The base was something like this:
2.5% tapioca starch (from grocery store)
0.75% xanthan gum
You must mix this in a double boiler or makeshift double boiler so it doesn't overheat - add water and tapioca starch to bowl (of double boiler) and whisk over the simmering water. The water amount is enough to add the percentages up to 100% - depending on what else you add.
Once the tapioca starch is dissolved and the mixture has become clear, sprinkle on the xanthan gum and whisk a lot more. Take off heat when the xanthan gum is dispersed and not lumpy and whisk a little more.
When cool add (whatever you like, really):
0.5 to 1% panthenol or glycerin
0.5-1% hydrolyzed wheat protein
a pinch of citric acid if it needs any
This has pretty good hold and clumping on its own. I think it needs at least a drop or 2 of oil for a softer finish. Some aloe might be nice in place of some of the water. Some honey or agave would blend in well for more hold, but you'd need oil for sure or hair would be crunch-city.
A good recipe to mix with some leave-in conditioner and a dab of hair gel for a curl cream. The end result is light but nice and thick, a little tacky/slimy in the hand, but distributes nicely.