How to apply products and scrunch curly hair

There was a time when I used to come out of the shower after washing & conditioning, tee dry my hair, stand straight and apply styling products(serums, leave ins) to my hair just like that. More than half the hair strands wouldn’t even get the product. Pooh. And the next morning, after my hair was dry, I would apply some more product because my curls didn’t look defined or hydrated. These are 2 bad practices that I stopped once I found out about scrunching.

What is scrunching?

Scrunching is the technique of taking your hair in your palms in sections and crumpling it like you crumple a paper into a ball. This encourages curl definition and adds bounce to curls. This should be done only to wet hair because touching dry hair will instantly induce frizz and fly-a-ways.

How I scrunch my hair

  • After washing my hair while it is still very very wet(extremely important point!), I take a lemon sized amount of the leave in conditioner or cream and rub it between my palms.  – List of curly hair products in India
  • I flip my hair over and I scrunch my hair in sections for 1 or 2 minutes while it is still wet. You should hear a squishy sound of the water in your hair mixing with the product.
  • Then I take a tiny amount of the product and apply it on my crown and the part of my head at the back till my neck.
  • Then I repeat this with a handful of gel (or a little less if it is a high hold gel). To apply curly hair gels, read this – Curly hair gels – Everything you need to know

How to Scrunch

Hold a small section of hair. Start crumpling this section of hair up towards your scalp. Continue this with all sections of your hair. You can already see how defined your curls look as you scrunch your hair.

Here’s how wet, defined and clumped curls should look after scrunching

Here’s a video showing how I scrunch my hair and apply products to it.

You can also use the super soaker method before scrunching for ultimate curl clumping.  Here is a post with my full curly hair care routine – My curly hair routine .

 

 

31 comments

    1. Sheetal, curling product can be a serum, gel, mousse or leave in cream. Anything that helps curls retain their shape and moisture. I personally like serums.

  1. Hey Anjana!! Firstly I would like to tell you that ,the creation of this page is a great job!!**Kudos**
    I too had a phase in my life , when I tried a lot taming my so much frizz prone hair and thinking why did it not be straight??!! But then, it was not long back that I finally surrendered to my curly-frizz-prone hair and started loving it the way it is, though I have not tried out anything to maintain it !!
    And then suddenly one day I stumbled upon your page.And I must say, it has really motivated me to love my curly hair even more and many others too I believe.
    The tips given by you are really excellent.

    Sneha 🙂

  2. Hi,

    What is the current curling product you use to scrunch your hair? To get curls like they do in the pink top picture and your photo dairies? I understand that a curling product can be a serum, gel, mousse or leave in cream – but which one do u use for your hair after using mythic oil in the method described above? I have used a serum and a leave in cream but the effects are not like this when my hair dries- will using a mousse make your curls become real stiff?

    1. Anuja, in all my pics until now, I have only used mythic oil for scrunching. Nothing after that. I experimented with a curl mousse sometime ago, but it didn’t give me much hold. Mousses are great at providing hold for fine curly hair. What is your hair type? Some mousses may make your hair stiff. Look for alcohol free ones. Now though, for more hold, I am experimenting with a hair gel after the mythic oil application. I am quite liking the results. I will update it on the blog soon!

  3. Okay… My hair is exactly like yours, except that it looks dry n frizzy with a lot of flyaways but the curls are exactly like yours- i guess i am 3a (based on your other article) :). I am gonna buy the mythic oil asap. Ya please post on the gel as well. Your blog is a saviour 🙂

  4. Hi,

    Your blog is an inspiration to all of us curly girls. Thanks for all your help !! I have a question to you about how you revive your curls on Day 2, day 3 etc. How often do you shampoo.?

    1. Hi Preethi !
      I will do a post on how to refresh curls soon 🙂 I shampoo once in 2 days usually. And if my hair isn’t that greasy or I haven’t hit the gym, I wash once in 3 or 4 days.

  5. Hi. I followed curly penny on youtube and your articles on curly mane are quite similar to her. But I am happy to check your page as you have mentioned products that are found in India. This is much neeeded for Indian women. Pls tell me which brand antidandruff shampoo you use. I checked your post but there is no brand name. Thanks.

  6. Hi Anjana,
    Please do a post on 2nd or 3rd day hair revival. So much in need of this.
    Gone through some of your posts. Good work.
    Also, would like to see a post on hair types. I am still not able to find my hair type. I feel it is mix of 2b-2c or sometimes 2a-2c not sure though. It would be of great help.

