How To Scrunch Out The Crunch in Curly Hair Cast (SOTC)

If you have curly or wavy hair, you may have heard of the curly girl method. Taking part in the curly girl method can help you get less frizz and soft, bouncy curls. But what about when the product you put on your hair leaves it hard, and you have crunchy curly hair instead? Learning how to scrunch out the crunch with these great techniques. Hair scrunching is a great option to relieve stiff curls and give them a softer look.

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Everything you need to know about How To Scrunch Out The Crunch in Curly Hair Cast (SOTC)

The crunchiness and stiffness of the curl cast can be a bit undesirable, which is why the “Scrunch Out The Crunch” (SOTC) technique is used to break the cast and reveal softer, bouncier curls. Once the cast is scrunched out, the hair remains defined but with a more natural and touchable feel. This process involves gently squeezing and scrunching the hair to release the hardened gel or product, leaving behind soft and defined curls.

how to scrunch out the crunch a guide

What does SOTC mean?

SOTC mean Scrunch out the crunch.

How do you scrunch out the crunch? 

To “Scrunch Out The Crunch” (SOTC) in curly hair, you’ll be removing the gel cast that forms when styling curly hair with gel or other styling products. This technique helps to soften and define your curls, leaving them bouncy and natural-looking. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to scrunch out the crunch (SOTC):

  1. Using either a little oil or nothing in your hands
  2. Tip your head either to one side or upside down.
  3. Scrunch the hair repeatedly in the palms of your hands to soften.

Another technique so SOTC is to:

  1. Tip head upside down
  2. Place fingers into the root on the scalp. 
  3. Gently shake hair to separate and soften.
Curly hair in ringlets after it has been scrunched out the crunch SOTC

More Tips and techniques to scrunch out the crunch.

Try these different techniques and tips on how to SOTC:

Gently scrunch the hair.

Once your hair is completely dry and the gel has formed a cast, gently scrunch your hair with your hands. This means cupping your curls in your bare hands and softly squeezing upward towards your scalp. Use your hands to gently to scrunch out the crunchy feeling. This will help to break the gel cast and begin to reveal the soft curls underneath.

Wait for the gel to dry.

Waiting for the gel or mousse to dry can help with the results and make your curls last longer. As your hair gets more curl memory, you may be able to scrunch when it is slightly damp.

​Apply a small amount of your favourite oil or serum.

To add extra moisture and reduce frizz, you can apply a tiny amount of hair oil or serum to your palms, rub them together, and then scrunch your hair again. Use an oil such as Argan oil or even olive oil to gently scrunch out the crunchy curls. Put only a little oil on, such as coconut oil, in the palm of your hand and rub your palms together. This helps to further soften the cast and provide shine and definition to your curls.

Use a microfiber towel or an old tee shirt.

​If you prefer, you can use a microfiber towel or a soft cotton t-shirt to scrunch out the crunch. These materials are gentler on curly hair and can help reduce frizz.

​Avoid excessive touching

​Once you’ve scrunched out the crunch, try to avoid excessive touching or manipulating your curls throughout the day. This can disturb the curl pattern and lead to frizz.

​Refresh as needed

Depending on your hair type and the weather, you might find that you need to refresh your curls later in the coming days or the next day. You can spritz your hair with a mixture of water and a small amount of leave-in conditioner or use a curl-refreshing spray to revive your curls. This will make your hair a bit crunchy again after drying, giving yet more definition. 

What is a curl cast? 

A curl cast, also known as a gel cast or hair cast, refers to the stiff and crunchy texture that forms on curly hair after applying certain styling products, particularly hair gels or curl-enhancing creams. The purpose of the curl cast is to hold the hair in place while it dries, defining the curls and helping to maintain their shape throughout the day.

When you apply a styling product like gel to wet or damp hair, the product coats the individual strands of hair. As the hair dries, the product hardens on the hair strands, creating a cast around each curl. This cast locks the curl in place, reducing frizz and preventing the curls from becoming unruly as they dry. It’s especially beneficial for people with naturally curly or wavy hair, as it helps enhance and define their curl pattern.

Not all styling products create a strong cast; it is important to find the right products. The intensity of the cast can depend on the product used, the amount applied, and individual hair types.

How to create a curl cast?

 Learning how to create a curl cast is a matter of trial and error but is mainly based on product. It’s a matter of personal preference whether you prefer a strong cast for well-defined curls or a lighter hold for a more natural look. Experimenting with different products and techniques will help you find what works best for your hair.

Fine hair may only need a light mousse to create a cast, whereas thicker hair or wavy hair may need a bit more support, such as strong-hold gels.

Also, be gentle with your curls to avoid causing damage or frizz. With a bit of practice, you’ll master the art of scrunching out the crunch and enjoy beautifully defined curls.

Products that can create a curl cast

To create a cast on your curly hair, you’ll need to use styling products that provide a strong hold and help your curls retain their shape as they dry. If your hair is really wet, it may dilute the product, so you may need more. However, wet curls clump together better than drier hair, so it is trial and error.

 Here are some commonly used products that can help you achieve a curl cast on your wash day;

  1. Curl-Enhancing Gel: Curl gels are designed to create a cast on curly hair. Look for gels that are alcohol-free and have a firm hold. Apply the gel to damp hair using praying hands, ensuring even distribution and smooth the hair cuticle to prevent frizz. Then allow your hair to air dry or use a hair dryer and diffuser attachment to speed up the drying process. There is a range of different gels such as hard hold gel, or softer gels for curly hair.
  2. Curl Cream: Some curl-enhancing creams or custards can also create a cast. curly hair cream products provide moisture and definition to the curls while forming a hold as they dry. Again, opt for products without harsh chemicals, such as silicone or drying alcohols.
  3. Curl-Defining Mousse: Certain mousses can help create a light to medium hold cast on curly hair. They are often less sticky than gels and can provide more flexible hold, ideal for looser curls or wavy hair.
  4. Curl-Activating Spray: Sprays are designed to activate and define curls while creating a cast. These sprays are usually lightweight and can be a good option for refreshing your curls between wash days.
  5. Leave-In Conditioner with Hold: Some leave-in conditioners have added holding properties, which can help create a cast on your curls while providing moisture and softness.
  6. Flaxseed Gel: Flaxseed gel is a natural DIY option that can provide a stronghold and create a cast on curly hair. You can make it at home by boiling flaxseeds in water until a gel-like consistency is formed.

Conclusions on using products on curly hair

When using these products, remember to apply them to damp hair and distribute them evenly throughout your curls. Work in small sections to ensure every strand is coated. The amount of product you use and how you apply it will impact the strength of the cast. Experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for your unique curl pattern and hair type.


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