Lusting after those soft curls instead of straight hair? Don’t want the heat damage from curling irons?
Learn how to plop hair, and you can get amazing epic waves and tight curls overnight on your straight hair.
By learning how to plop straight hair like the curly girl method, you can get new textures without hurting your hair!
Related: How To Straighten Frizzy Hair
Related: How To Get 180 Waves
Plopping hair has been trending for quite some time now. A part of the curly girl method, plopping adds volume and definition naturally to those with 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, and African American hair textures.
It can also be used as a hairstyling hack for people with naturally straight hair.
This hack has become viral due to Instagram and TikTok influencers. And they’re not wrong.
If you want smooth, shiny curls, it’s an easy, quick, and painless way to change your coarse hair texture.
How To Plop Hair
Before we give you the deets on how to plop straight hair, you need exactly what plopping is.
What is plopping?
Wet hair, when exposed to air, can get frizzy. Especially, its got a high-porosity, curly texture. Hair plopping is a technique where you wrap your wet hair with a t-shirt or a microfiber towel to prevent it from becoming frizzy and dry.
Most women already wrap their tresses in a towel straight after their shower. Hair plopping is similar but with just a few extra steps. And you can even try it on permed hair to add extra volume and dimension.
A lot of styling products can disrupt your natural curl texture. And sometimes, people with curly hair textures might not even be aware of it.
Plopping helps you take care of your curls without an arsenal of straighteners, curling irons, and other hair styling products. Plus, your locks are saved from all the product build-up from hairsprays, setting gels, etc.
DevaCurl Microfiber Towel
This microfibre towel is perfect for plopping your locks. It keeps unwanted frizz at bay and helps absorb all the water quickly. This towel turban helps control unruly hair.
Can you plop straight hair?
Yes, the intensity of the curls may vary, but plopping straight hair is completely possible. In fact, people who thought they had “straight” hair discovered that their texture was actually curly after trying hair plopping.
If you have straight hair, plopping will leave it with light, loose curls or with waves. But if your hair texture is hiding underneath due to using the wrong products, plopping can actually bring out the curl definition.
How to plop your hair with a t-shirt? The t-shirt hair towel wrap method
Regular towels (terry cloth) come with long fibers that get tangled in hair, cause friction, and might actually increase frizz. So, experts advise using a microfiber cloth to wrap your hair while plopping.
But what to do if you don’t have one of those lying around? Just raid your closet for any t-shirt.
Plopping hair with a t-shirt is not the same as drying your hair with one. What’s the difference, you ask? It’s the pre-wrap preparation that is the game-changer here.
Before you start to plop your hair with a t-shirt hair towel, get it ready. Use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to wash your mane.
Using another t-shirt or microfiber cloth, squeeze out any excess water. Never rub the cloth against the hair. Just squeeze and blot, and always use a different cloth for plopping.
Use a nourishing oil or leave-in conditioner on your hair before tying the t-shirt around your hair again.
Pro Tip: Try using the curly girl method to get softer curls. Before plopping your tresses apply the LOC on your tresses. LOC stands for Leave-in conditioner, Oil, and Cream. If you have problems with frizz or very dry hair, this is a fantastic hack to get smoother, bouncier curls. It’s a famous curly girl method trick.
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner
With Jamaican black castor oil and shea butter, this leave-in conditioner is a holy grail product for curly hair. It deeply nourishes your tresses, removing frizz and tangles.
This product is also great at repairing damage on chemically processed and styled hair. There are only natural ingredients that help you develop a natural pattern using the curly girl regimen. You won’t find any drying alcohols in here either.
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Pure Hair Oil
This oil is suitable for hair on the extreme ends of the spectrum. That is both type 1 waves and type 4c Afros. It contains calendula, aloe vera, shea butter, and sweet almond oil that softens your tresses and adds shine.
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Curling Perfection Curl-Defining Cream
If you stay in a really humid area or frizz is too much of a bother, try using this curl defining cream infused with the magic ingredient, nourishing Moroccan argan oil.
It helps define the texture of your curls and tames flyaways too. Apply just one dollop after using a heat styling tool or after air drying and your natural curls will be remain free from annoying frizz all day long.
After application of these products, use your fingers to comb through your hair. If you have tangles, you can even try a wide-toothed wooden comb or a boar-bristle brush. By doing this, you’re ensuring that the LOC is distributed thoroughly in your tresses.
