Wow! I can't believe the difference in the way my hair feels! Changes I've made since my first post:
1. No more shampoo. Instead, once a week or so I use DevaCurl No-Poo. I have always co-washed in between.
2. No more silicones. Products I'm using are:
DevaCurl No-Poo
DevaCurl One Condition or Mop Top Daily
Conditioner
Jessicurl Deep Conditioner (as leave-in)
Mop Top Deep Conditioner (have used once, with
heat)
Curl Junkie Curls In a Bottle
Organic jojoba oil I blended with essential oils
3. No more terrycloth towels. I plop my hair with a tee shirt or a Curlease towel (though I still think the word 'plopping' sounds silly).

I can't say with scientific certainty, but I think the dramatic change in the way my hair feels is due to eliminating silicones. I had begun to suspect that the silicone 'glosser' I was putting on my hair, though it seemed to make it soft initially, was drying it out. The fact that I made a bunch of product and handling changes at once makes it hard to say what, specifically, is responsible for this change, but I do know this - I got more useful tips from this site than I have ever gotten anywhere before, including from hairstylists (several with curly hair).

Three days after I'd begun this new regimen, a curly-haired stranger came up to me and said, "What do you put on your hair???? It's so shiny and healthy-looking." I had told my hairstylist about this site the day I found it. After that comment, I stopped by my stylist's shop, and she said, "Whatever you're doing to your hair, keep doing it. It's workin', girl!"

I don't give testimonials like this very often. But seriously, my hair has gone from feeling like straw to so soft I keep touching it to make sure it's not a fluke.

Loving my curls ,
Lorre