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Plopping Curly Hair: How To Plop Curly Hair Like A Pro

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Plopping Curly Hair: How To Plop Curly Hair Like A Pro:

If you have curly hair and never tried plopping your curls, you’re missing out on a whole new level of defined curls. You may have heard the word being thrown around, but how exactly do you plop your hair? and is it worth it?

Yes, absolutely, and I’m here to show you how. 

Not only is plopping your hair the key to giving flat curls major volume, but it leaves curls looking defined and frizz-free– you heard me, frizz-free! 

Of course, when doing anything to style your curls, it will take a bit of patience and practice. But I can assure you once you’ve got the technique down to a T, you’ll be rocking those curls. 

So, where do you get started on your plopping journey?

Right here’s actually! To make life easier for you, I have spent the time researching different techniques and breaking down all the confusing bits so plopping your hair is a breeze. 

Stay tuned to learn how to plop curly hair like a pro using something as simple as a t-shirt. 

plopping curly hair

What is plopping curly hair?

So what is curly hair plopping? It is the technique of wrapping a cotton t-shirt, pillowcase, or microfiber towel on top of your wet hair.

It is a heat-free styling technique that helps cut down drying time without damaging your hair; it keeps you from touching your curls and letting them dry.

Instead of letting your curls hang and lose definition because of the product’s weight and moisture in your hair, it collects on top of your hair, keeping curls defined in a spiral shape.

Using a regular towel is a no-no for this method as regular towels will absorb too much moisture, which is essential for curls, leaving them very dry.

This is why a soft fabric like a cotton t-shirt, microfibre towel, or hydrophilic cloth is recommended.

You can even go to sleep while your hair is wet without damaging your curl pattern as it is protected within the t-shirt or towel.

It collects your hair on top of your head to increase definition, cut down frizz, and create volume. It is a Curly Girl Method alternative to twisting a towel around your head.

Benefits of Plopping Curly Hair:

What are the benefits of hair plopping? Does it really define your curls? Plopping is a game-changing method that leaves your curls looking more defined with hardly any frizz.

The weight of water and moisture in the hair will pill down the curl pattern before it has had a chance to dry, resulting in loose curls of waves.

Hair plopping helps hold the curls on top of your head and allows them to dry frizz-free.

It is the same concept as scrunching them while wet; it encourages the curl pattern to be more compact, defined, and bouncy when dry.

Hair plopping is like a lot of scrunching as it presses your hair on top of your head for a period of dry, resulting in defined and voluminous curls.

Plopping your hair also speeds up drying time; since we style our curls with wet hair, there is often a lot of excess water on your curls that you want to be absorbed.

After you can air dry or diffuse without it taking a hell of a long time to dry, plopping takes away excess moisture or product without causing frizz– which is a huge bonus.

Here are some other bonuses:

  • Cuts down drying time
  • – Less heat-related damage
  • – More definition in the curl
  • – Less frizz
  • – Prevents split ends caused by excessive brushing and heat damage
  • – Creates a lift at the roots; it is drying on top of your head instead of being weighed down.
curly hair x21

How to plop curly hair:

Anytime you change your routine slightly or learn how to style your curls differently, it can take a bit of trial and error to get the desired results.

It may take some time to work out what works for you and your curls, but you will discover what works best for the curl type with a couple of adjustments and patience.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • – Either a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt (preferably with long sleeves), or even a t-shirt towel.
  • – Your chosen styling products: styling cream, gel, and/or leave-in conditioner.

Step 1: Wash your hair like usual

Before you plop your curls, you’ll need to wash your hair like usual. Whether this is as your weekly sulfate-free shampoo wash or a co-wash in between washes.

You’ll want your curls to be refreshed and sopping wet before you begin.

Step 2: Grab a big T-shirt: 

I would recommend grabbing yourself a men’s long-sleeved XXL tee; it was the easiest to use, especially if you have long, thick curls.

Lay your t-shirt upside down with the sleeves and the neck hole closest to you on a chair or bathroom counter, ideally a flat surface.

Step 3: Wrap the hair: 

Once you’ve applied your stylers, such as a lead-in conditioner or gel, to your sopping wet hair, flip your head over the center of the t-shirt pressing your head down on the curls.

Reach up and grab the bottom of your shirt (with your head still upside down) and lay it over your head so it is touching the nape of your neck and completely covering your hair.

Think of it as creating a protective bag over your curls– turn your head and flip it upside down and wrap the t-shirt, microfibre towel, or terry cloth over your head.

Step 4: Grab the sleeves and tighten: 

While still holding the edges of the shirt, grab the sleeves and twist them to tighten the t-shirt around your head. (See why I recommended using a long-sleeved tee?)

Then wrap the twisted sleeves around your head and tie them in place to keep the shirt from sliding or falling off; if it looks like a wet helmet, then you’ve done it right.

I would reccomend wearing this for like 10-20 minutes, and then you’ll open the shirt to voluminous, frizz-free curls as the hair begins to dry– it’s pretty cool! 

You can even plop your hair overnight if you feel comfortable sleeping with your hair tied up in a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt or microfibre towel.

It all depends on what works for you and your hair type.


Plopping your curly hair using the t-shirt method is fairly simple, but it may take a few goes and a bit of trial and error with the styling products and technique. 

Plopping your hair is a brilliant alternative to having defined curls, without heat damage. It will transform the volume and definition of your curls. 

For such a simple method for defined, frizz-free curls it is definitely worth a go! Who knew a heat-free styling method has been proven so effective.

Give it a go and see what you think!

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