Belwillcoily asked a lot of good questions! Not every product out there works for everybody, You have to find what fits your needs ya know. My hair hates anything that isn't made with natural products. I still use other stuff to co wash or to strip my hair from product buildup but I always stick to my homemade stuff and that suits me. IMO I would start with natural products first. I'm a student too and I can't afford to buy expensive products but because I make my own, I buy things in bulk (not all at once) that can last me a year. Also you have an idea where to go from there since you know what oils and butters suit your hair and you can tell if you need a heavier or lighter product. It looks like you need some serious sealing if your hair is so dry. I wet my hair and cover it in EVOO and that lasts me ALL day, maybe you can try that.
Also you are not alone feeling the way you do. We've all been through it and until you get comfortable with your hair your gonna keep feeling that way. I remember I was embarrassed after I BC and my hair was short but I just held my head high and started rocking to twa and to my surprise people loved it! Yea there were a few ignorant stares and comments but it made me a stronger person. It allowed me to accept myself no matter what state my hair was in and I realize its the inside that counts. Cheesy I know but its the truth and you'll see it when you get there