OK, so at the request of one of my fave Curlys, I am posting this method. FYI: I have very, very thick, 3A (3B in spots) medium porosity and medium texture hair.
Any who, I have A LOT of hair; I have always found that when I scrunch product in, while it does promote curl formation, it also breaks them up, resulting in massive volume, with thinner separated curls. Last summer I had success with the Denman as far as creating clumps, but they were generally "pulled out" clumps, due to the brushing.
I wanted both my coils AND my clumps — I have found that with this method, I can have both, and with pretty much any product combos that are "good" for my hair.
I suggest reading this through these tips and explanations before viewing the video at the end. OK, so here goes:
- Basically, I do my thing in the shower (co-wash, rinse out, conditioner).
- Next, I rake through my leave-in (if I am using one) and then my curl cream (I refer to these as "base coats").
- This next step can be done either while still in the shower or out, standing by the sink. The sink method is messier, but I get better covergae and thus better clumps, the shower can be done, but you have to make sure you REALLY fill those palms with water.
- I step out of the shower and to the sink; I brush my base coats through my hair thoroughly with the Denman: first the nape, then the back of my head (some sectioning/lifting is required due to my volume), then the temples and crown.
- Always brush (whether with this method or otherwise) with CAUTION: Use products with slip, good quality brushes and combs, and if you hit a knot/snarl DO NOT PULL. This is even more important for those who may be more prone to breakage (those with fine/dry/damaged hair, etc)
- Next I use the Denman to "place" my hair (ie: Left Part, Right Part, etc.)
- Next (this is important), I do a final brushing of the crown, OUT AND AWAY FROM MY SCALP. This is CRUCIAL to avoid the dreaded Flat-Top.
- Last step (this is where the clumps come in), I lean over the sink to one side, cup my hands under running water, and gently scrunch palmfuls of water into my hair. Repeat to the other side (those with bangs or shorter crown layers, get those too!) Don't scrunch firm and tight like you are creating curls, but slowly and softly to really soak the hair.
At this point my hair is more soaked than it would normally be when I step out of the shower, so it is kind of drippy. I scrunch in my gel of choice and plop. I guess you could towel scrunch, instead. I don't plop long (5 - 10 minutes), but that's just me. Then, I either air-dry for a few and then diffuse or diffuse straight away.
I find that the base coat I use affects my success. Please remember that I have A LOT of hair and can afford to uber-clump; this might overly clump those looking for volume.
The best base coats for me are those that provide light emollience. I have tried NO basecoat, I have tried heavy (I.E. butters), I have tried my gel as a base coat. While my hair WILL initially clump upon soaking with those, these clumps break up by or before drying, resulting in frizz of stringy/broken up curls. My greatest success has come with basecoats that are creamy yet light (think CJSG or CJCCC).
For those who find their hair gets so wet that it increases drying time: I have played with a double plop with great success. I saturated my hair excessively (after CJCCC) and then went into a plop without scrunching in gel (thereby not squeezing out a DOT of water). I plopped for 5 minutes then came out, got a dry Curlease and went into a plop again. Plopped for another 5 then came out; my hair was no worse for the wear and much drier. My next trial will be applying a gel between plops.
I have found that certain areas of my hair, like the underside, that have always tended to clump on their own and can get overly clumpy with this method. I avoid this by gently running my hands thru those few areas before I diffuse (while still wet!) But the best part is that I am getting consistent canopy clumps which I have never had before!
My kids call this the "Super Soaker" because they are dying for me to let them do it to my hair with their water guns.
I hope this was semi-clear. And I hope this helps someone!