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Tips & Trends | 01/31/2022

How to Plop Curly Hair

We’ve all been there. When your curly qs are wet, they are these smooth, defined, goddess-like strands. But, sometimes, when they dry, they are far from the sleek and sumptuous look you were going for. They may lose definition or become frizz balls. Your hair care products and routine affect how your hair looks when it dries. So if you want more defined curls and less frizz, you need to learn how to plop curly hair. 

What is Plopping?

Before learning how to plop curly hair, you may be wondering what it is. 

Plopping is wrapping your hair into a T-shirt or microfiber towel to dry. It enhances curls without using harsh heat appliances and cuts down on frizz and flyaways. 

Plopping is a must-do step in your hair care routine if you have curly hair. You just wash your hair, apply the product of your choice, and wrap your hair in a T-shirt or microfiber towel.

Benefits of Plopping 

A couple of benefits of plopping are less frizz and more definition in your locks because the T-shirt or microfiber towel absorbs the moisture, which drastically reduces frizz and dry time. Plus, the material helps to soak up any excess product you applied, leaving you with soft, touchable curls, not hard and crunchy spirals. 

How your hair benefits when you plop your locks: 

  • Enhanced curl pattern
  • Less frizz
  • More defined curls
  • Heat and hands-free reduced dry time, about 20 minutes to be exact
  • Soft, voluminous curls

Not every curl is the same either. For those gals with fine hair or looser waves, this drying and styling technique can give you volume at your roots since it is drying the top of your head and not weighed down.

Should You Use a T-Shirt or Towel?

Though you can use a T-shirt or a towel to plop your hair, you may wonder which one you should use. Here is the difference so you can decide which is best for your curls. 

Though you don’t want to add too much moisture to your hair, you still need some. If you are going the towel route, you should steer clear of the traditional terry cloth towels because they absorb too much moisture, and their harsh fabric can cause your hair’s cuticles to frizz. 

A cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel is the ideal plopping material to choose because they are soft on your locks and highly absorbent. Which one of those should you use? Whichever one you have! 

How Does Plopping Work?

Your curls get their shape and definition from the top down. Wrapping and twisting your curls in a towel stretches the strands and increases the chances of frizz. In comparison, hair plopping keeps your curls compact and coiled at the root while drying. This process leaves you with voluptuously defined spirals.

Using a microfiber towel or T-shirt holds and dries your spirals at the top of your head, increasing their definition and reducing frizz.

A latina female with curly hair is smiling looking to the left

How to Plop Curly Hair 

Just like learning how to braid or style your hair, plopping your curls may take a few tries until you master it. 

Ready to learn how to plop curly hair? Here are a few basic steps to follow.

Step 1: Wash and Condition With Vida Bars

The first step to plop your curls is to wash them with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like Vida bars. 

You can comb through any tangles or knots with a wide-tooth comb after conditioning your locks in the shower. Then, use a towel to twist out any excess water.

Step 2: Lock In Styling Products

If you use styling products, now is the time to apply them to lock in your natural wave and texture. Be sure you use gentle products, gels, or leave-in conditioners that won’t dry out or damage your strands.

Step 3: Plop Your Curls Into a T-shirt

Grab your cotton T-shirt of choice and lay it out on a raised surface like a chair or countertop with the sleeves and neck hole closest to you.

Now comes the plop part. Flip your head down onto the center of the T-shirt touching the top of your scalp. 

Once you plop your hair into the T-shirt, lay the bottom of it over your head, completely covering your hair. Then, tie a knot with the long sleeves or extra fabric behind your head, securing the shirt around your hair and scalp.

Step 4: Let It Set

Hair plopping typically takes about 20 minutes to dry, but everyone’s hair is different. The idea is to plop for as long as it takes to encourage definition and soak up excess moisture from your curls.

While 20 minutes is the average, your hair may only require five to 10 minutes of plopping. Or you may even want to overnight it.  

Step 5: Show Off Those Gorgeous Curls

You plopped your curly hair — now what? Remove the microfiber towel or T-shirt and show off what your mamma gave you.

It may take a few tries to get it just right. Experiment with different gentle styling products, a microfiber towel or T-shirt, and plopping times. 

Let Vida Bars Make Your Curls Shine

If your locks still feel a bit dull and lackluster, it may be due to your shampoo and conditioner. Try swapping yours out for sulfate-free alternatives, like Vida Bars, and see a difference in your curl’s definition and health.

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