Ok so yes, you have ruled out a good amount of things :P but, cutting your hair is not the only solution!
as a long haired curly(not as long as id like it
its down to below my shoulders when itscurly, down to the middleof my back when straightened) the top of my hair was the most trouble area. However, I did get layers, because I absolutely love the whole big hair on top and less body on the bottom, kind of rocker style :P lol ok now im just babling on...
1)Use a lighter product:
maybe, if you can get away with it, just on the top of your hair? Like i said, i love big hair (lots of volume on top specially) so when i want an extra kick of volume, I apply a lighter gel on my top layers, and my strong hold stuff on the bottom=heaven.I have 3A hair, and I think you, with 2A hair can get away with a light hold gel? I never tried the strictly curls prods long term, so i don't know how they are
2)Diffuse with head flipped over!
also one of my fav. techniques. Flip your hair over and diffuse that way, awesome volume.
Ok. Like i said, i never tried the strictly curlsline, but i have seen it in CVS and i THINK i saw a mousse? I LOVE mousse. It gives me great hold, and it def. gives more volume than a gel. I personally have had luck with Herbal Essence's totally twisted mousse...the purpleone :P I only used this because it was the one i had, but it was pretty good. Another one i have used is the Tressemeone... i think the one for curly hair? not sure if its cg...
I am personnally not a big fan of these, but when done right, they help and some ppl swear by them. For me, I just don't have the patience to put them on andthen dry my hair and not get them tangled... BUT whatever floats your boat! lol
That's all I have... let me know if these help! or if you have done them!