My hair loves all sorts of protein but hates TN too. So am not yet convinced you're protein sensitive, though you could be.
Instead of quickly jumping onto the anti-protein band wagon and swearing off all protein, you might try that one recommendation you got to try Suave conditioner instead. Suave Naturals Coconut does have protein, tends to work for a lot of curlies and it costs about two bucks.Plus, if you really have a protein problem, there's a good chance you'll have a problem with this conditioner too, and can then consider ruling out proteins.
Whether or not this turns out to be a protein problem, Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner might really help with Cowashing and detangling because it has such amazing slip (And is all-natural w/out protein). It is, however, expensive for the amount you get and it may not be the best LI if your hair tends toward dry.
Last edited by Korkscrew; 12-13-2012 at 02:02 PM.