Plopping is an important step in the Curly Girl Method. But, everyone who has tried it found that not every hair type reacts the same to the techniques. So it makes sense to adapt the CG techniques to what your own hair needs.

Wavy hair, for example, can absolutely benefit from using the CG method. You’ll get better definition of your natural wave pattern and less frizz. Who wouldn’t want that?

But some of the styling products and methods that work best for coily hair, don’t necessarily give the best results for wavy hair. Instead, you might end up with “overloaded” hair without volume.

So how to adapt the plopping step to make the best of your natural waves?

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How do you plop your hair with wavy hair?

The basic process of plopping your hair with wavy hair follows the same steps as for someone with curly hair.

First, start by washing and conditioning your hair as usual. Then, apply a leave-in conditioner or curl defining cream to help enhance and define your waves.

Use lightweight products

For wavy hair, it makes sense to use lightweight, water-based products for this step. This will help with wave definition while at the same time not weighing your hair down too much.

Personally, I prefer a water-based gel to a curl cream, but try out what works best for you to improve curl definition. Usually, thicker products mean tighter curls but less volume.

Next, gently blot your hair with a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to remove excess water. You want it to still be wet, but not dripping anymore.

And yeah, stay away from regular towels as those can be a bit rough for your hair structure and increase frizz. Also, microfiber absorbs excess moisture much better anyway!

The actual plopping

Then, place a large, soft cotton t-shirt or a towel down on a flat surface in front of you. Bow forward, gathering your hair at the crown of your head in a ponytail and letting the hair ends meet the shirt in the middle of it.

Basically, you’re going closer and closer with your scalp to the shirt, letting your wet hair “scrunch up” against both your scalp and the shirt.

Next, gather the loose ends of the shirt or towel at the back of your head. Tie the ends together to secure the shirt or towel in place. This will create a sort of “turban” around your head.

Or, to make it much easier for you, you could get one of these Microfiber Hair Towel Wraps*. It is optimised for exactly this process and works so great.

I’ve been using one of these for the past few months and it makes the process SO MUCH EASIER!

How long should you plop for wavy hair?

So now that you’ve set yourself up with your turban, the wait begins. But how long should you really plop with wavy hair?

For people with curlier hair types, it can work really well to simply let their hair dry “inside the plop”. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the thickness and length of your hair.

But for people with wavy hair, whose hair often doesn’t dry quickly at all, this plopping method can mean two things:

  1. Hygral fatigue, because their hair stays wet for hours and hours! Not great for each and every hair cuticle…
  2. Loss of volume, because their naturally not so “bouncy” hair stays gets not movement. This is especially true for fine hair.
dark haired woman in a white shirt with her hair swirling around her

Personally, I recommend only plopping wavy hair for 20-30 minutes and then carefully removing your turban.

Naturally, you’ll still have damp hair at this point. You can still let it air dry after, but move your head around a little bit. Without touching your hair directly, ideally.

The last thing is really import with this drying method. We want to reduce frizz wherever possible and air drying can both help and make that a challenge if you tend to touch your hair a lot.

You only want to scrunch your gel cast out once your hair is completely dry, so stay patient!

If you really need to speed up the drying time make sure to not use excess product and try these tips for drying your hair without heat.

So is hair plopping good for wavy hair?

Overall, plopping your wavy hair is a great idea. It can help enhance and define your curl pattern and reduce frizz. And, with a little practice, it’s a really simple and effective way to get great-looking waves without a lot of effort.

It won’t create curls on straight hair, but it can and will enforce the natural pattern of all curl types. Definitely worth it to add it to your hair routine.

Just make sure to adapt the technique to what works for your hair!

"Wavy hair plopping: how long & other things to look out for" written under image of woman with wavy hair

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.