I'm trying to grow my fine hair out from having shorter cuts and blunt bangs at one point. The layer of the bangs is just to my chin now, if I stretch it out.

The last cut I got was... terrible. The stylist, someone who gave me great short hair cuts, thinned the heck out of it AND razored in a whole bunch of uneven layers. It doesn't look great.

My hair is all finally long enough to put it in a single "loop" bun (like where you don't pull your ponytail all the way through) at the back of my head, with several bobby pins here and there to keep the bangs/nape in place. The longest layers are just past my shoulders, maybe an inch? If I leave it in a ponytail the thinned/razored layers look awful, like a sad wet cat's tail.

The problem is, I'm seeing a lot of shorter hairs sticking up now... and I'm worried that my very fine, easily broken hair is getting damaged by pulling it tightly back (tight is the only way to get a bun right now). So I've stopped putting it back... but that means I have to look at my crazy stringy layers! As for soft headbands, they don't stay on my head - my hair is low-porosity and they just slip right off my head without a bunch of clips which, again, I'm concerned are breaking my hair.

I made an appointment with our local "awesome curly stylist" Beverly Neeland (who came recommended on here), but I'm a teensy bit nervous about a trim. I really want these layers evened out... but it also seems like it hasn't grown in forever. I'm afraid to put it up, but it looks baaaaad when it is down.

I'm stuck! I don't hate having short hair, but I feel like my being OK with that will keep me from ever having long hair again. What to do? Or just words of support, LOL... Maybe a good hair cut will make a world of difference?

Any other curly gals with this baby-fine breakage problem? Solutions?
I sort of blog
I'm mostly away doing field work through mid-May.

Hair: curlybob, fine, dense, low-po, big waves/ringlets (2C/3A)
Co-Wash: Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioner
RO: YTC Carrot, Aubrey Organics GPB
LI: BS Shea Soft Styling Cream (HG)
Styling: KCCC, Garnier P&C Gel
1xWeek: low-poo, gelatin PT or Joico K-Pak
Hair Likes: aloe, coconut oil, humidity, protein, long walks on the beach