Spread the t-shirt out in front of you with the sleeves facing towards you. We suggest using a long-sleeved, spare t-shirt as it’s easier to tie it on your head. But if you’re worried about the excess weight, a short-sleeve on should do.
Flip your hair on your face and bend forward. Make sure the hair on the back of your head is also flipped in front of you.
Lean forward slowly till the crown of your head touches the middle of the t-shirt. Now fold the top section of the t-shirt over your hair. Try to make sure this section covers the nape of your neck at least. If needed, switch to a bigger T-shirt.
Twist the t-shirt around the ends of your hair to hold them securely in place. Now bring the left sleeve and the right sleeve of your t-shirt together. Tie them together in a knot. Doing so makes sure the t-shirt stays in place. Next, tuck in any loose ends underneath your t-shirt turban. If you’re using a short-sleeved t-shirt, hair clips come in handy to keep it secure.
Undo the knot on your t-shirt after your hair has completely dried. Shake out your curls and run your fingers through them lightly to work out any tangles. If you’re in a hurry, you can even use a hairdryer with an air diffuser setting (cold air) and dry out any wet strands.
We do not suggest using a brush or comb on your tresses. Enjoy your natural waves and curls without disturbing them.
What to do after plopping hair?
Wait. Yes, that’s all that’s required of you after plopping your hair. You can leave your hair underneath your t-shirt turban for at least 20-30 minutes.
But the ideal time for leaving the t-shirt on is till your tresses dry completely. This could take anywhere between two to six hours. For greater curl intensity, you can even try leaving the t-shirt on overnight.
Plopping Vs Scrunching: What’s the difference?
Plopping and scrunching might seem like the same thing, given that both these methods involve using a t-shirt to dry your wet hair.
But in plopping, you usually apply the cream or oil after getting out of the shower and then tie the t-shirt on your head. There is no twisting or squishing. The t-shirt remains undisturbed till all your tresses are dry.
But in scrunching, you take sections of your hair and squeeze and twist them in your hand after wringing them out with a t-shirt.
And any products are applied afterward. Sometimes, even a curl-enhancing product is used to increase curl definition. The hair is then left to air dry.
Benefits of Plopping Hair
- Using a t-shirt will help reduce the time it takes for hair to dry.
- Plopping hair with a t-shirt also makes it less likely to frizz
- It helps increase your curl dimension and lets 2a, 2b hair take on a naturally wavy look
- Plopping hair can also add volume to fine, thin hair as it lifts your tresses at the root
- By spreading your hair out in a fan-like gesture on a table, before putting it in a towel, you can create an accordion effect and make curls look better. Otherwise, they tend to get stretched out as they dry.
FAQs about plopping hair and Curly Girl Method
Is my straight hair actually wavy?
Sometimes, we go all our life without knowing what our actual hair type is. Is my hair wavy? Straight? There’s even a saying that frizz is just a curl that doesn’t know it’s a curl.
So how do you know if your straight hair is wavy? Here are some ways to find out.
- Check the texture of your hair right after it dries. If your tresses seem frizzy or have s-shape bends on them, your straight hair might actually be wavy or curly instead.
- The ends of your mane seem to flicker outward instead of staying smooth.
- Your hair gets “poofy” when you cut it short.
- Your hair seems longer when it is wet and seems to shrink somewhat after it dries.
Is plopping good for straight hair?
Some people say plopping isn’t for straight hair. But they are wrong. Sometimes hair can be mistaken as straight, and plopping can bring out its actual curly or wavy texture. And even if this is not the case, plopping gives a stylish, beachy wave look to your tresses.
How long should you plop your hair?
All the experts agree that you need to keep that towel or t-shirt on as long as your hair is completely dry. This could take anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours. If you’re in a hurry, then you can plop your hair for half an hour and use a hair diffuser with the cold setting on to dry it fully. If possible, try plopping your hair overnight.
Is it OK to plop hair overnight?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, plopping hair overnight is recommended as it gives your tresses enough time to dry thoroughly. Just make sure the towel or t-shirt you’re using to plop your hair is secured tightly. You can also use hair clips to ensure the hair won’t come out while you’re sleeping through the night.
With this easy hair plopping method and the right products at your disposal, you can get soft, silky, and bouncy curls in no time. No extra help is needed. So you don’t have to worry about heat damage or wasting time every morning trying to set your curls.
To really take care of your curls and waves, it’s essential to have the right routine. So we suggest getting a suitable shampoo and conditioner along with other hair care products to keep your hair in tip-top shape.
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Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!