Modified Plopping: How to Use a Bandana for Extra-Bouncy Curls

If your hair has more than one curl pattern, this technique is for you!
Publish date:
August 20, 2015
wavy hair, curly hair, styling products, Alterna, amika, bandannas, R+co, Plopping

Trying to get consistent curls every day is a learning experience to say the least. One day, you’re at the beach and everything’s bright, sunny, and tightly coiled; another day, it’s humid and your hair is falling flat.

The back and underside of my hair are extremely curly. (If you count the waves in your hair it’s easy to tell, more than three turns per strand is curly, fewer than that is wavy.) The hair in the back of my head corkscrews every inch or so like a proper spiral, but the heavier front and top are lucky to get more than two waves.

Lots of people are plopping their hair these days. The concept is pretty simple: you’re essentially tying a loose piece of fabric (usually a T-shirt) around your head to allow curls to form against gravity. This technique works great for me most of the time, but the top sections still stretch out over the day unless I hit them with a curling wand.

Touching up only the sections that need it by plopping with a bandana instead has been working for me, and you can also run out the door with this on and no one will be the wiser!

Here’s how to do it:

Mist hair that you want to re-curl with leave in conditioner like Alterna Bamboo Beach Sun Recovery Spray and scrunch in a small dollop of a memory product. I went with the super rad R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse, which I grew to love in small amounts; too much is heavy for my hair, but a little bit has a strong hold that lasts.

After I've re-plopped hair, I hit it with some flexible hairspray like Amika Touchable Hairspray.

Spread out a bandana or silk scarf of choice and tie two opposing ends together in a knot. This will create a pocket for your hair.

Split the hair you will be plopping in two sections. Pull the left one through the pocket in the bandana, and do the opposite with the right side, almost like you’re about to tie a knot.

Make sure everything is tucked in, rest the top of your head on the bandana, and tie at the nape of your neck.

Leave on for at least 20 minutes (an hour is best) and give hair a mist with hairspray when you take it down and shake out lightly!

This is such a simple way to hold you down in between shampoos or cream washes. I have really been trying to stick to using as little heat as possible, and after even 10 minutes, my hair was 30% curlier.

Another way to do this is to twist the entire front sections of your hair back and away from the face and into a bun right at the occipital and secure with a bobby pin on each side; do the same crossover plopping method with the back of your hair, using the bandanna as a hammock for the bulk of your hair. This tweak is excellent if you want smooth roots and curly ends!

  • Anyone already do something like this?
  • Who is a dedicated plopper? (lol)

Photos: Maria Penaloza