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Hair Care & Advice

I tried hair plopping and my curls have never looked better

Hair plopping: a phenomenon that the curly haired community is well-versed with, social media is obsessed with and every wavy haired individual is slowly starting to adopt. Hair plopping is perhaps the easiest, do-it-yourself method that leads to soft, shiny, frizz-free curls.

This concept of heatless hair styling recently went viral on social media, between the Dalgona coffee, TikTok dances and Amazon hauls people were doing at the height of quarantine. It showed us some crazy transformations, and techniques that gave us new insights into hair plopping and caring for curly hair.

While there are a plethora of products and oils, treatments and approaches to defining your natural curls, plopping seems to be the one that is not only the most popular approach but also the most effective one. The best part about it is that it blends so seamlessly into your everyday hair care routines. There’s no denying that maintaining and caring for curly hair can take more effort and energy, but hair plopping provides a simple gateway into getting there sooner by combing itself right into your post-shower hair care routine with a few simple, and easy-to-do steps.

In case you’re a rookie or want to refresh your memory, here’s a complete breakdown on what  hair plopping is, what it’s benefits are and how you can easily do it yourself at home. Keep scrolling to see:

So, what is hair plopping?

Hair plopping is a method of styling your curls to maintain and enhance their natural shape. It cuts out heat-styling, drying time and also keeps the frizz far, far away. This method is largely popular with individuals who have curly hair (type 3a, 3b, 3c) but is also slowly being incorporated into the hair care routines of wavy hair types. 

The main reason is because this method correctly defines your hair’s natural texture without damaging it in any way. A lot of times curly and wavy hair can have a mind of its own, and styling it can get difficult. But the process of plopping trains your hair to adopt its natural shape while also nourishing it. 

How to plop your hair

Now, let’s get down to business. There are a lot of approaches on how to plop your hair on the internet currently, but the most widely popular + effective one that includes curl creams and a cotton t-shirt! If you’re looking to incorporate this method into your everyday hair care routine, here is a complete breakdown of how you can do that.

STEP 1

On freshly washed, still damp hair, apply your regular styling products. This could be your curl defining cream, a leave-in conditioner or hair gel. Make sure to apply the appropriate amount of product to your hair—too much could make your hair greasy and slick and too little can leave your hair feeling dry. 

Scrunch your hair to make sure your curls/waves have soaked in the product. This scrunching also trains the hair for the shape it’s going to take once wrapped in the t-shirt.

STEP 2

Next lay down a soft, cotton t-shirt (the bigger, the better!) on a flat surface with the collar of the t-shirt facing away from you. Bend over and slowly lower your hair onto the middle of the tee. Make sure there are no locks of hair outside of the center or they will fall out when you tie the tee on to your head.

STEP 3

Then, pull the sleeves + collar around the nape of your neck and secure it with a knot in the middle of your forehead. 


STEP 4

With your head still down, roll the body of the t-shirt with your hair secured inside and plop it on to the top of your head and secure with a knot.  

And that’s it! For best results, it’s essential that you keep your hair plopped for a minimum of 20-30 minutes before slowly unraveling it. When you’re opening up your t-shirt, remember to be gentle and take it slow or you might just undo all the effort you put in to getting soft, defined curls.


PSA: The results of plopping are so good, that once you start, there’s no going back.  

Benefits of hair plopping

The process is so simple, isn’t it? With products you already use, and a simple switch from a towel to a t-shirt can make a world of difference to your curls. But the benefits of hair plopping aren’t limited to just this. Here are a few more reasons why hair plopping could be your new muse:

Reduces drying time

This is one of the biggest reasons why we love a good hair plop! It takes away almost all your drying time and turns it into an automatic, heat-free styling technique that requires minimal effort. Instead of spending so much time with your diffuser/hair dryer styling your hair you can now simply plop and get around to completing other things on your task list—multitasking at its finest!

Defines your curls

With the amount of time we indulge in heat-styling, we often don’t even remember what the natural texture of our hair is like. This method not only opens your eyes to the true texture of your hair but also helps in locking in the product so as to define and strengthen your hair’s natural look.

Lifts your roots

One of the toughest struggles for curly hair is having dull, flat roots because of how curls weigh your hair down. If left to air dry, the weight of wet, curly hair can create a flat top that can be unflattering. When plopping, your hair sits at the top of your head, which helps you gain a visible lift at the crown. 

Cancels the frizz and flatness

There’s no denying that curly hair looks so good when wet, but if left to air dry can be easily affected by outside disturbances that cause your hair to get dry, frizzy and flat. Plopping takes care of this by easily holding the hair’s natural moisture in, soaking in the product and drying it slowly to create well-defined texture. 

Anti-gravity at work

Like we talked about earlier, the weight of your curls, the product in your hair as well as gravity can elongate and weigh down, instead of lifting your hair. When you plop you’re going against gravity to lift and style your hair—this keeps it bouncy and playful. The kind of hair we all love to see!

So there you have it! A complete breakdown of the viral social media trend and every curly haired girl’s favorite hair care technique. Are there any other methods you use to keep your curls defined and cute? Let us know! Until then, happy plopping!

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