OMG the way you describe it all: it's me!
I was reading the same articles today
and was thinking the same thing: I have over-conditioned hair follicles! All the things you mentioned apply to me.
So I'm going to make sure that no conditioner touches my scalp for a while and see what that will do for my hair and scalp. I recently tried a conditioner treatment with a lot of oil, and my hair seems thinner than ever!