Best way to apply gel?

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  • 3 Post By Corrina777

I'm starting CG this morning!! Woohoo!

A quick question though-- what's the best way to apply gel? I've been reading that some people do it soaking wet?

I'm planning on trying to just not rinse out all of my conditioner and then use LA looks blue sport gel--but that's it for product. I'm identifying most as a 2C right now, medium density, high porosity, normal width, medium short length.

Thanks ladies!
Curly Girl method is applying products to dripping hair, see the Devachan salon videos on YouTube. You can scrunch it in or smooth it in with your palms or rake and scrunch.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
It will really come down to trial and error. Some people apply products to soaking wet hair; others apply products to hair that is only damp. I know a few people who got great results one way when they first started CG and then as their hair became healthier, they got better results doing it the other way. Scott Musgrave (a fantastic Deva trained stylist) has a blog post that discusses this a bit. The bottom line I that there is no right or wrong, it just comes down to what works best for your hair.
rbb, artemis513 and Janicke31 like this.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
I hear curls are more defined if done on soaking wet hair and maybe more shunky on damp hair. But for my 4a hair, I prefer soaking wet hair. Also I don't use fingers to rake gel through hair but instead use the hand prayer method which entails putting gel in palms and taking bunch of hair and pressing both palms from around root to end to spread the gel. Sorry if this is not explained too well. I also find this minimized breakage because sometime no matter how well u detangle hair, u can still encounter some tangles as you use fingers instead of palms to spread the gel.
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I prefer apply my gel to wet hair. I do it in the bathroom over the sink, that way I can add a small amount to my hands, run the under water and then apply it to my hair. This also allows me to do smaller sections at a time without over applying gel. No crunch!
I prefer applying to very damp (but not soaking wet) hair. I apply it upside down, scrunching into sections. I have a lot of trouble applying gel rightside up.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
So, if you do it wet, do you dry at all? Or apply it while hair is dripping? Also,should I try plopping on my first day?
So, if you do it wet, do you dry at all? Or apply it while hair is dripping? Also,should I try plopping on my first day?
Originally Posted by crofterica
I scrunch it in when my hair is not dripping. I then use an old cotton t shirt to gently scrunch my hair (still upside down). I air dry and have never plopped.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I don't towel dry at all. I apply it while it's dripping.
So, if you do it wet, do you dry at all? Or apply it while hair is dripping? Also,should I try plopping on my first day?
Originally Posted by crofterica
If you are applying to wet hair the water is needed to aid with clumping and to help distribute the products across the hair as you smooth/ scrunch. See the Devachan and Jessicurl videos on YouTube. I scrunch a small amount of water out with hands only when applying the leave in conditioner but I wouldn't class that as drying, there is no towel or fabric involved and hair is still dripping wet just not running wet. Some people add more water after applying gel ('supersoaker') but that is not technically part of the original Curly Girl method.

Plopping works better on medium to long hair, medium to short hair is more likely to get on better with scrunching the water out but it's well worth trying both techniques. If you don't scrunch the water out and you don't plop you will have very very wet hair which will take forever to dry and drip down your back which is gross. The plop or scrunch is your alternative to the towel turban.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
You'll have to do some experimenting to find out the best application technique for your hair. I put gel in upside down, soaking wet, and smooth rather than rake or scrunch. My clumps are fragile when my hair is wet, so I have to be careful with them. Then I gently scrunch once or twice with a flour sack towel and plop. I mostly plop so I can get dressed and organized without breaking up my clumps.

Just practice, and you'll figure out what works best for you. Just don't be discouraged if you get some bad outcomes; it's all part of the learning curve.
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
I apply my gel to wet but not dripping wet hair. But now I will apply the gel across the hair not up. I always learn something.
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I don't have issues with continuous dripping. I just shake my hair a bit, you know...like a dog, but not as vigorous.
I apply my leave in and gel to soaking wet hair and rake it through while leaning forward....not necessarily upsidedown. But i stand up and rake the sides downward to make my hair lay flatter against my head.

Eta: i put a t shirt on my head like a bridal veil and let it soak up water while i get dressed. And then i gently squeeze the tshirt while its on my head as if im squeezing a ponytail to let it absorb more water....take off the shirt...reshape and go.

If i plop or scrunch i get more shrinkage than i like.

Sent from my LG-LG730 using CurlTalk App
2yrs 7 months post relaxer/2 years and 11 months natural

Cleanse: SM Moisture Retention or Suave Naturals shampoos
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals, L'Oreal EverCreme or EverCurl
RO/Detangler: Tresseme Naturals, GVPCB
Leave-In: SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, TN, GVPCB
Styler: EcoStyler, GF Pure Clean gel, KCCC

Just discovering my hair likes protein!


Last edited by SmilingElephant; 07-08-2013 at 05:07 PM.
I prefer applying to very damp (but not soaking wet) hair. I apply it upside down, scrunching into sections. I have a lot of trouble applying gel rightside up.
Originally Posted by CurlyGrey3
I pretty much do the same, except I will turn side to side to apply gel and also apply gel right side up. I tried applying to dripping wet hair, but I don't like the water running down my body. I also couldn't get the logistics of putting product in my hair while in the shower and/or trying to wrap a towel around my body while water from my head is dripping everywhere and trying to keep my dripping wet hair from getting caught in my body towel (it's BSL) and trying to put product in my dripping wet hair.

When I'm done showering, I grab my beach towel sized ultralight towel and loosely wrap/plop on the top of my head. Then, I blot some of the water, so my hair is somewhere between damp and very damp. That's when I add my products, KCCC, Ecostyler (I tried Ecostyler mixed with olive oil today), and gel (today I used Jason Flaxseed Hi Shine). I am a PJ, so I mix it up a lot.

All products are put on prayer method style, followed by scrunch and pump. I gently scrunch more moisture out with a flour sack towel and then plop using a Curls Like Us towel. When I take it down, I gently scrunch again with either the flour sack or curls like us towel. And then it air dries. Today I am experimenting with NOT clipping the roots

I get clumps and waves and curls and minimal frizz. :-)

I am a big fan of the trial and error method. When I have a "meh" hair day, I just make sure my make-up and clothes are fab to make up for it, lol. I have been experimenting with up-dos for day two hair, so may add that to my repertoire (since it's hot anyways). Good Luck
I think the looser the wave/curl pattern the more scrunching you need to do to encourage curl. For tighter curls, smoothing the product in works the best. Wet vs. damp depends on how much moisture your hair can hold, your tendency to frizz, and how much hold your need to get the desired effect.

I apply my gel to damp hair. Hair starts out dripping wet from the shower but I squeeze the excess water out right before I apply my leave-in. Then I let the leave-in soak in for about 5 min before I apply gel.

My hair is already super curly naturally so whenever I apply gel I section my hair and smooth the gel in, never scrunching ( that's the method Lorraine Massey suggests but on my curl pattern that would only encourage tangles and frizz, no bueno). When I am done smoothing the gel in, I clip the front and air dry. (I also do the smoothing technique on my hair when it's dry to SOTC and break the gel cast)

Whenever I was still working on getting my moisture levels in the right place I would apply to wetter hair and then blot with a flour sack towel but no longer need to do that. Besides, my hair is low porosity and even with damp hair it takes over 8 hours to fully dry. Sometimes in a hurry I will diffuse for the first 10-15 min to cut the dry time, but I really try not to do that.

Edit: I don't flip my head over. If anything I might tilt my head to the left or right but not completely upside down...
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
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Last edited by artemis513; 07-08-2013 at 08:13 PM.

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