If you haven't checked out the curly girl (CG) method yet, here is a link that explains it.
The College Curly: Laura Lee's All In One Guide to Going CG: Now Revised and Updated!
Most of the wavies use it or a modified version of it.
The "for curly hair" shampoos are loaded with silicones and also have harsh sulfates.. This is what is supposed to make them good for curly hair. The CG method avoids silicones and sulfates. So your instinctive dislike of "curly hair" shampoos may be right on target.
Like others have suggested, I think a hard hold gel would work for you. Wait until your hair is 100% dry and then scrunch out the crunch (SOTC).
(a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers