When I first joined, I went about it in a systematic way, too. After, I didn't care for Deva (it could just be the products that make your hair feel like straw. My salon has them. I used to let them use the NoPoo when I was in for my haircut, but it made my hair feel like straw after they changed the ingredients a few years ago, so I bring my own product.) I did Jessicurl--made my hair limp and lifeless in only a week. After that, I decided not to waste money on entire lines of products. I did it by catergory--rinse out, leave in, curl enhancer, gel, etc.
I found out a lot about my hair. What it likes and doesn't like. I'm pretty good at picking out ingredients/products my hair likes. (One of the best ways to pick out ingredients/products is by properties. Look for folks with similar properties and see what they use. It's a good place to start.) My hair prefers the more natural products from the online, boutique type companies. It doesn't care for chemicals, polyquats in particular (especially 4, 7 and 10.) So use what I call jelly products--gelatinous consistency without the chemicals.
By learning what my hair likes, I've strengthened my curl pattern. Gone from winter wavy/summer 3a to hair like my signature picture all year around. I do at least one PT a week (on my hair right now) and use a lot of products with protein. I use really rich products in my every day styling, so don't usually have to DT (depends on the PT.)
I'm allergic to CK which is supposed to reduce frizz, not have hold (it did nothing anyway.) Don't use CIAB because of the polyquats.
A lot of us rotate products. I wet, use a rinse out and style every day. Seldom let myself use any one product more then once in five days. You need to consider the dewpoints when selecting your products. In the really low dewpoints, I use a leave in, curl enhancer and a jelly product. In the highdewpoints, I use a leave in OR a curl enhancer and a jelly product. Don't know if this is what you're looking for?? There are a ton of great products out there. Can't imagine that you won't find some that work for you.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08
HGs: Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; DM MiraCurls Curling Gelly; UFD Curly Magic; Shescentit LIs; Sevi conditioners; Botanical Spirits Puree, CJ Repair Me