Sorry I haven't been more responsive on MDC lately - a string of bad luck has been hitting me and things are going WRONG! Between getting sick, getting rear-ended and getting a backache and ribcage-ache (even though there wasn't much damage to the car), and today, boyfriend losing his contract job, it's been a mess. I think bad luck comes in three's...so hopefully that streak is over....
The 'stickiness' and tanglyness you're referring to is a lot like static, I've noticed that in my hair too sometimes. I notice that more if I haven't been using apple cider vinegar enough or something that restores the pH of hair back to acidic (or something moisturizing), my hair gets staticky and tangly.
I purchased the Avalon shampoo, and though it doesn't have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and has coco betaine instead, I find that it makes my hair a weird texture. Perhaps all the essential oils and whatever make the product a little TOO cleaning?? Maybe your conditioner has the same issue, too many essential oils and other botanical junk and not enough good moisturizing oils that would otherwise nourish your hair.
You can add some jojoba or olive oil to your conditioner and see if that helps with the ends, or you can find a more nourishing conditioner. You're not using the conditioner as a shampoo, so a heavier conditioner is okay for you. The stuff I was harping on the 'lightweight cheap conditioner' is for people who want to use conditioner as a shampoo (or mix it with baking soda).
Your apple cider vinegar mixture may be too diluted. Try a stronger solution, like half water and half apple cider vinegar. If you don't like it on the top of your hair, just spray it on your hair from the ears down. I use a spray bottle for control and so I get even coverage of the apple cider vinegar (it sticks better to my hair to allow it to work), rather than just dumping it on my hair and slipping down the drain immediately.
I usually work my apple cider in and work it out. If I don't massage it while rinsing it out, my hair will look greasy, but if I use my fingers a little, I get a better rinse.
As mentioned, you can also use a more moisturizing conditioner or add some good hair-nourishing oils to your existing conditioner. Another thing to do is add some apple cider vinegar TO your conditioner before putting it on the ends of your hair. It becomes super conditioning when you do that.
Some people take a drop of olive oil and just rub it in their hands and put it on the ends of their hair when their hair is dry - you can try that. Don't put the oil on wet hair, it'll look greasy. Dry hair soaks up the oil wonderfully and you will have pretty and shiny hair.
What I do for my no-poo routine is use my conditioner with baking soda, which keeps my hair from getting the overly dry straw feeling that I sometimes get with the diluted baking soda only thing. I also clean my hair better with the baking soda mixed with something like conditioner.
Even more moisturizing and makes my hair look wonderful is conditioner plus baking soda and some brown sugar!
Sounds odd, but it's lovely!
Come to think of it, I ran out of the brown sugar in my little container in my bathroom and I've been using baking soda only or just baking soda and conditioner to clean my hair -- and the ends of my hair aren't too happy either. I'll restock my brown sugar in my bathroom
You may like that combo too. It was recommended in the Curly Girl book. The Curly Girl version is lightweight conditioner plus brown sugar - I personally do this version too and love it.
Here's a whole thread dedicated to the Curly Girl method, hair recipes, and other stuff.
The thing with natural shampoos, conditioners and the baking soda/vinegar no-poo method is that they don't contain silicones. Some silicones are very wonderful about getting rid of static and giving 'slip' to hair. You and I are probably missing some of that with our natural stuff
If you want a water soluble silicone (one that rinses out with water and doesn't coat and dry out your hair), I believe dimethicone is one of them and isn't so terrible for your hair. Don't quote me on that one tho. Check out the Curly Girl links and it'll tell you which silicones are okay for hair and which ones dry your hair out.