- Plopping is a drying technique used to enhance curly and wavy hair.
- People on TikTok wash their hair and find out that they actually have a curly type of hair.
- Our editor tried to make her hair fall out, and it completely changed her look.
Contrary to what my partner thinks of TikTok, I actually learned a lot about the video sharing app. I discovered how to apply concealer in a way that enhances my face, an at-home tanning kit that allows me to fake a spray tan without going out of my bathroom, and how to put my hair back together. Before I checked out the TikTok videos on how to properly dry my hair, I thought only my sister was lucky enough to have my mom’s curly hair and I was destined to have somewhat lifeless and limp ends that sometimes seemed wavy and sometimes not, depending on the day. It wasn’t until videos of people plopping appeared on my FYP that I was like, “Wait … I think I did everything wrong.”
Before we jump into my life-changing hair reveal, let’s clarify one thing: my hair is more wavy than curly – I’m probably around a 2B or 2C type of curls on the hair type scale. That said, I still wasn’t doing my hair a favor with my old drying routine, and once I started banging, I was able to achieve a much better definition of my waves.
What I learned from the rabbit hole from the mind-blowing videos I watched was that my mistakes started immediately after I got out of the shower. After I wiped myself off, I used to run a brush through my hair to remove any tangles (mistake number one) before tossing my hair in a microfiber towel (mistake number two) and letting it dry at about 70% with the towel (mistake number three). The correct way to dry wavy or curly hair is actually to brush it in the shower while it is soaked.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, you want to apply your hair products to your wet hair. Because curly hair types need a lot of moisture, this is the best time to deliver your leave-in conditioners and styling products. I applied the Ceremonia Guava Leave-In Conditioner ($ 20) followed by the Inkey List Chia Seed Curl Defining Hair Cream ($ 8) using a crumple method instead of running my fingers through my hair to help the waves to form. It’s also arguably the worst part – something about having to sit there with soaked hair, water running down your back while you apply products, just isn’t my favorite thing in the world. . Nonetheless, I made a commitment.
Then, only after your hair is coated with the product, it is time to put it out to dry. You can use a microfiber towel if you want, or go the classic plopping route, which involves a cotton t-shirt. (I alternate between the two depending on my laziness that day). For this experiment, I used a shirt. The key is to gather all of your hair at the top of your head and gently wrap the t-shirt around your head. I let it dry like this for about 10 minutes. When I take the shirt off my hair is usually around 60% dry.
The next step is also a bit of a challenge, but as my sister so clearly told me: leave it alone. The more you soil it as it finishes drying, the frizzier it will become. I like to use the Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Makeup Wave Adjustment Clips ($ 18) to keep it out of my face while it air dries so I’m less likely to touch it. This final air-drying step takes me a few hours, but everyone’s hair is different. If I’m running out of time, I’ll diffuse my hair to speed up the process.
Overall, letting your hair down isn’t difficult, but it does involve a few steps, and depending on your current hair care routine, it can feel a bit overwhelming at first. There are still days when I feel too lazy to fall out and let my hair do its job (but these days I know it won’t have as much volume). Considering all it takes is an old T-shirt and a few curly hair products, I say give it a try.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jessica Harrington