  7. Hi just came across ur blog. It’s really refreshing to read something for curly hair. Mine is curly with frizz. Can u plz help me how to control my frizz n maintain my curls at the same time. Thanks

    1. Thanks Nafisa! Follow all the steps in the curly hair routine properly and you will be able to control frizz, define curls and give them bounce & hydration. If you have any specific doubts, feel free to comment 🙂

      1. Hey dear..i am loving your blogs and also it is very helpful since i belong to curly hair family..Can you please do a post on what types of haircut would look good for curly hair beauties…

  8. Hi. Your blogs are really helpful and I was really happy to know I was doing some of those techniques by simply defying mom’s instructions😜
    But these past 2 months my hairfall has started real bad. I didn’t face this problem before but now its so much that my hair is quarter of what I used to have. No my eating habits or hair wash pattern or water has not changed. I’m not alergic to anything and am not in stress so I really have no clue what’s causing it.
    If u can help in any way with tricks to reduce hairfall or grow it back pleaseeeee tell me:)

  9. I have been able to scrunch gels and serums into my hair. However, curling creams (Cantu Shea Butter Hair Lotion/Kinky Curls Custard ) and leave-in conditioners seem to be of thicker consistency. How do you scrunch them into your wet hair without raking your fingers through your curls? I believe we’re not supposed to rake our fingers through hair after conditioning as this would mess up the curl pattern. Am I missing something here? Also, any video links of good scrunching techniques would be really helpful

    1. Hi Preeti, Raking through hair my disrupt 3a and below curl patterns. I scrunch creams onto DRIPPING WET hair and the water reduces the friction of the thick creams.

  10. Hi Anjana! Your blog is amazing and you created it super well!! Your routine has been a literal life saver, but I’ve scoured the internet and I’m still sooo confused about when I use gels, creams, conditioners, oils, and all these other products + I don’t know what they each do

  11. Hi Anjana! First of all, you have absolutely gorgeous hair! I stumbled upon this blog today. After going through the whole blog I just couldn’t wait till the next to try it out. I followed ur instructions thoroughly. The top part of my hair seemed to be its usual frizzy self but the bottom part of hair had some defined curls. My question is, will the top part the hair get curly over the time period?
    And combing hair is not allowed at all?
    P. S – My hair type is between 2b and 2c.
    P. P. S – Again, really gorgeous hair! *hair_goals

  12. Hi,

    Inspired by you and your gorgeous hair, I am finally about to start the CG method (using an sulfate containing shampoo). I have type 3A curls – the same length as yours but dry, frizzy, with no definition. I tend to wash my hair once a week during the weekend. I really could use your help in clearing my doubts.

    The products i plan to use are:

    1. Oiling 2-3 hours before wash – Aloe Veda Virgin Coconut Oil as a base and few drops of Shea Moisture Argan Oil and Shea Butter Oil from some random brand i picked up in Dubai but makes my hair very soft).
    2. Shampoo and conditioner- I currently use the OGX coconut curls shampoo and butter but they are almost over. I plan to purchase either their Brazilian keratin therapy (since your other post on hair test says i need keratin) or either of kukui nut, awapuri ginger or the hydrating coconut water shampoo. Its confusing as to which one should i buy – any advise?. For conditioner one of my relatives have got the Pantene Pro-V 3 minute miracle conditioner which i plan to use
    3. Leave- In conditioner- The diluted version of Pantene Pro-V 3 minute miracle conditioner
    4. Leave on Treatment/Serum- Pantene Pro-V Leave on Treatment night Miracle Essence or the Infusium 23 repair and renew Leave in Serum
    5. Few Drops of Hair Oil for Shine- Shea Moisture Argan Oil and/or Shea Butter Oil
    6. Hair Gel- I need to purchase this one recommended by you Schwarzkopf Taft All Weather Looks Marathon Power Gel Long Lasting Hold

    Doubts:

    1. For oiling before shampooing is it recommended to heat the oil before application?
    2. When is the best time to de-tangle the hair- my hair tends to get rough and tangled- Post oiling or while conditioning or while putting in the leave in conditioner?
    3. I have purchased hair masks since my hairdresser advised me to use hair masks in place of conditioner – so now in which step should i use the mask- i know to use it once i 2-3 weeks – but should it replace both conditioner and leave in conditioner or just replace the conditioner ?
    4. Some guest posts i read here say people use the patanjali aloe vera gel to style – so is it a replacement of an hair gel or to be used with it?
    5. You tend to use the mythic oil for styling – is it your serum which is followed by hair gel or is it the only product you use for styling with no additional hair gel applied? For styling products is Hair Oil (Few drops for Shine), Serum and Hair Gel the correct order?
    6. For the Silk Cap can you tell me what is the silk used – the cap seems to be expensive and its loose and i am sure i will be too lazy to use pins to tighten it each night. We tend to get a lot of varieties of silk materials where i stay so i can probably get it stitched if the material is available.
    7. Is the method doable using the products i mentioned above , i.e. – Buy not buying anything new except for the hair gel- or is it advisable to start the method by purchasing new and specified products?

    I know its a long long post but would really appreciate your response.

    1. Best decision ever Anuja!
      You can buy any shampoo
      1. Heating improves oil penetration. But it’s not compulsory.
      2. 2 ways to detangle curly hair – dry and wet detangling
      3. It can replace the conditioner.
      4. Aloe only provides moisture, no hold – 3 Benefits of Aloe Vera gel for Curly hair + 4 Ways to apply . Hence use it along with a gel.
      5. I don’t use mythic oil anymore.
      6. Get the purest silk possible
      7. Yes, you can absolutely start with whatever products you have. Once you learn more and get to know your hair better, you will be able to judge what to buy 🙂

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