LilaGirl, supposedly when hair floats for a long time in water it has low porosity, but when it sinks right away it has high porosity. It sounds like your damaged ends have high porosity, (makes sense), but your hair naturally when not damaged, is low porosity.
...Which definitely complicates things when it comes to helping the dryness and breaking.
When my hair gets "crazy" like that I start heading for pure, undiluted oils. Jojoba is usually my favorite, but when I have the kind of breakage where I see a few centimeters of my hair breaking off and landing on my clothes or a table or something, I head for the coconut oil, coconut oil blends, and, believe it or not, Vaseline.
You could try ORS Coconut Oil Cream. Proclaim has a cream the has coconut oil and petrolatum. I haven't used this one, but my friend swears by it. (It's only $1.89 at Sally's too). Another "when all else fails" oldie but goodie is a Cholesterol treatment. I've been using Cholesterol creams since I was around 9. My neighbor use to put Wella Kolestrol in my hair every chance she got. She was big on cholesterol and Alberto VO5 hot oil treatments[/I], which I think are still around.
While you give your hair a rest from protein, inundate it with moisture, and see if that helps the tangles and cracking.
3b, Coarse, Low Porosity, Desert Climate
Cleanse: Hair One with Argan Oil, As I Am Co-Wash, KC Come Clean
Rinse-out: KCKT, Cure Care Conditioner
Leave-in: As I Am Leave In, Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls Lotion, KCKT
Style/Hold:Ouidad Climate Control Gel, KCCC,
4 Naturals Spring Back Custard,
Refresh: Shea Moisture Daily Moisture Mist