sounds to me like your hair is OD'ing on protein, have you tried using protein-free products for a while? You really need to figure out your hair type, it does help a great deal - please check out the HAIR TYPES menu choice on the top left above us here. Once you determine your type, you can figure out what your hair needs. I haven't been here very long, but this is one thing I have taken to heart! lol! You can also go to livecurlylivefree.com and have your hair type analysed to see what products might be best for you. I haven't done this yet, but I will soon
If you look on product reviews here, you can choose "Protein Free" on the menu bar down the left to filter your results. Then type in the products you use/want to try and see if they have protein or not in them. They won't come up in the search if they have protein in them. There are icons below the products, you can hover your mouse over them and a box will appear with a description of the icon. Usually, a "no protein" icon is a red triangle with a red ball in each corner of the triangle. Check all of the products you use now and see how many have protein in them. Hair loves protein, but not too often for many people.
Also you need to figure out if your hair likes humectants (like glycerin) or hates them...sadly, no one can figure this out but you, via trial and elimination. It's an adventure for all of us ;p
I used to use Pantene but it always dried my hair out like crazy...most of their products have protein (which my hair personally hates.) Have you tried some low or no sulfate shampoos? Sulfates can really destroy curly hair. Some inexpensive places to start are L'Oreal EverCreme lines. You can find them in any drugstore. Really, finally, what you need to do is look at the "Techniques" stickies on the top of the Newbie forums, to see if there is a better way to style/handle your hair; then try to figure out your hair type; then try to figure out what your hair needs. Or try to sort out your hair type, then choose the forum option that corresponds (such as 2, 3, 4, ect.) then try to find posters who have hair like you. Until you figure out what type of hair you have, and whether or not it is coarse or porous and etc, there won't be much anyone can do to help you...
Also, at the top of the Newbies forum, there is a sticky posted there with all the abbreviations and terms people use here, that will also help you. Good luck, because it is all experimentation! There are no pat or easy solutions anyone can give you, really, but you have already begun your journey to healthy curls in the right place
research as much as you can here, read as many posts as you can, so much good info here - and I wish you well!
ps looks like you might be a 4A - please confirm that by going to the HAIR TYPES menu, and looking for an example of what your hair looks like
Finer, mixed with coarser strands, low-porosity, wavy curly whirly hair...3A, 2C hair. Medium thickness, medium elasticity.
S-shaped hair with corkscrew ends. My hair is even more confused than me ;p
My hair officially hates protein
Once a month is enough!
Currently a fan of TiGi products, (rock on, TiGi Curlesque styling creme!) but that will soon change - I am a self-avowed product junkie! Yay!
BIG fan of supersoaker method - thanks Rudeechick!