Curl type changes? Losing thickness, is this damage?

Ok so I used to just leave my natural wavy curls alone (I get some ringlets when short, generally will be looser waves when longer) when I was in high school and I primarily used a gel to style my hair. My hair is still pretty thick but it is a lot more flat now, I am unsure if it is the fact that every stylist I go to ends up cutting my hair in a way that either gives me a triangle or what but now I have taken to just trimming the ends at home and basically leaving it alone. I think that my hair problems might be because I have gotten a good style haircut in about 4 years. It also is thick to touch but generally looks about normal thickness. I have problems keeping the curls in for even a day now, the top starts to frizz/halo. I have been following the curly girl method but I am at my wits end, I used to have 2c hair and now I can't do anything with it, I have started just wearing it up all the time, or when I wear it down I layer it with products and I can coax a little bit of a crimp to it. Why isn't the curly girl method working! HELP! ps. this new curl pattern has been going on since I chopped it off to a lob and put some highlights in it once about 3 years ago. Could it have been the highlights? Shouldn't the damage from that be gone by now?

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