I just wanted to share how my hair has progressed since I started this thread way back when. I got a lot of hair cut off in September 2010 and have been growing it and trimming it myself since. I use conditioner-only styling most days (occasionally mousse), but the second picture reflects a day where I only used conditioner, GVP CB.
The first picture is after the big haircut, and the second picture is a few days ago in very high humidity, but just conditioner and air-drying, nothing else. I never thought it could be this easy or CHEAP to like my hair.
I do use a sulfate shampoo and sometimes a shampoo for swimming, because my hair just doesn't like conditioner-only washing. But it loves conditioner-only styling!