I am 24 year old, and this past month is the first that I have ever ever ha curl to my roots. Like here's a picture from today of what I mean though, because its not like... Tight or anything.
This is the best curl and definition that I think I have gotten personally. It was still a little damp but you can see what I mean.
I figured I would just TRY the more cg-ish kind of thing. I can't cowash and stuff because my hair just hates it. But I heard the nourish line from trader joes was good, and since I was there today and saw that the big bottles(I think 16 but I could be all sorts of wrong) were three whole dollars each, I said hey what the hell.
So I washed and scrubbed the bajesus out if my scalp and did the conditioner for a minute or two and then added a bit of water and squeezed out instead of rinsing.
I also realized that my "Argan oil" ha two silicones as the FIRST TWO ingredients, and how my gel and mousse have silicones and a ton of alcohol in them and thought that if I wanted to really see how well the new shampoo and conditioner worked or didn't, that adding a ton of product would negate that.
Literally all I did was plop for about five minutes, add some of my coconut oil (virgin is essential here), plopped for about ten or fifteen getting dressed and the baby dressed, then I took my hair out if the plop bent over and used my fingers to do my normal sloppy wherever part and then we were so busy today I actually managed not to play with it or put it behind my ears and things like that.
Now if that kind of routine doesn't work, I had some tricks I used to use. My hair was straight but frizzy until about mid-ear before I got I to all this. It was also all one length.
I hardly had any curl and obviously was brushing and coming it but I didn't know any better
Before I learned about plopping, which still gives me the flat top thing I I don't shake it out well with my fingers, I went to a cost cutters (eek) and told her I wished I could wear my hair more curly. She gave me a great long layered cut that I am still rocking from my last trim, and it gave me so much more curl even though I did comb my hair after a shower for that perfect part.
See, even with the layers I had that too layer that acts like it doesn't match.
So on the days I know that I have some time to kill before I am going out, when I get out I the shower I have these medium sized jaw clips on the counter. They look like you took a regular long one and tried to make it more of a cube? Like half the size. When I'm still kind of leaning over, ill seperate my hair I to sections with my fingers an just push them to my scalp and use the jaw clip. Just make sure you follow the way it wants to curl/don't seperate clumps/etc. once you have your crown all done up (or everything) you can get to the roots incredibly easily and spray some root lifter to the bases. Then I always just let my hair dry for an hour or two, but I HATE blow dryers so I've never done it that way, but I don't see why it wouldn't.
Once they feel like they're just kind of damp for me, in an hour or two about, I start with the lowest clips and just undo them all one by one til I'm at my part. Sometimes I will scrunch in a little product if I think I need it. But when I do that, I absolutely love it, because its the closest to Helena Bonham Carter's amazing volume I ever ever get.
I think the basic idea of the tricks that help coax out your natural curl is that while your hair is wet you think of more and more creative ways of trying to fight gravity a much as possible.
I'm sure that with the right products and routine that it won't be quite so flat on the top. It really sounds like its just the weight of the bottom while drying, which was my downfall at butt length hair. Unfortunately the only thing that worked in my case was the layers, but I knew I would get root curl shorter because my bangs are spirals if I don't mess with them.
I hope something in that essay I just wrote on my phone might help a little. That was everything I could think of that I ever did for mine.