The Mestiza Muse

Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.

Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.

Plopping Curly Hair: The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Defined Curls

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

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

We partner with and endorse products from trusted companies that benefit our readers. Here’s our process.

As a reader-supported platform, we may earn affiliate commissions for purchases made through links, including those advertising

Please read our disclosure for more info.

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

YouTube video
Video credit: BiancaReneeToday

Why Plopping is a Game-Changer for Curly Hair

Plopping has emerged as a beloved technique among those with curly hair, thanks to its multitude of benefits:

Enhanced Curl Definition: This method gently encourages curls to form into well-defined clusters, creating a beautiful array of bouncy coils.

Reduced Frizz: By minimizing friction, plopping effectively keeps frizz and flyaways at bay, ensuring smoother, more manageable curls.

Faster Drying Time: Utilizing materials that quickly draw out moisture, plopping accelerates the drying process, making it a go-to for those with busy schedules.

Preserved Curl Patterns: Unlike traditional towel drying, plopping maintains the natural pattern of your curls, preventing any unwanted frizz or disruption.

Overall, plopping stands out as a superior technique for enhancing and caring for curly hair, from boosting curl definition to speeding up drying time without compromising the curls’ natural beauty.

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

YouTube video
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 technique that can unveil curls’ true potential, 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 effectively the technique will encourage defined waves.
  • Step 4: Lay Your Cloth or Towel—Spread your chosen T-shirt or microfiber towel on a flat surface, ensuring it’s large enough to hold 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 absorb excess moisture.
  • 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.
YouTube video
Video credit: Jayme Jo

Plopping curly hair is a game-changer that can elevate your hair routine, providing you with effortlessly chic waves 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?

Image of a woman with a towel wrapped around her hair.

Curly hair comes in a magnificent array of types and textures, and you might wonder if plopping suits all of them. In short, while potentially advantageous for a wide range of curly hair types, it 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 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.


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

My Favourite Things

Great hair goes beyond using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Shop my favorite must-haves.

After years of requests, I’m finally sharing my go-to skincare products.

Give your space a quick refresh with these ultimate home decor ideas.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure and make sure to pack these essential items to take with you on your journey.

Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.


Sign up for my weekly newsletter!

Curl Care


Is High Porosity Hair Genetic?

Are you curious about whether the characteristic of high porosity hair is inherited? It’s a valid question, especially considering the link between high porosity and damaged hair. How could a

Read More »





One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.
Do it now.

- Paulo Coelho