Not sure if they're protein-free, but here are my recs
Herbal Essences Body Envy (in the orange tube) - my current favorite. Holds well, and provides shine.
Herbal Essences Set Me Up (turquoise tube) - 2nd choice. Good curl formation & hold, but quite as much as with BE.
Herbal Essences Totally Twisted (purple tube) - a tie for 2nd choice. I find I need to use more of this than the previous to in order to get sufficient hold, but still an all-around decent product.
Hair Type: 3A/3B; natural color; mid-back length.
Daily: shampoo (varies)
Weekly: Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo.
Fave Rinse-Out Conditioners: HE Hello Hydration; L'oreal Everstrong.
Styling Routine: Squish-scrunch product /conditioner into soaking wet, upside down hair; plop for 10 minutes, air dry. (Diffuser dry front section.)
Fave Styling Products: Tigi Curl Amplifier Creme; Batia & Aleeza gel; Giovanni Sunset Styler; LA Looks Sport Gel.