Does it seem you can never get plopping your curly hair with a t-shirt right?
Or maybe you’re left with hair that is flat and sporting a curl pattern that charitably could be called all messed up?
Worse still maybe you don’t even know what plopping is. Or don’t have any idea why some rave about what it does for their curly hair.
This is why those embracing their curls, maybe for the first time, need all the help they can get, right?
So to get you up to speed we’ve got four quick demo video clips. Plus we answer like 13 questions those looking at plopping with a t shirt for the first time typically ask. Starting with
What’s Plopping? It’s nothing more than a simple way to speed up the drying process after washing your hair and applying your styling products. By plopping with a t-shirt you’re cutting down on drying time while enhancing curl definition. Bonus: Usually results in minimal frizz too.
If you think about it this almost like scrunching your hair for an extra 15-20 minutes.
I hadn’t thought of plopping like that before. But makes sense that it is sorta like hands-free scrunching in that’s absorbing water, right?
Now that you know what it is, how do you do it?
Q#1: How do you plop your hair with a T shirt?
Got two minutes? If yes then you can learn the basics in next to no time. Or how to plop using either a long or short sleeved tee.
Best of all this clip has no useless chitter chatter. Just pure technique demonstration.
How To Plop Hair With A Long Or Short Sleeve Shirt
The Basic Routine
- lay your t-shirt on a flat surface – a countertop, a bed with the neck hole towards you
- bending at the waist gently accordion the hair on the top of your head onto the shirt
- lift the bottom of the shirt to the nape of your neck
- tuck the corners next to your forehead
- grab the sleeves, gather up the loose fabric and twist
- tie the sleeves in the back
- after the desired time for best results take out the plop
With longer sleeves you repeat the first four steps. The difference being with longer sleeves you could tie it in the front if you prefer. Remembering to keep it across your forehead not over the hair in the front.
So basically what the difference comes down to is how much length you’ve got to work with when going to tie things up.
Still either way you’re left with a plop that’s so secure and easy to do. Anyone can pull this off with the help of this video.
Oh and if you’re not happy with the results you get from so called “dry plopping” maybe you should give wet plopping a try. That’s where you slip your still dripping locks into a plastic shower cap.
For the complete 411 on this dry plopping alternative click that link to check out our take on this. Who knows? The answers to your problems may be just be a click away.
Q#2: What does T shirt plopping do?
It removes the water out of your hair without roughing up the cuticles. It also helps your curls keep their shape leaving them nicely defined. Oh and with less frizz.
Tip: After removing your t-shirt don’t forget to scrunch one last time before firing up your diffuser. (Or leaving things alone, no touching, to air dry.) That way you’ll get that last bit of moisture out of your strands.
Q#3: What shirt is best for plopping?
Most favor older ones that are smooth and maybe a bit stretched out.
Others mention that they like a cotton blend tee (think polyester or rayon) rather than 100% cotton cause they’re SUPER smooth.
For sure you want one big enough for the job. So large or extra large, especially for those with longer hair, might be best.
How To Plop Long Hair With A T Shirt
Aside from seeing this done with longer hair here’s the two
Best Little Tricks Shared:
You want to roll the neck line until it’s even with the top of the sleeves – if that makes sense. You can see how she does it in the video. Makes it easier to twist and wrap without bunching up on you.
Then tuck in the edges on each side into the space next to your forehead
Q#4: Is the plop supposed to fit tight or loose on your head?
A: Since you’ve accordioned your curls on the top of your head you want to bit of a pocket up there. That way your curls have some space to move around a little.
This prevents pushing your hair down onto your scalp doesn’t do much for volume.
You still want to keep it kinda snug around the sides.
The knot you want tightened up so it’s secure. This will keep it from coming undone and unraveling your plop.
Now some suggest keeping it tight on top aids water absorption. That may be okay as long as you have plan for reviving the hair plastered on your head.
TIP: Some plopping pros go the extra mile. They remove the shirt, turn it around to the dry side and plop again for say another five minutes or so. Double plopping like this can further cut your time to dry and may even improve your frizz situation.
