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newbie, help with hair type and styling?

hey fellow curlies!
I am new to the website and forum and i was hoping yall could help me figure out some stuff. I believe i am a 3b, when i let my hair dry on its own, (with/without product) the curls on the outer layer of my hair are medium sized, and the under layer (like the back of my neck) the curls are much smaller, tighter dryer and frizzier. so im like a 3b on top and a 4 something on the bottom lol. my main issue is that my hair about halfway down is like straw. i hate it. it will curl fine, its even shiny, and i can straighten it but its dry and the ends don't have any life. my hair is cut into layers and i often straighten it just cause i like to change things up and i love both looks. I'm sure the iron is a factor to the dryness but its really dry all the time regardless of how often I've used the iron. Its strange, if you touch my hair it seems smooth and nice (except the ends) but it looks like a broom. i cut my ends often to try and keep it from dying out to no avail.
anywhooo, I've been trying different products and after 20 years i still haven't found the right concoction
i love my crazy lions mane but i recently cut it a lot shorter than it used to be so the extreme curls dont go so well with the length and layers. (my bangs end up curling and poofing so much that i look less like a lion and more like a cockatoo)
so at this time im looking to loosen my curls, and give my hair more life. what can i use to give my hair more weight without making it oily?

ive attatched a pic of my hair, the pic is old so my hair is much shorter, but still just about that texture.
thanks so much for reading my giant lifes story and plleeeeaaaseee help if you can!

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