I identify as having 3c hair and My pony puffs tend to look like this
I usually do my pony puffs on a wash and go.
I don't use gel
Nor do I use an elastic.
I usually mist my edges and brush them up.
Then I use a knee high sock (the kind that I use is made out of stocking material) that i stretch and tie around loosely around my edges, and I tighten it and push it up to make the puff.