Can we talk about clumping?

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  • 2 Post By JessiiLeighh
  • 2 Post By curlypearl
  • 1 Post By SereneCurls
  • 1 Post By JessiiLeighh

Ugh, I cannot get my curls to clump.

I've got fine hair, medium density. Medium to fine porosity, depending on where you look in the hair shaft. I'm growing out a Japanese straightener.

Right now, I'm using Suave coconut and TJ's tea tree to co-wash. I low-poo about once a week, sometimes once every week and a half. I've gotten the best results from KCKT and KCCC, but I'm still not getting any decent clumping. I apply product to soaking wet hair, upside down to help with lift at my crown.

I've got everything to make some FSG, but I'm hesitant to try it because of the refrigeration issue. My bedroom is upstairs and going downstairs every morning to pull it would mean I have to take care of the dogs before I shower, and that would throw my morning off. I'll do it if I have to, but I'm hoping someone will have some other ideas.

I did a PT this morning, and I'm a stringy mess.
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
The only real way to get clumping is by keeping a lot of water in your hair while styling. Actions like excessive combing and raking break apart your hair's natural clumps, and I suspect that you are doing this when you flip your head upside down and style. The styling product you use can help keep the hair in clumps, but the method used to style is much more important. The most popular method for promoting clumps is the super soaker method, written about in another thread that can be found in a sticky.

However, I use a different method which I will explain. I smooth on my leave in right-side up and take my fingers or a wide tooth comb to carefully separate my hair into thick clumps, spraying water and adding leave in to make sure everything is nice and smooth. This gives me control of the size of the clumps. Then I take my gel and smooth it into my hair generously (FSG or KCCC will work great) which solidifies the clumps. Then I take more gel and scrunch it into my hair to get the curls forming. After I scrunch some water out with my hands, I then flip my hair upside down and shake, and continue to scrunch to get lift and root curl. Scrunch with a t shirt or microfiber towel, and continue with your usual drying routine.
curlypearl and sheilacurl like this.

3a, med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
CG since April 2012
BC October 2012
Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix
RO Conditioner: Mop Top Daily Conditioner
Leave In: As I Am leave in or KCKT
Stylers: FSG and Curlisto Control II Gel
Sealer: Pure Argan Oil

INSTAGRAM: CURLYJESSICALEIGH (it's new, but check it out)
I rinse my conditioner out upside down and don't flip right side up until all of my product is in.

I'll try your way, thanks for the input!
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
If that doesn't work, look up the sticky thread about Techniques, there's lots more ideas there that worked for different people.
I use a similar styling technique as mentioned before. I use hydrating conditions such as tresemme naturals or as I am cowash. Dehydrated curls won't clump at all. I stopped using a low poo because they were just as drying as a regular shampoo. I use a clarifying shampoo once a month and after I deep condition. When styling, I rake in my leave in conditioner and a generous amount of gel right side up. I shake my hair around and upside down. Then scrunch my curls. Result: clumped frizz free curls. I diffuse or sit under my hooded dryer with them set on the coolest setting. I also air dry.
I got good clumping (which I normally have a lot of trouble achieving) at Dickey's salon. He combed my hair right side up with a very wide tooth comb and then appied lots of water with a spray bottle until my hair was soaking wet and I mean SOAKING and then applied over 10 pumps! of volumizing foam (but I think a gel would work just as well and I intend to try that) and then sprayed water again until the hair naturally formed clumps. My hair was dripping and I do mean dripping! Then he put me under the dryer and when I was dry he fluffed my hair a bit. He didn't twirl or rake and shake and I got great clumps even though my hair is on the thin side.

The main thing I realized is that my hair was drenched with water. That can be a real pain in the neck if you are short of drying time. You might try the super soaker method which is similar, but I am going to try this out because it really worked.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
sheilacurl and CGSince2002 like this.
2/c and some 3A.
Protein sensitive but can use occasionally
Highly porous. Color over grey.
Best 1st day method: Super Soaker
Stylers: Mix Curls in a Bottle into everything for shine. Terrible pj
Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
Every day is a gift
I find that if I rinse with my head right side up, my hair stays plastered to my head, and no amount of shaking or scrunching will help.

