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How to Plop Straight Hair in 9 Steps | It’s So Easy!

Plopping hair is all the rage with curly-haired people these days, but something that many people don’t know is that straight-haired people can get in on the fun, too! After reading this guide, you’ll know how to and why you should plop your straight hair. 

Plopping Your Hair: A Summary

Plopping straight hair will take your flat locks and bring out the underlying waves. You will need good products, a microfiber towel, and a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt. After you have gathered your materials, here are the steps:

  1. Wash your hair
  2. Dry your hair with a microfiber towel or t-shirt
  3. Apply leave-in conditioner and curl cream
  4. Detangle your hair
  5. Scrunch out extra moisture
  6. Lower your head onto your t-shirt
  7. Tie the shirt around your head
  8. Let your hair dry
  9. Remove the shirt and scrunch

Sounds easy enough, right? Read on to learn more about the techniques necessary for learning how to plop straight hair. 

How to Plop Your Straight Hair in 9 Steps

As we said, plopping is for everyone! You need only to find the right products and follow these steps.

1. Wash Your Hair

Wash your hair with a cleansing shampoo and conditioner. Plopping works perfectly as a nightly hair routine. You can wash your hair when you shower and then continue your routine. 

It is crucial for your hair health to choose natural hair products (per the curly girl method) without parabens, silicones, and sulfates. Using products with unhealthy ingredients can dry out your hair and cause breakage.

It can also cause scalp irritation, and they are just generally harsh on your hair. After you wash and condition with a good shampoo and conditioner, rinse your hair with cool water. 

2. Dry Your Hair With a Microfiber Towel or T-Shirt

Dry your hair using a microfiber towel or t-shirt. These eliminate frizz and breakages that ordinary towels often cause. A regular cloth towel has a rough texture that can dry out your hair and split ends.

If you see these signs of unhealthy hair, it might be time to transition to a microfiber towel. The way that you dry your hair also matters. You should not pull on or rub your hair when you dry it.

This will cause your hair to become brittle and dry. Drying your hair violently can also cause excess hair loss. Bend over and scrunch your hair with the towel to remove excess moisture. 

3. Apply Leave-in Conditioner or Curl Cream

Apply a good leave-in conditioner or hair oil and curl cream that fits your hair type. Different hair types work best with different types of leave-in conditioners and creams.

For example, a person with thin and fine hair should find light products that will not weigh down their hair or cause it to look oily. Thick hair needs heavier products that will cover and protect each strand of hair.

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4. Detangle Your Hair

Detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. This will help distribute the product evenly. The leave-in conditioner and curl cream should help this process go smoothly.

Comb your fingers through your hair to combine all the products and reach every nook and cranny of your hair. You want your ends to be fully saturated by the product. You should use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to avoid pulling on your hair too much.

Wet hair is very elastic, so it breaks easier than dry hair. Pulling too much on your wet hair before plopping can also straighten your wave pattern. Thus, your plop will be less effective.

5. Scrunch Out Extra Moisture

Continue to scrunch the excess moisture from your hair with the microfiber towel or t-shirt. Apply your products and detangled your hair.

Then, grab the same towel or shirt you used early and continue to dab water away from your hair. This will remove extra moisture and also continue to distribute the products throughout your hair.

6. Lower Your Hair Onto the T-Shirt

Place a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt on a flat surface in front of you. This t-shirt should be different than the one you already used and completely dry. Bend at the waist and push all your hair forward so that it’s in front of your face.

Lower your head slowly toward the center of the shirt until your head is touching the shirt. This step is how the process got its name! You quite literally just plop your hair into the center of the shirt.

You might lower your hair into the shirt, lift it, and lower it again to form a curl texture in your hair. There is no pattern or technique to it; it is just that simple. 

7. Tie the Shirt Around Your Head

Pull the two bottom corners of the t-shirt around the sides of your head and gather them at the nape of your neck. Then take the two shirt sleeves and pull them over your head. The two sleeves will cross at the back of your neck.

Continue wrapping them around your head until there is no more sleeve to wrap. Then, tie the two sleeves together. You can do this step can with an oversized short-sleeved t-shirt, but it makes it a little harder and less secure.

The extra length of the long-sleeved t-shirt allows you to wrap the sleeves multiple times around your head and tie it securely. To perform this step with a short-sleeved t-shirt, just bring the sleeved side to the back of your head.

Then, secure it with a small knot in the front of your head. You will only be able to wrap it once rather than multiple times as the long-sleeved shirt allows. 

8. Let Your Hair Dry

Leave this t-shirt helmet on until it has soaked up most of the moisture and your hair is dry. Most people recommend that this is between 2 and 6 hours or overnight. Again, plopping is a great nightly routine.

You can plop your hair at night, sleep on it, and wake up with beautiful wavy hair! Another option is to leave it in for only 15 to 45 minutes, then remove the shirt and blow your hair dry with a diffuser. However, this may prove difficult if you have straight hair.

Removing the t-shirt while your hair is still wet may cause your waves to fall immediately. Because of this, we recommend the overnight method. 

9. Remove the Shirt and Scrunch

After your hair is dry, remove the t-shirt from your head. You should have some nice waves! Since you have straight hair, it likely won’t turn out curly. But if you are going for a beach wave look, this might be perfect for you. 

After you let your locks loose, scrunch your hair to rid it of the casting or crunchiness caused by the products you applied to your hair. Scrunching away this casting will give your hair a bouncier and less rigid look.

Read Next: How to Straighten Hair Without Heat

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman plopping her straight hair with a towel

Alliance Images/Shutterstock

Now you know how to plop your straight hair! However, you might still have some pressing questions before you can embark on your plopping adventure. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

How wet should my hair be when I plop?

Your hair should be mostly wet but not sopping wet. You should have spent some time drying it with a microfiber towel or t-shirt. If your hair is too wet when you plop it, it will take a very long time to dry. If it’s not wet enough, it may not hold the wave for very long.

How long should I leave my hair in a plop?

This depends on how much effort you want to put into the plop. Many people plop their hair, then sleep in their plop for low-effort waves. Some people plop their hair for less than an hour, then take it down and dry it the rest of the way with a diffuser. There are a few different options for time lengths.

Does plopping cause frizz?

Plopping prevents frizz! Frizz results from your hair drying while exposed to air. Plopping your hair with a breathable material holds the hair in place and gives it an anti-frizz drying environment.

Can I plop without using any products?

Absolutely! The products target hair health and longevity. If you are looking for completely natural waviness, you can achieve that look by following steps 6 through 9 with freshly washed hair.

How often can I plop?

You can plop your hair as often as you wash it. It will not damage your hair since it doesn’t use heat. It will also protect your hair from damage if you plop it before sleeping. Sleeping with your hair contained helps prevent breakage and split ends.

So, How Do You Plop Straight Hair?

Plopping straight hair is so easy to do. You only need good products, a microfiber towel or t-shirt, and another long-sleeved t-shirt.

Your straight hair plop will be most effective if you start with wet, clean hair freshly treated with leave-in conditioner and curl cream, then plopped tightly and left to dry overnight.

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn how to plop straight hair, and soon you’ll be on your way to gorgeous waves!