@Medusa - There are variations, I suppose, but most apply gel by raking it through, scrunching it in, or smoothing it on their hair. Raking and smoothing can both pull out some curl, so sometimes people scrunch afterward. Since you have a lot of hair, you might have good luck applying your gel in sections.
Cowashing should be a bit easier with gel instead of oil. I don't use straight oils myself, but I know some who use coconut have no issues cowashing it out, while others need to low poo to remove it. I don't know how you're cowashing with that amount of hair, but if you aren't already, try tilting your head back, and to either side when cowashing the back /sides, upside down (if you can) for the crown area. It should help the hair to fall away from your scalp so you can get to it with less difficulty.
My hair is a lot shorter than yours, but I rub the conditioner on only the fingers of each hand, then slide my fingers in underneath my hair near the roots, parallel to the scalp. That way more conditioner gets to my scalp, since I'm not cowashing through my hair from the top side. (Hope that makes some sense). I also continue to massage my scalp while rinsing to make sure all conditioner gets rinsed clean.
@Justdoingme - You can find coconut oil in the cooking section of most grocery stores, or in the pharmacy section with the other vitamins. Walmart has a few different varieties, I know.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream, Cure Care
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C or Shea Cashmere, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C or Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil (old formula)
PT: IAGirl's (every 2 weeks or as needed)