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How to Plop Hair

November 16, 2021

1 Min read

Styling curly hair can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the territory. One method that’s caught the eye of curly people and stylists alike is hair plopping. This technique lets you truly see what your curls are capable of without the need for damaging heat or excessive drying.

What Is Curly Hair Plopping?

Hair plopping is a “set it and forget it” approach that allows you to spend the hours you may normally spend styling your curls doing something else. It’s no secret that there are many methods you can use for curly hair styling. The great thing about hair plopping is that it’s a heat-free and minimally disruptive way to style your natural curls.

When Is the Best Time To Plop Hair?

Finding the right time to plop will depend on how fine your hair is. For thicker hair, you can reliably plop after applying a product in the form of gel or a leave-in conditioner. Finer hair may need to be plopped before being adorned with other products as the excess moisture may be too much for the products to get through and fully saturate the hair.

Since plopping can take up to 45 minutes to dry after your wash, give yourself some extra wiggle room when planning your beauty routine before a night out.

What Do You Need To Know To Plop Hair?

We’ve put together a no-fuss guide on how to plop hair that will leave you loving your natural texture:

  • Successful hair plopping starts while you are washing your hair. After shampooing, apply conditioner and comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. Next, prepare your plopping cloth. Our go-to is a big cotton t-shirt or pillowcase.
  • Now to prep your hair. Whether it’s your favorite leave-in conditioner, hair oil, or a custom curl cream, apply them through your hair with your fingers, not a comb. Use your t-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water from your curls, leaving them damp and ready to plop.
  • Find a flat surface and lay out your t-shirt with the sleeves away from you. Flip your hair over and let your curls “plop” in the middle of your t-shirt. Then wrap the bottom of the shirt around the back of your head before doing the same with the top. Use the sleeves to tie a knot on your forehead, and you’re set!
  • Leave your hair “plopped” for at least 20 minutes for your curls to set. Time is essential for hair plopping, so it is best to leave your curls longer if you have time. This is a great overnight styling technique.


Everyone’s hair is different, so feel free to explore changes in how to plop hair that cater to your natural texture. Changing things like the products used throughout your routine or the time hair is left to dry can have a big impact on your style.

How To Maximize Your Hair Plop

A tried and true method to keep your curls lasting all day is a gel that also works to nourish your hair. It’s recommended that you learn the basics of how to use gel in curly hair for a solid foundation when starting out. If you’re adding gel to your existing product lineup, do a trial run to make sure it plays nice with your current staples. 

While you don’t need every product for plopping, each one mentioned above will add more health to your hair and make it easier to work with. It’s common to start with one product and learn how to use it before adding more and creating your haircare routine. Having curly hair also means you’ll need to use some trial and error to figure out how to best incorporate styling products into the mix.

Find Out Exactly What Your Hair Needs

Prose is here to help you get the most out of your hair maintenance with simple products that put your hair’s health and style above all else. Interested in learning more about your hair? Take a moment to complete our free online consultation to create your perfect care lineup.


What does your hair need to thrive? Take the consultation to find your formulas.



The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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  1. Any tips for wavy hair? All I got from my recommendation was shampoo, conditioner and curl cream. Oils? Leave in conditioner? Dry Shampoo? I still get some frizz with just curl creme and I’d like a styler product to enhance and hold the waves, they look great at first but always fall in a few hours. I have fine, thin wavy hair. The #2 Wavies need help, too!

  2. This does not work for frizzy hair. You also lose volume using too much oil if you have fine and thin hair.