I'm glad to see others have this same problem! It took me a long time to figure it out because it seemed so silly. The most annoying part is that my water is kind of yucky (hard + iron), so I try to avoid putting tap water in it when styling. So I spray distilled water in my hand and smooth it on. It would be so much easier if I could just spray it directly in my hair!
3a/b, F, normal porosity

I've gotten my routine down to the bare essentials, finally
Wash: Suave Tropical Coconut
Leave-in: Suave Everlasting Sunshine, detangle with Denman brush
Gel: LAL Sport or Wet Look
Scrunch with flour sack towel, plop 10 minutes, air dry
Refresh with either plain water or Suave/water mix