Maybe it is just the pic, but it looks really neat to me. I am totally with you on the second point. :)
Your braid is amazing. The thickness is astonishing. I hear you on both points; in my case the first one is a good enough reason not to wear English braids in public. I like your idea of wearing a soft headband with the braid, I'm sure it could help me with the vast number of shorter hairs that manage to escape the braid.
I love the look, but yep, at your length, that would get caught in a few things. Still looks lovely though.Is your new growth all over or just in the front?