Damn it! Okay here is the answer. Sorry for curlstalking you HoC. I still have to make my flax seed gelly. I am so lazy. Those flax seeds are just chilling in my kitchen.
Demantoid, I agree with Houseofcurls' assessment. That is what I do when I apply product. I get out of the shower with dripping wet hair and apply my leave in all over. I smooth it on the hair and do not rake it in personally because for me that thins out my clumps. I want it all over so that my hair is the consistency of seaweed. But then I have very thick hair. Yours may not be so thick and indeed maybe a leave in and too much conditioner could weigh you down. Depends on the person's hair and texture. The leave in part is not important but I thought I'd throw it in there. Anyways then I scrunch out excess moisture with my microfiber towel or old t-shirt. Whichever is on hand. I do it gently but firmly, cupping clusters of curls by the fistful and bringing it up to the scalp. Squeeze, pump, all that jazz. Then I apply the curling custard. I smooth it on in maybe three sections on either side of my head. Still experimenting with the sectioning technique because I have these annoying layers on the back of my head that are tricky to get to and deposit enough product on. So yes, smooth it on, scrunch up, and voila! Then I let it air dry. Head's up #1: a lot of people say KCCC takes a long time to dry. If your hair is low porosity I think it may. My hair has high porosity so I think that's why it dries so quickly. Moisture leaves it very fast.
Head's up #2: a little goes a long way. It'll take a few tries before you figure out how much works for your head. In the beginning I applied it just like regular gel (same amount) and used it generously. My hair dried very crunchy but the gelcast was super easy to scrunch out so it didn't matter. Then I just used less and less until I found the least amount my hair for definition. I get a slight gel cast most days I'd say, but the important thing is that it doesn't look crunchy on me and the gel cast opens itself naturally after an hour or two. My hair is left well defined and shiny and super soft to the touch. That is why I like this product so much. It never fails me. My hair has liked all the gels I've tried and some I get better definition than others, but with this product I don't feel like I have anything IN my hair, which is great.
Oh, you should go repost this question on the 2s forum because a lot of wavies/looser curls there have great tips and techniques to encourage curl. Most of them also seem to know how to work a diffuser to create more volume. Actually I should probably take my own advice and go check it out. And buy a diffuser maybe. Laziness.