Hey! Hope you guys can help me out a little!

Some background info:
I have been CG for 6 months now. I started off with baking soda and silicone free conditioner and went over to only conditioner washing after about 2 months. During this period I have used sulfate shampoo twice(because i made a bad DT haha, had to get that stuff out!!). Hair goes down a little past my bra strap on the back. I don't use heat or color(for 3 years or so).

So these are my questions:
1. The top layer of my hair is really dry. It has just started to curl a bit which I'm really happy about. The first few inches at the root does not seem dry at all, but further down, it seems thick, porous and darker in color than the rest. My question is: Does anyone else have this problem? Have you managed to fix it? Do any of you treat different parts of your hair differently?

2. On the length of my hair I also have a lot of short strands that are shorter and/or stick out from each curl. Some of them look fine, some of them looks fried and some of them have split ends. What do you guys think? I really don't understand what I'm doing wrong with my hair. btw, i did cut of my dry ends before i started CG and my ends are still soft and not dry.

3. Can non water soluble silicones be removed by a no-poo?

4. Should polyquats be avoided for me that don't want to use shampoo/no-poo?

Appreciate any advice!