Having trouble getting gel cast

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I'm having a lot of trouble getting a gel cast recently, I've tried many different gels and most of them are not creating a cast unless I put so much in my hair is very weighed down and usually at that point the gel cast won't really scrunch out properly, I haven't been able to find a middle ground. I've tried a lot of different techniques, soaking wet hair, damp hair, diffusing etc. I've had trouble for a while, but since cutting my hair recently the problem has gotten much worse.

The ones I've tried that don't work include LALSS, LALWL, Ecostyler Krystal, olive oil and the pink one. Two that do work mostly consistently are Aussie gel and one of the deva gels (I think ultra defining, but I don't gave the original bottle anymore), however I am very sensitive to smells and the Aussie one always irritates me and some days I can't tolerate it at all and I can't afford deva products. I did just buy a bottle of volumax from Sally's, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet, and I'm really hoping to spend less generally since that was about $8 for that size at the Sally's here. The Ecostylers were all the old formula, I haven't seen the new formula for sale anywhere here locally yet. I've made fsg in the past and like it, but it does not form a gel cast on me.

Anyone have any ideas for products or techniques? Products really need to be inexpensive and not highly scented.

About my hair, it's LP (and I think my recent hair cut probably cut off all the NP parts at some of the ends), high density, on the coarse side of medium width, mostly 2C, low elasticity wet normal dry, and now after the haircut it's a chin length curly bob.
BRHG - Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee - is the hardest hold gel I have found. It is not cheap but a little goes a very long way. I have long hair (to lower back) and a bottle lasts me 4-5 months. I use after leave in and sometimes combine with other gels. Hard cast, easily scrunched when dry. I am very sensitive to fragrance and the smell is light and non-offensive. Good luck!
wavypen likes this.
I've been using garnier fructise pure clean gel for a strong hold, I don't think it smells strongly but I'm also not that sensitive to smells so idk. I like KCcc and jessicurl rockin ringlets but their so expensive for me to get in Canada that I use the cheaper garnier one often in order to save those ones. When you apply the gel are you scrunching it in or smoothing it over the hair? I usually get a better gel cast when I smooth a finger tip amount over small sections and then coil them around my finger and leave my hair alone to air dry.
wavypen likes this.
Do you co wash, or use a low poo, or some other washing method? I ask because gel creates less crunch for me when it's time for me to clarify. It seems like the better conditioned many people's hair becomes, the less gel cast is created. Just a theory.
wavypen likes this.
2c/3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, bsl curly, WL wet
Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
Co-wash: down under naturals, tresume naturals
RO: AOHR
LI: Giovanni Direct, Desert Essence curl cream
Stylers: kccc, HE smu, brhg
Oils: coconut, argan or evoo
Thanks for the replies.

Frizzinfla, which size of BRHG lasts you six months? the most common size I see is 6oz and the price on that would be ok if it lasted that long, but there's also a much larger size for more.

Wildfox, I can probably smell a garnier fructis gel at the store to see if I can use it or not. KCCC and Jessicurl are not in my budget either as much as I've heard good things about them. I've tried both smoothing and scrunching with the gels that don't tend to form casts, the only real difference I can figure out is the products themselves and I'm not sure what the difference is. I do have to get water out before or after gel in some way though, because my hair is both LP and high density and it would not be completely dry before I went to sleep if I don't scrunch with a towel (still no guarantee) or diffuse (and in the winter I diffuse if I go anywhere because it's horrible to go around all day in the cold with wet hair).
Serenecurls, I usually cowash, but I low poo every week or two (depending on how my hair feels) to help prevent buildup, I did clarify and chelate pretty recently because of buildup.
Wavypen - I buy the 6 oz BRHG and usually get it from Ulta with the $5 off coupon. ($5 off purchase of $10 or more). I use a dime size amount, so small pea size would probably be all you need for short hair. I recommend mixing BRHG with other gels. When used by itself it can make my curls a little bit stringier than I like. In fact, it works really well with Garnier Pure Clean Gel. Just be sure to use a bit of leave in before gel application, as I find GPCG to feel a bit drying in wet hair. But when hair dries it looks great and does not feel dry at all.
wavypen likes this.
My hair is normal/high porosity (I'm guessing) and fine/low density so that probably influences it's reaction with gels. I do know that if I towel dry after I apply products it never looks right and I won't get a cast. I have read on this forum (don't remember where exactly) that some ppl style their hair and go to sleep with it wet and the cast forms over night, giving it enough time to almost fully dry - but personally I've never had success with that.
My hair is the same, either no gel cast, or if I do get one, I can't scrunch it out (I have to go curl by curl and put my finger through it, but that takes forever and if I don't do it right, it won't recurl. I just accept not having a gel cast. As long as my hair is held, that's fine (although I sometimes wish I could have one for second day hair since I need to reapply gel, but it often gets crunchy so it doesn't work).
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight


Wildfox, I've read that too, I toss and turn way too much for that to work for me. Anyway if I go to sleep with wet hair it's still quite damp when I wake up. But when I used to dye my hair a lot and it was more damaged and presumably higher porosity (I was also using sulfates and cones back then) sometimes I used to go to sleep with wet hair and wake up with great curls.

