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View Full Version : A Hairy Tale! (Seeking advice...)



potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 09:23 AM
Hello! I've been lurking around this forum for a few years, but I never really had a reason to post until now. Everyone here seems to be pretty sweet and helpful, so I'm hoping I can get some advice and opinions on an issue I'm having...

I'm 21 and I've been growing my hair my entire life. When I say that, I mean it's literally never been cut. It started off as some kind of superstition my mother had about cutting an infant's hair for the first time, and then it just kept growing and growing and growing. So basically I've ALWAYS had classic-length-plus hair, from the earliest I can remember to the present day. I literally cannot remember a time when I had hair shorter than my waist.

Now, I want to cut it off.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my long hair! If I did cut it, it'd only be to about the middle of my back. I've never had any bad reactions to my hair outside of when I was being picked on at school - everyone is always positive, tells me it's beautiful, asks me what kind of special magical tonics I drink to make my hair grow so much (?? lmao)

However... I am tired of it being quite so long. Even though I've been doing it all my life, in the last year or so I've been feeling more and more like caring for my hair is just a chore. My hair takes up so much TIME, so many resources... it's like keeping a pampered prize-winning poodle, with none of the blue ribbons and cash prizes that go with it. I'm not very good with hair in general and for me, attempting to style/dress it is just a battle. It's so heavy and thick that it slips out of every style I put it in - every style a professional stylist puts it in, too (I've had it done a couple of times for photographs - if you've ever wanted to see a grown man curl up in a ball and weep just bring someone with hair my length to a hairdresser's >_>). It's naturally very curly, so unless I straighten it I can't even wear it down. It's just unmanageable. 90% of the time I just wear it in a simple plait - how boring! Oh yeah, because of a lack of trimming it also has REALLY bad ends. Yeah.. it's embarrassing.

So why don't I just get it cut? Well, the reactions from my friends and family haven't been too favourable. They don't seem to understand my feelings on the matter. They don't get why after all this time I would want to cut it. In fact my mother told me that if I cut it I won't look nearly so unusual. She says if I cut it I'll just look... well, "normal." Like everyone else, nothing special.

I don't agree with this opinion. I don't see how being beautiful or unique is contingent upon my stupid hair. But it hurts me anyway and makes me doubt that this would really be good for me. I mean I've NEVER had my hair cut or styled, so what do I know...? What if I do end up regretting it?

I don't know, guys. I don't want to be angry at my family but I feel they've been unfair to me. It's not like they ever gave me a choice in the first place whether I wanted my hair long or not. It's just always been that way. Why can't I change, make my own decision about my own body? By now every cell in my body has regenerated multiple times anyway. I'm not even the same person I was when I was small.

Also, I know absolutely nothing about getting my hair cut professionally, and I don't like to make decisions without being well-informed first.

Sorry for rambling. I guess there are a few key things I'd like some advice on:

1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)

Finally, here is picture of my hair... this was actually taken when I was 17, so it's even longer now, but you get the general idea:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r207/Lorpso/album2/haircropped_zpsc4b9e891.png

Yes... I do a superb Cousin Itt impression. Just hand me a pair of sunglasses and I'm ready to go.

Anyway, thank you for reading!! And thank you in advance for your help! All comments, questions, advice etc welcome!!

oddelabop
August 18th, 2013, 09:43 AM
1. No one here can tell you whether or not to cut your hair that's a decision you have to make yourself. Although, the general advise is wait two weeks to make sure it's the right decision. When you say you've never cut your hair- do you mean trim too? Again hairstyle is purely subjective. Have a look on the Internet and find out why styles you like :/ it's like asking people what you should eat for dinner... Everyone will say something different.

2. It's your hair and your life, why would cutting your hair upset them? That sounds rather silly to me. From what I understand, they have you heir honest opinion which is that you won't be as special without it? Heck I've had that said to me lots of times. It depends on the individuals subjective opinion. I believe long hair is nicer so yeh I think most women bar shorter hair dos so you will look more "common" if that makes sense.

3. Isn't this obvious? If you don't like it you're stuck with it really!!

4. I think it entirely depends on the individual, I personally don't like it when women grow their hair for the sake of it, I.e if it is thin and ratty to me that does not make your hair look fabulous. But take the model ruslana korshunova for example... She was special because of her hair..: then they cut it off and she wasn't so special any more. Everyone for themselves though!

HylianGirl
August 18th, 2013, 09:51 AM
Hello! Well, I believe our hair is there to be enjoyed, if you don't enjoy your hair the way it is, I'd say go fotr a cut, even if you end up regretting it, it will grow back, even if it takes time. It must be scary for someone who's never cut their hair, but if you don't like it the way it is, why keep it like that? As I said, if you regret it, you can grow it back.

Sometimes family can be unsuportive, but maybe they find it difficult to see you in another way. My mother said she didn't like red hair when I told her I wanted to henna, but I did it anyway even after she said it would look awful and I'd regrett, but now that I did it, she really liked it. Maybe your family has a mental image that doesnt necessairly correspond with what will actually turn out to be. Also, don't get me wrong, but you are 21, a legal adult preety much anywhere in the world, you don't need to do things to please your family anymore. And people can be preety even with very short hair.

However, if you still decide to keep your length, I'd suggest looking for torrinpaige's channel on youtube, she has very thick tailbone length hair, and she always finds ways to put it up.

http://www.youtube.com/user/torrinpaige

So...

1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

You alone can make that decision. I'd suggest google searching styles for thick hair, how long exacly you want it to be?

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

I'd say try and explain to them that this is important to you. They can't be selfish to impose something to you you are not happy with, and you will still be yourself even with shorter hair.

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

It can grow back ^-^and if you are not patinet enought, try and use styles that you normally woudn't be able to with your current length, or get extensions.

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)

Definatelly no. There's a girl I know who had waist length hair, once she cut it to a bob, and it looked soo much better and unique. It depends on the person really. And how confident you look in the style. Look at Emma Watson for example, super short hair, and men are always saying how hot she is.

Good luck!