I'll try it tomorrow though, and see how it goes.
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
As far as your fsg issue is concerned, you can freeze fsg in an ice cube tray or in baggies, and if you take out a portion the night before and put it in the bathroom, it should be fine till you're ready to shower.
Morgan_Adcock likes this.
2c/3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
Co-wash: down under naturals, tresume naturals
R O: Tresume Naturals
L I: Giovanni Direct, KCKT
Stylers: cjccccl, cjpp, jcrr, brhg
Oils: coconut, argan or evoo
That's absolutely brilliant.
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
I know exactly what you mean by "plastered" to your head. The same thing happens to me. To combat this, I make sure my head is coated and leave in, and soaking wet, so there is tons of slip. I tilt my head to the side and use my fingers with more leave-in or a very wide toothed comb to unstick my hair, and create clumps that start at the top of my head. Grab a chunk of hair the size that you want your curls and smooth it downwards to form a clump. Be generous with a spray bottle of water.
CGSince2002 likes this.

3a, med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
CG since April 2012
BC October 2012
Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix
RO Conditioner: Mop Top Daily Conditioner
Leave In: As I Am leave in or KCKT
Stylers: FSG and Curlisto Control II Gel
Sealer: Pure Argan Oil

INSTAGRAM: CURLYJESSICALEIGH (it's new, but check it out)
Thanks for all of the suggestions. For the past few days I've been rinsing upside down, raking in KCKT then soaking my hair again. I've added some aloe to my KCCC, and I've gotten some decent clumping. I've had pretty good hair days, which is amazing since dew points have been really high and yesterday I got soaked in a sudden downpour.

I've still got a few pieces around my face that won't clump to save my life, but one is at my cowlick and the others are new virgin hair, so I have high hopes that they'll start behaving when they're longer.

I've only been growing out my Japanese straightening (that I did consistently for nearly a decade) for a few months, and it's a daily struggle to not have it straightened again because I look ridiculous. The clumping has helped that. Thanks again.
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
I finally got around to making some FSG. I added a bit of gelatin to it, and used it for the first time yesterday.

My hair looked SO good, I was very pleased. I might have been able to have 2nd day hair for the first time ever today, but I'm going to wash again since I've got an event tonight.

Thanks for all of the help!
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
It's possible that you need more moisture. KCKT is a detangler and not a leave in. You may want to try something else as your leave in.

You can always add preservative to your FSG. Then, you don't have to do anything else to keep it from spoiling.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix and CCCC
It's been so sticky here the last few weeks that anything more heavy than KCKT makes my hair limp and gross. Once we're out of the 70+ dews I'll go back to an actual leave-in.
Fine, med/high porosity, med density, protein craving
Last chemical straightening Nov. 2013
It's been so sticky here the last few weeks that anything more heavy than KCKT makes my hair limp and gross. Once we're out of the 70+ dews I'll go back to an actual leave-in.
Originally Posted by bac
I've had dews like that here as well. Successfully using a bit of VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze as LI under my FSG. If you have some Cure Care around, that might work too.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Autumn Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 KLS, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, L'Oreal Studio Clean gel, Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's as needed
My hair requires more moisture to clump, like some other ladies here. Have you tried combining a couple methods together? Like adding more water with a spray bottle and using a different comb? Hair can clump better if you use a very wide tooth comb (like a pick) instead of a thin tooth comb.
I also know the problem of curls that won't clump. this is what's helped me: After I rinse out my conditioner I don't rake or comb through my hair at all. I put leave-in conditioner and stylers in my hair by just gliding along my hair - first upright and then upside-down (I have a lot of hair and all of my hair gets enough conditioner and styler). afterwards I scrunch some additional styler in, which is the first time when I can see clumps, before all my curls are just "one piece". then I plop and diffuse without touching my hair. whenever I tried to rake in any product which I don't rinse I end up with no clumps whatsoever...


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My blog is all about curls: Curly tips, curly hairstyles, curly product reviews, curly fashion and curly lifestyle!
I have been having the same issue lately. My hair is a stringy mess. I wonder if its because I went off of the CG routine? My hair used to clump nicely i would just rake a styler through upside down right after my shower, and let it air dry. But its not working for me anymore...
I have shoulder length 3c curls thanks to my grandfather who is french and bohemian.

My Staples are: Curl Junkie Coco Coffee Curl Creme, Mixed Chicks Leave-In, Joico Curl Activator, lots of Deep Treatments....

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