Everydaycurls, I was wondering if this was possibly a porosity thing, i see your sig says you're LP too. I just really want that gel cast because my curl pattern isn't always that strong and more hold would be great for me because I have nice spirals when it's wet, but they fall out as it dries, I think basically they elongate and stretch from the weight, I don't have the s shape wavies are supposed to have, I have curls, spirals specifically, just because of this very elongated ones. Right now it's short, so it's different, but even at this length wet the longer and curvier parts have nice spirals. so diffusing does help, but I don't always feel like doing that (especially when it's not cold) because diffusing takes a long time too.

Last edited by wavypen; 09-06-2014 at 09:44 PM.
It might be a porosity thing. It might just sit on top and make it crunchy. Have you tried using a more than usual, but less than it takes for it to be too hard? (For me that just makes some parts too hard, the rest as usual, but it might work for you.)
wavypen likes this.
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight



Last edited by EverydayCurls; 09-06-2014 at 10:32 PM.
I've tried several hard hold gels and nothing works as well as BRHG! LALSG made my hair stringy and limp, Ecostyler Krystal was a good curl enhancer but had no hold, same for GF Pure Clean. Aussie Instant Freeze was ok but not hard hold for me. Curl Junkie Curl Queen is like a medium hold for me.
wavypen likes this.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Repair Me, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC, UFD Curly Magic
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

Is there a particular reason for which you want a gel cast? I don't consider a gel cast being equal to strong hold, because I can use gels which keep my curl together even with a lot of movement/pulling, but I don't get a gel cast. If you want it to be able to shower at night and wake up with nice curls, try plopping overnight (that's what I do). If it's because you want to be able to keep your hair in a style and with minimal frizz during a car ride or something (if your hair is long, it will most likely rub against the seat), you can plop on the way there.
rbb and wavypen like this.
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight


I'll admit I haven't tried many gels, but I've always got a gel cast with the ones I have tried (Eco Styler, Ouidad & the UG Jelly). Even with the Shea Moisture Curl Soufflé I got a bit of a cast. Maybe my hair casts easily, who knows?

Could be you're not putting enough product in? I do put quite a bit of gel in my hair! How much do you tend to use?
wavypen likes this.
Allie

3A with some 3B thrown in. Medium porosity. High density. Low-medium thickness.


Pre-poo: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Low-poo: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine
Conditioner: Faith in Nature or
Shea Moisture Raw Restorative
D/C: Giovanni 2chic Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra Moist Deep Moisture Mask

Leave-in: My DNA
Styler: Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity or
Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly

UK curly. CG since October 2013.
Aiming for WL curls (eventually)

Last edited by BotticelliBrit; 09-12-2014 at 04:06 AM.
I use bioterra gel and it doesn't create a gel cast. But I put a dime size amount of Aussie instant freeze hell over the top and get a great cast. I've also used BHRG and volumax mega over the bioterra and have gotten a great cast with those two.

Sent from my Moto X
wavypen likes this.
When I can't get a gel cast it's because I used a lot of leave-in with oils in it or because it's time to clarify.

2b-3a med-fine low porosity
Blog: KrullenWijzer.nl
2B/C-3A) fine - low porosity
Routine:
Wash: Daily Fix,SMT, Kesham, Urtekram
RO: Motions CPR Li, Inecto Cocos co, AO GPB, KCTT
acv-rinse, sometimes honey-rinse
LI: coconut oil (winter), CJBC-LI
Styling: AVG, Etos Solid Power Gel, Taft gel, CJPP
, JCCC, BRHG
Plopping~Pixiecurl diffuse~clipping
KrullenWijzer.blogspot.nl
When I can't get a gel cast it's because I used a lot of leave-in with oils in it or because it's time to clarify.

2b-3a med-fine low porosity
Blog: KrullenWijzer.nl
Originally Posted by rapunzel4ever
Yes, I also get less (or no) gel cast when I use more leave in. I still get hold, though. BRHG is the hardest hold gel I can think of, so give that one a try, but definitely try mixing it with anotehr gel first.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

Wash with either Suave Tropical Coconut, As I Am, or CJ Daily Fix
Condition with STC or Yes to Blueberries and detangle with Denman, rinse very lightly (baptismal rinse)
Add LAL gel, either Sport or Wet Look, scrunch with flour sack towel, and plop
Diffuse 5 minutes, then air dry
Agree with some previous posters. My 2c/3a, fine hair needs to be clarified (with a sulfate....shhh) sometimes. That usually resolves the lack of gel cast problem. I suspect it's a combination of build up and getting over-conditioned.
Clarifying might help WavyPen, but that's not always the reason. I've never gotten any gel cast (except when it's too hard and then can't be scrunched out - there is no in between), even when I used sulfates or when I clarify.
3b, low porosity, high density, medium hair width hair

Current Products:
  • Dr. Mercola Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Revitalizing Conditioner (also as leave-in)
  • Gelatin as protein treatment
  • Currently trying flaxseed gel +gelatin as hair gel
Techniques: Scrunching + Plopping Overnight


I used to get gel casts easily when I dyed my hair frequently and it was, I assume, normal porosity, probably high on the ends. My curls did much better that way, with the gel casts I mean, not the frequent dyeing. But it also may have had something to do with drying faster and not getting as weighed down because there was water in my hair for so long, like now. I did just clarify and chelate, but it didn't change anything (I didn't think I had build up, but tried anyway).

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