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Plopping Explained: The Genius Hair Drying Technique Your Curls Never Knew They Wanted

BY Mary Cella

If you’re blessed with curly hair, you know how hard it can be to maximize your hair’s full potential. Maybe you’ve tried every trick in the hair care book but still struggle to coax your locks into the springy, voluminous, frizz-free spirals of your dreams on a regular basis. If that’s the case, you probably haven’t heard of this foolproof method, though it’s been making waves (or curls, rather) for a little while now. It’s called plopping, and it’s just as easy as it sounds.


All you need is an old t-shirt, some product, and that beautiful mane of yours to have the best hair day of your life – every day.

1. Squeeze out excess moisture

When you get out of the shower, work a microfiber towel, if you have one, or a cotton t-shirt through your hair to squeeze out some of the water. Just make sure you don’t use a regular terrycloth towel because the texture may be too rough and end up damaging your hair and causing frizz.

2. Work in your product

When your hair is no longer soaking wet, grab your custom leave-in treatment and apply as you normally would, then rub a few drops of our custom hair serum into the bottom half of your tresses, avoiding the roots, to combat frizz and increase shine.

3. Commence Plop

Grab an old cotton t-shirt, preferably long-sleeved, and lay it on a chair, counter, bed or other flat surface with the collar facing you.

Bend over so that your hair gathers in the middle of the shirt, on top of the crown of your head.

Pull the bottom hem of the shirt up to the nape of your neck, then grab the sleeves and wrap them around to the back of your head to meet the hem.

If you’re using a short-sleeve shirt, tie the sleeves at the base of your skull, but if you have long sleeves, pull them around and tie them in a knot above your forehead. You can also do this with a microfiber towel, though it may be harder to tie unless it’s specially designed to do so.

4. Allow your hair to dry

Once your hair is secured, let it dry! The microfiber or cotton will soak up moisture to dry your hair faster and absorb excess product to ensure your curls end up soft and bouncy rather than hard and crunchy. Since your hair is piled on top of your head instead of hanging and weighing itself down, your curls will maintain their natural structure, plus you’ll end up with tons of volume at the roots.

5. Let it loose

Untie the shirt and voilà! Some practitioners plop overnight while others untie their hair after only 20 minutes, then adjust product and commence their regular air- or blow-drying routine. Experiment and figure out what works best for you and your luscious locks.

6. Plan that FaceTime date

One of the benefits of plopping is that your hair will not only look incredible immediately afterward, but will maintain the style for days to come with relative ease, so make sure you have plenty of opportunities to show off your new look!