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How To Plop Curly Hair Like A PRO

Plopping curly hair is a popular technique as more women embrace their naturally curly hair. Instead of blowing it out or using chemical treatments to straighten it, curly-haired girls celebrate their ringlets by keeping them bouncy and full.

The reason plopping curly hair (also known as “plunking curly hair”) is such a popular trend is because:

  • It’s simple (Anyone who can tie a knot can learn to plop hair.)
  • It’s cheap (In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything!)
  • It works (Once you plop your curly hair, you’ll wonder what took you so long!)
  • It’s convenient (Plopping your hair can work as quickly as 15 minutes or even overnight).
  • It looks and feels fantastic! (Get used to lots of compliments from strangers!)


What is Plopping Curly Hair?

curly hair plopping

Plopping is a styling system that maintains your wet or damp curly or wavy hair securely positioned on the very top of your head. Once there, it can begin to dry in that position, and when you let it down, your curls will fall into place free of frizz and with extra height and volume.

Women with medium-to-long hair are the best candidates for the plopping technique, which works best on wavy hair from type 2A up to curly hair type 3A.


What Do I Need to Plop Curly Hair?

The glorious thing about plopping curly hair is that it requires no special materials; you’ll likely find everything you need in your home.

  • A wide-tooth comb
  • Your favorite styling product (gel, mousse, cream, leave-in conditioner, etc.)
  • A lightweight oversized t-shirt or other absorbent material, such as a large microfiber towel
  • An elastic headband or sash (optional)
  • Several small or medium hair claws (optional)


How to Plop Curly Hair

1. Washed, Conditioned, and Rinsed Hair

It’s ideal to start the plopping process with freshly shampooed hair that has been thoroughly conditioned. Rinse everything out, so your hair feels squeaky clean to the touch. Since you will apply styling products in the next step, your hair must have no shampoo or conditioner residue.


2. Lay the T-shirt or Microfiber Towel on a Bed or Flat Surface

steps of curly hair plopping

Position the t-shirt with the bottom section closest to you on the edge of the bed. Make sure the t-shirt is soft and stretchy. Do this step before applying the styling products.

This article explains hair plopping using the t-shirt method, but if you don’t have the right kind of t-shirt, you can try one of these hair plopping turbans.


3. Apply Styling Products

The best styling products for plopping curly hair are the products that you already use and love. There’s no need to spend a fortune on new products if you are happy with what you have, but make sure that whichever you use dries quickly and won’t leave a greasy film on your hair.

Generously apply the product from the ends to the roots, ensuring all strands are coated. Use a bit more product to allow for the t-shirt absorption. Now is a good time to use your wide-tooth comb to separate each curl.


4. Flip and Gather

This move is the key to successful hair plopping. Bend/flip your head over and loosely gather all the hair together in your hands. Position your head in the center of the shirt until the ends of your hair touch the shirt. Keep moving your head down until it is also touching the shirt.


5. Wrap Hair

wrap curly hair for plopping

Keeping your head upside down on top of the t-shirt, roll the shirt’s bottom up to your forehead. Roll the top of the t-shirt (the collar and sleeve area) until it touches the nape of your neck. Twist the two ends with the sleeves one at a time, and then bring them around the back, also to the nape of your neck, and tie them.


6. Wait for Hair to Set

Many people plop their hair for about 20-30 minutes while applying makeup or doing other things around the house before going out. The time the hair stays in the t-shirt helps to speed up the drying process.

Plopping hair is so popular because you can keep your hair wrapped in the t-shirt overnight and wake up with almost dry, beautifully bouncy curls in the morning.

Women who live in cold climates and want to avoid going out of the house in the morning with a wet head can appreciate plopping for that reason alone. After all, icicle hair is not a great feeling!


7. Unwrap the Plop

Once you’re done plopping your hair, gently unwrap the t-shirt. Be careful not to mess the curls as they fall into place. Don’t rub them with the t-shirt and avoid separating them with your hands.


8. Style Your Curls

styling plopped curly hair

When your hair is as dry as you want it, then you’re finished plopping! If your curls are still a little heavy and damp, use a couple of claw-style hair clips on top of your head in the areas where you want more volume and height. Leave them in until you’re ready to remove them.


There you have it! Learning how to plop curly hair is something that you can accomplish at home, and it won’t cost you anything. Take advantage of this secret weapon whenever you want bouncy, full curls with none of the frizz!

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Samantha Thomas

Samantha Thomas is a beauty writer and certified hair colorist based in Ukraine. She has a passion for experimenting with new hair color trends and techniques. Samantha is a contributing writer for various beauty magazines and websites, where she shares her expertise and knowledge on hair coloring. She enjoys making hair coloring accessible to everyone by sharing tips and tricks through her writing. With an eye for detail and ability to create personalized hair color looks, Samantha is dedicated to the beauty industry and driven by her passion for hair coloring.