When starting the curly girl method, understanding different terms can get confusing fairly quickly. Today I am sharing Gel Cast & SOTC: What does that even mean?
One of those confusing terms that kept popping up early on in my curly journey was “scrunch out the crunch”. What in the world?! I had no idea what the term meant.
But shortly after finding out the meaning, I realized it had been a missing link in my curly hair journey for many years.
Like many curly girls, I spent my teen and college years with stringy crunchy curls because I didn’t know how to take care of them.
The art of scrunching out the crunch is what takes those crunchy curls and turns them into beautiful, bouncy, curls.
Because the curly girl method can be a bit confusing, I created a “Getting Started With The Curly Girl Method” cheat sheet just for you.
This printable guide is designed to be a quick guide to help you along your curly girl journey.
Gel Cast & SOTC: What does that even mean?
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What is a gel cast?
If you have curly hair, you’ve probably been creating a gel cast for years but just didn’t know what to do with it or thought it was a bad thing.
A gel cast forms when the gel is applied to wet hair. As your hair dries, it hardens holding your curl pattern in place. Which is a really good thing.
You see, ten years ago in the curly girl community, this meant you had crunchy curls and nobody, I mean nobody wanted crunchy curls.
But when done well, a gel cast can give you the most amazing, soft, bouncing curls.
It’s just a matter of how and when you apply the product.
And the secret is found in actually scrunching or smoothing that crunch out properly which I’ll explain in a moment.
How to create the right gel cast
Apply your favorite gel to wet or damp hair using whichever application method you prefer. Allow hair to dry completely to hold your curls pattern in place. It will form a hard cast.
I used to think that meant I had a bad product but it’s a good thing. A gel cast is a goal. Do not touch your hair until it’s COMPLETELY DRY!!! Each time you touch your hair once the gel has been applied and scrunched, it breaks up your curl pattern and creates frizz.
I know, I know. It’s hard because curly hair can take a long time to dry. But it is so important that you allow your hair to dry completely before you touch cast.
Why you want a gel cast
The gel holds the curl in its natural form before it dries. Leave in conditioners add moisture and gel holds that moisture and natural curl pattern.
A gel cast also protects the curl from the environment. That’s why it important not to touch your curls once it starts to set. The more you touch it, the more frizz & less definition will be the outcome.
Note: be sure the gel doesn’t have any drying alcohol. Alcohol causes your curls to lose moisture.
How To Remove Gel Cast (aka scrunch our the crunch sotc)
Simply break the cast by lightly scrunching upward.
I like to apply oil to my hands before I begin to scrunch. This is my favorite oil. The oil helps to lock in all of your products and seal the ends of you hair.
Doing this will produce softer, bouncing curls that give you second, third, or fourth-day hair.
Who would have thought that the dreaded old fashion crunchy curls were just waiting to be discovered to have a great purpose!
Creating a gel cast holds your curl pattern in place, locks in moisture, and allows your curls to last multiple days.