I think it's the final combing you're doing that's going to break up your clumps into little stringlets. After combing or brushing, you need to re-clump your hair, and it has to be wet enough to do so.
I do use a Denman brush or a wide-toothed comb when I apply my GVP CO
, upside down. Hair is very slick and "seaweedy" at this point. Then I smooth it all together and pile it on top of my head and leave it in until I'm ready to rinse. I rinse but leave plenty of CO still in my hair, usually rinsing upside down. I don't squeeze out all the drips, just a bit, scrunching with my hands.
Then I smooth on and gently rake in or maybe comb/brush in my gel -- but my hair still has to be very wet at this stage so that after combing/raking, it's still wet & slippery enough so that it will clump right back together again when I start scrunching it. If it's too dry, it'll stay stringy and when I scrunch, it'll frizz.
At this stage I scrunch a lot, upside down, sideways, etc. I have to shake my hair around a bit to be sure it's not all sticking to the top of my head or to the nape of my neck. After I've scrunched in enough gel and scrunched out enough water so it's no longer totally dripping wet, I plop.
Hope this helps.