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I'm Verna,
Your Curly-Haired Friend.

Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It could be super-defined one day and a frizzy concoction the next day – and it's never exactly the same from one head to another. Our mission is to equip you with the necessary tools for restoring and maintaining healthy locks and celebrating the hair you were born with! 

Plopping Curly Hair: The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Defined Curls

August 28, 2023


Verna Meachum

Image of black woman with hair wrapped in towel for plopping her curly hair.

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Curl care

With extensive experience in the beauty industry, I specialize in writing for curly hair care brands, websites, and magazines.

Not only do I have curly hair, but my children, friends, family members, and even friends who are professional curly hairstylists, each with their unique curly textures.

 You get the point :) 

I also partner with a friend who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist, ensuring our content is scientifically accurate and help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. 

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Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Verna Meachum

Hey there, gorgeous curl enthusiasts! Have you ever wished for a magical solution to unveil stunning, defined curls without the fuss and frizz?

Well, look no further because we’re about to dive into the wondrous world of plopping – the curly hair hack that’s been sweeping through the beauty scene like a gust of fresh air!

Plopping curly hair, in a nutshell, is a game-changing drying technique that cradles your curls as they dry. It reduces frizz and prevents flyaways as your hair dries, unveiling a head of perfectly defined spirals.

Intrigued? Let’s journey through the ins and outs of plopping and learn how to make your curly hair dreams come true.

What is Plopping Curly Hair?

At its core, plopping curly hair is a drying technique tailored for wavy/curly-haired individuals, aimed at enhancing curl definition, minimizing frizz, and reducing the need for excessive heat styling.

Picture this: instead of wringing out your delicate curls and risking frizz, plopping allows you to gently cup your curls in a T-shirt, satin-lined turban, or net, promoting the formation of beautiful, bouncy coils as they dry.

What is Net Plopping?

Net plopping, a variation of the classic technique, takes things up a notch. Imagine using a specialized, lightweight net to cradle your curls, encouraging them to dry in their natural state.

This innovative approach ensures even better air circulation and minimizes disturbance to your curl pattern.

Video credit: BiancaReneeToday

The Benefits of Plopping Curly Hair

Why has plopping become the go-to method for curly-haired folks everywhere? The benefits are aplenty!

  • Elevated Curl Definition: Plopping coaxes curls into delightful clusters, crafting a landscape of distinct, lively coils.
  • Frizz Tamed: The plopping technique orchestrates a dance of minimal friction, warding off the unruly duo of frizz and flyaways.
  • Speedier Drydown: Plopping enlists the aid of quick-absorbing magic, swiftly banishing excess moisture and earning its spot as the champion of time-conscious routines.
  • Curl Pattern Enhanced: In contrast to the conventional towel routine, plopping is the art of preservation, safeguarding the innate curl composition and thwarting any disruptive meddling.

From defined curls and reduced frizz to time-saving wonders, plopping has it all. Say goodbye to the old days of endless blow-drying or heat styling – plopping lets you embrace your curls’ natural beauty effortlessly.

What Should You Use for Plopping Curly Hair?

Image of materials for plopping curly hair.

Selecting the right material for plopping is key to success.

Opt for:

  • Specialized net, such as the wig cap.

These materials are gentle on your curls and absorb just enough moisture to speed up the drying process.

How to Plop Wavy/Curly Hair: Step by Step

Video credit: LUS | Love Ur Self

Curly hair, with its stunning diversity of patterns and textures, deserves the best care and styling techniques.

Plopping is one such technique that can unveil the true potential of your curls, offering well-defined coils and minimized frizz.

