my hair is mid-back length, but i have a similar hair type as you.

i can't use mousse either in the long run because it's drying, but i do like that it freezes my waves better. even though my hair is coarse, i notice i have to be careful how much product i put in my hair or else it'll be too heavy and my hair will just look unkempt. =T i'm learning gel with a touch of cream styler works best for my hair, though i'm still playing w/ the right amounts. once upon a time aveda be curly cream was perfect for my hair. too bad it broke out my skin.

it's been several years since i've had my hair this long so i'm relearning how to evenly apply product...grrr!
straight & wavy, thick & coarse