ETA: I have done a big cut in the past that I didn't like (I had damaged my hair and it needed to be cut) it went from waist to shoulder, and let me tell you I really don't like shoulder length hair. It felt really short and just "not me", it's teh same length most people have. But then I learned how to braid, and make more intricate styles, while I focused on that, I didn't even notice how much my hair grew, and soon I was APL+, then BSL (a length I really like!). So if you regret it, try doing stuff with it you normally woudn't and in a couple of months your hair will grow into and acceptable length.

potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 10:03 AM
1. No one here can tell you whether or not to cut your hair that's a decision you have to make yourself. Although, the general advise is wait two weeks to make sure it's the right decision. When you say you've never cut your hair- do you mean trim too? Again hairstyle is purely subjective. Have a look on the Internet and find out why styles you like :/ it's like asking people what you should eat for dinner... Everyone will say something different.

2. It's your hair and your life, why would cutting your hair upset them? That sounds rather silly to me. From what I understand, they have you heir honest opinion which is that you won't be as special without it? Heck I've had that said to me lots of times. It depends on the individuals subjective opinion. I believe long hair is nicer so yeh I think most women bar shorter hair dos so you will look more "common" if that makes sense.

3. Isn't this obvious? If you don't like it you're stuck with it really!!

4. I think it entirely depends on the individual, I personally don't like it when women grow their hair for the sake of it, I.e if it is thin and ratty to me that does not make your hair look fabulous. But take the model ruslana korshunova for example... She was special because of her hair..: then they cut it off and she wasn't so special any more. Everyone for themselves though!

I understand that it is a personal decision. Yes, I mean it's never been trimmed, either. I understand that everyone will have different opinions, but that's part of the reason I'm posting this here in the first place. I have absolutely no experience with this and I want to hear other people's views.

I also thought people would be interested to hear my story as it's kind of a reverse hair journey, lol! Most people come here wanting to grow their hair... I've come here having had long hair all my life and wanting to cut it!!

(...I've just looked that model up - didn't she commit suicide aged just 20...? Isn't it a bit unfair to say she "wasn't so special"? :/ I'm sure she was a special and beautiful person. Kind of off-topic, but still...)

oddelabop
August 18th, 2013, 10:10 AM
I understand that it is a personal decision. Yes, I mean it's never been trimmed, either. I understand that everyone will have different opinions, but that's part of the reason I'm posting this here in the first place. I have absolutely no experience with this and I want to hear other people's views.

I also thought people would be interested to hear my story as it's kind of a reverse hair journey, lol! Most people come here wanting to grow their hair... I've come here having had long hair all my life and wanting to cut it!!

(...I've just looked that model up - didn't she commit suicide aged just 20...? Isn't it a bit unfair to say she "wasn't so special"? :/ I'm sure she was a special and beautiful person. Kind of off-topic, but still...)


Yes she did commit suicide.. but what I am talking about here is purely aesthetic opinion. Hey, I'm not a shallow person here (no judgement is made on appearance - hence you should look at my ex boyfriends ;) ) but what I am saying is that, her known feature was her hair, and the modelling companies kept cutting it shorter and shorter so that she was in-keeping with the other models... I am saying that detracted away from her originality. As far as her personality is concerned noone can comment unless they knew her I guess!

Why dont you start by getting a trusted hair dresser or someone to cut off maybe just one or two inches with a blunt hemline. That way, you won't have the regret of layers etc. Also, one or two inches isnt much... so you can sort of start by taking a little bit off at a time, without freaking out if she gives you a buzz cut all in one go!

E.T.A - I got the whole layers thing with a fringe when I was 14, and sorely regretted it... Its taken till now to have a near bluntish hemline!! And because I have had to let the layers grow, they split easier because I wasn't trimming them as much ...there is something to think about anyway :)

P.S Also make sure you know the hairdresser isn't gonna shave your head or something - hairdressers these days seem to be very scissor happy. Ask for a long hair specialist at any salon etc.

Peggy E.
August 18th, 2013, 10:12 AM
The advice of well-meaning relatives and friends is just that - trying to give you their viewpoints and why they think the way they do. But it is your hair and, more importantly, YOUR life, to do with as you please, to make the most of to your satisfaction, pleasure and well-being.

I certainly can understand why you would be interested in taming a mane that feels to you like it's taken over your life. If this is how it feels to you, then this is how it is and you are certainly entitled to take that route and try another path.

You might begin by having the damage cut off, maybe up to a length that feels more manageable to you and that will allow you the freedom to try different styles or even wear it down when you please. Getting rid of the damage will make it look better, feel healthier and yet not be a startling contrast to what you already known - just enough to get a change.

Should it turn out that this feels great and makes you hungering for more, then you have a good foundation upon which to expand and a better idea of what you want to do with your length. Maybe take it in "baby steps" so that you grow accustomed to the length and it isn't such a shock you immediately hate what you've done.

If after you have taken off the damage and the hair is healthier and yet you find you miss having that length - let it grow! At least you have taken the steps to get it healthier, you have some idea of how you feel about a somewhat shorter length.

For 21 years you have grown your hair, apparently with the "support" of your mother. But you should never base your sense of self-esteem upon your hair or your appearance, ever. It is only a small fraction of what makes you important, vital and special, not the factor upon which all that matters is to be judged.

Well intentioned advice is one thing, but you must be the one who decides what you need, what you want and take the steps to do what you want with your hair - with your life. You are a young woman who is taking that big step into independence and self-discovery. Do it YOUR way, on your own terms. Appreciate the caring advice being given, but know that you are the only one who really knows what it is you want and need and what you're willing to do to take charge and run with it.

Have fun - now is the time to try new things. And the beauty of it is, your hair will grow back AND will be healthier and more beautiful than before!

Good luck to you - let the adventure begin!!

Peggy E.
August 18th, 2013, 10:14 AM
Computer screwed up and double-post

potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 10:15 AM
Hello! Well, I believe our hair is there to be enjoyed, if you don't enjoy your hair the way it is, I'd say go fotr a cut, even if you end up regretting it, it will grow back, even if it takes time. It must be scary for someone who's never cut their hair, but if you don't like it the way it is, why keep it like that? As I said, if you regret it, you can grow it back.

Sometimes family can be unsuportive, but maybe they find it difficult to see you in another way. My mother said she didn't like red hair when I told her I wanted to henna, but I did it anyway even after she said it would look awful and I'd regrett, but now that I did it, she really liked it. Maybe your family has a mental image that doesnt necessairly correspond with what will actually turn out to be. Also, don't get me wrong, but you are 21, a legal adult preety much anywhere in the world, you don't need to do things to please your family anymore. And people can be preety even with very short hair.