Q#5: I really like having voluminous curls and am afraid to plop. Should I be worried about this?
A: Okay sounds like you’re asking if this helps get you more volume in your curls?
Faster drying aside, I’d say this technique usually produces more definition. Volume? Not so much. Not to say it has to crush the life outta your volume but plopping is usually your ticket to more definition.
Q#6: Can I do this without using hair styling products?
A: Absolutely. You can certainly do it without styling products.
In that case you’re using this hack strictly as a way to speed up drying.
Just know most wavies and curlies have developed a styling routine that involves using products to get the most out of their hair.
Oh and if you could use some help with how to apply curly hair products check out our recent article on exactly that. Just click that link to discover four product application methods every curly girl should know.
Q#7: So how long are you supposed to leave it like this?
A: Some would tell you the longer you can plop the better. Especially if you aren’t planning on diffusing and will going with air drying instead.
But even 20 minutes should cut down considerably on your dry time.
Now this next video is for for those with hair of the shorter persuasion. It also lays out another thing to consider for those wondering how long to plop.
How To Plop Short Hair With A T Shirt
Best Hint Shared:
That would be her answer for how long to leave her curls or waves plopped. It’s simple. For her it depends on how much time she has and much product she’s applied.
See? No need to over think this.
Generally, however, if you’re going to air dry the rule to follow is the longer the better.
Q#8: Is plopping only good for curly hair? Or can those with wavy hair do it too?
A: Good question. Both hair types can get amazing results from this method.
Q#9: What can I do about smushed down roots?
A: Yeah this can be a huge problem alright.
Here’s the three words to keep in mind for hair stuck to your head. Fluff. Fluff. Fluff.
Just glide your fingers in at the root level and give them a good shake. Or two. Or three.
You might do this upside down. Just be careful as you can introduce more frizz sometimes by doing this. So you’ll have to play around and see what works best for you.
Q#10: Do you want your hair sitting sorta on your forehead or what?
A: Actually what you want is for your curls to be more on the top of your head. That avoids compressing them into your scalp which can be a volume killer.
For sure you want to avoid the hair sitting on your forehead if you use a long sleeved shirt. Because you may be tying it across your forehead crushing the hair under the tee. Another volume killer.
Q#11: Do you do it with shower soaked hair, or do you scrunch dry your mane a bit before putting in your product and then plopping?
A: I’ve seen it done both ways.
Some micro plop right outta the shower using a microfiber towel before applying products. Then move onto their plopping routine. Others apply their products in the shower then plop.
Here’s the final 60 second demo video. Again showing how to do it with long sleeves.
How To Dry Curly Hair With A T-Shirt
Included this one for three reasons.
Unlike the other two she starts with the neck away from her. Proving there’s no need to obsess over that. How you do that may simply be a personal preference not a deal breaker. That said, most prefer to do with the neck positioned the other way.
Then she scrunches using the t-shirt after removing it. I’d suggest doing that right after you get out of the shower using a microfiber towel. That way your hair is on its way to dry before you start plopping.
Best “How Not To Do This” Hint Shared:
Then I wanted to use this clip to show what not to do. Yeah I feel she makes a strategic mistake by tying the sleeves across the top of her head. This is a good way to mash the hair on the top of your head. Wrecking any lift you may be getting from plopping.
Q#12: What if I don’t have a spare t shirt?
A: No problem.
Hit the closest thrift store. Look at which tag colors are half off. Then pick up one or two half price t-shirts. Going with large or extra large is usually best – depending on how much hair you have to plop.
Should be able to get them for a few bucks each. Cheap as styling solutions go, no?
Q#13: When is a long sleeve short better to use?
A: Those with more hair or longer hair might benefit most from using a long sleeve shirt. Gives you more to work with when cinching up the “sleeves”. Keeps things in place better.
Did you like this post? Then, I’d love if you pin it! While you’re at it be sure to follow our Curls Gone Wild board on Pinterest. You’ll love all the ideas you’ll get.