Let’s talk about curls today, greenies…specifically a technique called “plopping”. I know it sounds a little weird at first, but plopping is basically where you “plop” your hair down onto a t-shirt, wrap it up and let it dry for a period of time and when you take it out, you have curly hair!
I started using the “plopping” technique after being frustrated that the ends of my curly hair were going flat and straightening out. I figured maybe it was time for a trim to get some of the dead ends off and increase the curl, but even after the trim, the ends were still not springing up. So after reading up on plopping, I decided to give it a try. The first couple of times were a little off as I figured it all out, but once I got the technique down and figured out a system to do it, I got great results. It’s been several months now that I’ve been plopping, and I now I’m hooked.
The reasoning behind the “plopping” technique is that when you wrap up your hair in the t-shirt while it is still wet and allow it to dry, the curls will stay in place and dry scrunched up as opposed to being straightened out. Another benefit of plopping that I noticed was a decrease in frizz since my hair wasn’t air drying out in the open; instead, it was saying in the t-shirt for several hours at a time during the crucial “drying phase” where my hair always seems to pick up some frizziness.
Now that you know why I “plop”, let me share with you how I do it…
For supplies, you will need…
1. A t-shirt…I love, love, love this vintage style shirt of Brandon’s I borrowed (and have never given back). It’s very worn in and super soft; this makes it much more comfortable for me to wear when I’m “plopping”. Although I can’t find this actual shirt, here’s a similar one. I’ve tried using basic long-sleeve shirts, but the longer sleeves just mean more fabric I have to wrap around my head, which I don’t find to be very comfortable. Also, in case you’re wondering, this one is a size XL, and I think it makes for a great plopping fit.
2. Some hair gel… I use my homemade “flaxseed hair gel” that you can find in this post. I love this one because it is simple and easy to make with just brown flax seeds and water; even better, it only costs 18 cents to make! Feel free to use whatever hair gel you like, though, as this technique works with all hair products.
My flax seed hair gel.
When I do it…I always do my “plopping” when I sleep at night; that way, I hardly notice that I’m wearing the t-shirt on my head. Plus, plopping my hair up for around 7 hours or so seems to give it the best amount of curling power. Sometimes when I plop for less time, my curls seem a little flatter. The only downside is getting comfortable with the t-shirt on your head when you’re trying to sleep, but once you can get it right, it can work great for you! So plopping at night is my favourite, but you could give it a try during the day as well if you like it better like that.
Now here’s my plopping routine:
As I said above, I like to plop while I sleep. This means I take a shower and wash my hair before bed.
Now let’s start the steps…
1. Wash my hair and wrap it up in a Turbie Twist microfiber towel to absorb most of the extra water.
I leave this in for about 5-10 minutes while I put on lotion and get dressed.
2. Then, I take out the Turbie Twist, gently brush my hair with a wide-tooth comb, and apply some hair gel to each section. I find that combing out my hair decreases the tangles and the flax gel decreases the frizz.
3. Then it’s time to start plopping—first, lay out your old t-shirt on a bed where the collar is closest to you.
4. Then, start to place your hair down onto the centre of the shirt. I try to think of it like an accordion, let your hair pile on top of itself and then press the top of your head into the hair.
5. Now fold up the bottom of the shirt and place it at the base of your hairline/neck.
6. Next, start to pull together the sides and begin twisting them around. You can only see one side here, but it is a mirror image on the other side.
7. Then you take those two side pieces you’ve been twisting and bring them together at the base of the shirt and tie them in a knot like a shoe.
8. Now you’re ready to lift up and start adjusting. I always check the front of the plop to make sure my “part” is correct. Meaning the hair in the front is on the right side. Trust me, you do not want to have it sit for 6-7 hours in the same position if the hair is on the wrong side of the part…no fun! So I always just feel in a little and smooth down both sides of the front of my part.
9. Then, I adjust the back to make sure it’s secure and to tuck in any other loose pieces.
This is all about preference. Personally, I don’t like any extra shirt that hangs down, so I tuck as much as I can into the wrapped up plop, and as you can see, sometimes a mirror helps with this.
10. Then I’m all plopped and ready to go to bed…my eyes are looking pretty tired! I then leave it on while I sleep all night (on most nights) to achieve the best curly results.
11. When I wake up in the morning, I leave it on while I take a shower and get ready, and then last, I fix my hair.
12. I then add another round of flaxseed hair gel more precisely to each section of hair to help get the curl to shape the way I would like it and, again, decrease the frizz. I’m more gentle when I apply the hair gel this time around in how I don’t want to change or mess up the curl I worked so hard to achieve by plopping it all night, so I go extra gentle on the tips of my hair and just follow the pattern of the curl instead of trying to manipulate it to go another direction.
I also do a lot of “scrunching” at this time to keep the curls bouncy and springy. Then when I’m done, it looks about like this…
Happy spring curls, no heat, no electricity, no expensive curl gels required!
So what do you think, will you give plopping a try? If you have curly hair, what’s your favourite way to style it? Have you ever tried plopping? Share your thoughts below!