How to moisturize and define type 4a/4b hair without gel or silicone products?

My hair is very dry and Arizona weather makes it no better. I co wash once a week and style once a week when using gels. If I try to use conditioner only, it looks moisturized while wet but when dry I looks dry and feels crunchy. If I add oil to the conditioner, the oil makes the conditioner create small white balls on my hair and flakes when it dries. Any suggestions for regimen, products, and technique?

5 Answers

Are you open to stylers? Kinky curly has a wonderful leave in conditioner and a curling custard that are all CG(chemical free) I use Ag cosmetics ReCoil and curl keepr as styler and I sometimes use a nice gel from Herbal essences(all CG) for my hair and I get great results. I only use products that are CG approved as I do not want an extra chemicals in my hair. I do deep treatments twice a week on my hair and sometimes make my own with avocado and honey and conditioner. I use my rinse out conditioner as a leave in too. I sometimes have to scrunch out the crunch in my hair
Have you tried the Curl Junkie products... she makes some great butters and stylers. I love her leave-ins.
I agree with Kinky Curly products. Oyin Handmade and SheaMoisture are also good options. natural products! 
I really like EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Curl Defining Crème. You can finger style (apply product in a circular motion for a short, short afro). You may be able to try shingling with a Denman type brush, a comb or smoothing your fingers like this:
Thanks ladies for the help, I found simplicity was key. My wonder products are simply herbal essence conditioner naked for moisture and extra virgin olive oil for my sealer.