I have big hair too. It's really really thick which is why I don't understand when people say you need to use a comb instead of a brush for curly hair. WTF, like that'll get through my hair! It'd take forever and it would be very ouchy. I know how it is to feel self conscious about it too.
Hmm... sometimes if I put gel in it it's not as bad, but It doesn't work for summer, and I usually wear my hair in a bun then. Layers may help too, as I had them put in and it took the triangle effect (Hair was flat at top and got bigger as you went down) off my face for a little while but I need a new cut very soon.
Ah, I just re-read and you already have long layers in? How long is your hair? Maybe cut it shorter? I used to have really long hair too. Actually I would let it grow all year and get it cut eventually. (Not recommended..)