Starting at Square 1: Where to go from here?

So, after *decades* of straightening/flat ironing, I decided to give CG a try. I got the cut, I bought the products and was... underwhelmed. Walking out of the salon, my hair was kind of oily/curly and ended up becoming dry and a bit poufy even though I didn't touch it.

Now what? I know I need to give my hair time to recover from the trauma of heat and sulfates, etc, but I wondered if you all had any wisdom to help me get out of the gate quickly.

I think the deva curl creme is a big no, I wonder if I should try a stiff/crunchy gel like L.A. Looks? I'm also looking at the CJ products. To be honest, I would like my curls to relax a little so as to avoid the dreaded "poodle" look that comes with this length--give it a softer wavier look. I will try to post a pic tomorrow, today it's been pulled back (failure).

Thanks all for all your info--I've been lurking for a while and look forward to chatting.
CG Newbie! Started 3/9/12
Hair Type: 3a/3b Porosity: Low
Length when wet/dry: shoulder/chin

Co-wash: KCKT, Suave naturals coconut, Daily Fix, Deva low-poo, One Conditioner

I haven't tried the Deva Curl Cream, so I can't really comment, but from personal experience, I typically use a curl cream underneath a gel. I just need more hold than I get from curl cream alone.

Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: CJ Daily Fix, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: SS Caitlin's Conditioner, CJ Beauticurls Strengthening
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier,Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
A lot of people really just don't like Deva products, so don't be alarmed if your hair just doesn't look its best after a Deva cut! It also sounds like your goal for your hair is the same as mine. I prefer looser waves over tight spirals on me; my hair just looks better that way. I actually don't use gel, I DO just use a curl cream, but I use one that seems to give my hair actual hold -- I use the Shea Moisture curl milk and curl-enhancing smoothie. They give my hair some moisture and some "weight" so that it clumps together into loose, big waves.
whurly girly (2C/3A).
thick; medium/coarse; low porosity.
hair that is drier than the sahara desert.

LOW-POO: Renpure Organics
CO: L'Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner
RO: Renpure Keratin Conditioner. New HG!
LI: L'Oreal EverSleek Humidity-Defying LI Creme
Styling: SM Curl Milk, Argan Oil for sealing, sometimes GFPC Gel, some honey for hold, TIGI Control Freak Serum!!
CG definitely takes some patience, especially at the beginning. It takes a while for your hair to get moisturized and adjust to the no sulfates.
The most important thing I have discovered is that finding the technique that works for you is as important finding the right product. I went to the techniques sticky and just started at the top and tried each one on my hair. I kept a hair diary so I could keep track of what I used and how I did it. That helped a lot.
Also, if you can find a pic of your curly hair before CG and always have that to compare, you will realize how much healthier your hair looks. I didn't think CG was doing much until I looked at an old pic. My hair looked liked dandelion fluff. So even my bad hair days now are better than my good hair days then.
Hair: 2a or 3a (not sure), very porous and fine as frog hair
Day 1: Cowash and condition with AO GPB, ACV Rinse,
Co-Kra gel (this stuff is fantastic)

Day 2: KCKT, KCCC, plop, KCCC, plop again, air dry
Day 3: Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Coil Jam
Day 4: IAGirl's PT, KBB DT, FSG

Co-Kra gel is my own concoction of okra boiled in coconut milk. It is a cross between FSG and KCCC and leaves my hair very soft and shiny

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