Hey, I have very curly hair, i'm half black and unfortunately have gotten my black genes for my hair. So i know what you mean by not being able to take control of it... this is what I do
I'm very athletic so i'm always in the shower since I sweat so much, so while i'm in the shower i brush out my hair. I usually do it with conditioner in so that the knots will become untangled more quickly. Brushing my hair out dry or blow drying it, will always turn my hair into an unbelievably big fro. I also have long hair so this step really helps. Then once i've brushed it out, i'll take a can of Tresemme* Styling Moose* and spray a line acrose the crown of my head, that way i can brush through my hair and make sure every part gets the taming liquid. I'll usually do this twice just to make sure, then if I want to wear it down then i'll just style it how i want and make sure its moosed to perfection. I use a lot of moose, but it's not as expensive as the salon products and works just as well. So i'd suggest using that for styling and hold, it works very well and my hair is VERY curly. For shampoos and conditioners you should try Panteen Pro-V, it is also inexpensive and makes ure hair shine and feel soft and smooth, get the kind for curly or wavy hair and you're set. Good luck and hopefully this works for you!