Get Perfect Curls Without Heat: The Secret Hair Plopping Method

Do you tend to use heat-styling tools to curl your hair? Although they might seem like a simple fix, it’s actually doing your strands more harm than good in the long term. Exposing your hair to heat can cause breakage. Luckily, there are ways to get beautiful curls without any heat, and one such method gaining popularity, especially on TikTok, is hair plopping.

What is plopping?

Plopping is a hair-drying technique used to keep curls intact. The process involves gently 'plopping' wet hair onto a microfiber towel or t-shirt, wrapping it, and allowing it to air-dry to achieve consistently beautiful curls. Not only does this method enhance curl definition, but it also minimizes frizz and adds volume to your hair.

Steps on how to plop your hair

Despite its whimsical name, hair plopping is precisely as it sounds. Let's take a closer look at the steps involved in this unique haircare process.

1. Wash and condition

Start with washing your hair: shampoo, apply conditioner, and then comb through your strands with your fingers or a toothed comb. Always ensure that your shampoo and conditioner are free of sulfates, as these can dry out your curls and make them hard to manage.

2. Apply your styling products

Scrunch out the excess water and apply your favorite products. Many people with curly hair use the LOC method, which is leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. Layering these products usually helps seal in moisture to keep your curls looking great. Make sure to use your fingers to apply them, and not a comb.

3. Plop

After the first two steps, lay your microfiber towel or t-shirt on a flat surface. Flip your hair over, and let your hair plop in the center of your towel/t-shirt. Then, wrap the bottom of the towel/t-shirt around the back of your head and do the same with the top. Afterward, grab the shirt sleeves/ends of the towel and tie a knot near your forehead.

4. Let it sit

Leave your hair wrapped for at least 20 minutes. Time is important for hair plopping, so it's best to leave your hair wrapped longer if you have time. Once you remove the t-shirt, you should be left with perfectly shaped curls. This is a great technique for styling your hair overnight.

Benefits of plopping hair

Plopping hair helps your curls retain more moisture simply because it uses smoother and less absorbent fabrics to dry the hair. It also reduces your drying time without causing damage to your strands.

Rubbing a towel on your wet hair is the number one cause of frizz. Since hair-plopping helps dry your curls more efficiently and gently, this might help reduce frizz. It also creates voluminous, more defined, and longer-lasting curls.

Additionally, using a microfiber towel or a t-shirt provides a great and easy alternative to heat-styling tools that can otherwise cause hair damage. Heat tools strip your hair of its natural oils and break down protein bonds, which eventually leads to dryness and breakage.

Who can use the plopping method?

The plopping method is usually best for wavy and curly hair. However, other hair types can also benefit from this method. For straight hair, plopping can add volume and body to naturally fine or limp hair. And for coily textures, plopping helps to reduce shrinkage.

Other heatless methods to curl your hair

No matter how long your hair is, there are still many options to get a heatless curled look. Scroll ahead for easy ways to curl your hair without using heat tools.

1. Braid your hair

Braiding is one of the easiest ways to achieve loose waves without using heat. This method usually involves braiding your hair while it's still a bit damp and then allowing it to dry overnight. That way, all you have to do is undo the braids to get defined curls when you wake up. To do this, braid your hair into either small or medium braids. The smaller the braids you create, the tighter the curl will be.

2. Use hair rollers

Hair rollers are also a good method for creating more voluminous curls. To use rollers, just part your hair into sections. This makes it easier to work through. Take a piece of hair and wrap the roller around from the ends of your hair up towards the scalp. Then secure the rollers with a hairpin closest to the scalp. For best results, leave them in for a couple of hours or wear them overnight.

3. Robe belt curls

Another effective curling method is using a bathrobe. If you don’t have a bathrobe, you can use another thick and long piece of fabric, like a legging or a scarf. Part your hair into two sections, then place the belt across the top of your head. Take a small section of damp hair and wrap it around the fabric away from the face. When you reach the ends, just secure your strands tightly with a rubber band. Leave the belt overnight.

4. Use socks

Socks make really great heatless curlers. Start with applying a leave-in conditioner for moisture and part your hair in sections. Wrap your hair around the sock away from your face. You can secure the end of your hair with a bobby pin. Repeat this for all hair sections. For best results, wait overnight before shaking out your curls.

Overall, there are quite a few simple ways to get beautiful curls while keeping your hair safe from heat damage. Instead of frequently using curling tools, try the heatless tips mentioned above for stunning curls. This not only enhances the appearance of your hair but also promotes healthier and more manageable strands by reducing exposure to constant heat.


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