I am a 3A as well and also hate gel! I have been having great results with just leave-in conditioner. No crunch at all, just moisturizing your hair so much it has no choice but to behave! I like Curl Junkie Curl Rehab as a leave-in, also MOP Leave In conditioner. My hair gets hold from even leave in conditioners and I am not going for additional hold, so this might not work for you, but these products are fabulous. Your hair will be touchable and survive humidity.
PS: it's cool having men participate in these forums!
3A, non-porous, protein-sensitive
So far I like:
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny shampoo and conditioner
Curl Junkie Deep Fix and Curl Rehab
Bonacure Rescue Repair shampoo and conditioner--not sure I like the new formula
L'Oreal sulfate-free shampoos
Ouidad Curl Quencher Shampoo (but not conditioner)
One and Only Argan Oil spiked with some 100% argan oil
MOP Leave-In conditioner
Unite 7Seconds condition (leave in/detangler)
I think the shampoo makes or breaks the entire thing...