Do you dream of being able to create big, silky smooth, oh-so-juicy curls on demand?
Does your hard-to-please hair make that seem all but impossible?
Frustrating isn’t it? Especially if you throw in some overwhelming frizz.
Maybe the problem is how you’re applying your product?
Because once you find a technique that clicks the guesswork and frustration are gone in a flash.
Then it’s hello gorgeous curls.
Praying hands is just one such tried and true approach for applying gel to curly hair that many swear by.
It’s one that can help you use gel to take the suck outta your curls. Because it’s a hands down frizz killer.
Now I’ve noticed many use the term “praying hands” assuming everyone knows what it means. But if that’s a new one to you or you don’t get it exactly let’s first clear up the meaning.
What Is The Praying Hands Hair Technique, Anyway
Praying hands is a way to apply gel to soaking wet hair. After rubbing the product between your hands slowly smooth them over your curls. By gently pressing your hands together you’ll trap the hair between them evenly coating your clumps.
Typically many who use gel or layer on gel are going for a cast. If you want to go for cast too check out another article of ours about styling curly hair with gel.
Just click the link to read it now. What really surprised me was how simple gel casting can be.
Now praying hands works equally well for curly or wavy hair to create often badly needed definition.
Just take care not to break your clumps apart. Or the endless spirals of curls you seek may not materialize.
In addition to gel, praying hands can be used with leave-in conditioner, cream, or mousse.
Do it right and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much more nicely defined spirals you end up with.
Seems like this would be as good a time as any for the first of two video demonstrations. This one’s only 15 seconds. Watch what she’s doing.
See? Not a lot to it. You’re just pressing your product laden hands together and gliding them down each section of hair.
Just do be gentle.
Don’t clamp down hard on your clumps with your hands. The idea is to apply product not “iron” your hair with your hands.
Again you want to handle with care to keep your clumps clumping.
Once all applied, you can scrunch if you like as shown in the second video further on down. Many do as it helps mix the water and gel together. Plus scrunching works to even more thoroughly spread the product in.
Then plop to absorb the excess water for as long as it takes. There’s no magic number of minutes for plopping. Everyone’s hair is different you know.
Just know that doing this will also absorb some gel too naturally.
You can then air dry or diffuse.
If you diffuse giving your hair some time to air dry aids cast formation.
Oh and if you need more help with diffusing curly hair we’ve got just the thing. We took a closer look at pixie curl diffusing, what it is and why you should be doing it.
Simply click that link to read it on this site if you’d like to know more about this “frizz cancelling” technique.
While this post is not about diffusing let me add you again want to be gentle there too.
Do it right and expect to end up with amazingly soft touchable curls.
Then too following an approach like this some report their second or third day hair isn’t nearly as frizzy either.
Others have found the praying hands method gives a longer lasting style. Even to the extent of making them reluctant to wash again because their hair still looks so darn good.
Okay but like any of the different styling methods for curly hair there are nuances to this approach you may want to keep in mind.
Got Problems with the Praying Hands Styling Method and Gel Dispersal?
Here’s three quick ideas to fix this to insure total gel distribution throughout your hair.
One would be to use more gel. You likely need more than you ever imagined anyway. For some curlies there is no such thing as too much gel.
That said when it comes to how much gel, well, that kind of varies for everyone. (Plus it depends on how long your hair is.) So it might take a quarter sized blob for me and a golf ball sized or bigger blob for you.
It can also vary by which brand or type of gel you’re using.
So don’t be afraid to play around until you find the just right amount if you want lasting, frizz free curls.
Then too some gels are water activated. In that case if doing this outside the shower you may need to apply more water to keep things almost dripping.
Now the second suggestion would be to take it slow. Doing so helps you avoid missing any section.
Finally, if you combine praying hands with raking be sure to finish things up with the former.
Praying hands helps to keep your clumps together. Raking tends to break them up.
Raking’s used because it better distributes the product. It also creates a bit of separation which aids volume. But again it can break up your clumps.
So if you do rake you’ll want to finish styling by using the praying hands technique to revive them.
Here’s what that process would look like.
- Start with praying hands.
- Then do some raking which help with gel dispersal cause you’re working smaller sections of hair.
- Just be sure to then finish up with praying hands help to restore any wayward clumps.
Section and Conquer
If your curls can be described as spontaneous, quirky, and incredibly unpredictable this may be something worth trying.
Some have learned that dividing their hair into distinct sections makes it easier to spread the product more evenly.
Better spreading usually means less frizz with clumpier curls.
All that makes for more mellowed out coils.
What About Praying Hands Vs Scrunching
Maybe rather than “verses” that should be praying hands and scrunching – using those two techniques together.
The real thing to test would to see what following up with scrunching does. It may do nothing. Or it may help get closer dramatic, more defined, more “spirally” (that’s a word isn’t it?) curls that have to be seen to be believed.
Still it’s kinda interesting to see how much difference a product application method can make. Sometimes it’s a big one. Scrunching vs raking vs praying hands can dramatically affect your curl pattern.
One more video snippet on how it’s done in the shower should seal the deal for your understanding of how to do the praying hands technique. This time combined with scrunching.
Don’t over complicate this. As you can see you’re simply running your product of choice over your strands. Usually done with your hair falling over your head.
Oh and as a reminder for the full story on gel casts and what they can mean to your curls why not take a minute or two and read all about it?
Tip: Remember that doing most anything with curls hanging upside down means lifted roots. Lifted roots usually mean more volume.
Which explains why doing this with your hair drooping to the side or hanging upside down helps with volume.
What about refreshing?
You might be able to use this technique with nothing more than wet hands to revive second or third day curls that don’t look their best. It can reactivate product already in your hair.
Or use a very watered down version of product and do the same thing.
Yes, it’s not a sure thing. And there may be better ways to refresh. In fact we looked at how to refresh curly hair without frizz after pineappling or to revive second days curls that went wonky as you slept.
Plus for some this will just open the door to frizz or may flatten out your curls
But some curls respond well to this and will pop back into formation. If that’s yours, then you’ve got another tool to get back to go back to the bouncy, curly texture you had the day before.
Hey, curl friend! Please remember to follow our Curls Gone Wild Pinterest board. It’s where we stash curly hair content like this so you never miss a single awesome hack, tip or tutorial.