You can still air dry with gel, if it sets with a crunchy feel that is normal with many gels, especially if you use a fair bit. It is called the gel 'cast' and you can either leave it to wear off naturally or you can scrunch it out once the hair is dry - known on here as scrunch out the crunch (SOTC!). How your hair feels after gel will be a bit of trial and error, some people love them, some prefer other types of styler. Seems like with your long hair you'll want to find a gel that is quite easy to distribute. You will probably want to use a bit of leave in/coconut oil under the gel.

You may need to low poo sometimes if you use a lot of oil regularly, if and when you do co wash it out you can try putting a bit of cowash through the length, leaving for a minute then massaging over hair/rinsing out.
UK based wavy

Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
Trying out new things, still looking.