All I know is that when my hair was behaving like yours is, the only thing that fixed it was stopping the chemical coloring. Like your hair, my hair would *love* a product for about 3 days, and then it would almost never love it again. I could never get any long-term consistency. My favorite gel right now is actually Bioterra Styling Gel from Sally's. I've been using it at least 3 times a week for the last 7 or 8 months (ever since I stopped chemically coloring), and it performs the same every time I use it. That never happened before --in fact, I had put it away because it was another one of those 2-hit wonders for me.

The other positive change for me is that I'm not going through any of those "the season changed hair is freaking out" periods. It used to be that any time the season changed, my hair would completely fall apart. Nothing worked and I would go around for weeks with my hair up because it was awful.

Again, I'm not sure if that's your problem or not. I'm just throwing it out there because what you're describing sounds a lot like what I went through.
2C/3A, fine, higher porosity.