However, if you still decide to keep your length, I'd suggest looking for torrinpaige's channel on youtube, she has very thick tailbone length hair, and she always finds ways to put it up.

http://www.youtube.com/user/torrinpaige

ETA: I have done a big cut in the past that I didn't like (I had damaged my hair and it needed to be cut) it went from waist to shoulder, and let me tell you I really don't like shoulder length hair. It felt really short and just "not me", it's teh same length most people have. But then I learned how to braid, and make more intricate styles, while I focused on that, I didn't even notice how much my hair grew, and soon I was APL+, then BSL (a length I really like!). So if you regret it, try doing stuff with it you normally woudn't and in a couple of months your hair will grow into and acceptable length.

Thank you very much for your reply! It's really reassuring to hear all this... the big factor here is that I've NEVER done it before, and as you say, it's... scary!

I think what you said about your mother's reaction to your henna is interesting. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. I've grown to resent my hair and I've been resenting my family by extension. I never thought that maybe they just have trouble seeing me any differently, since I've always been the same. I guess people just have knee-jerk reactions to things that are different to what they're used to?

I love torrin so much!! I've tried a ton of styles she's done... but I'm not very good with styling hair! Not just my own - in general! It's a weak area... which is why I think if I had it cut and put into a lower-maintenance style I'd probably be better off.

I also like your suggestion for things to try if it does end up going wrong :] I wish I could reply to everything you said in detail because you've been very helpful, but just know that I really appreciate the time you took to reply and you've helped me a lot!!

jacqueline101
August 18th, 2013, 10:33 AM
I'd wait two weeks and see if you feel the same. Far as hair cuts go I'd pick one you like you have to wear it. As far as your friends go they should still support you no matter what your hair length is.

potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Why dont you start by getting a trusted hair dresser or someone to cut off maybe just one or two inches with a blunt hemline. That way, you won't have the regret of layers etc. Also, one or two inches isnt much... so you can sort of start by taking a little bit off at a time, without freaking out if she gives you a buzz cut all in one go!

E.T.A - I got the whole layers thing with a fringe when I was 14, and sorely regretted it... Its taken till now to have a near bluntish hemline!! And because I have had to let the layers grow, they split easier because I wasn't trimming them as much ...there is something to think about anyway :)

P.S Also make sure you know the hairdresser isn't gonna shave your head or something - hairdressers these days seem to be very scissor happy. Ask for a long hair specialist at any salon etc.

Yeah, the scissor happy thing is what concerns me a lot. I really need to find somewhere that isn't going to go chainsaw massacre on it, because I really don't want it very short. Doing it inch by inch might be a good idea.

Do layers take a lot of upkeep? Like, you have to keep trimming them/going back and forth to the hairdresser? I'd prefer something low-maintenance so I guess layers aren't for me!

Panth
August 18th, 2013, 10:40 AM
Something often said on this forum is: "I'm not here to decorate your world". I think you should embrace this. (Within reason) you should just do what makes you happy, not what other people want. You should not be styling your looks based on what other people want you to look like, but on what you want to look like.

1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

If you have been thinking this for some time, then yes, you probably should cut your hair. If it's a more recent impulse, perhaps try the 2 week rule (wait 2 weeks and see if you still want to cut this badly). However, as you've had it so long for such a long time, perhaps it would be best to cut a bit and see if you like it, just so you don't end up with an incredibly drastic change that you end up hating. E.g. you could first trim back to remove your "nasty ends", wait a month, see how you feel. If you still want to go shorter, try TBL, if you do that and after a month it still feels too long, try waist, etc.

As for where to go, I'm not much help as I cut my own hair. However, my advice would be if you just want it shorter (e.g. somewhere between APL and where you are) with a simple style (e.g. all one length or with simple long layers, maybe a fringe) you could very easily just cut it yourself - Feye's Self-Trim method or a Creaclip could help. If you want something more "styled" (e.g. a bob, lots of layers, complex fringe/face-framing layers, etc.) then you probably will have to get someone else do it. However, if going to a stylist you MUST chose someone who is experienced in working with curly hair - someone who usually cuts "ethnic" hair might be best. Also, when choosing a style you MUST take into account whether the person you see wearing it has the same hair type as you (if not, disaster is quite possible).

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

I think maybe you just have to say to them (not when you or they are feeling angry, tired, stressed or short on time) that you find their comments hurtful, that you are an adult who can make decisions for yourself, and that you appreciate their opinion but that the choice is yours. If that doesn't work, then you may need to be more forceful - i.e. say something like "Thanks for your opinion, I heard it the first time and I don't want to hear it again, ok?"

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

If you don't like it afterwards, quite frankly you'll just have to be adult about it and deal. You made a mistake. It happens. Lucky it was in something that is not (in the grand scheme of things) terribly important (like, for example, your health). And anyway, hair grows and you already know a) that you are capable of growing super-long hair and b) what routine enables you to do this.

You can, of course, reduce the likelihood of this by not doing one HUGE chop, but going slowly bit-by-bit and by doing your research on styles and hairdressers very thoroughly before attempting anything. Also, take a trusted friend with you to the hairdressers and sit them behind you so that you can be warned if the hairdresser gets scissor-happy and starts doing something you didn't ask for. Finally (and so many people make this mistake) - if you are sitting in the hairdresser's chair and you see something about to happen that you don't like then say STOP!, get up, physically stop their hands if you need to - don't just sit back and feel that once you're in that chair they can do whatever they like. (Of course, if you've done your research and found a nice hairdresser then this should never happen!).

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)


Some people look prettier with short hair, others with long hair. Long hair (particularly classic+ hair) is fairly unique in Western society. However, that doesn't mean that you will be ugly with shorter hair, or that you will look (never mind be) mundane and boring with shorter hair. Anyway, even the most mundane-looking people are usually pretty unique to anyone who bothers to get to know them. People who insinuate that your only worth is your "unique" hair are just being nasty.

potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 10:48 AM
The advice of well-meaning relatives and friends is just that - trying to give you their viewpoints and why they think the way they do. But it is your hair and, more importantly, YOUR life, to do with as you please, to make the most of to your satisfaction, pleasure and well-being.

