HAHA! Great afro. To answer your questions. Girls just love to experiment with their hair and do crazy routines to get it just right. Personally I try to keep my routine as simple as possible.
You don't have to go all out with your hair. Basically, stick to the routine. Use silicone-free products. Don't wash your hair with shampoo every day, but do use lots of conditioner that has no silicones and no sulfates. Depending on where you live, your best bet might be Tresemme naturals (moisture) for a good conditioner. It's also cheap on sale and will last forever. I'm not totally CG so I use a sulfate shampoo whenever I think it's necessary (once every two weeks or so), just to really clean my hair. If you wanna keep it really simple you just need one product to keep your hair in check, and that can be any gel, cream, mousse, or whatever you like (without silicones). Silicones wear your hair down, so they also drag out your curls. Mostly we cut out 'cones and sulfates because we want curlier hair. If you want your hair to be less curly, you may want to use silicone products. In my opinion, you just need to put in some gel to keep your hair from poofing. Usually your hair gets very hard with gel in it, so you have to scrunch it lots to loose the crunchiness.
That's my advice. I hope someone else weighs in as well, because I'm fairly new to this too. Hope it's helpful though. Fire away if you have any more questions.