This happened to me when I used heavy conditioners and KCCC. I also think it might be protein. My guess is your hair is low-ish porosity and isn't absorbing the moisture you're applying because you're not using a shampoo that would open the cuticle. I'd recommend trying a gentle, gentle lowpoo (like Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.) Also, gels and KCCC always seemed drying to me. Maybe try a creamier styler(: Creamier gels include Beautiful Curls Gel for Wavy to Curly Hair (found at Whole Foods) and Koils by Nature Herbal Peppermint Gel (found online.) You could also try a curl cream, like Alba Botanica Soft Style Cream. I'm trying it right now and like it. At Sally's, I heard Biotera Curl Cream works well too. Hair One, their knockoff of Wen, could work as a cowash. Good luck!
2c/2b with some 2a, coarse, dense, thick, low porosity
Growing out a CL bob. Currently at APL.
CG again as of 7/20/12

Cleanser: BRÖÖ Smoothing I.P.A. Shampoo
RO: Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner
LI: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Styler: Beautiful Curls Gel for Wavy to Curly Hair

all-natural products, light moisture, humectants, argan oil
silk protein, synthetic ingredients, heavy oils/products, cowashing