Traditional gels do not work in my hair as it is very thick and heavy too! I like the spray gels and have found some to be better than others, but all of them allow for more precise application. I love ION spray gel and you can get it at Sally's Beauty Supply online and in the stores. It REALLY helps curl formation - I spray and scrunch, spray and scrunch. Then, I just let it dry and then SOTC....what little crunch there is. Not real stiff, but holds really well!