How To Scrunch Out The Crunch (SOTC) & Break The Gel Cast

how to sotc - scrunch out the crunch - gel cast - curly hair - wavy hair - curly girl

Learning how to scrunch out the crunch (sotc) from your curly or wavy hair is vital to transform crunchy curls into defined, soft and bouncy curls or waves throughout the week.

No matter your hair length or curl type, we’ve got you covered with expert tips and techniques to reveal your most stunning curls and waves yet.

Say goodbye to the crunch and hello to fabulous, touchable tresses that last all week long. Let’s dive in and transform your curls together!

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What Is Scrunch out The Crunch – SOTC Curly Hair

Scrunch out the crunch, also known as SOTC, is a curly girl technique used to soften crunchy, stiff curls that were created by a gel cast.

For best results, curly girls scrunch out the crunch after your hair is fully dried and feels hard and crunchy.

The most common way to scrunch out the crunch is to apply some sealing oil in the palm of your hands and gently scrunch your curls to break the cast.

Gently scrunch until your curls feel as soft as you like.

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Gel Cast formed – curls are crunchy & stiff

What Is A Gel Cast On Wavy & Curly Hair

A gel cast refers to the thin hard protective barrier that locks in moisture, sets your curl pattern and minimizes frizz.

The gel cast is created by applying a strong hold curly girl product on your wet or damp curls. As your hair dries, the gel forms a cast that holds your defined curls in place.

You’ve achieved a gel cast when your curls look and feel stiff or crunchy.

Doesn’t sound like the ideal outcome for your wash day, right? Who wants crunchy curls?

But those crunchy curls are a great thing because it means that your defined curls are going to last long after wash day, after you scrunch out the crunch (sotc).

The gel cast and scrunching out the crunch is a favorite among curly girls as it offers a reliable way to achieve defined, long lasting curls.

Once your hair is fully dry, the cast can be gently “scrunched out,” resulting in soft, bouncy, and well-defined curls.

Gel Cast formed – curls are crunch & stiff

How To create a gel cast

As you now know, a gel cast can be a game-changer for curly girls, helping to create frizz-free and defined curls.

Using a curly girl gel or mousse, here’s how you can create a good gel cast on your curly or wavy hair:

  1. Apply a curly girl gel, curl cream or mousse to your wet curls
  2. Do not touch or manipulate your curls or waves while your hair is drying

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1. Apply the right product to your wet curls

Begin by choosing a curly girl-approved gel or mousse that suits your hair type, porosity and needs.

Apply the product to wet or damp curls, making sure to distribute it evenly from the roots to the ends.

Applying gel or mousse from the roots can help with root definition.

Create sections and use a curly girl technique to distribute the product and define your curls:

  • Curly girl brush, like a Denman brush or Detangling brush
  • Rake and shake method
  • Scrunching

2. Resist the temptation to touch your curls during the drying process

It’s crucial not to touch or manipulate your curls while your hair is drying and the gel cast is forming.

Touching your curls during this stage can cause frizz and disrupt the formation of the cast.

Instead, let your hair air-dry or plop while the gel cast forms.

How To Know When Gel Cast Is Formed

You’ll know the cast has formed when your curls feel hard and crunchy to the touch.

This firm, protective layer ensures that your curls maintain their shape and remain frizz-free.

A properly formed gel cast will cause your curls to feel slightly hard, crunchy, and stiff to the touch, indicating that the hair gel or styling product has dried and solidified around each curl.

The time it takes for a gel cast to form will vary depending on the product used, your hair type, and the drying method.

It’s essential to be patient and avoid manipulating your curls until the gel cast forms, signaling that your gel cast is ready to be scrunched out for soft, defined curls.

If you plan to use a diffuser, make sure the cast has set before you begin.

This will help maintain the curl’s shape and prevent frizz during the diffusing process.

How To Scrunch Out The crunch On Curly Or Wavy Hair

Even though a gel cast is good, nobody wants crunchy hard hair. Curly and wavy girls want to achieve long-lasting, soft, and bouncy curls.

To achieve this, you want to gently scrunch out the crunch when your curls are fully dried. This will help to reduce the change of frizzing when you sotc.

So let’s look at some ways to Scrunch Out the Crunch

  1. Diffusing To SOTC
  2. Sealing Oil to scrunch out the crunch
  3. Scrunch Out The Crunch Without Oil
  4. Use Leave In Conditioner
  5. Sleep on Your Curls

1. Srunch Out The Crunch – Diffusing Curly Hair

Scrunching out the crunch by diffusing your curly hair requires a gentle approach and quite a bit of patience.

Diffusing is a popular method to dry curly hair that enhances curl definition while minimizing frizz.

The process involves using a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment, which is designed to spread the airflow over a larger surface area, mimicking the air-drying process.

To scrunch out the crunch effectively, follow these steps once your gel cast is fully formed:

  • Start by setting your hairdryer to a low or medium heat setting and a low speed. This will help prevent overheating and protect your hair from damage.
  • Flip your head upside down or tilt it to one side, and gently place a section of your curls into the diffuser bowl.
  • Hold the diffuser close to your scalp and allow the warm air to surround your curls.
  • Avoid moving the diffuser around excessively or touching your hair, as this can disturb the gel cast and cause frizz.
  • Continue this process for each section of your hair, working your way around your head until your curls are about 80-90% dry.

Once your curls are almost dry, it’s time to scrunch out the crunch:

  • Turn off the hairdryer and allow your curls to cool for a few minutes.
  • Apply a small amount of sealing oil or a lightweight serum to your hands and gently scrunch your hair, focusing on breaking the gel cast and releasing the soft, bouncy curls beneath.
  • Be mindful not to tug or squeeze your hair too hard, as this can lead to frizz and disrupt your curl pattern.
  • Continue gently scrunching until your curls feel soft and touchable

By combining diffusing with the scrunch out the crunch technique, you’ll be left with beautifully defined, frizz-free curls that last all day.

