curly at the temples, with waves and no consistant curl at the back. Underneath, my hair is almost completely straight
It's frustrating for me because I have hair that is only 50 percent wavy and then the other 50 percent under my canopy is almost straight.
Yes! This is exactly my hair too! I have a couple of adorable (if I do say so myself) loose corkscrews at my temples and at the very nape of my neck. Then I have moderate waves at the side of my head. Then I have a canopy of very very loose waves that rarely ever clump together. Then underneath that, accounting for almost half my total hair, it is almost completely straight.

I wonder if I'd never had a perm and seen how good I look (if I do say so myself) with ringlets if I'd struggle so much with my wavy hair now? Like I said earlier, I do like the way my hair looks most of the time, so I have that "wavy pride" and all, but it just takes effort since I have to start fresh every day. I've had my epiphanies and I've had my big moments of acceptance, but they never last and I'm right back to being frustrated again!

Ok, now you really have me curious, are the "frayed paintbrush ends" a wavy trait?
I definitely have those too, so maybe it is! The parts of my hair that have the strongest wave or curl do NOT have paintbrush ends. The weaker and almost straight parts of my hair DO have the paintbrush ends. The stronger curl seems to "lock" all the individual hairs together in a nice cohesive "rope", whereas the weaker curl seems to let the individual hairs splay out.

What shampoo & conditioner do you use? Have you tried any Jesicurl products?
I love Jessicurl products. The hair cleansing cream is very nice (although I do use a mild sulfate shampoo now and then too, or my hair gets too limp). I also love Rockin Ringlets. It helps keep my clumps together. My hair really is much more healthy now that I use good products.
Sporting: Long hair that can't make up its mind. Wavy? Curly? Straight? It's anyone's guess!