Curly Hair Guide to plopping

Curly Hair Guide to plopping

Certain hairstyles are, indeed, universal. For example, whether your hair is straight, curly, wavy, or coily, applying shampoo and conditioner is essentially the same. However, when it comes to drying and styling our hair, those of us with curls know that bouncy, beautiful spirals require a lot of time, planning, and preparation. No, we can not just wake up this way (most days, at least). Plopping is one of the most common drying procedures for curly hair. The name may sound funny, but it truly works like magic on wavy, curly, and coily strands, and it works regardless of hair length, from short to long. Look no further if you’re unfamiliar with plopping or simply don’t know where to begin. We enlisted the help of a curly hair specialist to learn the ins and outs of plopping hair. 

First, what exactly is plopping?

Plopping is a method that involves drying your wet curls in a self-contained mound on top of your head with a cotton T-shirt (or silk pillowcases, or microfiber towel), which helps to boost definition and reduce frizz. It’s essentially the curly-approved alternative to wrapping a towel over your head.

Why is plopping preferable to the old twisted-towel scenario? Welp, since wrapping and twisting your curls in a towel causes them to get stretched out (from the twisting) and frizzy (from your rough, nubby towel). Plopping, on the other hand, maintains your damp curls compressed and crumpled accordion-style on top of your head, keeping your roots volumized, curls clumped, and hair cuticle smooth.

When is the most appropriate moment to plop hair?

After applying the product, we recommend plopping. Those with fine hair, on the other hand, may want to plop before using products to eliminate excess water that weighs the hair down. Like most things with curly hair, you’ll have to experiment to find what works best for you. 

So, how exactly do you plop curly hair?

  • Hair should be washed and conditioned. The usual shampoo and conditioning treatment is the first step in effective plopping. Choose your favorite formulations and try leaving in a tiny quantity of conditioner, just enough to give your hair a smooth, slick sensation. This will give hydration to your hair and serve as a primer for your style products. 
  • After showering, avoid touching your curls. At this stage, the hair should be quite damp, but don’t start wringing it out just yet. Instead, turn your head upside down and shake it from side to side. This will remove extra water without causing damage to your curls. A satin bonnet for curly hair or turban towel can help with that. 
  • Take out your styling supplies. Using your hands, apply a glob of your preferred gel and/or leave-in to the curls, distributing it evenly. Next, squeeze the ends up to your roots, squeezing out all of the excess water. Then, repeat with the remaining of your style products. At this stage, you should notice that your curls are getting more defined.
  • Using a microfiber cloth or a t-shirt, blot hair. Use a short-sleeved t-shirt or a microfiber towel to squeeze out the extra water. Then, pull the shirt or towel over your neck, crisscross it towards the front of your head, and gently turn it up. And presto! You’ve messed up your hair. 
  • Leave hair plopped for 15 to 45 minutes. Some individuals even sleep with their hair flopped overnight. It may take some trial and error to determine what works best for you. You’ll want to select a period that results in bouncy, powerful curls rather than flat, crushed curls.