Plopping (Plunking) curly hair | How to plop + 5 benefits

Every time I hear the words plop and plunk, I am reminded of splashing puddles on a rainy day. But plopping and plunking curly hair has got nothing to do with that πŸ˜› This is a method that was born on the NaturallyCurly forum and is perfect to help decrease the drying time of your hair, enhance waves and curls and take care of wet hair till it is dry or semi dry (Because we know β€œhow your hair dries will be how it looks”).

What is plopping/plunking?

Plopping is a method to scrunch your curls and keep them in the scrunched position without using your hands – you use a tee instead. And your hair stays on the top of your head. It is best suited for long hair as short hair can get crushed and lose shape.

How does plopping help curly hair?

1) We know how scrunching helps curl definition. As we scrunch with our hands, we can see how curls start getting curlier. So if we were to keep it in that position for longer, hair would become curlier.

2) Water and product weight can pull down wavy and curly hair causing it to elongate. Since plopping takes care of gravity, no more weighed down curls.

3) We know how wet hair looks good and how problems start once it starts drying. If we help our curly hair dry intact without any outside disturbances, there are more chances of it drying perfectly to give well defined frizz free curls.

4) Since the hair mass sits on top of the head, roots are not being pulled down. This gives you a lift at the roots and not a flat crown.

5) Excess water is absorbed by the towel and this reduces your drying time considerably.

How to plop/plunk curly hair

plopping plunking curly hair (2)

1.After your regular shower routine and applying product to wet curls, lay a cotton t-shirt on a flat surface (bed, chair or table) with the sleeves facing away from you.

2.Flip your head over and lower your head onto the t-shirt, so that they pile on top of each other like an accordion or harmonium (musical instrument).

plopping plunking curly hair (3)

3.Take the bottom of your t-shirt and secure it over the nape of your neck.

4.Bring the sleeve part over your head, still holding the other end at your neck (you can use a clip to secure this if you don’t want to keep holding this).

5.Bring the sleeves forward.

plopping plunking curly hair (4)

6.Quickly twist them on both sides and tie them on top of your forehead.

Double plopping

There is a chance that the effectiveness of the plopping may decrease as the tee gets saturated with water. That’s where double plopping may help. After plopping for about 15-20 minutes, remove the tee, take another completely dry tee and plop again. This also helps in shortening your drying time further.

Single or double, you can plop for anywhere between 10 minutes to a few hours before diffusing or air-drying your hair; or you can even keep the plop overnight. I sometimes plop for 15 minutes or sometimes leave it overnight. The results the next day are truly magical. You have got to see it for yourself!



  1. Hi Anjana! first of all i love your hair, your type of curls most of us dream to have.

    i have a question regarding drying hair. since you said rubbing the scalp causes friction immediately resulting in frizz, you either scrunch or plop. so which means the scalp is going to be damp right? would that result in sinus? and also i am not sure if this is true.. i too don’t really dry the scalp rubbing and someone once told me that if i din’t take the dampness of the scalp there maybe fungus. I haven’t slept well since then.

    Is this a myth? how do you manage not getting sinus?


    1. Hi Sneha, I haven’t heard of that – does it cause sinusitis to you? I have no such problems with either plopping or scrunching. And dampness causes fungus only if unexposed to air. Air drying or diffusing will not cause fungus.

  2. Hi I m new to this blog,n I love curly hair n i hav that tooo….i have a question,do hair fall increases due to wash in hard water

  3. Hi Anjana

    I have recently started following ur blog. I am following plopping on damp hair (dripping water) right out of shower apply leave in conditioner and a little Deva curl gel.
    I usually wash it at night 9:00 PM and sleep the same way.
    To open curled hair in morning.
    Is this a correct way???
    Reason i ask is ,i have started experiencing lot of hair fall. Specially at back of my head.

    So i am wondering if i am following through the steps correctly or not !!!

  4. This…might be worth a try? I don’t know. My work requires my hair to be up and as a result I either have to blowdry (which creates monster frizz, and for whatever reason enhances my curls to the point of looking like undefined silly little ringlets (I…couldn’t tell you what curl type I am. Anywhere from a 2a to a 3b, according to the pictures I find and the method of haircare I use).
    I let the thing airdry. Which doesn’t work, because work needs hair up. It’s been 36 hours and my hair is now finally very, very close to dry after washing. I actually get scared of fungi or other nasties from it being wet so long.
    The worst part is that it’s about your length, maybe a little longer (almost butt-length haha) and I can’t stand having it fully down. I at least need a headband or something when I’m at home, and often I cave and just bun the thing up before it has a chance to dry here. Help…?

    tl;dr not sure how to dry hair when it has to be kept up all day.

      1. Of course, and follow the directions you’ve posted elsewhere on the site to get them to work. But I end up with little frizzy ringlets, it just doesn’t want to form curl clumps even with a diffuser. I use gel at this point, alongside a little heat protectant spray, but it all just kind of…evaporates by the time the hair is dry.

          1. I have, and I’ve just done it. Used double the amount of second-round conditioner I normally use, didn’t wash it out nearly as thoroughly as I usually would, used a load of leave-in conditioner (with argan oil), then gel and a little bit of medium-hold hair fibre (which I find keeps everything looking sleek longer). Hair is currently plopped, in twenty minutes I let it out and blowdry with diffuser. I’ll let you know of the results!

          2. Update: That couldn’t have failed harder. Attempted to blowdry, set the smoke alarm off for how much vapour/product was evaporating out of it. Wound up with hair that is still not dry, is now sticky and oily and did the exact thing it always does, curl clumps fall apart and the frizz is legendary. And I’ve gotta head out. I ended up brushing out the mats (Yes, brushing, but desperate times call for desperate measures) and putting the whole thing up in a bun, the same as I’d have to for work. I’ve called it a day, using more product hasn’t worked at all. Gonna have to wash this mess out of it tonight and start over.

          3. The products sound very rich..are they? Like mentioned in the post, I always choose ultra lightweight products since I have to use large quantities

  5. hey, loved your blog.its very imformative and helpful.and your curls are sooo tried plopping my hair.the product got transferred to my scalp causing it to itch.can you help me with that?

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