Welcome KK2005! Actually, your in luck because I am an old user but I'm back and now I want to be a more frequent user again- so that makes us both kind of new. I'm a 3a so I think I might be able to do some help with your concerns but I want a little more background. Have you damaged your hair in the past? Heat tools can take a huge toll on curls- but don't worry its fixable if you show your hair some love. If not it might just be sulfates/cones that are weighing down your hair and maybe the cut of your hair. For example if you have your hair all cut long and to one length then your hair is not going look as curly as it probably could. As funny as this might sound(and I was reminded about this because of your mom's comment)- I actually use horse conditioner on my hair (yes really) and it works amazing and its completely CG. That's another thing the CG method- Get your self familiar with this method and see if it works for you along with other methods and see what works best for you. Also is your hair more oily, dry, or normal? How often do you wash? Do you use any products? I would probably reccomend you first buy a separate shampoo and conditioner ( this being that you use Head and Shoulders and that is a 2 in 1). Your going to have to use a good shampoo with sulfates to strip your hair of any "cones". Cones are basically silicones and they typically end in the word cone in the ingredients list (usually found in most conditioners and stylers). The most common of these is dimethicone. Anyway cones basically lock in moisture and lock out any moisture from coming, but result in weighing down your hair. And the worst part is you have to use a shampoo (containing sulfate- which can be quite harsh) to remove them. You see its a vicious cycle. Okay, so after you wash your hair with this sulfate shampoo (get a cheap one because your only going to use it once before you start cowashing-maybe Suave or something will work), wash your hair with a good CG conditioner (no cones). VO5 Conditioners (I'm currently using the Tea Therapy one)- but just pick a scent you like. Your co-wash is basically what your going to be using to wash your hair instead of conventional shampoo. A good co wash is usually a watery one (which VO5 is an awesome and cheap candidate for). Next some people like to use a more moisturizing conditioner, but some people just skip this step (a good conditioner for this step would probably be Tresemme Naturals moisture conditioner). When doing all this washing flip your head over and scrunch scrunch scrunch!!- Did I say scrunch? Also add more conditioner in your hand and scrunch and rinse and scrunch. After that you may decide to leave in a little conditioner at the ends (to make your own leave in take a spray bottle and use 1/3 of conditioner to 2/3 of water shake it up and wala a leave in. Now SCRUNCH SCRUNCH and twirl the ends with your fingers and see if we can get some of these "curls" you mentioned to form. If you want you could even use a styler and then scrunch, because it might cause more curl formation. A good cg one would be Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse ( try to go for mousses instead of gel- for your hair type I think this will be much better).
Pheww. Well hopefully this will keep you busy and please feel free to message or reply to this if you need any more help or have questions as you learn more. Goodluck!