Layers would definitely help. I always ask to get my hair cut dry because it looks very different wet vs dry in terms of how it lays and waves.
Just because your hair doesn't like PTs doesn't mean it won't like protein. Also, your hair may not like certain kinds of protein. People generally tolerate keratin and silk protein better than others. My hair is medium texture and loves keratin in rinse out conditioners.
You could also try protein in gels, curl enhancers, shampoos or conditioners, but not all at once!
Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity, very weak waves.
shampoo: Redken Fresh Curls
rinse out: CJ CR, TN
jellies: UFD's CM, KCCC
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG