I sometimes have to comb products through my hair too but to avoid the flat top (and stringy curls) I bend over and comb it again all down from the nape, I twist it all together tight to reunite the strands, let go and either scrunch up from that position (if the hair is wet enough) or just "accordeon" up and down with the palm of one hand. I turn my head to either side to get better effect there and usually when I straighten up all my curls are back and I just fix any "strays" (usually in the front/sides) individually.
It's great to hear that your hair is doing better! Last month I realized my hair was lacking moisture so I re-vamped my conditioning routine and stopped using commercial stylers for at least a couple of weeks. Several times I just used a good leave in and when I needed hold I used home-made flax seed gel "enrinched" with Epsom salt, Evening Primrose oil and mixed with an aloe vera gel and a few drops of honey. That rest made a big difference in my hair, I began having good 2nd day hair again, so I really recommend trying it.
Unless your pics are not recent, I didn't see any frizz either, you looked fine. If when you were using the RR & CC you applied with wet hair I think they would work better if you gently towel blotted you hair first then use a bit more RR to concentrate it since it's rather "liquidy".
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.
"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC