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If you have curly hair, you’ve likely tried everything under the sun to help your curls last. Not to mention, you’ve probably spent tons of time searching for the right curly hair products to complement your efforts. While it can feel nearly impossible to maintain curl definition and keep frizz at bay, there may be one technique that can save the day: plopping hair.
Known as a go-to method for many curly-haired girls and natural hair gurus, this age-old technique has proven to give your curls the extra oomph they need. If you’re ready to elevate your curly strands, it’s time to learn how to plop hair and the tips you need to keep your curls in tip-top shape. Here’s everything you need to know.
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 and keeping your strands moisturized.
Unlike some curly hair techniques that are only reserved for specific curl types, hair plopping is great for all curly gals. That’s right, whether you’re working with type two, type three, or type four textures, the plopping curls method will do your curls justice.
Ready to create some curly magic with the plopping curly hair technique? Follow our step-by-step tutorial below to score defined and frizz-free curls.
To get the most out of the plopping curls method, you’ll want to make sure that your locks are nice and clean. 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, leaving you with soft and luminous strands, which is just what your curly hair needs.
Once your locks are washed, it’s time to apply your leave-in conditioner. The key is to use a product that provides your hair with additional moisture that goes the distance. Pick up the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion, which is a nourishing, lightweight formula that deeply moisturizes hair and helps revive the look of shine. Apply a dime-sized amount of the leave-in conditioner evenly throughout your mane.
Now that your hair has been prepped, it’s time to start plopping. 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.
Let’s play the waiting game. Depending on how thick your hair texture is, plopping hair can take anywhere between 10 minutes to a few hours. 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 locks to air dry. You can also plop hair overnight—it’s totally up to you!
Now that you know the art to plopping curly hair the right way, there are other tips to keep in mind. Here are five tips to add to your routine.
One of the best ways to protect your curls is to sleep with a silk scarf or bonnet. Cotton pillowcases and bedsheets are known to absorb oils and cause friction through the night. As a result, this can leave you with dry and frizzy curls.
Instead of opting to use heat to preserve your curls, try a heat-free styling option like a curl mousse. The L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse is an ultra-lightweight mousse that provides hair with high definition and a long-lasting hold all without a sticky feel. Simply apply a generous amount to your hair, scrunch, and call it a day.
Like it or not, excessive heat can take a toll on your strands. If you must use hot tools, apply heat to your hair on the lowest setting possible. This simple tip can help minimize your heat damage, which will go a long way in the overall health of your curly hair.
Editor’s tip: Keep in mind, you should always use a heat protectant before reaching for your hot tools. 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.
Hot water feels great in the shower, but it’s not the best option for your curly locks. Super-hot H2O can strip the natural oils from hair, leaving you with drier curls. Turn down the dial to give your curls an extra touch of TLC.
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 Extraordinary Curls Re-Nourish Mask helps to re-nourish and redefine curls while eliminating dryness in just one wash. To use, apply on wet hair after shampooing and massage through your strands from root to tip. Leave it on for three to five minutes before rinsing out thoroughly. Once or twice a week, swap out your regular conditioner for this mask to show your curls some extra love.
Next: 11 Curly Hair Care Myths Dispelled
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