You may have heard this term which recently went viral on TikTok, and is now creeping into salons, and if you know, well – you know.
This is a technique used by those with wavy or curly hair. It helps to set and define curls before drying (either by air or diffuser). Most people find it a game-changer (along with switching to the right type of towel and a silk pillowcase).
There are three types of plopping and they're generally used after washing hair and applying styling products, if you're using them (leave-in conditioners, gels, custards, jellies, mousses etc):
1️⃣ Wet Plopping
Apply a shower cap to soaking wet hair post-styling.
2️⃣ Dry Plopping
Gently squeeze some of the moisture out of the hair (with hands or a T-shirt towel) then wrap hair in a fresh T-shirt towel.
There are different ways to wrap the hair and it comes down to personal preference. Experiment with different tying techniques until you find one that suits: I use the method in the infographic below.
Depending on personal preference, hair type and density, most people wet and/or dry plop for between 5 and 20 minutes.
3️⃣ Micro Plopping
Use a T-shirt towel to gently squeeze moisture from the hair.
🔸 Reduce drying time
🔸 Increase definition
🔸 Increase clump formation
🔸 Create root lift
🔸 Reduce frizz
Straight-haired folk can micro plop too (for reduced drying time and frizz). You won’t get waves, curls and clumps where there are none, but it's preferable to rubbing with a rough terry towel.
Of course, you can use a Good Wash Day towel in the traditional way too.