Have you tried conditioner-only styling?
My Hair Loves Conditioner-Only Styling
I've had good luck with with KCKT, Alba Botanica Leave-in, and right now I'm drying my hair after using SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & style milk (I think I'm going to like it!)
The waves are looser but there's no producty feel and it's low-maintenance.
I also second home-made gels like flaxseed or okra.