I didn't know that about Dep gel! I thought the amino acids were protein. I was also cowashing with the TJ's Tea Tree Oil Condish which has protein (I think?) when my hair was feeling crunchy and odd.
Also, if I part my hair with my fingers (no comb) it still looks flat like that on top. If I don't part at all and scrunch/diffuse upside down and sideways it gets interesting.