Have you heard of or considered the curly girl method? A lot of curlies have had success using this method to care for their hair. I personally use this method and find that my hair is healthier and more manageable with it. There is a great article to get you started on wikihow:
How to Follow the Curly Girl Method for Curly Hair: 15 steps
The basic premise is using conditioner or a sulfate-free cleanser instead of harsh shampoos to cleanse your hair. Then, you also eliminate gels or stylers that contain silicones, which can build up on the hair and cause frizz or that "gunky" feeling.
There are several inexpensive hair products that are "curly girl friendly" or CG as it's referred to around here. Many use Suave Naturals or Tresemme Naturals conditioners, Herbal Essences gels, and other drugstore products.
Good luck on your journey!