I have never tried the Deva line. But if you are looking for a conditioner wash I highly suggest SheaMoisture C&H co-wash. It cleanses without stripping the hair.
I also use the KCKT. The best substitute is the Giovanni Direct Leave-In. It does have protein.
I also use the Kinky Curling Custard. You are right, OP. For me it either makes my hair hard or sticky but I found out its not the product, just user error. So I just had to practice more with it cause a little goes a long way. A good substitute that I use is homemade golden flaxseed gel. I use heyfranhey YT tutorial. Comes out perfect every time :-)
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