There are lots of gels out there that different people have success with, so gels definitely aren't a no-no.

I've made homemade FSG (flax seed gel) and like how that gives a light hold and leaves my hair touchable, but I've also recently discovered that if I mix KCCC (Kinky-Curly Curling Custard) with a little EVOO or CJ CIAB, or KCKT, that it gives pretty good hold, decreases frizz, but doesn't make my hair look stringy (KCCC used on it's own on my hair just doesn't work for whatever reason).

In general, I'm very cautious about proteins in products, plus I try to stay pretty CG, so those criteria guide my choices. You'll probably have to do some experimenting with products to find a favorite/favorites, but I imagine there are ones out there that will work for you.
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair