I Tried The T-Shirt Curling Hack & It Got A Little Dicey

Like a beauty-obsessed meerkat, I'm always curious to peek out of my hiding hole (aka my beauty routine) for new and easy hacks. So, after stumbling across something that caught my eye, I tried the T-shirt curling hack to see if it would make my life easier. Simply put, I am always down for beauty methods that make me feel fabulous in no time.

The T-shirt curling hack, otherwise known as creating "plopping curls," is a self-explanatory method that involves using a T-shirt to create beach babe waves. As someone who lives by the sea and adores mermaiden hair, I couldn't resist trying it out for myself. According to a YouTube presenter appearing in a Cute Girls Hairstyles video entitled, "No-Heat Plopping Curls | Back-to-School Hairstyles" the hack takes its name from the process of "plopping" your hair into the tee. The shirt is then tied around the wearer's head and worn all day or overnight, so the curls can form. I was amazed at the miraculous curls that unravelled out of the presenter's T-shirt wrap.

Being a lady with naturally straight hair, I was enamored with this method and realized that if it actually worked on my tresses, it could save me a bunch of time in the mornings as I wouldn't need to dry or style my hair after washing it. There was a small, doubtful voice inside my head, but I ignored it and tried the T-shirt hack out for myself.

The Inspiration

Cute Girls Hairstyles on YouTube

As previously touched upon, I took my inspiration from the above YouTube tutorial by Cute Girls Hairstyles. I did however, see other videos, some of which suggested that "hair plopping" was a hack for naturally curly hair, which had alarm bells ringing in my head, because my hair is not curly in the slightest.

So I scooted back over to the Cute Girls Hairstyles video, re-watched it, and made sure to check the description for any information suggesting that "plopping curls" were only suitable for naturally curly hair. Mindy — presumably the same Mindy who presents the video — writes in the video description, "For this tutorial, it is a T-shirt creating the curls." I supposed this meant it would work for me.

During the tutorial, when she's flipped her head upside-down in preparation to plop. "Give your hair a shake at the roots, this is just gonna' kind of separate the curls and any natural curl that you do have is gonna' come out at this point." IMO, during this clip, it looked like she was loosely finger-combing her hair, but her mane didn't look particularly naturally curly. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to see her wet locks go from fairly straight, to beautifully bouncy and wavy. I couldn't wait to get started!

The Method

I started by washing my hair. Here I am straight out of the shower with wet tresses. In the video description, Mindy writes, "Be sure to start with your hair slightly more than damp, not 'dripping' wet. If the hair is too wet, your curls will not turn out. As a reference point, be sure to notice how wet my hair is when I begin the plopping."

As a bit of background information, my hair is ridiculously thick. A friend of mine (who's a qualified hairdresser) told me that it's not just the amount of hair I have that makes my mane thick, but my individual strands are thick too. It literally takes me twenty minutes to dry my whole head of hair with a hairdryer. I rarely let my hair dry naturally, because the last time I did this it basically didn't dry — I slept in a braid and twenty-four hours later, I took it out to reveal damp hair, so I still ended up having to use my hairdryer anyway.

With this in mind, I knew my hair would need a little helping hand. So although this hack was supposed to be heatless, I gave my locks a quick blast with the hairdryer, because I knew it would never work on my mane if I didn't.

Next, I grabbed some mousse as Mindy suggested in the tutorial.

I am not someone who uses mousse on a regular basis, so I guessed that this blob would suffice.

Finally, I followed Mindy's tips on wrapping my hair in a T-shirt. In hindsight, I probably should have used a tee with larger sleeves so I could secure it more easily. But, it seemed solid, so I took a trip to the land of nod.

The Results

After a rather uncomfortable night's sleep, where I felt the T-shirt slipping off multiple times in the night, I awoke to this scene. However, I was still optimistic about my potential curls, especially considering I'd partly dried my hair and kept my tee on for approximately nine hours.

Suffice to say, when I unravelled my towel and found this monstrosity, I was not impressed.

As you can see, my hair was not curly in the least, heck, it wasn't even dry! My mane was wet through and I felt super disappointed.

From the back, you can see how it might have worked if it had dried — my hair was more wavy than usual, but it was definitely more surfer girl than beach babe.

I believe it could have gone awry for a number of reasons: My hair is too thick to dry naturally while trapped in a T-shirt, the one I chose didn't have long enough sleeves to keep the style rigid throughout the night, I put too much mousse on, or maybe this really is a hack for people with naturally curly hair.

To conclude, this "hack" actually made my morning routine longer, as I had to painstakingly brush out the knots and tangles, then dry it with a hairdryer — both of which I could have done immediately after my shower and saved time in the long run. It's safe to say, I won't be "plopping" again anytime soon!

Images: Phoebe Waller