I will chime in on some of this. If your hair is dry and straw-like you might be protein sensitive. Aloe acts as a protein and many protein-sensitive people cannot use it. For me, it is the only 'protein' I have found that my hair likes - I still have to use it judiciously.

Regardless of the protein issue, it sounds to me like you definitely need a really good DT...with your low porosity hair, heat can be your friend!! Use very warm water to saturate your hair, add a good thick conditioner and then cover it. You can do this in the shower and cover with a shower cap and run the warm water over it for several minutes then let it sit for several minutes the rinsing out. You can do it out of the shower by using a bag over your hair, a wet very warm towel, then a shower cap. Let that sit for a while then rinse conditioner out.

A good leave-in is Kinky Curly Knot Today...use it liberally especially in winter if your are in a cold dry climate. It's not the cheapest one, but it's good and available at target.

Good luck.
remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!!
My hair:
2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
My routine:
Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
LI: KCKT or CJSL
Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.