Hi! I recently started doing the Curly Girl method of taking care of my hair and I've been very gratified with the results. After dipping my toe in the water I'm ready to dive deeper, but I'm still really confused about what my hair needs. I'm using the Deva Curl basic products right now and they're ok but I'd like to have more curl definition. I don't mind paying that much if I love the product but I find I have to use SO MUCH of their products (a huge handful of the no poo, twice, and a handful of the conditioner) so it makes it even more expensive. I'm also really unsure of what to do about 2nd day hair (or maybe I should say 3rd or 4th day hair, because I only no-poo it twice a week). After day 1 or 2 it usually just gets stuck in a ponytail.

I would say that I'm basically a 3a Botticcelli-type. Like, I never really considered it curly, just naturally wavy. The kind of hair that "has its own mind". Generally pretty frizzy. Like even when most of my hair is behaving itself I always have some sort of corona of frizz around it. Once I started doing this curly girl stuff I discovered that I have actual CURLS, not just wave. It's definitely mixed - the back underneath section of my hair by my neck will not curl or hold a curl at all, but the top layers get some nice round curls when scrunched and left to dry. I think the Taylor Swift categorization is the closest I've seen, where you're never really sure whether it's curly or wavy or not. Just not straight.

I would say it's quite dense. I overall seem to have less of it than I did when I was younger - a ponytail wrapper can wrap farther around it than it used to. But I still have a lot of hair. I guess it's pretty fine , though. Maybe the density hasn't changed as I've gotten older but the width has? Is that possible/typical?

I always thought it was porous but when I do the strand test it feels very smooth. I do color it (about once every 3 months) but I never blow dry it or heat treat it or chemically relax or curl it. But it takes FOREVER to dry. If I scrunch it with a low to moderate amount of product, "plop" for 1/2 hour or so, and yjrm let it dry naturally it is still very damp hours later. Today, I washed it at 12:00 and put it into a single very, very loose braid. Right now, at 4:30, it's still very, very damp. But maybe that isn't due to porosity after all? Any ideas?

I see a lot of stuff about protein good and protein bad but how do you know if your hair likes it or not? What would be a good product to try if I want to understand my hair's reaction to protein, and what should I look for in order to come to any kind of conclusion?

Any advice would be really appreciated.