What is Hair Plopping and How to Do it

By Aniela M / August 31, 2020

Last Updated on

Have you ever heard of hair plopping? If you've been buzzing around TikTok you may have come upon several hundred thousand different videos where people are sharing their experience on how to plop hair. While this hair styling trend definitely isn't new, it's making a comeback and you should definitely know how to do it!

What is Hair Plopping

hair plopping

But, before we get into that, let's take a quick look at what the heck hair plopping is! Hair plopping is a hair styling technique where you wrap wet hair in a large t-shirt or pillowcase to form soft, natural waves. While this technique is mostly recommended for those with curly and wavy hair, it can also work for those with straight hair – you'll just end up getting slight waves instead of big curls! This process is very simple, doesn't require any heating tools, and can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes.

In recent months, hair plopping has taken TikTok by storm, and if you're a fan of the app, you may have already seen some videos. But the truth is, hair stylists and regular people alike have been using this method for decades, and that's because it's quick, easy, and natural way to get beautifully defined and soft curls.

How to Plop Hair

Whether you have natural curls, a perm, wavy hair, or even straight hair, the directions for how to plop your hair are all the same. The only difference is what you'll apply to your tresses before wrapping them. Those with natural curls should stick to a moisturizer of their choice (something you normally use). Those with slight waves and straight hair should opt for a lightweight mousse or salt spray to help the curls/waves have more definition.

Step 1:

Rummage around your closet and find yourself a very large t-shirt, preferably cotton. Can't find a large tee? A cotton pillowcase will also work just fine!

Step 2:

Before getting into the shower, lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface, such as your bathroom counter or even the toilet lid. Lay the t-shirt upside down, with the sleeves end closest to you.

Step 3:

If you normally brush your hair when you get out of the shower, do so before wrapping it. Once brushed (or not), do not towel dry, but rather flip your hair over and onto the center of the t-shirt. Be sure to lay hair down in an according-like motion. While still upside down, grab the bottom of the t-shirt and lay it over your head.

Step 4:

Grab the sleeves of the t-shirt (which will now be near the forehead), and also grab the back of the t-shirt (nape of your neck) and twist them together. Now tie the two ends at the top of your head or at the back, and voila!

Step 5:

Hang out with the t-shirt on your head for as little as 30 minutes or even overnight – this is completely up to you! If you don't want your tresses to be completely dried, leave on for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you want dried curls, leave on for several hours or overnight.

Still not sure how plop hair? No worries, these wonderful vloggers have got you covered! Below, we've shared two different YouTube videos that will show you exactly how to do it, without fail.

Courtesy of Debbie Savage
Courtesy of The Glam Belle

As you can see, you can use pretty much any styling cream or gel, but just make sure to do it before you plop. This will give your curls definition, and also reduce some of that frizz.

The Benefits of Plopping Hair

  • All natural – no heating tools required
  • Reduces frizz – this is one of the favorite ways of getting defined curls without the frizz.
  • No damage – no heat, no damage! Hair stays intact, shiny, and healthy.
  • Inexpensive – cheap, DIY way of getting salon quality curls without any tools or expensive products
  • Will work on all hair types

How to Hair Plop

New to hair plopping? These step by step instructions will guide you through everything you need to know!
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Hair Care
Cuisine: Hair Techniques
Keyword: curls, DIY, hair care, hair plopping, natural hair, plop hair, plopping
Yield: 1
Cost: FREE

Materials

  • 1 oversized t-Shirt
  • 1 styling cream of your choice

Instructions

  • Grab an oversized t-shirt and lay it down onto a flat surface with the sleeves towards you.
  • Plop freshly washed hair onto the middle of the t-shirt, in an accordion style, with the hair ribboning onto the t-shirt.
  • Grab the sleeves of the t-shirt (which will now be near the forehead), and also grab the back of the t-shirt (nape of your neck) and twist them together. Now tie the two ends at the top of your head or the nape of your neck.
  • Hang out with the t-shirt on your head for as little as 30 minutes or even overnight – this is completely up to you! If you don't want your tresses to be completely dried, leave on for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you want dried curls, leave on for several hours or overnight.

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