What Is Hair Plopping? Discover TikTok’s Latest Hair Trend For Curly Girls

Styling while you sleep? Yes please!

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Woman before and after hair plopping her curly hair


Hair Types

There’s nothing wrong with frizz or flyaways, but if you’re wondering how to define your curls and minimise frizz, hair plopping might just be the perfect method for you to try. If you’ve been on TikTok, you’ll know that this heatless technique is making its rounds (there are more than 10 million videos on this topic on the platform!), showing the benefits of using a t-shirt to dry wet curls.

Though this wrapping method is going viral now, it’s actually been around forever and if you’re yet to try it, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll on discover everything you need to know about hair plopping and also learn how to your plop hair with our videos and step-by-step tutorial.

What Is Hair Plopping?

Hair plopping involves wrapping wet hair tightly in a cotton T-shirt while you get your beauty sleep. Compressing the curls in this way not only helps them form but it also reduces texture-causing friction, leaving you with smooth, defined spirals.

Francesca Rapolla from the Research and Development team at Unilever suggests that sleeping on loose, wet curls is not ideal. “Friction between the hair fibre and the movement of the pillow can cause damage,” she notes.

Plopping, however, keeps the hair condensed and tied up on top of the head. “As this technique ties the hair tightly, it would not move as much and therefore be less susceptible to damaging the hair fibre.”

How Do You Plop Your Hair?

Sold? We thought so. Discover how to plop hair now with our video above and easy step-by-step tutorial, below.


Wash your hair.

Start by washing your hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner – be generous with the amount of conditioner you use.

For this we particularly love the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Shampoo and Conditioner with it’s botanical blend of coconut milk, coconut oil and aloe vera.

Work in the conditioner thoroughly, making sure to fully coat your strands. Leave in for a few minutes then rinse well.

woman with long dark brown curly hair in a bathroom wearing a towel, applying a hair product into her hands

Apply a smoothing cream.

Once rinsed, apply a smoothing cream – again, don’t be afraid to use a generous amount.

Try out the VO5 Frizz Free Cream to give your locks a smooth and glossy finish!

woman with long dark brown curly hair in a bathroom wearing a towel, applying a hair product into her hands

T-shirt time!

Layout a t-shirt (preferably one with long sleeves) with the collar closest to you and place you hair in the middle.

woman with long dark brown curly hair in a bedroom putting her hair into a t-shirt on the bed

Wrap it up.

Grab the ends of the t-shirt and wrap it over your head. Cross the sleeves over the back of your head and tie together – tuck in the ends if you need to.

woman with long dark brown curly hair in a bedroom tying her hair into a t-shirt

Leave to dry.

Leave to dry overnight, or, if you’re short on time or have very thick hair, blowdry with a diffuser.

woman with long dark brown curly hair in a bedroom tying her hair into a t-shirt

Final look.

And there you have it, curls that are frizz-free and looking fabulous!

Stylist’s tip: Don’t touch your hair too much after this technique as you’ll create frizz.

woman with long dark brown curly hair wearing a striped outfit smiling and looking in the distance

Other Ways to Plop Hair

Net Plopping

Another plopping technique you can try is this net plopping one, which involves wrapping wet hair in fishnet tights to reveal perfect spirals. To speed up this process, you can diffuse your hair while it is in the net like this beauty has done.

Hair Plopping With a T-Shirt vs a Towel

Hair plopping girl with t-shirt on her head taking a selfie
Who knew a cotton T-shirt was such a lifesaver? Credit: Instagram.com/brittany_rose_hair

Believe it or not, the secret to creating frizz-free curls lies in a humble cotton T-shirt. One of the main reasons your locks can look less defined is because the surface of the hair has been disturbed. This creates texture and gives hair a frizzy appearance.

To minimise the risk of disturbing the hair cuticles, use a soft cotton T-shirt (or microfibre towel) to wrap your curls in. As cotton is woven tightly and doesn’t have a rough surface texture, it won’t disturb the coil, leaving your hair looking sleek.

In contrast, the uneven texture of a terrycloth or looped-fibre towel can disturb the hair cuticle and unravel your coils, especially if you are using it to rough dry the hair. Credit: @brittany_rose_hair

Should You Try Hair Plopping for Volume?

Hair plopping brunette girl smiling with voluminous curly hair
Less static = more defined curls. Credit: Instagram.com/theglambelle

Thin or limp-haired ladies, listen up: plopping your hair helps create volume. Air drying loose hair can create static (remember, static = frizz) as the curls move against each other.

Hair plopping, however, can add lasting volume to your tresses as it keeps the curls compact. Your curls will dry tight and lifted at the root, helping them look fuller.

Plus, this method will help enhance and define your curl pattern. So, you can always scrunch your coils throughout the day to give them a boost. Credit: @theglambelle

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