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Old 04-19-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
 
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Default For those who use gel...

Ok, so I started asking this question on another thread, but didn't want to guano it entirely, so here it is again...

I have never used gel. Never. It always made my hair hard, crunchy, and look way too much like fried onions out of the can. (ewww...) BUT, after reading entipy's post 'Before and After' (and noticing her beautiful, NOT-crunchy hair), it has my head spinning, like maybe I've been missing the point of gel all along...

For those that use gel, are you applying the gel and then either air-drying or diffusing (without touching) until the hair is dry and crispy-hard? And then scrunching the curl until the hair is soft again?? After a suggestion from another poster, I have watched the video on Jessicurl's website so I could see it in action on someone with longer hair. I'm just wondering if this method is the general concensus on styling with gels.

Seriously, I don't know what on earth I have been thinking. I read all these posts about using gel, and just assumed everyone walked around with crunchy stringy hair.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:41 AM   #2
 
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I never used gel (or any other styling stuff really) until the last year or so. I just couldn't get anything to work for me without making my hair feel disgusting. Now I use gel or some kind of curl cream most days. The trick for me has been applying them to soaking wet hair. I've also found that applying gel over a little bit of leave in conditioner or curl cream pretty much prevents the crunch even with hard hold gels. Now I really don't feel anything in my hair once it's dry. I do sometimes have to run my fingers through from underneath to break my hair up completely once it's dry but that's it.

I hope this helps,

Michelle
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:44 AM   #3
 
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Hi, yes I air dry til the hair is crunchy then scrunch to make it soft. If I attempt to scrunch before then I get frizz and lose spring and definition.

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Old 04-19-2007, 11:06 AM   #4
 
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Yep, I scrunch out the crunch (if I get it) once my hair is dry.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:08 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memes
I've also found that applying gel over a little bit of leave in conditioner ... pretty much prevents the crunch even with hard hold gels.
Same here. It's unbelievable to to me what a difference gel *over* a leave-in makes. I diffuse without touching until my hair's about 80% dry. If I have any crunch after it completely dries, I very gently scrunch until it's mostly gone. If I need to revive mid-day, I lightly dampen my hands and scrunch lightly to reactivate the products I used in the morning.

Now that it's gotten more humid here, I've switched to GF sleek and shine leave-in. In the drier weather, I prefer the GF curl and shine.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
 
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My hair dries crunchy no matter what I put in it, even a leave-in. I just scrunch when dry, and voila... soft hair!
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
 
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I get crunchy hair even with a leave-in underneath, but using one makes it MUCH easier to scrunch out the crunch. When I just use gel, I can't get the crunch out without making it horribly frizzy, plus it makes my hair feel very plasticky. If you're going to try gel, I highly endorse using a leave-in underneath. It makes my scrunched out hair feel very soft, like there's not even any gel on it.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:54 PM   #8
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For me it depends on the kind of gel i'm using. some gels dry crunchy and some don't. I'm also beginning to realize that it's even more complicated - since it also seems to depend on the kind of rinse i'm using with the gel. i've been using Graham Webb Making Waves gel - and get no crunch at all - except when used with certain conditioners.

i've never tried a leave-in conditioner before. i'll have to look into those.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:16 PM   #9
 
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With me too it depends on what strength gel im using , like if im using gels that are #8-10 then i get crunch with them , i just scrunch out the crunch after it drys , if i do it before it drys then i get also stringy loose curls..if i use gels that are # 5-7 then im cool with no crunch whatsoever.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:16 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linda_m
[ If I need to revive mid-day, I lightly dampen my hands and scrunch lightly to reactivate the products I used in the morning.
Yup that works well for me too. I can't use a reviving spray of sny sort because I just get frizz and crappy looking hair but the wet hands scrunch works wonders. Especially with the LTW I've been using.

Just gel leaves me dry or tangly so I use a leave-in as well. Well, I use a regular conditioner as a leave-in but same thing.

