FYI: You Should Probably Be Plopping Your Curls — Here's What That Means

  • If you have curly hair you should be plopping your hair to reduce frizz and help define your curls.
  • Plopping your hair with a t-shirt is easy, no matter if you have long or short hair.
  • Learn how to plop curly hair with a step-by-step guide and tutorial here.

Have you ever made it through a long wash day — hair masks, deep treatments, and all — only to examine your hair afterward and discover that, even after all that maintenance, your curls are still a little frizzy and undefined? Well, same. If you’re confused about why that happens, your answer might fall in the way you’re drying your hair after you wash. Enter: plopping.

Plopping is a technique used by lots of people with curly hair, and it’s basically just code for drying your curls with a cotton t-shirt as opposed to simply wrapping it up in a towel, as many of us have likely been accustomed to for as long as we can remember. The objective behind plopping is for the t-shirt to reduce frizz and absorb more water in a way that a towel can’t, leaving you with bouncier, tighter curls. There’s really not much to it, and there are tons of tutorials on the internet that can guide you through the entire process. Read ahead for our step-by-step guide and a visual.

How to Plop Curly Hair With a T-Shirt: Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Grab Your Hair Products and a Large T-Shirt

After you’ve finished shampooing, make sure your hair is still damp before adding products (leave-in conditioners, oils, creams, etc.) to your hair as you normally would. You don’t want to comb your products through your hair but rather use a scrunching method to work the product in.

Step 2: Position Your T-Shirt

Once your hair has product in it, lay your t-shirt out on your counter, chair, or wherever it’s convenient. The end with the sleeves should be the closest to you. Then, flip your hair over so that it points toward the center of the shirt. Your curls should be gathered at the crown of your head to help provide lift at the roots.

Step 3: Grab the Sleeves of the T-Shirt and Tie Them

Once you flip the shirt onto your head with the bottom of the fabric sitting at the nape of your neck, grab the sleeves and twist them. Then, tie the longer sleeves in a knot at the back of your head.

Step 4: Remove the T-Shirt When Hair Is Dry
Once your hair is dry, you can simply untie the sleeves of the t-shirt and gently shake out your curls. They should be around 70 percent dry but not 100 percent. You should allow your hair to air-dry the remaining time. Plopping your hair overnight isn’t recommended because it can cause curls to dry out and the friction of the t-shirt can cause frizz while you sleep.

How to Plop Curly Hair With a T-Shirt: Video Tutorial

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