Top 8 Mistakes When Plopping Hair

Megan Dominion

Our curlies are always looking for the best tips and tricks to get the bounciest, softest curls possible. Most people dry their hair with a towel after showering, but what if we told you that using a towel can actually cause unwanted frizz and result in having less-defined curls? That’s why curlies worldwide have mastered the technique of hair PLOPPING! It’s a really fun word, too. Plopping can help make your curls POP to get the picture-perfect hair you’ve always wanted!

curly hair plopping

What is hair plopping?

It’s a drying technique that curly haired folk promise will change your life! It enhances your curls, minimizes flyaways and frizz and also helps products to kind of ‘bake’ into your hair with the heat that is generated. 


To plop your hair, you would jump straight out of the shower, then immediately put your favourite hair products into your hair. Whether you prefer gel, mousse or jelly – you have a quick window to put your favourite curling potions into your hair. Once done, you wrap your hair in a t-shirt, pillowcase or other microfiber material. The jury is still out on the best item to use, but the majority have definitely voted for an oversized t-shirt! You have to plop properly to get the full benefits, though.

These are the most common hair plopping mistakes

1. Your hair should be wet but not dripping when putting your favourite products into your hair. You don’t want to risk losing product, as it can easily slide off the hair strands if your hair is too wet!

2. You should wait at least 15 minutes between putting in your products and plopping. This gives your hair a chance to absorb your products and not your old t-shirt or microfibre towel. If your t-shirt becomes crunchy after using it to plop, it means that it’s absorbed some of your products, and we don’t want that!


3. You can actually over-plop: Not sure how long to plop your hair for? This comes down to trial and error on what works for your hair, your curl type and your routine / lifestyle. Some people plop simply while getting dressed and doing their skincare routine and make-up. Others leave their hair plopped overnight. Some curlies have reported developing Hygral Fatique from the method. This is basically over-conditioning your hair caused by a pattern of your hair swelling and unswelling and too much moisture reaching your hair follicle’s inner cortex. Signs may include dull, brittle or frizzy hair.

4. Getting the amount of time you plop for right: Most people recommend 15 – 45 minutes to get the full benefit of the Plopping Method. You need at least 15 minutes for the hair products you applied to fully penetrate your hair and to get the full benefits. Your hair needs enough time for your hair follicles to soak up those yummy hair products!

plop your hair

5. Being too rough with your hair: You may be used to wringing your hair out in a towel, but that’s a NO-GO with plopping. No wringing, and don’t plop / wrap your hair too tight. Your hair needs some room to curl!

6. Getting the steps right: Ensure that you apply your styling / curling products to your sopping-wet (but not dripping) hair straight out of the shower. Do NOT apply product to your hair after plopping because you will 100% ruin your curls and would need to start all over again (learn from my past mistakes here).

7. Using the right material: You NEED to use microfiber material for plopping. You can’t plop with a towel or even a beach towel. You cannot plop with a baby blanket or a dishcloth. The safest bet is just to use a really big t-shirt which we all have on hand. If not, feel free to invest in one if you’re serious about having gorgeous curls.

8. Not starting with clean hair: One step that isn’t always mentioned when it comes to plopping is that you need to start by washing and conditioning your hair. You won’t get the same results if you’re trying to plop hair that you’ve simply wet, spritzed or refreshed. Plopping works best on wet, clean hair.

If you’re plopping your heart out and still not getting the same results as your favourite hairfluencers then you might need to look at Clarifying Your Hair.

That’s it from us until next time! Happy plopping, friends!

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.