What do you think of when you hear the term “plopping curly hair”?
What should pop into your head is it’s a technique that helps with curl definition.
Typically you’re looking at doing it either wet or dry.
What’s the diff?
Real quick … when you wet plop you’re looking for big, chunky, juicy curls.
By covering them with a shower cap you’re giving them extra time to absorb the water and styling products you’ve applied. Which makes them super hydrated.
On the other hand you dry plop if you want to cut down on your drying times.
Usually this is done by using a tee shirt or microfiber towel to wrap the hair piled on the top of your head in. The big thing that does is keep the weight of your curls from stretching them out.
For our purposes here we’re looking at what to do AFTER plopping your curly hair to speed drying.
Because there is some confusion about that. It’s sometimes hard for beginners to know what do after they remove their tee.
What To Do After Plopping Hair
Now basically what you do afterwards depends somewhat on when you prefer to apply your styling products.
Some get best results when they are applied in the shower to drenched hair. (See the comments after the third video that might explain why this is.)
Others find their hair responds best to products applied to damp hair.
Okay so what you do after about 20 minutes of your hair wrapped up depends on when you layer on your products. In other words to hair that’s dripping wet or merely damp post plop.
That determines whether you’re reaching for the diffuser or bottle of gel.
Now Gena Marie is a products-before-kind-of-girl. So her post plopping routine demonstrates what happens when her plop is done.
Interestingly she does this to keep her hair from air drying too fast. (A good problem to have?) And to enhance her curl definition.
- Gently remove the towel or tee shirt and give your curls a quick shake.
- Add more gel as needed – mostly to the ends.
- Diffuse or just let air whichever is your preference.
You can always add more gel to replace any that was lost to whatever fabric you wrapped you hair in. You’d mostly be doing this to stop any frizzy ends – if that’s an issue for you.
Tip: Try not to touch your hair any more than you to once you unfurl your curls. Some can get away with more touching than others. For some even reapplying gel can result in a frizz fest.
Obviously if you prefer to layer on the products to damp hair you’ll plop first apply products second. Here’s how this licensed cosmetologist Jennifer Hunter does it.
Her post plopping routine:
- Gently remove the towel or tee shirt and using only your fingers fluff out your hair
- Layer on your products
- Micro plop with tee or towel
- Diffuse or just let air dry – whichever is your preference
She diffuses using low heat and low power to avoid introducing frizz to her locks.
Another trick to save your curl pattern is called pixie curl diffusing.
You doing this? You even know what it is? If not think you might want to find out more on this drying method that almost guarantees lush curls? That link takes you to our post on the topic.
Tip: Some curlies like to clip their still slightly damp roots to get added lift.
Others do some gentle “curl shifting” to position specific curls where they’d prefer they live this time around.
Others still can’t be bothered and just take a live and let live attitude to their curls. 🙂
Need one more video? Brandi’s in the apply products before plopping camp. So here’s what she does afterwards.
She applies her styling products before for a good reason.
Obviously as you plop your hair is going to start to dry. Yet most curly styling products work best on wet hair being water activated and all. So she feels you want your products applied and working their magic before you start any drying routine.
Of the three reasons she shares for using this method the third was the most interesting. She feels the plop keeps her curls on top of her head. Which confirms what was mentioned earlier.
Think about it. When you hair is on top of your head your curls aren’t being stretched out by their own weight. That can be a good way to preserve your definition and get bouncier, more voluminous curls, no?
She also favors a tighter plop. Feeling that gives her better water absorption. Which is contrary to what others do in an effort to get more volume around the crown.
Which you do is up to you obviously.
The goal here is to present you with alternatives to consider. Cause everyone’s curls are different. So they’ll respond differently to different styling techniques.
Oh and she leaves the plop on for about 30 minutes to get rid of the excess water.
Now when you remove the towel or t-shirt you should find nicely defined curls.
You can let them air dry from there if you wish.
In her case she scrunches a bit more then diffuses after doing the plop thing to max out the volume of her curls.
Tip: Experiment with how dry you diffuse to. Some curls respond better to being dryer. Others slightly more damp. Going too far and things can get too frizzy in a hurry. GRRRR!
So which do your curls prefer? Product application before or after plopping?
Hey! If you’d love more curly hair care tips to help you take the suck outta your curls please follow our Curls Gone Wild board on Pinterest!