5 Reasons You Are Not Getting A Gel Cast

5 Reasons You Are Not Getting A Gel (Or Curl) Cast

Getting a gel cast is a great way to create definition when styling curly or wavy hair that lasts multiple days.

But it can sometimes be easier said than done. 

Today I am going to answer a few commonly asked question about a gel cast as well as share 5 reasons you are not getting a gel cast. 

By the end of this post, you will have a broader understanding of what a gel (or curl) cast is, and what you can do to get one.

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Before we get started, I’d like to quickly address some common Q&A regarding gel (curl) casting. 

This will hopefully give you a bit of clarity on the topic. 


Q: What is a gel cast? 

A: A gel cast is a crunchy layer that forms on your hair strand after it’s dry and after the styling process. . 

This is the result of using styling products like gel or mousse, the right amount of products, and applying them in the right way. 

Q: What’s the difference between a curl cast and gel cat

A: They pretty much mean the same thing.

The only distinction is that a gel cast is the result of styling with gel, while a curl cast can be formed using multiple different stylers such as curl cream, gel, or mousse. 

Q: Why don’t I get a gel cast?

A: There are many different factors that could be the culprit for not getting a gel cast including:

  • Your Hair Is Too Wet When You Style It
  • You Are Not Using A Strong Enough Gel 
  • You Are Using Too Much Or Not Enough Gel 
  • You Hair Isn’t Healthy 
  • You Are Using The Wrong Styling Method

We will discuss each of these in greater detail below.

Q: What is “breaking the cast” for curly hair?

A: Breaking the cast refers to a technique using oil to softly break the hard shell of the cast and produce soft, bouncing curls.

Q: How do you scrunch a cast?

A: Rub a small amount of oil through your hands and gently graze it over your hair using the praying hand method. 

This will soften the hard shell of the cast and make it smooth and soft while avoiding frizz. 

Q: Can you sleep in a gel cast?

A: Yes! This is a great way to wash your hair the night before. 

Wash and style your hair as usual and make sure it is completely dry. Do your usual night time protection routine while your hair is in the cast. 

In the morning, break the cast and enjoy soft, defined curls.

Q: When should I break my gel cast?

A: Only after your hair is COMPLETELY dry. If your hair is even a tiny bit wet,  breaking the cast will disrupt your curl pattern and create unwanted  frizz.

5 Reasons You Are Not Getting A Gel (Or Curl) Cast

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Your Hair Is Too Wet When You Style It

Styling on wet hair can produce great results IF your hair is very healthy.


When it comes to creating a curl cast, styling on wet hair is not the best idea. 

In order to get a good cast, your hair strand needs to be completely coated in product. 

Styling on wet hair actually dilutes the product which limits complete coating. 

There are certainly benefits to styling on wet hair (t is actually one of my favorite ways to style when I am going for a soft, romantic look). 

But when your goal is definition, try styling on damp, not wet hair.



You Are Not Using A Strong Enough Gel 

A medium to strong hold gel is best when you are trying to create a cast. These gels are designed to coat your hair and lock in your curl pattern. 

The best products to use when trying to create a gel cast are medium to strong hold gel or a firm mousse. 

The stronger hold stylers will produce a stronger cast.

You Are Using Too Much Or Not Enough Gel 

Not using enough gel will produce a soft (or no) cast, but using too much gel can weigh your hair down and make it hard to break the cast. 

A good rule of thumb for how much gel to use is….

  • A dime size for short hair 
  • A quarter for medium-long hair
  • Two quarters for super long hair

Of course hair density plays a role with product amount as well. 

The best way to truly nail your product amount is to test and experiment on your specific hair type.

Your Hair Isn’t Healthy 

The current health of your hair plays a huge role in your gel cast. 

A gel cast will form different on virgin hair vs processed hair. So it really depends on what treatments you are using, and if your hair is colored. 

If your hair is too dry, it can be hard to create a cast without causing frizz because there is not enough moisture in your hair strand to weigh down the hair follicle. 

In contrast, if your hair is too oily, the styler may not be able to coat your hair because it will slip off. 

If your hair has too much buildup the styler will not be able to stick to your hair and create a cast. 

It’s super important that you have an established healthy haircare routine in place in order to get the best gel casting results possible.

You Are Using The Wrong Styling Method

Styling your hair properly is KEY for getting a good gel cast. 

This varies from person to person. 

If your hair is wavy, you may find that the praying hands method works well to maintain your curl clumps. 

While curly and coily hair tends to do better with raking and scrunching. 

By testing and experimenting, you will be able to find what styling method works best for your hair.

In Conclusion:

Gel Casting Isn’t For Everyone And That’s Ok.

It really comes down to what type of look you are going for, and what type of hair texture/density you have. 

Some people love a curl casting for definition while others go more for volume. 

There Is No “One Size Fits All’ Gel Cast.

One of the amazing (and frustrating) things about curly hair is that there is no one size fits all. It’s important to not lose sight of why you began to embrace your natural hair pattern in the first place.

Make healthy hair your goal rather than getting caught up in all the trending nuances of curly hair care on social media.

If you are struggling to get a gel cast:

  • Adjust the wetness of your hair when you style it
  • Test with different stylers
  • Test with different product amounts 
  • Focus on create healthy hair 
  • Try a new styling method

With trial, error, and perseverance, I am fully confident that you will be able to find the perfect gel cast that works for your specific hair’s need.


Curly Colleen


5 Reasons You Are Not Getting A Gel Cast

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