I haven't been doing this very long.. but my hair sounds similar to yours ( more curl though I think) and I was ready to give up too until I tried something completely different. My hair just looked and felt like crap no matter what cg friendly products I used. I'm quite happy with it now.

First off "looks dry, breaks off" etc. sounds exactly like what my hair did when I put the new expensive, organic, natural.. and full of protein products on it. Sure enough when I looked at the ingredients of my HG non-cg products, none of them had protein.

What I did was sulfate wash my hair (no silicones) and go back to my HG pre-cg conditioner, Aussie Moist. It has one silicone but from what I've been able to research it does not build up.. and my experience had proved that. For a few days all I did was co wash with it and put a little in as leave in. There was an immediate huge improvement in my hair. I did have some frizz though so I started digging through my other pre-cg favorite stylers and found my loreal eversleek frizz taming creme serum was silicone free, so I added it to my routine. That is all I use and my hair is soft, shiny, curly, no frizz, and I have great second day hair. It also takes less than an hour to air dry. I do not have huge clumps of curls but I can live with that. So my suggestion is start with the conditioner, find one that your hair likes, and only add other products if you really need them, just a little at a time. Less is more for me and all those oils, butters, gels, etc. were more problematic than helpful.