I certainly can understand why you would be interested in taming a mane that feels to you like it's taken over your life. If this is how it feels to you, then this is how it is and you are certainly entitled to take that route and try another path.

You might begin by having the damage cut off, maybe up to a length that feels more manageable to you and that will allow you the freedom to try different styles or even wear it down when you please. Getting rid of the damage will make it look better, feel healthier and yet not be a startling contrast to what you already known - just enough to get a change.

Should it turn out that this feels great and makes you hungering for more, then you have a good foundation upon which to expand and a better idea of what you want to do with your length. Maybe take it in "baby steps" so that you grow accustomed to the length and it isn't such a shock you immediately hate what you've done.

If after you have taken off the damage and the hair is healthier and yet you find you miss having that length - let it grow! At least you have taken the steps to get it healthier, you have some idea of how you feel about a somewhat shorter length.

For 21 years you have grown your hair, apparently with the "support" of your mother. But you should never base your sense of self-esteem upon your hair or your appearance, ever. It is only a small fraction of what makes you important, vital and special, not the factor upon which all that matters is to be judged.

Well intentioned advice is one thing, but you must be the one who decides what you need, what you want and take the steps to do what you want with your hair - with your life. You are a young woman who is taking that big step into independence and self-discovery. Do it YOUR way, on your own terms. Appreciate the caring advice being given, but know that you are the only one who really knows what it is you want and need and what you're willing to do to take charge and run with it.

Have fun - now is the time to try new things. And the beauty of it is, your hair will grow back AND will be healthier and more beautiful than before!

Good luck to you - let the adventure begin!!

Wow, what an incredibly beautiful post!! You're a very wise lady, and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I think that taking off at least a little bit, as you say, is definitely a good idea considering the damage. I'm so glad you could see the point about the fact that it feels that it's ruling my life. It's so bizarre when you think about it! Has anyone else in history ever been held prisoner by their own hair? :D

Once again, thank you so much for your reply. I'm sorry if I'm being a bit slow replying to everyone - the forum server is acting up a bit, amongst other things. Every bit of advice is helping me and making me feel less alone and unsupported.

potatosaurus
August 18th, 2013, 11:06 AM
Something often said on this forum is: "I'm not here to decorate your world". I think you should embrace this. (Within reason) you should just do what makes you happy, not what other people want. You should not be styling your looks based on what other people want you to look like, but on what you want to look like.

THIS is an excellent piece of advice. I really love that saying. I should make it my mantra, hahaha!


1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

If you have been thinking this for some time, then yes, you probably should cut your hair. If it's a more recent impulse, perhaps try the 2 week rule (wait 2 weeks and see if you still want to cut this badly). However, as you've had it so long for such a long time, perhaps it would be best to cut a bit and see if you like it, just so you don't end up with an incredibly drastic change that you end up hating. E.g. you could first trim back to remove your "nasty ends", wait a month, see how you feel. If you still want to go shorter, try TBL, if you do that and after a month it still feels too long, try waist, etc.

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

I think maybe you just have to say to them (not when you or they are feeling angry, tired, stressed or short on time) that you find their comments hurtful, that you are an adult who can make decisions for yourself, and that you appreciate their opinion but that the choice is yours. If that doesn't work, then you may need to be more forceful - i.e. say something like "Thanks for your opinion, I heard it the first time and I don't want to hear it again, ok?"

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

If you don't like it afterwards, quite frankly you'll just have to be adult about it and deal. You made a mistake. It happens. Lucky it was in something that is not (in the grand scheme of things) terribly important (like, for example, your health). And anyway, hair grows and you already know a) that you are capable of growing super-long hair and b) what routine enables you to do this.

You can, of course, reduce the likelihood of this by not doing one HUGE chop, but going slowly bit-by-bit and by doing your research on styles and hairdressers very thoroughly before attempting anything. Also, take a trusted friend with you to the hairdressers and sit them behind you so that you can be warned if the hairdresser gets scissor-happy and starts doing something you didn't ask for. Finally (and so many people make this mistake) - if you are sitting in the hairdresser's chair and you see something about to happen that you don't like then say STOP!, get up, physically stop their hands if you need to - don't just sit back and feel that once you're in that chair they can do whatever they like. (Of course, if you've done your research and found a nice hairdresser then this should never happen!).

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)


Some people look prettier with short hair, others with long hair. Long hair (particularly classic+ hair) is fairly unique in Western society. However, that doesn't mean that you will be ugly with shorter hair, or that you will look (never mind be) mundane and boring with shorter hair. Anyway, even the most mundane-looking people are usually pretty unique to anyone who bothers to get to know them. People who insinuate that your only worth is your "unique" hair are just being nasty.

All excellent advice. Thank you very much! Everyone seems to be advocating doing it bit by bit by bit. This is probably the best, least drastic way to do it. It's like in cooking or crafting... if you make too little or cut too much, you're stuck, but if you've got plenty of length/material to play with, everything's golden.

Yeah, imo it's a pretty nasty thing to imply. I know it's not true and that I'm unique in so many other respects, but having my own mother imply that cutting my hair would make me "less special" is quite hurtful. (Oh yeah, I should also state that she doesn't have long hair herself - she actually has one of those fashionable short cuts!! So it's like, WHAT. How can you say I won't look special when your hair is so super-short and trendy? XD)

I have to head off for now, but before I go, in case anyone's interested, here's a scan of a photo of my hair when I was five years old:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r207/Lorpso/album2/fiveyearoldhair_zps4ed26539.png

I found these pictures of my birthday party ages ago and I was blown away by how gorgeous my hair looked. It's just darling. Those are totally natural curls - you can probably see from the original 17-year-old picture, even when it's straightened it's got a bit of a wave to it.

Oh, how does everyone feel about highlights and lowlights and such? Do they damage your hair badly?

oddelabop
August 18th, 2013, 11:09 AM
Yeah, the scissor happy thing is what concerns me a lot. I really need to find somewhere that isn't going to go chainsaw massacre on it, because I really don't want it very short. Doing it inch by inch might be a good idea.

Do layers take a lot of upkeep? Like, you have to keep trimming them/going back and forth to the hairdresser? I'd prefer something low-maintenance so I guess layers aren't for me!

Well as they grow the same rate, they need cutting probably the same amount as normal hair. What I found with layers, was that if you style your hair and then per se decide you want to grow the layers out, you try and trim them as little as possible, which means that they get more ratty than the rest of the hair.

