These days I've been conditioning with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (mostly because it's cheap and I use so much.) I use handfuls on handfuls on handfuls of conditioner. -I know it has cones in it. I tried to go completely silicone free a few years back, but I actually missed the slip/fake hydration that cones gave me.
I partially rinse the conditioner out, scrunch out some water with a t-shirt, seal with coconut oil and then HESMU gel on top.

I'm actually not sure about my porosity, because it seems to absorb everything I throw at it, but then it takes days to dry. Could I really mix oil and gel together?
Originally Posted by curlicarly
Agree with Jessiebanana build up could be one issue, handfuls of a lightweight yet coney conditioner doesn't work with conditioner only washing. That is surely not your full routine, are you using a leave in conditioner, deep conditioning and protein treating?

The build up could also be slowing your hair drying, your routine seems focussed on occlusives/ sealants (coconut oil and silicones), it's not clear that this is balanced with emollients, humectants or protein. Silicones do not aid clumping they can increase frizz or cause stringy hair in excess.

It's up to you whether you use silicones or not, but it seems to me your modified routine is not giving you the hair you seek. For slip use products at pH ~4.5, conditioners containing a behentrimonium high in the ingredients, aloe vera juice if your dew points permit, for clumping plenty of fatty alcohol rich conditioner.

DIY Ecostyler custard, no reason why you cannot make it with other gels
Eco Styler Olive Oil Custard - YouTube
You can also make your own leave in with Kinky Curly Knot Today (Kimmaytube's recipe) which is notorious for slip/ detangling.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
I do deep condition every now and then, usually with olive oil and honey. I tend to stay away from protein though because it seems like it dries my hair.

Thanks for the recommendations! Some questions: how can you tell what pH a product is at? And which alcohols are considered fatty? I'm willing to try going cone-free again, I'm just pretty uneducated. Just bought AOHR conditioner to get started.
3b/c coarse, porous (I think), and THICK! Mod CG since: 10/11/08
Avoiding humectants and protein!