I too cannot rake in products. My hair is pretty short right now and has awkward layers (cut was supposed to be worn straight), and raking just separates everything in a bad way.
I started combing in my leave-in condish before getting out of the shower for better product distribution. Then I quickly douse my head under water to clump everything back together. Once out, I smooth & scrunch in gel in sections.
The back of my head is the hardest for me, because my hair is so short I can't really get it to fall to either side when I tilt my head. It's annoying, and I never seem to get the proper amount of product back there.