my experience with the gel is you need to apply enough so that you feel slip, that way the mucilaginous cast is fully formed on top of the water in your hair. then you really smooth, and pull while you rake it in thin sections, from the root to the very tip. I always smooth and rake instead of simply raking and that gives much better detangling and curl clumping.
I also do a technique where i make my hand like a thumbs up, only my fingers are not curled into a fist, instead are layed flat on my palm. Then i gently grab hair in the section and tug and pull down the section. its like raking but you do it before you actually rake and it gentley separates tangles and slides out shed hair. I call it grabbing and gliding.
These overall combined techniques enable the product to form a cast on the whole curl clump-- top, bottom, root to tip-- with out you having to be too heavy handed. These techniques are also how i detangle, and how i apply all product i want to be evenly dispersed on my hair. Except i omit the raking if im doing bentonite clay or something without slip.
The definition comes easily, although i do MHM
, but i like to make sure i rake really well and do narrower rows/sections where my hair is shorter and kinkier. This helps it so your hair doesnt clump into one giant frizzy clump, and instead separtes more defined and an actual coil. It also helps different curl clumps not stick together at the tips.
By thin sections, i mean separating your hair row by row, almost like you are doing horizontal corn rolls starting from the nape and up. For me i make seven rows, and pin the hair i havent gotten to yet out of the way. And of course i apply watered down conditioner first and then apply the gel as i go along.
Overall finishing my whole head takes 25-35 minutes.
Also f your hair is an inch or shorter, you wouldnt be able to really do these techniques. Rubbing it all over your head might not work for tighter coils, plus you'd be asking for flakes. The most effective way would be to focus on one area at a time, using your fingers in and moving very fast in sharp small circular motions. You want to put the weight on your elbows, not your fingertips, and just apply conditioner and then gel as you go along.
Edited by pinkecube - Apr 15 2014 at 2:35pm