly girls have more fun — that’s a fact.

Curly girls also have to exert more effort to style and care for their curls — that’s another fact.

Anyone who is blessed with curls knows that when the hair is wet, your curls are defined and smooth. But when it starts to dry, it misbehaves. Apart from losing its curl definition, your locks just automatically go to frizzy mode.

What you do to your hair between its dry and wet states can either give you a good hair day or one of your worst. It’s no wonder that many girls always Google “how to plop hair” because it is the tamer of stubborn curls.

First Things First: What is Plopping?

Plopping for curly hair involves using a cotton t-shirt (you can also use a microfiber towel or pillowcase) to dry your wet curls in a contained mound on top of your head. This cuts down frizz and improves definition. Basically, plopping is the curly hair method approved by girls who aren’t big fans of just twisting a towel around their heads.

Is plopping better than the old twist your hair around your head with a towel?

It turns out that when you twist and wrap your curls in a towel, they get frizzy (from the towel) and stretched out (from the twisting).

Plopping, on the other hand, keeps your curly locks scrunched and compact, like an accordion on the top of your head. The t-shirt absorbs moisture without creating frizz, whereas a microfiber towel is thinner and absorbent. Unlike thicket terry cloth bath towels, it can wick away moisture so your hair can dry faster. The result is clumped curls and smoother hair cuticles.

How Do You Put Your Hair in a Plop?

There are many ways you can plop your hair but the most effective way to do so is to use a t-shirt, especially an oversized one.

Here’s how to properly plop your hair:

  1. After showering, scrunch out the excess water from your hair and apply your favorite leave-in conditioner and other curly girl hair products. Many curly girls practice the LOC method, which stands for leave-in, oil and curl-cream.
  2. Lay a big t-shirt (a long-sleeved shirt works best for plopping) out on your bathroom counter or chair with the sleeves at the end near you. If you want to use a towel, avoid using the terry cloth ones since they absorb moisture. Instead, use a microfiber towel.
  3. Bending at the waist, flip your head forward so that your hair remains at the center of the towel.
  4. Take the flap of fabric sitting behind your head and flip it up over your neck. Next, tie the shirt’s sleeves (or the extra microfiber towel fabric) behind your head in a knot. If you used a long-sleeved shirt, wrap the sleeves around to the front before you tie it in a knot. You’ll end up with a turban on your head. The shirt will also absorb moisture without frizzing your hair.

Using a t-shirt or a microfiber towel ensures you won’t have to deal with crunchy and frizzy curls. Also, if you have looser waves or fine hair, plopping creates a lift at the roots since your hair is drying on top of your head. If your curls often look limp or tend to disappear, a proper plop will enhance your curl pattern, too.

How Long Should You Plop Your Hair?

Many women prefer to plop their hair for 10 to 20 minutes before they air dry or diffuse their hair. Some go the extra mile by plopping their hair overnight, but this can be tricky.

Drying beyond 20 minutes could dry up your curls too much, which makes it difficult to use your favorite curly girl products or methods. If you plop overnight, you may end up with hair that is too damp.

Your plopping time depends on your hair length, porosity and type, as well as your lifestyle. To find out how long you should plop your hair, experiment with the duration.

woman with curly hair

Photo by Monstera from Pexels

What Are The Pros and Cons of Plopping?

As mentioned above, plopping curly hair gives you beautifully defined locks that hardly have any frizz.

Other perks that come with plopping are:

  • Less frizz
  • More clumps
  • Cut down your drying time
  • Prevent split ends
  • Reduce the need for heating tools
  • Create a lift at your roots

But like any hair method, plopping your curly hair has its downside, too. However, the only one we can think of is that you’ll use more styling products. Your shirt or towel will absorb the gel, leave-in conditioner and all the products you applied. Also, your hair’s roots may absorb the products quickly, making it greasier.

But is Plopping for Everyone?

Plopping is a curly hair method, perfect for people with easily weighed down curls or loose waves. When you plop your hair, you don’t let the moisture pull your curl pattern down before it dries. This results in beautiful waves and curls.

Plopping can also work for people with straight hair. When you plop your locks, you may get natural waves or an effortlessly tousled look without using hot tools.

The Bottom Line: Plopping is a Curly Hair Girl’s Best Friend (Actually, Everyone’s BFF)

Hair plopping is beneficial to different hair textures, but it is especially helpful to girls with curly or wavy hair. The good news is, even straight-haired friends can also plop their hair. As long as you’re scrunching and setting your locks on top of your head, you’ll enjoy a stress-free hair drying experience.

For tight coils and curls, plopping your hair keeps your locks frizz-free and soft. If you have waves and loose curls, plopping lifts the roots at the crown, giving you a volume-rich look. As for people with straight hair, plopping gives you a natural bend minus the rollers and curling iron.

Simply put, anyone can have a grand time when they plop their hair! As long as you do the technique right, you’ll be fine!

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