New and need help

Okay, girls, need some help understanding a couple things

A little hair history: my hair is probably naturally a 2c (maybe - not sure on that one yet) and I've always had a lot of body and wave. When I was little, I had cute little ringlet/banana curls. As an adult, when my hair is longer, if I don't put product in it, it tends to migrate into 3 or 4 huge banana curls.

I've never been able to use conditioner as it makes my hair flat and limp. Back when "big hair" and spiral perms were popular, I asked my stylist to give me a spiral perm - I wanted those individual spirals all over my head. She told me with the right product and technique, I could have spiral curls without the perm. At that time, I used Artec Textureline Volume Gel and blow dried upside down - wah-lah, BIG spiral curls! (I'm talking late 80s BIG hair).

For years, I used Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo and no conditioner followed by the Artec gel and blow drying upside down. However, at some point, I started using conditioner. I think I had all stylists I ever tried and friends and family that were always saying I HAD to use conditioner, so I finally started using it without even thinking about it.

I got on the angled bob/straight hair kick the last few years. Short hair (shorter than it's ever been), some kind of sleek shampoo and conditioner, Chi gel, round brush blow drying, Chi flat iron. At first I was amazed at how straight I could actually get my hair and I loved it. Eventually, all it got me was fried hair that was limp and unhealthy looking.

So, I started growing out the bob and looking at getting my curls back. I stumbled across this forum about a month ago and have been reading (and reading and reading LOL). My hair is now one length, although layered and razor thinned, just touching my shoulders. I ordered the trial size DevaCurl products (no poo, one conditioner, Angel and Set) and got that in the mail the other day.

Yesterday, I clarified with Suave Daily Clarifying and then did the whole DevaCurl process (even got the DevaCurl towel). Although my curl on my ends looked good, my top was flat and limp. I ended up clipping my bangs back and had to keep fluffing with my hands.

Got home and went to bed and like a lightbulb, it dawned on me - I don't have body when using conditioner! Holy cow, how did I forget that???

So, I got up today and did the baking soda wash with the ACV rinse. I raked it with my hands, put no product in it and let it air dry. It took like 2 hours to air dry and that still wasn't all the way to the roots. BUT, my body was back! I had lift at the top and my hair, even though short, wanted to form those big banana curls. I did, however, have "fly away" hair. Not really frizzy, but not "polished" looking either.

So, I did some research on conditioner leaving hair flat and limp and came across the low porosity information. I took 3 strands of hair and put in a bowl of water and 6 hours later, they are still floating on top of the water.

SO, my question is: how can you do the CG method of using conditioner to clean as opposed to shampoo if conditioner leaves your hair flat and limp?

Do you girls low poo or use a sulfate free shampoo or some other method I haven't read about yet? Are there people on here that don't use conditioner at all?

Any help would be great!
I am the above poster and wanted to include a pic with what my routine was this morning. I really want to make this CG thing happen, so help would be great!

After much reading about heat opening the hair cuticle, I washed my hair with warm/hot water and used Garnier Fructise Fortifying Triple Nutrition shampoo (since I haven't figured out the whole no poo thing yet), rinsed well. Then applied Garnier Fructise Fortifying Triple Nutrition conditioner to the ends only (hanging my head upside down to do so). I rinsed that out with warm/hot water and then squeezed the excess water out and plopped in my Devacurl towel. I only plopped for 7-8 minutes (long enough to get dressed and put my makeup on). I then finger combed it out and applied a small amount of LA Looks Sport Gel and blow dried. I did use a diffuser, but I scrunched with my hands while drying it.

And this is what I got:
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