2. Scrunch Out The Crunch with Sealing Oil

Sealing oil can be your best friend when it comes to scrunching out the crunch and revealing soft, touchable curls.

This simple technique can make all the difference in your curly hair routine, transforming your gel cast into bouncy, frizz-free curls that last all day.

Follow these steps to scrunch out the crunch using a sealing oil:

Choose the right sealing oil for your hair

Selecting the right sealing oil is essential to maximize its benefits.

Look for lightweight oils like argan, jojoba, or grapeseed oil, which help lock in moisture and provide a smooth, frizz-free finish without weighing your hair down.

These oils will not only help break the gel cast but also add shine and nourishment to your curls.

Try these oils and serums to scrunch out the crunch:

Wait for your hair to dry completely

Remember that it’s crucial to ensure your hair is fully dry and the gel cast has formed before scrunching out the crunch.

Touch your hair gently to check if it feels hard and crunchy, indicating that the gel cast has set.

If your hair is still damp or soft, give it more time to air-dry.

Warm the sealing oil in your hands

Dispense a small amount of sealing oil into the palm of your hands.

Rub your hands together to warm the oil and help it spread evenly across your fingers and palms.

This will ensure smooth application and prevent any tugging or breakage when scrunching your hair.

Gently scrunch out the crunch of your curls

Now that your hands are coated with oil, start scrunching your hair gently, working in sections if needed.

Make sure to cup your curls in your palms and squeeze gently to break the gel cast.

Be mindful not to pull or tug at your hair, as this can cause frizz and disrupt your curl pattern.

Continue scrunching until you achieve your desired level of softness and definition.

By incorporating sealing oil into your scrunch out the crunch routine, you’ll unlock soft, defined, and frizz-free curls that feel as good as they look.

3. How To Scrunch Out The Crunch Without Oil

A great way to scrunch out the crunch without oil is to use a cotton tshirt or microfiber towel.

When your curls have completely dried, use a cotton tshirt or microfiber towel instead of using your hands directly on your hair, to scrunch out the crunch.

A cotton tshirt or microfiber towel are fantastic for gently scrunching out the crunch without introducing frizz.

These materials are gentle on hair, absorbing excess moisture and product without causing breakage or damage.

Once your hair is fully dry and the gel cast has formed, grab a clean microfiber towel or cotton tshirt and gently scrunch your curls, focusing on breaking the cast and releasing your soft curls.

4. Scrunch Out The Crunch With Leave In Conditioner

Scrunching out the crunch with a leave-in conditioner can be an excellent alternative for curly girls who want to achieve soft, defined curls without the use of oils.

Leave-in conditioners provide extra hydration, nourishment, and protection, making them an ideal choice for individuals with dry or damaged curls.

To scrunch out the crunch using a leave-in conditioner, follow these simple steps once your gel cast has formed and your hair is completely dry:

  • Begin by choosing a lightweight, moisturizing leave-in conditioner that works well with your hair type.
  • Dispense a small amount of the product into your hands and rub them together to ensure even distribution.
  • Then, gently scrunch your curls, taking care to cup your hands around your hair and squeeze softly to break the gel cast.
  • Work your way around your head, focusing on each section of hair until you’ve achieved your desired level of softness and definition.

5. Sleep On Your Curls

If you’re not going anywhere, a good way to sotc is by not scrunching it at all.

Sleeping on your curls can be an effortless way to break the gel cast, especially for curly girls who prefer a low-maintenance approach to their curly hair routine.

Sleeping on your curls offers a convenient and low-effort way to break the gel cast, making it an attractive option for those who prefer a minimalist approach to hair care.

This method can be particularly effective when combined with the right sleep accessories, such as a silk or satin pillowcase and bonnet which helps reduce friction and prevent frizz.

To make the most of this overnight technique:

First ensure your gel cast is fully formed before going to bed.

Then, prepare your sleeping environment by using a silk or satin pillowcase, which will minimize frizz and hair breakage.

Additionally, you can protect your curls by gathering them into a loose pineapple or using a silk or satin sleep cap to maintain their shape.

As you sleep, the gentle pressure and movement of your head against the pillowcase will gradually break the gel cast, releasing softer, more natural-looking curls.

In the morning, simply shake out your curls and give them a gentle scrunch if needed, to further soften any remaining cast and enhance your curl definition.

You may also love: How To Sleep With Curly Hair: 3 Top Easy Ways To Protect Curls Overnight

how to sotc - scrunch out the crunch - gel cast - curly hair - wavy hair - curly girl

Final Thoughts On How To Scrunch Out The Crunch

Now you have a few great techniques to turn those crunchy curls that the gel cast creates, into soft, voluminous curls that will last for a few days.

With various methods available, from using a diffuser to sealing oil or simply sleeping on your curls, there’s a way for every curly girl to easily scrunch out the crunch for soft, bouncy curls.

As you experiment with different techniques, remember to always ensure your hair is fully dry and the gel cast has formed before attempting to scrunch out the crunch.

By doing so, you’ll minimize frizz, maintain your curl pattern, and ensure that your defined curls last for days.

No matter which approach you choose, scrunching out the crunch will elevate your curly hair routine and help you embrace your natural texture with confidence.

Say goodbye to crunchy curls and hello to the soft, bouncy, and defined hair that you’ve always dreamed of!

Before You Go, You Will Love These Other Posts For Curly Hair:

Product recommendations
Product Reviews
Important Information To Care For Curls & Waves
Dyeing Textured Hair At Home Without Damaging It
Wavy & Curly Hair Routines & hairstyles

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