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Plopping...Explained!

Posted on 06 May 2020

‘Have you ever tried plopping?’ is a question that’s probably raised more than a couple of eyebrows! If you’re wondering what the heck plopping is, it’s an easy, no-heat technique for those with loose waves and curls, which can help shorten drying time while adding volume and definition.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn all about plopping and what it can do for your curls!

The Benefits of Plopping Curly Hair

Plopping is a game-changing method for easily-weighed-down loose curls and waves. For these curl-types, the weight of water and moisture in their hair will pull the curl pattern down before it's had a chance to dry, causing the resulting waves or curls to be in a loose, stretched state. Plopping works against this.

Think about what happens to waves and curls when you scrunch them while wet; you encourage the curl pattern to become more compact, making them more defined and bouncy when dry. The Plopping Method is essentially like doing a lot of scrunching—it presses your hair to your head and keeps it there for a period of time, resulting in better definition and volume!

Plopping can also be beneficial for those who want to speed up their drying time. Since curly girls style their hair while wet, there's often a lot of excess water on your curls that you may want absorbed before you air dry or diffuse. Plopping is great for this purpose because it can take away some of that excess moisture without causing frizz. Plus it'll absorb any excess product if you were too heavy-handed with your application!

How to Plop Curly Hair

Like any addition to your hair routine, plopping can take some trial and error to get your desired results. We’ll cover the basics, and you can make adjustments as you discover what works best for your curl type.

What you'll need:

That’s it!

Can I use a regular towel?

The weave and material of regular terry cloth towels make it easy for individual strands of hair to get caught, causing them to separate from each other and create frizz. Instead, opt for a microfiber towel or 100% cotton T-shirt towel.

Microfiber and T-shirt towels don't have the same loopy weave as bath towels; they're made with smaller, smoother fibers that are gentler on hair. If you don't own one or the other, you can always use whatever you have at home. An old cotton Tee will work just fine, or even a pair of cotton pants could do the trick! 😅

What to do:

                            • Starting with wet hair, apply product and style as you normally would, making sure your wet hair is smooth and free of frizz.
                            • Scrunch each section of hair a few times to encourage your curl pattern to spring up. Then, spread your towel or t-shirt out on a flat surface.
                            • Gently “plop” your curls onto the towel or t-shirt by bending over and placing your hair in the middle of the towel, ends first.
                                • Keep bending toward the towel until the crown of your head touches it and your hair is all scrunched up.
                                    • With your hair staying put, wrap the towel or t-shirt around your head, twisting-up any excess fabric into a tail and folding it towards the back of your neck. Secure the twist by tucking it under the back of the towel.

Get other stuff done while you...

Just wait!

How long you wait is something you can play around with. Many of us wait just 10 or 20 minutes (enough time to get dressed, do a skincare routine, or grab a bite), others prefer to leave their hair in the plop for 30-60 minutes. There’s no right answer; just trial and error to find what’s right for you!

Once the wait is over, gently remove the towel and air dry or diffuse the rest of the way.

Want to see the plopping technique in action? Watch below!

Is plopping for everyone?

It all comes down to hair type, texture, length and personal preference! As we mentioned above, most people with looser curl patterns will love the Plopping Method, but if you have a tighter curl pattern (anywhere in the 3C to 4C range) this might not be your go-to.

While plopping can cut down on the time it takes to air-dry your curls, if you have tight kinks or coils using this method could lead to more shrinkage. For those with super tight coils and extreme shrinkage, it could even lead to strands clumping and linking together, forming knots and tangles. Instead, try plopping after you style with twists or braids, while your hair is still wet. It will help reduce the time it takes your curls to dry!

LUS fam, weigh in! Have you tried plopping before?

What did you think?

Tell us in the comments below!


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