Welcome, carrie.colli! It can be very overwhelming at first. Don't despair! It will all start to fall into place! Finding the right products can be frustrating and time consuming. This link helped me when I was first trying to figure all of this out: Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics
Once you know your hair properties, you can narrow down the products that will work best. My hair is fine and the porosity is on the low side. I need to shampoo regularly (at least twice a week), but I'm careful not to use sulfates. Finding products that won't irritate your allergies may be tricky and I don't have specific recommendations.
Did you follow up your baking soda washes with a conditioner? There are tons of recipes here that you may want to try as you can adjust them to your needs: Curl Recipes Search - NaturallyCurly.com
Keep reading and keep experimenting!