Go to a salon, if you don't know any trusted hair dressers, ask if they have any long hair specialists, and then if they say no, tell whoever is going to cut your hair, that if they cut any more than X inches, you'll sue their ass!

Anther option is DIY, look up crea clip on YouTube if you fancy this option?

allycat
August 18th, 2013, 11:31 AM
I think you should cut it if you want to, and it sounds like you want to. Of course it's extra scary if you've never cut your hair before.

But I look at it as good training for life. When I was 18, I cut my long hair back to 1-inch all over. It didn't suit me at all! I don't think it was especially flattering, and I felt very exposed having no hair to hide behind for the first time ever. I immediately started growing it out. But still: it was a totally awesome experience all the same! I know that i choose long hair now, because I have experienced short hair and have something to compare it against. It was very liberating in a lot of ways. It was fun and easy to care for. I also found it exciting to free myself from conforming to other people's expectations and ideas about me.

Although I didn't love it or plan to keep it short forever, I don't at all consider it a mistake. So what if you regret it? What is a life without regret? As they say, at the end of life you usually regret more the things you NEVER did, not the things you DID.

If you don't like it, you can grow it out again. It's not a mistake - it's an experiment. Like life.

Anyway. My two cents. ;)

coconutinsight
August 18th, 2013, 01:20 PM
1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?
I think you should go for it, you have never experienced this before and It seems you really want too! Change is normally good and if it turn out you didn't like it at least it's new gained experience. Why not try hip lenght ot TB? It will grow back healthier and only after experiencing wil you be able to form an opinion about what you truly enjoy or not. I say go for it and wish you the best!

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.
Your hair is YOUR own decision, it's not like you are deciding to move to a different country or anything radical. I think they will understand eventually and what matters is if you are happy with it, not anyone else. It's not hurting anyone.

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?
It will grow back and you can always find new up dos while it's growing.

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)
No, I think some people look better with long others with short hair. But you will never know unless you try, eh :) ?

Good luck with whatever you decide and do post pictures if you decide to cut it :flower:

Flor
August 18th, 2013, 01:38 PM
May I suggest that the block you're experiencing has more to do with NEVER EVER cutting or trimming hair at all? It's not just the question of length, it's never letting scissors anywhere near it. I can imagine going to a salon and having a complete stranger take a chunk of what's been a part of you for your whole life to be a really daunting step. Why not start with "search and destroy"? Or micro-trimming it yourself? I'd really recommend easing into it, instead of jumping from a cliff (so to speak).

Realistically speaking, I suppose one can go the whole life never ever cutting hair. But if you're not happy with how it looks, then is it really worth it, just for the sake of being able to say "I've never cut it"?

Firefox7275
August 18th, 2013, 02:20 PM
Hello! I've been lurking around this forum for a few years, but I never really had a reason to post until now. Everyone here seems to be pretty sweet and helpful, so I'm hoping I can get some advice and opinions on an issue I'm having...

I'm 21 and I've been growing my hair my entire life. When I say that, I mean it's literally never been cut. It started off as some kind of superstition my mother had about cutting an infant's hair for the first time, and then it just kept growing and growing and growing. So basically I've ALWAYS had classic-length-plus hair, from the earliest I can remember to the present day. I literally cannot remember a time when I had hair shorter than my waist.

Now, I want to cut it off.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my long hair! If I did cut it, it'd only be to about the middle of my back. I've never had any bad reactions to my hair outside of when I was being picked on at school - everyone is always positive, tells me it's beautiful, asks me what kind of special magical tonics I drink to make my hair grow so much (?? lmao)

However... I am tired of it being quite so long. Even though I've been doing it all my life, in the last year or so I've been feeling more and more like caring for my hair is just a chore. My hair takes up so much TIME, so many resources... it's like keeping a pampered prize-winning poodle, with none of the blue ribbons and cash prizes that go with it. I'm not very good with hair in general and for me, attempting to style/dress it is just a battle. It's so heavy and thick that it slips out of every style I put it in - every style a professional stylist puts it in, too (I've had it done a couple of times for photographs - if you've ever wanted to see a grown man curl up in a ball and weep just bring someone with hair my length to a hairdresser's >_>). It's naturally very curly, so unless I straighten it I can't even wear it down. It's just unmanageable. 90% of the time I just wear it in a simple plait - how boring! Oh yeah, because of a lack of trimming it also has REALLY bad ends. Yeah.. it's embarrassing.

So why don't I just get it cut? Well, the reactions from my friends and family haven't been too favourable. They don't seem to understand my feelings on the matter. They don't get why after all this time I would want to cut it. In fact my mother told me that if I cut it I won't look nearly so unusual. She says if I cut it I'll just look... well, "normal." Like everyone else, nothing special.

I don't agree with this opinion. I don't see how being beautiful or unique is contingent upon my stupid hair. But it hurts me anyway and makes me doubt that this would really be good for me. I mean I've NEVER had my hair cut or styled, so what do I know...? What if I do end up regretting it?

I don't know, guys. I don't want to be angry at my family but I feel they've been unfair to me. It's not like they ever gave me a choice in the first place whether I wanted my hair long or not. It's just always been that way. Why can't I change, make my own decision about my own body? By now every cell in my body has regenerated multiple times anyway. I'm not even the same person I was when I was small.

Also, I know absolutely nothing about getting my hair cut professionally, and I don't like to make decisions without being well-informed first.

Sorry for rambling. I guess there are a few key things I'd like some advice on:

1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)

Finally, here is picture of my hair... this was actually taken when I was 17, so it's even longer now, but you get the general idea:

Yes... I do a superb Cousin Itt impression. Just hand me a pair of sunglasses and I'm ready to go.

Anyway, thank you for reading!! And thank you in advance for your help! All comments, questions, advice etc welcome!!

Seems to me one of the first things to do would be to start learning to manage your natural hair texture/ curl pattern instead of fighting it and damaging it in the process, the Curly Girl method is one option. Check out some of the long haired curly beauties here, I would certainly turn my head to admire if I saw them walking down the street
https://www.facebook.com/BeautifulGirlsWithCurlyHair

Next thing to do would be to cut your hair in baby steps: taking off the worst of the damage now, then six months growth (three inches or so) at a time. Self trimming is done by many, or you could go to a hairdressing college where the students should be fully supervised and careful to do what you want not what they want. Another option is a curly hair specialist salon - there are lists on the Naturallycurly website and the Devacurl website.

