I saw your post but I wanted to wait for a couple of days to reply.
I recently changed my routine and gave it a couple of days. I think I found what works for my hair!! I don't have pics yet but we seem to have similar sounding hair. Here is what is working (right now anyways!).
By the way, I follow the CG routine except for my (sulfate-free) shampoo.
Shampoo: Creme of Nature (most grocery/drug stores) every 3 days
Conditioner: Devacurl one-poo or Suave Milk & Honey
Gel: Marc Anthony Curl Lotion (medium hold), OR Devacurl Angel
l (light hold), OR Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (crazy strong hold for humidity).
If shampooing, put condish on ends. Shampoo. Rinse completely.
Apply condish. Rake with fingers until distributed all over hair (head upside down, rightside up, side to side). Rinse well (10-15 seconds with hands running through top of hair well).
Blot dry like the book says. Head upside down, gently scrunching up curls. I do this with a microfiber towel (Aquis) until my hair isn't soaked anymore.
Distribute gel evenly. This is where I had the problem for 2 months. I would scrunch it in like the book says but it NEVER looked good. Always wet looking even after dry and scrunched out.
Now I rake the gel through with my fingers just like in the shower with my head upside down. I use about a tablespoon of one of the above gels. Rake it in good all over through the hair and scalp. Then, with my head still upside down I scrunch slowly all over and the curls form!!
Then I "plop" with that microfiber towel on a toilet. If you don't know what this is I can get the link for you. It's around the board. It basically keeps your hair on top of your head in the towel, soaking up excess water and helping with body at the top. I do my makeup and get dressed. I remove the towel (after about 15 minutes) and scrunch lightly. I twist the two curls over my eyes so that they are not in my face.
I let this dry completely. Takes half the time now that I rake the gel in. I scrunch the gel out when 100% dry and I have beautiful bouncy curls!
I haven't used a defuser yet with this method. Before raking the gel I had these worm-looking curls all stuck to my head with or without the diffuser! I think that the gel was on in "clumps" and not distributed evenly.
Now I think I went from a 2C to a 3A/B. The curls are getting tighter and I have insane body.
So, that is my hair saga. I am still experimenting with the gels but my hair has never looked like this and it's so easy!
Please let me know if this works for you too! Good luck with your move.