Counter-intuitively, I've actually been getting haircuts more often during this process rather than less. About 2-3 months ago my hairstylist suggested I grow my hair out. I conveyed to her my reasoning for keeping it short. As it gets longer, it tends to get huge, messy, and out-of-control. However, my previous attempts at growing it out have consisted of me simply not doing anything to it for a few months at a time.
Instead, she suggested that if I have it trimmed and thinned more often that it would stay more manageable as I grew it out. Of course that also means I have to visit (and pay) her more often, but she's doing a good job. I've been pleased with the results so far. It's now long enough for my natural wave to appear over my right brow. Yes, there's gel holding it in place, but I don't really have to shape that...it just happens on its own once my hair gets to a certain length. I haven't seen it in quite awhile though.
She also redid my highlights last night. We continued what we started in the summer by going dyeless with bleach only. We decided to go a little less blonde to allow more golds and browns to stay...maybe even just a hint of red. It's not at all like the bright colors I've been doing for the past couple years, but I do like how it came out.