Is it necessary to discuss this with unsupportive people? Do you want them to pay the salon or attend the visit with you? If not just do cut your hair and stop discussing it. If you really want or need their support say so and use the broken record technique, for example "my hair is damaged and I am not enjoying it/ starting to hate it, I am having a trim/ cut/ restyle and it really hurts me that you are not being supportive". Then whatever they say repeat the same sentence, don't debate negotiate or answer questions.

PetuniaBlossom
August 18th, 2013, 02:32 PM
Wow, in 21 years you've never cut or even trimmed? That's amazing. I understand hair grows an average of about half-an-inch per month. That'd be 252 inches in 21 years, or 20 feet. Is your hair twenty feet long?
If not, then how long is it? Because if you've never cut it, whatever length it's at right now must be your terminal length, so is it safe to assume it's been at your current length for a long, loonngg time?

ETA: Oops, can you tell I wasn't a Maths major? That'd be 6 inches a year not twelve. So that would be about ten feet after 21 years, not 20 feet. Duh! Ten feet is a lot more possible terminal length than twenty feet.

Leeloo
August 18th, 2013, 03:44 PM
Hello and welcome! Your hair is gorgeous! If you want to cut your hair, I'd do it in stages to see if you like TBL, then WL and so on. This way you get to find a good stylist (if you don't do it yourself) and will have some time to see how you like your hair a little shorter at a time and see if you want it even shorter (to avoid a shock of cutting too much length at once, which I'm pretty sure you'll regret). I wouldn't worry about your family reaction to your hair. Obviously they'll notice and have an opinion about it, but it's your hair. I don't agree with people who tell you that you won't look as beautiful with shorter hair, because I don't think hair determines someone's beauty, but I do agree that very long hair is a unique aspect of someone and if you cut your hair short you won't have that aspect about you anymore. It's kind of like being very well build from working out on a regular bases for a long time, so it doesn't mean your beautiful because you're build but it does add to the overall image. Just make sure you follow the two week rule before cutting your hair.

jeanniet
August 18th, 2013, 04:31 PM
Welcome! My two cents: absolutely you should cut it. You want to, you've never had it cut, you deserve the opportunity to experience what it feels like to have "normal" length hair. If you don't like it, grow it back! There's nothing wrong with looking like everyone else, and I'll tell you a secret--your hair isn't what makes you unique...it's you. With or without your hair, you are still a special, unique, individual. So don't let anyone else tell you what to do with your hair, or else it's just going to become a burden to you. And be sure to post pictures for us! Your hair is gorgeous, btw, and I'm sure will be every bit as gorgeous when it's shorter.

ETA: Normally I would suggest cutting in stages, and I would still do that if you think cutting it all at once would be too much of a shock, but otherwise I think you should go ahead and do it in one fell swoop. It sounds like you're ready for the experience, and personally I think most people should do a really big chop at least once. You want different, right? Then go for it!

ETA 2: Lol, should probably read everything you wrote before I answer. As far as length goes, I think you can indicate where you want it cut to simply by tying a string around your waist or a little above. They'll probably have to do the initial cut with you standing up. I don't think it's likely you'll get it cut far above where you want it--bad stylists happen, but most want to make their clients happy. I would check around for someone who is experienced with very long hair (ask for experience with hair that's hip or longer).

Also agree that you should look into Curly Girl method. It's not difficult, and will actually be much easier for you at a shorter length. You had a really nice wave/curl pattern at 5, so I bet with a shorter cut and a little management those waves will look beautiful and not so much to handle.

HylianGirl
August 18th, 2013, 08:52 PM
I'm glad I could help potatosaurus, I hope you get you want in the end ^-^ While I do think a big chop is an interesting life experience, I agree with the other people who recomend trimming a little at a time for you to feel more comfortable, since it's your first time cutting you hair, I hope it turns out great!

maborosi
August 18th, 2013, 09:25 PM
I would definitely cut it if you really, really want to see what that's like, but I'd also start slow and only cut a little bit off at a time.
You will almost certainly be surprised because you've never cut it before- it is a big change.

I went from waist-length to a bob and that was a literal shock to me. I made that decision because I knew it was what I had to do if I wanted healthy hair again, but even so, there were lots of times when I wondered if I did the right thing and felt sad over cutting my hair. Now that it's within a few inches of my original length again, I am confident in my decision, but it'll have been over two and a half years since I had that length of hair- it's a long wait. I know what you mean by "not special". People used to always love my hair when it was long (natural WL hair and longer where I'm from isn't too common) and I got much less attention from people when I cut it off. I felt good to be invisible for once, but it was also somewhat painful because that's the way I liked my hair- long and fun.

I hope my experience doesn't scare you- it is your hair, and it is your choice. I think if cutting it would make you happy, then that is what you should do- but I'd do it slowly and allow yourself time to adjust to it because it is a big decision.

Hope I could help. :)

~maborosi~

potatosaurus
August 19th, 2013, 12:31 PM
Thanks so much to everyone who has replied! I'm really pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in this topic. I don't think I would've gotten this much interest and good advice if I'd posted this anywhere else :]

I'm gonna try and respond to everyone:


But I look at it as good training for life. When I was 18, I cut my long hair back to 1-inch all over. It didn't suit me at all! I don't think it was especially flattering, and I felt very exposed having no hair to hide behind for the first time ever. I immediately started growing it out. But still: it was a totally awesome experience all the same! I know that i choose long hair now, because I have experienced short hair and have something to compare it against. It was very liberating in a lot of ways. It was fun and easy to care for. I also found it exciting to free myself from conforming to other people's expectations and ideas about me.

Wow, that sounds like it was quite a journey! I think it's interesting that you say you found it quite freeing. Hopefully when I do eventually cut my hair I'll feel the same. The fact that I have nothing to compare my experiences with is part of the problem, because if you've never done something before, how do you know if it'll work out for you?! I guess every new thing in life is a risk, and I'm not averse to change! It's really the nasty comments of my family that have put a bit of a stopper in the works... I guess I'm soft like that. But anyway, thank you for your advice!!



