Styles while growing out curly hair

Hello all! First post here

I cut my hair pretty dang short last spring:
I really liked it that short, it was super manageable, but I made the choice to grow it out. I went blonde, from the red, then a darker blonde that's closer to my natural color so I could grow it out and go back to my natural color.

My hair now: (this is second/third day hair except the last one which is almost-dry hair after taking a shower and putting curl creme in it.) My Curls - Imgur

It's somewhere between 2c and 3a, and I'm trying to grow it out to at least armpit length. (My goal is having hair something like River Song's, if any Whovians are reading: Right now it's about chin length when it's dry, styled, and curled up and almost shoulder length when it's wet.

Right now it's at an awkward length. Too long and thick to just re-wet it with spray when it gets frizzy to reset the curls, too short to put it in a bun or ponytail when it gets frizzy/unmanageable/in the way.

So basically it's a bob that I've been either wearing down all the time or putting in a ponytail which entails stretching out all the curls and ruining them and pulling my hair way too tight. I can do cute little bun-like pigtails but they're kind of silly, not good for everyday wear. I'd love to find some way to do some milkmaid braids or something, but it's hard for me to braid my own hair, I have some layers that are shorter than the other parts and mess up braiding it, and my hair tends to frizz up so much that the braids don't look good.

Basically, is there anything I can do to style my hair to spice it up without damaging it or cutting it shorter while it's in this awkward phase? Or is there some kind of haircut that will shape it a bit so it grows out in a less poofy way? Is there something different I could use/do product/washing - wise?

My hair is always in a French helps a lot it keeps the hair clean and protected.
I usually use a clip when my hair gets a longer bob length. my hair is a bob too and it cant go into a pony tail all the way just yet but I do get alot of breakage after a while. I use clips alot.

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