Some gels crunch and some don't. Some do more than others. The only one I've tried that the crunch wouldn't scrunch out of is Aussing Gel+Water but that's been discontinued anyway.

I try not to touch it at all until it's *completely dry. Otherwise I'll get frizz.

I never used gel until I went curly. It took a good while but through trial and error I've found a gel and a routine that's working really well.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinicurlyd
With me too it depends on what strength gel im using , like if im using gels that are #8-10 then i get crunch with them , i just scrunch out the crunch after it drys , if i do it before it drys then i get also stringy loose curls..if i use gels that are # 5-7 then im cool with no crunch whatsoever.

How do you determine the strength of the gel?
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:04 PM   #12
 
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Well the strength of the gel is the #s on the bottle. like if its between #5-7 i would say thats a meduim hold , anything higher up is a strong firm hold.. sometimes gels wont even have a # , just say light, meduim or strong hold.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:34 PM   #13
 
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Ok, so I'm definitely tring some gel tomorrow. First time in at least 5 years, probably. I can't get my hair to be consistent from day to day since going CG ~ 1 month ago, so I've temporarily gone back to curls rock amplifier throughout (helps frizz) and rusk wired (helps ringlets) scrunched into the ends. I think both of the 'cones in there come out with CO-washing...but I digress.

OK, gel experts - should I just try it all by itself? Or should I just replace one of my current two products, and if so - which one? I think I have a little bit of Climate Control somewhere in the bathroom closet. I'm more than a little bit tempted to try gel AND the B&A method at the same time...

PS - My sincerest apologies for asssuming all the gel-users walked around with French's fried onion hair. Now I have to go apologize to the gel I've banished to the back of the graveyard, for all the mean names I've called it over the years...
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Old 04-19-2007, 07:22 PM   #14
 
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The gel replaces whichever you use for hold. I would try the B&A method too but then I'm having good luck with it so I would say that wouldn't I?
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:59 AM   #15
 
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If I apply to soaking-wet hair and airdry, I get virtually no crunch. I love La Bella Lots of Curls gel, but it doesn't have enough hold, so I cocktail it with a super-strong-hold gel. I use 2 parts La Bella to 1 part the other gel. I think the hemp and coconut oils and glycerin really help keep the crunch away.
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:05 PM   #16
 
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I must be weird, I use Aquage defining gel and get no crunch, I apply it on top of Aveda's Curl Enhancer, sometimes I diffuse and other times, I let it air dry, I'm never crunchy afterwards, though I do get a bit of frizz if I don't keep my hands off my hair.
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:30 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modegrrl
If I apply to soaking-wet hair and airdry, I get virtually no crunch. I love La Bella Lots of Curls gel, but it doesn't have enough hold, so I cocktail it with a super-strong-hold gel. I use 2 parts La Bella to 1 part the other gel. I think the hemp and coconut oils and glycerin really help keep the crunch away.
ITA on this too. I really love this gel. However I personally like that it has less hold. Also it is never flaky.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:42 PM   #18
 
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not all gels dry crispy hard, at least not when used in moderation. I suppose anything if you gobbed it on enough would get hard. Light hold gels often offer some frizz reduction without leaving any "crunch" to scrunch out. Aura Hypoallergic gel doesn't get too crunchy, even when I use two palmfuls.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:26 AM   #19
 
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Gel is the only thing I use on my hair so far, and it works really, really well. I've only ever had one crunchy day, this past Sunday, when I used about 2-3 times the amount of gel that I normally do (as an experiment). Right now I use a gel with an 8 rating, and use about a dime-sized amount, which I rub between my hands before scrunching, to make sure nothing gets globbed with the gel. I can either air dry or diffuse-dry with no problem.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:39 AM   #20
 
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Ok, this is gonna sound crazy, but what exactly is the point of gel? Do you all use it for hold or definition? I've never used it because my hair is so thick, I dont know what the results would be. I have always imagined the hard stiff hair as well, but I am curious. Sorry if I pulled a guano!
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