Good luck with whatever you decide and do post pictures if you decide to cut it :flower:

Thank you so much! I definitely will. All of your advice was very helpful - sorry for snipping it out! :flower:



May I suggest that the block you're experiencing has more to do with NEVER EVER cutting or trimming hair at all? It's not just the question of length, it's never letting scissors anywhere near it. I can imagine going to a salon and having a complete stranger take a chunk of what's been a part of you for your whole life to be a really daunting step. Why not start with "search and destroy"? Or micro-trimming it yourself? I'd really recommend easing into it, instead of jumping from a cliff (so to speak).

Realistically speaking, I suppose one can go the whole life never ever cutting hair. But if you're not happy with how it looks, then is it really worth it, just for the sake of being able to say "I've never cut it"?

YES! Exactly. It's the fact that it's NEVER EVER BEEN DONE (combined with the comments I've received from family of course). I hadn't considered doing it myself, but now that you mention it, it may be a good idea. It would take away the fear of sitting in a strange chair and leaving my fate in the hands of someone else.

I can state from experience that it's really not worth it. Even the woman with the longest hair in the world atm started growing it in the 70s as her own choice, if I remember correctly. There's a kind of societal expectation/pressure when you do it from birth, because nobody ever wants to see you change. I know that in some countries in Asia there's an inherent shame attached to girls cutting their hair (remember the "hair cutting" scene from Disney's Mulan?). It's like just another way to keep them in bondage and body police. And as I said in my OP, it really does feel like caring for a pampered pooch with no personal benefit to me... obviously if I had a bunch of servants running around with brushes keeping it tamed it might not be so bad, but I don't!



Is it necessary to discuss this with unsupportive people? Do you want them to pay the salon or attend the visit with you? If not just do cut your hair and stop discussing it. If you really want or need their support say so and use the broken record technique, for example "my hair is damaged and I am not enjoying it/ starting to hate it, I am having a trim/ cut/ restyle and it really hurts me that you are not being supportive". Then whatever they say repeat the same sentence, don't debate negotiate or answer questions.

That's really good advice. Either forget about them and do it, or keep on until something finally clicks with them. Thanks!!



Wow, in 21 years you've never cut or even trimmed? That's amazing. [...] ETA: Oops, can you tell I wasn't a Maths major? That'd be 6 inches a year not twelve. So that would be about ten feet after 21 years, not 20 feet. Duh! Ten feet is a lot more possible terminal length than twenty feet.

Hi!! It's okay, maths is like my mortal enemy, always has been, lol. So I totally feel you. Anyway, I think I have reached terminal length, because although it HAS grown a bit from when I was 17, it's nothing spectacular, and it's very slow. We did measure it several months ago and though I can't remember the exact number I know it was several inches over four foot long. At its longest point it's down to the backs of my knees.



Hello and welcome! Your hair is gorgeous! If you want to cut your hair, I'd do it in stages to see if you like TBL, then WL and so on. This way you get to find a good stylist (if you don't do it yourself) and will have some time to see how you like your hair a little shorter at a time and see if you want it even shorter (to avoid a shock of cutting too much length at once, which I'm pretty sure you'll regret). I wouldn't worry about your family reaction to your hair. Obviously they'll notice and have an opinion about it, but it's your hair. I don't agree with people who tell you that you won't look as beautiful with shorter hair, because I don't think hair determines someone's beauty, but I do agree that very long hair is a unique aspect of someone and if you cut your hair short you won't have that aspect about you anymore.

Awww, thank you very much!! Hahaha, can I join your order of long-haired knights? Though my hair may not be QUITE so long if I do go through with this!!

I agree though, doing it in stages is the most sensible, least drastic thing to do. However...

(...I'm going to have to continue this in another post, it's gotten too long!! I hope double-posting isn't a big issue in this forum >.< I'm not trying to spam, honest! Quite the opposite!!)

potatosaurus
August 19th, 2013, 12:36 PM
ETA: Normally I would suggest cutting in stages, and I would still do that if you think cutting it all at once would be too much of a shock, but otherwise I think you should go ahead and do it in one fell swoop. It sounds like you're ready for the experience, and personally I think most people should do a really big chop at least once. You want different, right? Then go for it!

ETA 2: Lol, should probably read everything you wrote before I answer. As far as length goes, I think you can indicate where you want it cut to simply by tying a string around your waist or a little above. They'll probably have to do the initial cut with you standing up. I don't think it's likely you'll get it cut far above where you want it--bad stylists happen, but most want to make their clients happy. I would check around for someone who is experienced with very long hair (ask for experience with hair that's hip or longer).

Also agree that you should look into Curly Girl method. It's not difficult, and will actually be much easier for you at a shorter length. You had a really nice wave/curl pattern at 5, so I bet with a shorter cut and a little management those waves will look beautiful and not so much to handle.

Haha, part of me would really like to do one big chop! But in realistic terms snipping bit by bit would probably be better. I mean, I don't know. I'll have to go away and think about this all some more. I think the Curly Girl method is very interesting, I've actually known about the dangers of sulfates for a while and I've been using a medicated shampoo which is very gentle. My hair always seems quite calm after washing and the condition seems to look better in general. Then one week I ran out and had to use a regular shampoo instead, hoo boy, it practically gave me an afro it frizzed up so much, LMAO.

Also thank you for taking the time to read all the posts, you're awesome!



I went from waist-length to a bob and that was a literal shock to me. I made that decision because I knew it was what I had to do if I wanted healthy hair again, but even so, there were lots of times when I wondered if I did the right thing and felt sad over cutting my hair. Now that it's within a few inches of my original length again, I am confident in my decision, but it'll have been over two and a half years since I had that length of hair- it's a long wait. I know what you mean by "not special". People used to always love my hair when it was long (natural WL hair and longer where I'm from isn't too common) and I got much less attention from people when I cut it off. I felt good to be invisible for once, but it was also somewhat painful because that's the way I liked my hair- long and fun.

I hope my experience doesn't scare you- it is your hair, and it is your choice. I think if cutting it would make you happy, then that is what you should do- but I'd do it slowly and allow yourself time to adjust to it because it is a big decision.

