I don't have the same curl type as you, but I highly recommend the curly girl method (no silicones and no sulfates-waterlily716 has a great web site on it)! You'll have to experiment, but silicone-free gels have been a lifesaver. I use herbal essences set me up gel. It makes my hair crunchy but once I scrunch out the crunch I have soft defined curls. HTH!