Hair plopping: what is it and how do you do it?

Asset Joanne van Hoeflaken
Joanne van Hoeflaken

Global Education Manager

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Keune Hair Cosmetics
Keune Hair Cosmetics

Do you have curly or wavy hair and are looking for a convenient way to dry your hair? Then plopping is something for you. Plopping hair creates more volume, less frizz and defined curls. We explain how to plop your curls and which tools you need.

What is hair plopping?

Plopping is a special drying technique commonly used for curly hair. With this technique, you place your wet curls on top of your head in a special microfibre towel or cotton T-shirt. This way, you remove excess water from your hair and your curls can dry undisturbed. It's not the same as wrapping your bath towel around your hair. A 'normal' towel is rough, stretching and tangling your curls. The plopping technique prevents friction and keeps your curls beautifully curled.

Why hair plopping?

Hair plopping is the method that dries your hair without heat and also defines your unique curl pattern. We list the benefits for you:

1. Improved curl pattern

When your hair is wet, your curls are beautifully defined. As your hair dries further, your curl pattern may diminish. Therefore, the time between wet and dry hair is essential. With plopping, you make sure your wet locks dry nicely in that interval. Doing it the wrong way often results in more frizz and a less beautiful curl pattern.

2. Shorter drying time

With a microfibre towel, all the extra moisture in your hair is perfectly absorbed. This shortens the drying time, leaving you more time for other things, like blow-drying and styling your hair. Another plus: while drying, the towel sits comfortably on your head, so you can continue getting ready in the meantime.

3. Extra benefit for straight or fine hair

Do you have straight or fine hair? Then you can create extra volume with hair plopping. By letting your hair dry on top of your head rather than hanging down. Drying your hair loose? Then you often experience less volume and definition. This is because wet hair is heavy because the water is still in your hair.

How to plop hair?

You can plop your curls with a microfibre towel or a T-shirt. We will explain both methods to you step by step.

Before you start plopping your hair, wash your hair with Confident Curl Low-Poo Shampoo. Follow up with a conditioner and/or mask - for example, our Confident Curl Conditioner or Mask. After washing your hair, you can apply styling products according to your needs. Then it's time to plop your hair.

With a towel
  1. Lay a microfibre towel flat.

  2. Bend down and place your hair in the towel.

  3. Now take the top of the towel and place it over your head towards your neck.

  4. Twist it together on your forehead so that it sticks.

  5. Now grab the sides and make a cross, taking the points alternately over your head.

  6. Hold both points and come upright.

  7. Make a knot with the points on your forehead.

With a t-shirt
  1. Lay the T-shirt flat with the sleeves at the top.

  2. Bend over and place your hair in the T-shirt.

  3. Cross the points (the bottom) of the T-shirt into your neck.

  4. Now grab the top of the T-shirt and place it over your head at the nape of your neck.

  5. Hold the sleeves and stand up.

  6. Make a knot with the sleeves on your forehead.

How long you need to plop varies with each curl type. Start with five to 10 minutes and check how your curls react. If your hair has started to frizz, you probably did it too long. Use curl cream, gel or leave-in cream against the frizz and plop a little less time next time.

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What is micro plopping?

Micro plopping is similar to plopping in that the results are the same, but it is a different technique. In this technique, a microfibre towel is used to knead out excess water and applied hair products. This prevents your hair from being weighed down by excess products and helps your hair dry faster. For some curlies, plopping does not work, in which case micro plopping is a good alternative.

How does micro plopping work?

When micro plopping, you use a microfibre towel or a cotton T-shirt again. Start with damp hair, which has curl spray or other hair styling. You place the towel in your palm and knead small sections of your hair with the towel. Repeat until you have had all parts of your hair. This ensures that excess water disappears from your hair.

How should you sleep with curly hair?

There are a number of ways to protect your curls while sleeping. Try out what works best for you.

The ananas

A pineapple is a very loose ponytail, on top of your head. This way, you make sure you don't lay on your curls while sleeping. This keeps them in shape as much as possible and prevents frizzy hair. Here's how it works: place a ponytail on top of your head and twist a hair elastic once around your hair. Use a soft hair elastic such as a scrunchie to avoid kinking.


Braiding your hair will make it less frizzy and keep it from getting tangled easily. Experiment with loose, tight or multiple braids. With curly hair, a loose braid will help maintain your natural curl pattern. With wavy hair, a tighter braid will provide more curl definition.

Satin pillowcase

The smooth texture of satin allows your hair to glide over the pillow, as it were. Your hair stays in better shape and is less likely to get greasy. In addition, the satin pillowcase prevents split ends, tangles and frizzy hair and provides a coveted shine.

Do not go to sleep until your hair is completely dry. Wet hair is fragile, this is more likely to frizz and can even break off. This is something you obviously don't want.

About this collaborator

Asset Joanne van Hoeflaken
Joanne van Hoeflaken

Global Education Manager

At the helm of Keune's education program is Joanne. With the Education team, she trains and guides Keune hairstylists worldwide.

The international Education team knows all the ins and outs of cutting and coloring techniques, hair styling, and the latest hair trends.

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