I'm a big fan of LALooks gels but I think they also have protein. Have you ever tried making your own FSG? It's cheap, very easy to make and you can control what goes into it. I like adding a little honey and glycerin.

Another thought - if the HESMU is drying to you, you may want to use a little extra leave in. I have found that I can tolerate some products that would normally dry me out if I balance it with some extra moisture.
3B, fine, normal to low porosity
Modified CG since June 2010
HGs: FSG, anything with glycerin, Tresemme Naturals conditioner, Curls Like Us cloths, satin pillowcases.