With curly hair, LONG is relative. If it takes you a long time to dry, then your hair is not porous. So, you have a starting point.
I've only been using products for 4 years. Once I found out what my hair likes, by experimenting with just about every CG product discussed on nc.com and finding the right techniques, my winter wavy/summer 3a hair became more consistent (it looks like my signature picture every day.) My hair prefers the more natural products. It's all about getting the protein/moisture balance right.
If you are getting great curls after you hairdresser styles, then you probably have a good haircut--the foundation to everything. Now it's just learning about your hair, what it likes and experimenting to find what works for you.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08
HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me