As anyone with curly hair knows, curls can be frustrating, confusing, and wildly unpredictable depending on the humidity, time of day, earth’s orbital position around the sun, etc. And despite your incredibly stringent routine with seven products and multiple incantations, you can still end up with a frizzy, fluffy, truly awful hair day for seemingly no rhyme or reason—at least, that was the case for me, until I discovered how to dry my curls by plopping.
Alright, it’s not the sexiest name in the world, but IDGAF, because this curly-drying method has literally given me the best hair of my life. After reading approximately every single curly hair tip ever posted on the internet when I was in high school, I found, buried in a forum, instructions on how to “plop” your wet hair for smooth, frizz-free, magical-sounding curls. I tested it out, and holy hell, the internet (for once) wasn’t lying.
Basically, plopping involves setting a large, super-soft t-shirt (an XL long-sleeve works best) on a flat surface, flipping your sopping-wet hair over and onto the center of the t-shirt, then folding, twisting, and tying the sleeves around your head to form a weird, helmet-like structure, with your curls nestled in the center. Unlike the classic wrapping-wet-hair-in-a-towel situation, which stretches out your curls and leaves them frizzy, plopping lets your curls sit in a self-contained mound on the top of your head, allowing them to dry with better definition and volume, without any of the frizz, thanks to the t-shirt.
I know; it doesn’t sound that revolutionary or hair-changing, and even I eventually stopped plopping after a few years, thinking it didn’t really make that much of a difference (and also because I moved into an apartment without a bathroom counter to plop on, but hey). But after plopping suddenly became viral last year, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I Amazon’d an XXL Hanes long-sleeve t-shirt, went back to my life of plopping, and immediately kicked myself for ever stopping.
Seriously—the morning after plopping my hair, I walked into work and was complimented a dozen times throughout the day. Which, again, if you have curly hair, you know isn’t an every-day thing. Now, I have about five long-sleeve t-shirts in rotation at all times, and I have a momentary freak out if I almost forget to pack one when I travel. No, plopping won’t totally fix all of your curl problems, because I’m partially convinced nothing ever can, but I’m 100-percent positive it will revolutionize your curl game, regardless of whether you air-dry or diffuse afterward. So to get you started, go get yourself a giant t-shirt, then watch the YouTube video below.