if you use gel, there's a chance it will dry crunchy. once dry, you can get rid of the crunch while retaining the definition by scrunching it up, possibly with some water and conditioner on your hands! I don't know that you need the haircut now, it was just a suggestion if the shape was really bothering you. Since you mentioned your hair being very dry, i think you should moisturize it as much as possible before spending a ton of money trying different products. Pick up that GVP Conditioning Balm or another really heavy conditioner (i also like Yes To Carrots). Pick a day, maybe a weekend, when you've got nothing to do and wash and wet your hair as normal, then slather on a ton of that moisturizing conditioner. Don't rinse any of it out, just braid or bun your hair and let dry. Rinse out the next day and then do your normal routine. After a few times doing this you should notice it a lot more moisturized! If you don't have a whole day, maybe do this in the evening after work/school/etc., then rinse out the following morning.

3Aish; mid-back when curly, waist length when straight
Shampoo - Shea Moisture
Co-wash - Alberto V05
RO/LI - TNNM, L'Oreal EverSleek
Styler: Left em all at school :"(
Gel: GF Pure Clean, LALSG