As a finishing touch after unwrapping the hair, Hardges recommends Kerastase Curl Manifesto Sublime Repair Hair Oil. “It’s perfect to seal in moisture and add shine,” she says. 

Kérastase Curl Manifesto Nourishing Scalp and Hair Oil

How do I plop my hair? 

The process of hair plopping is the same no matter what hair type you have. Ahead, our expert-approved step-by-step guide to plopping.

  1. After washing your hair, wring it out in the shower and apply any styling products you plan to use. “Most importantly, remember not to brush the hair, as this disturbs the natural curl patterns,” says Le.
  2. “Next, shake out your hair to loosen up your curls with as little touching as possible,” says Le. “This will help prevent frizz.”
  3. Lay a microfiber towel or T-shirt down on your bathroom counter (or bed, or dresser — any flat surface at about waist height). 
  4. Flip your head upside down, loosely gather it at the crown of your head with your hands, and then lower your head to rest the hair onto the fabric. 
  5. Fold the top half of the fabric over the back of your head up to the nape of your neck, pull the edges along either side of your head and tuck it underneath the forehead. Keep your head down. 
  6. The bottom half of your fabric should still be laid out on a flat surface. Take those ends and wrap them to the back of your head. Secure the ends with a clip, or if you’re using a T-shirt, use the sleeves to tie the wrap. 
  7. Allow the hair to dry in the wrap for one to two hours. 
  8. After you’ve plopped for your desired time you can finish drying any remaining moisture. “Use a diffuser on low heat, or simply let your hair air dry,” says Le. “Whatever you do, don’t touch your hair much as it will create frizz and disturb that natural curl pattern you’ve created.”
  9. Add a finishing product like a nourishing oil, if needed.

Plopping: Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have the step-by-step process down, there are a few other details to keep in mind before you try hair plopping.

Should you plop wet hair or damp and towel-dried strands?

“To begin the plopping process, you should start with damp, gently towel-dried hair,” says Le. “It is important to wring out most of the moisture in your hair prior to plopping.” That way, your product won’t just be absorbed into the fabric with the excess water in your hair. 

Should you keep your hair wrapped until it’s totally dry? 

Hardges does not recommend this method. “You still want to get some drop to the hair and not be overly scrunched,” she says. 

Can you plop your hair overnight? 

We advise against going to sleep with your hair wet for many reasons. Hardges says drying time should be limited to 45 minutes to two hours should be enough to define your curl pattern without overly scrunching.

What is dry plopping and how does it differ?

“[Dry plopping] is a way to reactivate curls and maintain volume,” says Hardges. “This is done when the hair is dry, but it needs a refresher, so water or leave-in spray is used to help hydrate curls. Then the hair is plopped to mostly dry.”

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