How to plop hair - the 15-minute hack that stops curly hair from turning frizzy

You'll never go back to terry cloth towels after reading this.

how to plop hair
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(Image credit: GettyImages-528770243/onathan Knowles)

Granted there are prettier names for trends, but how to plop hair became one of 2020's most Googled beauty searches.

As with most trends, it started life as a TikTok trend that then went viral. To date, there are more than 10 million videos on the platform dedicated to the wrapping method, which involves wrapping wet hair in a t-shirt (otherwise a pillowcase or microfibre towel will do) to reveal perfect coils.

Better still it means you don't even need to use a diffuser afterwards. Just wash your hair, plop and go about your business for 15-20 minutes, then unwrap.

So why won't a regular old terry cloth towel do the job for curly hair? Put simply, the texture is abrasive, which can rough up the hair's cuticles. Plus the stiff nature of the fabric means you stretch out curls rather than respect their natural definition. 

So, how do you plop your hair with a T-shirt? 

  1. Get a big T-shirt - lay it upside down, with the sleeves closest to you.
  2. Flip your wet hair over and onto the center of the T-shirt. With your head still upside down, lay the bottom of the shirt over your head (so it’s touching the nape of your neck and completely covering your hair).
  3. Twist the sleeves (near your forehead) and the back of the shirt (at the nape of your neck) together and tie it around your head.
  4.  Congratulations! You've plopped.

At this point, all of your curls will be nestled in a mound on top of your head, allowing your them to dry in their natural curl formation. After 15 minutes, unwrap and shake out those smooth, frizz-free spirals. 

Fiona Embleton is a beauty writer who is now Acting Beauty Editor at Stylist. She is obsessed with Isabel Marant and cats.