Plopping: What It Is and What It Does For Your Hair

Person with curly hair | plopping RevAir

Ever had one of those "I wish I had discovered this sooner" moments? For those with curly hair, plopping is one of these moments. 

Where Plopping Comes In

Plopping is probably the most popular technique this side of weirdly-named hair care. Names aside, this is a no-heat technique that women with curly and wavy hair use to air-dry their hair.

When plopping your hair, you use fabric to wrap your hair in a crunch at the top of your head. It's that easy, and yes! You get the curls and definition you want. The T-shirt absorbs the excess moisture in your curls without creating frizz.

Other Ways To Dry Curly Hair

Drying curly hair of all porosities is a challenge, especially for type 3 and 4 hair. If you can't dry your hair to save humanity, you're not alone. Over time, women have developed a few hair drying techniques. These include:

  • Blow-drying 
  • Air-Drying
  • The good-old cloth towel
  • Plopping

From the get-go, heat-drying curly hair is the most efficient, but it comes at a hefty price. If you don't mind breakages, split ends, and damage as a discount, blow-drying is probably the style for you. The towel technique isn't as defined and is a significant source of frizz and friction. All these techniques leave plopping as your best weapon for preventing frizz.

And if that's not enough, it's also your best bet for getting dried, defined, and healthy curls or waves.

How To Plop Your Hair

If you think that plopping your hair is one complex process, this is the part where you sigh in relief. It turns out the best thing since sliced bread is quite straightforward.

Plopping will take the hassle out of your wash days, and the only thing you need is a cotton T-Shirt.

For a beginner, you can plop your hair in the following six steps:

1. Get A Simple Cotton T-Shirt

There's probably a cotton t-shirt somewhere in your closet you don't wear.  If you don't have one, the best practice is to buy one from an online store. Sister tip, buy a men's T-shirt--they're way cheaper and better made.

2. Lay The T-Shirt On A Surface

Before you hit the shower, have your T-Shirt already spread on a surface. Depending on your height, it could be your bed, table, or counter.

3. Layer Products On Your Hair

Layering your usual products is optional. You can go all-natural and only plop with a T-shirt if you want. However, the bigger picture is to try and make plopping part of your conditioning routine, not replace it.

4. Bend Your Head Over The T-Shirt

This one here will require a bit of flexibility, but every second pays. You have to bend your back and head over the T-shirt such that the ends of your hair touch the T-shirt surface.

If your back isn't as flexible, you can do this on a table or, better yet, on your knees to reduce the strain.

5. Bring The End Of The T-Shirt To The Nape Of Your Neck

Bring the end of the T-shirt over your head to the nape of your neck. This creates a protective cover over your hair.

6. Tie The Loose Ends Around Your Head

Take the ends of the t-shirt around your neck and tie them around your head into a knot. Since that's a lot of T-shirt, many women pull the ends around. They then have the knot at the front of their heads.

Living With Curly Hair Can Be A Struggle

Why does taking care of curly hair have to be such a chore? Curls are the most beautiful hair a woman can have, but that uniqueness comes at a price that can sometimes be overwhelming.

One YouTube comment from a curly-haired person reads, "Have yall ever got so mad at your hair that you cried?" The replies were an entire community of curly-haired strangers bonding as they poured out their frustrations.

Some of the issues they raised include:

Getting Late Everywhere

Everybody knows you love to sleep. Styling curly hair takes time. Scratch that, a lot of time. 

For wash n goes, you may find yourself having to wake up a few hours earlier just to get prepared, and still be late.

Frizz And Waking Up Looking Electrified

People who wake up two hours before the deadline really have their lives together. You may be one of those people who couldn't wake up an hour earlier to save your life.

Well, that only means one thing, you have to prepare the night before, wake, and go within minutes.

Without the proper curly hair routine the evening before, you may wake up looking like a movie villain and end up calling in sick to work.

Hair Won't Dry In A Thousand Years.

Waiting for type 3 and 4 hair to dry takes ages and you probably have places to go and girlfriends to meet.

You're tired, you tried, but you're not alone.

Moisture is one of the problems that make having curly natural hair an issue, but with plopping, curling your hair can be less of a hassle and more of an adventure.

Woman looking in mirror and smiling | plopping RevAir

Why You Need Plopping In Your Life

If you're a curly or wavy diva, plopping is a technique that should play a larger role in your hair routine. Not only does it give your curls the definition you desire, but it also saves time and money.

1. Plopping Will Save You Time

If you have curly hair, especially ones that take ages to dry, you probably spend a lot of time getting them dried. Your routines probably look something like this:

  • 90% hair
  • 10% make up
  • 100% late

Plopping will save you a ton of dry-time. Regardless of whether you plop the night before or in your morning routine, plopping will have you ready in no time.

2. You Get Time To Concentrate On Your Makeup

Have you ever finished with your makeup routine, only for streams of moisture from your curls to start running down your face?

With a protective cover like a plop over your head, the fabric or cotton T-shirt gets to absorb the moisture giving you the freedom to work on your makeup.

3. Plopping Gives You The Definition You Want

Plopping, if done right, will give you some of the best curls of your life. Plopping will address loose waves by making your hair dry from the top and not being weighed down on the sides.

This process will go away in giving you better, well-defined, and less fizzled curls.

4. Removes Excess Product

Dense curls tend to end up with too much product. As you know, overlaying your curls with products is probably worse than not using products at all.

In the worst scenario, the product weighs down your curls, making them weak at the root, or prevents your hair from breathing. 

Having a plop above your head absorbs moisture and the excess product with it.

Some Plopping Best Practices For You 

Plopping has a learning curve. You don't get to put a plop over your head today and have the best curls of your life an hour later.

This technique takes a lot of time, patience, and a lot of trial and error to perfect. For the best results, you can:

Sleep In A Plop

If your curls are too dense and can't dry within an hour or two, you can try sleeping in a plop. Apart from waking up with well-defined curls, it will make your morning routine shorter.

Limit Your Expectations

Social media has been fueling the plopping trend for years now. With words like "Dry your hair in less than an hour" being used to sell plopping, no wonder many women set themselves up for disappointment.

Plopping is different for each woman, and you may have to try it a few times. Your curls may be 89% dry in an hour. For some, it will take two, and for others, they will have to stay plopped all night.

Use A Diffuser

If you sleep with your hair in a plop, using a diffuser in the morning will go a long way with helping you avoid frizz and getting the definition you want.

Where We Come In

Rev Air is your one-stop-shop for all things type 3 and type 4 hair. If you want a partner in crime for those long wash days, peaceful night routines, and hectic morning routines, look no farther than RevAir. On days when you want to use heat to gently dry hair for a protective style, flat-iron finish or more - RevAir is your best option! 

For any questions on RevAir, Tribology Haircare, or just general curly-haired woes, reach out to our team of amazing Advisors