Thanks for your suggestions. I am gonna try to figure out what it is that makes my hair so hard and dried out. My current hypothesis is that occasional PTs are good for me, regular use of protein rich products not so much.

Kathy I was gonna PM you about this! How much does porosity play into this?
Originally Posted by Cuban-curl-E
I really don't know the answer to this, my hair is low porosity and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES protein. Pedaheh posted this link to a Curl Chemist article in another thread, which may give you some insight: Porosity and Curly Hair

An important part of the whole equation is getting the balance between the protein and moisture right. You may need to use more moisturizing products.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix