It's been so long since I've grown out my hair without chemicals and heat damage (I'd say nine years), and I'd forgotten what my hair was really like. It's soft and wavy and a bit poofy, and I'm just so thrilled that it's in better shape. I love it. It's finally just grown out of the awkward I-can't-do-anything-with-this stage. It is still technically shorter in the back, but I'm going to see if I can will myself to keep growing it through the holidays before I cave and get it evened out.
The dark brown has faded to completely blend in with my new growth, as it was supposed to, and I've got some weird natural highlight looking bits left over from summer. You can see my original before and after post from May here.
If you've been wanting a clean start with your hair, just chop it all off and grow it out. Seriously, it's so worth it.