The straight root, curly end pattern you describe is very typical for a 3a. There's nothing wrong with it, and it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your roots. One needs to be a solid 3b before you can keep a solid root curl.
With the changes you have now, it sounds as if your hair may just be dry, especially in the way you describe your canopy. Some moisture will help a good bit with this, and so will spring and its higher humidity.
Med/Coarse, porous curly.