Hair Plopping: The Foolproof Curly Girl Method for Defined Curls

Plop, lock and roll! 

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When it comes to getting the best curls of your life—besides styling —there are a number of curl-defining techniques that you can try. For one, we have the super cute pineapple hair method which can also be worn as a hairstyle, the diffusing technique and hair plopping. Sure, there are many others, but the latter—a simple hair drying routine that leaves you with defined and frizz-free curls is definitely a game changer for many curlfriends out there. It’s also the secret to Insta-worthy curls!

Hair plopping isn’t a quick process. Make sure you do it when you have time to let your hair dry (or do it while you’re sleeping!). Follow our tutorial to learn the proper technique to hair plop and get the scoop on how to nail this curl perfecter.

Hair Plopping: How to Towel-Dry Curls for Definition


Wash Your Hair.

Use a generous amount of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on your curls. TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Shampoo and Conditioner is the perfect duo.


hair plopping step 1

Add Smoothing Cream.

After washing, apply some smoothing cream. Bed Head by TIGI On The Rebound Curl Recall Cream will keep your curls soft and defined.

hair plopping step 2

Grab a T-Shirt.

Lay out a t-shirt with the collar closest to you.

hair plopping step 3

Begin Wrapping.

Place your hair on the shirt.

hair plopping step 4

Wrap Around.

Grab the ends of the shirt and wrap them over your head, turban-style.

hair plopping step 5

Tie the Sleeves.

Cross the sleeves over and knot them together. Tuck in any loose ends. Leave overnight until dry.

hair plopping step 6


Remove carefully and touch up the drying process with a diffuser if needed.

hair plopping step 7


Work it, curl-friend!

hair plopping step 8

Hair Plopping with a T-shirt vs. a Towel

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 minimize the risk of disturbing the hair cuticles, use a soft cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel to wrap your curls in. As cotton is woven tightly and has a softer surface texture, it will be gentle on the coil, leaving your hair looking sleek.

Towels have a sturdier structure and can be used for this technique, but we recommend ladies with dry hair go the T-shirt/microfiber towel route instead.

Hair plopping less static = more defined curls
Less static = more defined curls.

Should You Try Hair Plopping for Volume?

Thin or limp-haired ladies, listen up: not only could plopping hair leave the curls more manageable, it also helps create volume. Air drying loose hair can create static (remember, static = frizz) as the curls move against each other. It can also leave your overall style looking flat as the weight of wet hair can pull the roots down against your head.

Hair plopping, however, can add lasting volume to your tresses as it keeps the curls compact. By securing your hair on top of your head, your curls will dry tight and lifted at the root, helping them look fuller.

Plus, this method of hair plopping will help enhance and define your curl pattern. So, you can always scrunch your coils with a little TRESemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse to give them a boost.

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