Meghan, I have the same problem and I do think it's because of it being shorter on top. When I do manage to get it curly on top, it's too poofy and it looks like one of those puffs that poodles have .

My hair always feels straighter but like you, when I look in the mirror, there's usually curls all over or if nothing else, nice waves.
CG-modified since 4/05
2b/3a and 3b on occasion!
Products: The hair aisle in my own cabinets.
Best definition winner: KCCC
Best volume winner: LOOB