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How To Plop Curly Hair

Keep your curls defined.
July 30, 2020

If you have curly hair, you’ve likely tried everything under the sun to help your curls last, including countless products for curly hair and even hair plopping. This age-old technique for many curly-haired girls and natural hair gurus has proven to give your curls the extra oomph they need. And when done right, it not only maintains curl definition, but it can also keep frizz at bay. But if you find your curls falling flat and bringing down your mood with them, it could just be that you’re not plopping like a pro. So nix the endless videos and check out this quick how-to on how to plop your hair and other tips to keep your curls in tip-top shape like your stylist.

What Is Plopping?

Before we get into how to properly plop your hair, let’s start with a refresher on what exactly it is. Hair plopping is a method that uses a T-shirt or microfiber towel to dry your curls on top of your head without disturbing your natural curl pattern. As a result, your curls flaunt a frizz-free, smooth, and defined appearance. Not to be confused with the tried and true towel-and-twist technique, hair plopping takes things a step further by handling your curls with care to keep your strands moisturized—which is especially important if you have high porosity or low porosity hair.

Whether you’re working with type two, type three, or type four textures, the plopping curls method is suitable for your hair.

How To Plop Your Hair

Ready to create some curly hair magic with the plopping hair technique? Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial below for defined and frizz-free curls.

Step #1: Start With Clean Hair

To get the most out of the plopping curls method, start with the basics of wash day—shampoo and condition your curls. Kick things off by using the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner. This sulfate-free system works to replenish your strands with moisture, which is just what your curly hair needs. And don’t forget to use lukewarm water since super hot water can dry out your curls.

Step #2: Add Leave-In Conditioner

Then apply your leave-in conditioner as normal. The key is to use a product that provides your hair with additional moisture that goes the distance. Pick up the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Super Curls Cream Leave-In, which is a lightweight formula that deeply nourishes, moisturizes hair and defines curls and wavy hair

Step #3: Plop Your Hair

First, lay out a T-shirt on a flat surface. Next, flip your hair over, and make sure that your hair is at the center of your T-shirt. Place the sides of the T-shirt around the back of your head. Then, bring the top part of the T-shirt toward the nape of your neck. Wrap the sides of the T-shirt around your neck and tie them together to create a knot. Be sure to tuck in any loose fabric underneath the knot you just created for a snug feel. 

Step #4: Let The Excess Water Absorb

Depending on how thick your hair texture is, plopping hair can take anywhere between 10 minutes to a few hours—there’s a reason why we call it a wash day routine! If you find that your hair still isn’t dry and you need to move things along, you can opt for a diffuser or allow your tresses to air dry. You can also plop hair overnight if your dry time is long.

Other Tips To Help Keep Your Curls In Shape

Now that you know the simple art to plopping curly hair the right way, there are other tips to keep in mind. Here are three tips to remember or add to your routine.

1. Protect Your Hair At Night

Don’t forget your silk scarf or bonnet every night. Cotton pillowcases and sheets are known to absorb oils and cause friction through the night. As a result, this can leave you with dry and frizzy curls so don’t forget to wrap up your hair before you hit the hay to keep your curls healthy.

2. Minimize Your Use Of Heat Tools

By now you know that excessive heat can take a toll on your curls so opting for heat-free styles is your best defense in avoiding this. If you must use hot tools, always use a heat protectant on your hair first. Spritz the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray onto your hair to calm frizz, seal in shine, and protect your hair from heat damage.

3. Add A Hair Mask To Your Routine

Over time, heat and the elements can take a toll on your curls. Thankfully, this is where a hair mask comes into play. The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm Rinse-Out Mask uses a rich protein concentrate to deeply condition hair and repair up to one year of damage. 

Next: 11 Curly Hair Care Myths Dispelled

Photo Credit: Shauna Beni

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