I couldnt get a braidout to look right on my hair until recently. It would always come out undefined and just weird looking. I think you need to just keep at trying it until you find what works for you. it takes trial and error but you will get there eventually.

I ended up having to do it on freshly washed hair. While it was still wet apply leave in and then gel. Brush it through with the denman then braid. Leave braids in at least 2 days and voila perfect braidout.

If its the length that bothers you try different ways to jazz up the braidout. Clips barrettes pin up the sides.

Theres a great site called mizoutlet that sells really cheap hair accessories.
3C/4A shoulder length
porous fine hair