There are a lot of strange terms in the curly world, but by far the weirdest must be plopping! And now you can add another weird term to your curly vocabulary: microplopping. And if neither plopping or microplopping work for you, we have one more option for you, known as wet plopping.

What is Plopping?

Plopping is a way of removing excess water from your curls prior to air drying or diffusing, without drying them out too much and without disturbing the curl pattern. It also enhances the scrunching effect you create with your hands by pressing your hair to your head, resulting in better definition and shrinkage.

What is Microplopping?

No this doesn’t mean doing it with a tiny towel! Sometimes, the weight of the water-filled hair piled on top of your scalp can cause flat roots – particularly if you plop for too long. Because of this, some curlies prefer to micro-plop. Below, we’ll get into the difference between the two. 

To see these techniques in action, here’s how I plop. Slide 1 is micro-plopping, slide 2 is plopping with a t-shirt/ wrap on the floor, slide 3 is plopping standing up if you don’t like doing it on the floor!

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What is Wet-Plopping?

The wet-plop is a method of plopping with a shower cap. This is a great option if you have low porosity hair which takes longer to absorb moisture and product. 

How to plop curly hair

The good thing about plopping is it’s one of the cheapest curly girl tricks you will come across. 

What to use:

The first thing to consider are your tools. You can use a microfiber towel, t-shirt towel or just a plain old t-shirt (the larger the better”>! 

Microfiber and T-shirt towels are made with smaller, smoother fibers than normal towels that are gentler on hair. There are a whole host of mircofiber towels that you can use, for example, the DevaCurl Anti-Frizz Microfiber Towel, or you can try another natural fibre like the Infinitii Oils Bamboo Fibre Hair Wrap which is super gentle on the hair.

What to do:

  • Starting with wet hair, apply product and style your curls as usual.
  • Spread your towel or t-shirt out on a flat surface – the floor or a bed is ideal.
  • Slowly and gently “plop” your hair onto the towel or t-shirt by bending over and placing the ends of your curls on the towel – your forehead should be towards the edge of the towel or t-shirt so you can wrap it around your head after you’ve plopped.
  • Lower your head towards the towel until your head touches it. Top tip: try to get the curls to ‘coil’ on top of themselves which will maintain the integrity of the curl. Slow and steady is the name of the game here!
  • Wrap the towel or t-shirt around your head, twisting-up any excess fabric into a tail and folding it towards the back of your neck. Secure the twist by tucking it under the back of the towel or piling gently on top of the head. This is where long-sleeved t-shirts work well because you can tie the sleeves to secure the plop.
  • Now you can get on with getting dressed etc while the excess water is absorbed. How long you wait is a personal choice. Some may leave it for just ten minutes, some up to half an hour and more. One thing to bear in mind, however, is the longer you leave the water in the hair, the more chance there is of hair becoming too water- logged, soft and mushy. The idea is to remove the excess water, not leave it sitting on the hair for too long.
  • Gently remove the towel, trying not to disturb the curl clumps, and air dry or diffuse.

How to Micro-Plop

Now we’ve covered the basics of plopping, let’s look at micro-plopping.

What to use:

For this technique it’s best to use a t-shirt. You can use a micro-fibre towel for this but the turban shapes of many of these towels and wraps can make this slightly more difficult. 

What to do:

  • Starting with wet hair, apply product and style your curls as usual.
  • Drape your t-shirt over your hands and cup sections of your wet curls in your palms scrunching upwards.
  • Repeat this motion, working gently and slowly on all of your hair.
  • To create even more lift at the root, you can do this with your head upside down or from side to side. This removes excess water and product while not leaving the curls to sit on top of the head, which can flatten the roots.

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How to Wet-Plop

Wet plopping a method for helping your hair absorb products by putting on a shower cap. You can follow this up by plopping with a t-shirt to help dry your hair, which you can see @honestlizhere doing above. 

What to use:

With wet-plopping, you plop your curls into a shower cap instead of a t-shirt or towel.

What to do:

  • Starting with wet hair, apply product and style your curls as usual.
  • Put on a shower cap and leave your products in for ten minutes to absorb. 

What if plopping gives me flat roots?

To avoid the weight of the water-filled hair causing your roots to stick to your help, either try micro-plopping as above, or only plop for a short time.

What if plopping removes my styling products?

You might find that along with water removal, your plop removes excess product too – which can be a good thing if you’ve been heavy-handed but may in turn remove too much. If this happens (you can tell by seeing how much has come off on the towel or t-shirt”>, apply another layer of your last product on your plopped curls by gently glazing over or scrunching in.

So, what are you waiting for? Get plopping!


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