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to plop your curly hair like a pro:

  • Step 1: Gather Your Materials Assemble everything you need for a successful plopping session. Reach for a soft cotton T-shirt or a microfiber towel – both are excellent choices for absorbing excess moisture without causing friction that leads to frizz.
  • Step 2: Start with Freshly Cleansed Hair For the best results, begin your plopping journey with freshly washed hair. The cleaner your hair, the more effective the technique will be in encouraging defined waves.
  • Step 4: Lay Your Cloth or Towel Spread your chosen T-shirt or microfiber towel on a flat surface, making sure it’s large enough to accommodate your hair when folded.
  • Step 5: Flip and Position Bend forward at the waist, allowing your hair to fall naturally toward the ground. Gently lower your head onto the center of the cloth or towel, ensuring that your hair is spread out evenly.
  • Step 6: Wrap and Secure With your hair resting on the cloth, gather the sides of the fabric and begin folding it toward the nape of your neck. Once the fabric is snugly wrapped around your hair, tie the ends together. If you’re using a T-shirt, tie the sleeves together at the back of your head.
  • Step 7: Wait Patiently Now that your hair is comfortably tucked within the cloth or towel, it’s time to let the magic happen. Leave your hair plopped for about 20-30 minutes, allowing your waves and curls to set and the excess moisture to be absorbed.
  • Step 8: Unveil Your Waves Carefully untie the fabric and let your hair down. You’ll likely notice that your waves and curls are more defined and less prone to frizz. Allow your hair to air dry fully (or diffuse), and resist the urge to touch or disturb the curls as they continue to set.
Video credit: Jayme Jo

Plopping curly hair is a game-changer that can elevate your hair routine, providing you with effortlessly chic waves that are ready to turn heads.

Experiment with different products and techniques to find the perfect combination that works for your unique wavy texture.

How Long Should You Plop Your Hair For?

Image of a clock that shows 15 minute mark for plopping curly hair.

Timing your plopping adventure just right hinges on the unique tapestry of your hair’s type and volume.

Here’s a rule of thumb to navigate this journey:

  • Featherweight Fine Hair: Let them rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Mid-weight Medium Hair: 20-30 minutes of well-deserved plopping.
  • Lavish Thick Locks: Allow a luxurious 30-45 minutes for optimal results.

Remember, every curl tells its own story, so feel free to play with timeframes to uncover the secret chronicle of your curls’ preference.

Does Plopping Work on All Hair Types?

Curly hair comes in a magnificent array of types and textures, and you might be wondering if plopping suits them all.

In short, plopping curly hair, while potentially advantageous for a wide range of curly hair types, does come with a side of variability in outcomes.

Those sporting looser curls might discover that plopping gives their locks an extra touch of definition. Absolutely no plopping magic can conjure curls where they don’t naturally exist.

However, if your hair dances along the wavy-curl spectrum (perhaps a charming 2c), plopping could very well be the secret to coaxing those waves into clumps of exquisite definition. It’s like giving your hair a VIP treatment pass, and you’re the bouncer.

On the flip side, if you happen to rock those tighter coils, such as type-4 hair, you might not find plopping to be your groove. This technique tends to cradle moisture like a favorite teddy bear and stretches out the drying countdown.

Plus, there’s the adventure of potential tangles and single strand knots – not the kind of excitement you were aiming for.


So, whether your curls are as carefree as a summer breeze or coiled tighter than a telephone cord from the ’90s, plopping holds its cards close, revealing different tricks for different curls.

From whispers of extra definition to the magic of clump creation, plopping is a beauty roulette where the prize is a crown of curls fit for a queen.

So, why not give it a whirl?

Remember, your curls have their own story to tell, and plopping might just be the unexpected plot twist they’ve been waiting for. Embrace the curly chaos, my friends!


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“I was so excited to embrace my curls and take better care of them. As I started to dive in, I immediately became overwhelmed with the information.”

I read books and tried doing things because "that's what I'm supposed to do," but it didn't always work and I didn't understand why. I'm so grateful for Verna and her blog. Her info. actually helped me understand more of the science of why some methods helped and what products or ingredients to use and why. Anyone that compliments my hair and wants to start a curly journey, I tell them to start here. My hair is so much healthier and I'm so happy with it.

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