Awww, I feel really sorry that cutting your hair was painful, but if you had to, then... I guess it's all for the best, especially if the condition is better now. I don't think I'll do anything that drastic myself. But yeah, I feel like long hair is one of the first things people notice about me - or if not, at least it's something they remark on. I mean, nobody's going to look at your face and go "oh wow you have such an unusual nose" or "your chin is really cool!" lmao. People just don't do that. Hair is a very obvious, almost ornament-like part of the body and the way you choose to wear it says a lot about you, so naturally everybody's fascinated by such unusual length, and they also feel safe to comment on it, the way they'd comment on a nice handbag or necklace or whatever else.

It's a bit of a conflict because on the one hand, it's just an ornament, but on the other hand, it's YOUR ornament growing out of YOUR body and I totally understand mourning the loss of what it once was. My long hair is a part of me, too. But at the same time, as you've demonstrated yourself, it does grow back!! This year I've gotten into nail art and I've been growing my nails out and then cutting them back every so often, and it's really not that painful after the first time. It feels like they'll never reach the same length again when they're short... but they do!! Maybe if I apply the same experience to my hair it won't be so painful!

Anyway, thank you very much! And thank you to everyone else for replying! All the advice I've received has been really helpful. I'm going to have to go away and think about this hard. I really would like to get rid of the damaged ends, though. And I think that if it were just half a foot to a foot shorter, like hip length, it would be SO much more manageable. So I really am leaning towards doing something about the length.

Whatever happens I'll keep you all updated. And if I continue to have free time I'll definitely be browsing the rest of the forum and posting more! :cheer: Thank you again, I really can't say how much your advice and support means to me!

verylittlecarro
August 19th, 2013, 04:43 PM
Perhaps you could make a list of what you would really like from your hair. Do you want to be able to wear it down regularly, is it important to cut down time spent detangling, do you want something trendy or more classic?
My avatar is of me aged 12 with my hair at its longest, when it was always in one single plait, and I had my first big cut directly after that photo (to waist, and yes I cried in the salon as they cut off a section of plait which I still have today). However, my hair was still very long, and most people probably didn't notice, but it was absolutely wonderful to be able to wear my hair loose, and for a comb to slip right through from root to healthy ends. Completely liberating and I was able to really start enjoying wearing my hair as opposed to being proud of it as a concept. My hair has been all lengths since that cut and now I'm growing it out again. I very much doubt I'll ever go longer than waist again though. For me, that is the point where I maximise the enjoyment and aesthetics and minimise the hassle.
Everyone has their own point, and you've never had the opportunity to find your own. I strongly suggest you start collecting pics of hair you find inspiring to get an idea of where to begin. Pinterest is pretty useful as a starting point!
Good luck!

Vrindi
August 19th, 2013, 05:43 PM
1. Should I cut my hair? If so, how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?

2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings? I don't want to upset them but I feel I should be able to make my own decision, too.

3. What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?

4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique? (To me it's a stupid question, but I don't know how prevalent this opinion is...)



1. If you want to cut your hair, then cut your hair. Don't worry about "shoulds." It's your body, your hair, your decision. You should wear your hair in whatever way makes you happy, and no one else's opinion really matters as much as your own, so don't put someone else's wishes before yours. Your hair does not belong to them, it belongs to you. You get to decide. As for finding someone to cut it, find someone who's haircut you love and ask who does their hair. Go to that person. Every stylist I've loved I've found this way. Talk to the stylist and tell her your worries about cutting your hair, and exactly what you want. Don't let them take out the scissors until you've agreed on a cut and you feel confident.

2. See above. Let them know that you are cutting your hair for you, not keeping it long for them. It is important that you are happy with your appearance. If they keep pressing, then politely tell them to back off. As family and friends, it's expected that they will give their opinion, but once is enough. Anything more than that, after you ask them to stop, is harassment. You can point this out to them if it comes to that. If you making your own decisions really upsets your friends, maybe find new friends. Friendship does not mean you do whatever your friends tell you they want you to do. Friendship is supporting the wishes and desires and healthy aspirations of each other.

3. Hair grows back. You may experience some shock, which is why it's a good idea to go waist-length or just above, so you can get used to it. If you don't like it, it will grow back.

4. Being unique is every single person's birthright. Your hair will not affect your uniqueness. You can do all kinds of things to make yourself stand out if you want to, with any length hair. You get to decide how you express your own uniqueness. It is not defined by anyone else.

ositarosita
August 19th, 2013, 06:04 PM
My Mother told me the exact same thing even though my hair was only hip. It is your hair, your head, and your decision. Cutting your hair can not magically make you "unspecial" Invoke the 2 week rule meaning if you still want to cut in 2 weeks go for it but only cut a few inches say 4 or so at a time, not only does it give you an adjustment period and there is less shock but I gives you a chance to see if your comfortable that way. I hope this helps you in some way. (your hair is gorgeous, no matter the length, you just need to feel comfortable and confident)

summergreen
August 19th, 2013, 06:28 PM
Hi potatosaurus :) you have lovely hair! I'm sure it would be stunning at any length. I can understand it being a huge decision whether to cut it when you've had it natural all your life! Do you think you might like it at classic or tailbone length? It would still be 'special' in the sense of longer than most people's hair, but you could wear it down easily when you wanted to.

I'd be exactly the same as you - wanting to keep things the same and safe and yet have them different at the same time! But I think if and when you feel definitely ready for change, you shouldn't worry too much about what friends and family will think. It's your hair and it's you who needs to be happy with it - and I'm sure they want you to be happy!

stinkyfeet
August 19th, 2013, 06:40 PM
I think that you should cut it--because YOU want to. From your post, you definitely seem conflicted because other people and maybe even you identify your hair as a part of who you are. I would recommend just cutting off a few inches at a time, so you can get used to the idea of having it shorter.

I don't think it really matters what other people think. They are not the ones who have to wash for it care for it. They do not have to walk around with the weight of your hair. It is your hair. You should do whatever you want with it. :)

lapushka
August 19th, 2013, 06:43 PM
Going back to mid-back or waist from beyond classic isn't that big of a deal, I don't think. It's still long. Yes, it is. And yes, your hair in the 5-year old picture is very beautiful and all, but that was then, this is now. If you aren't able to care for it in the same way, and you are starting to resent it, then I say yes, definitely cut it back to a more manageable length. You have to be happy with your hair, first and foremost.

gnome82
August 19th, 2013, 07:42 PM
Thank you for sharing your story :), I wish you good luck on choosing what is right for you, and then doing what is right for you :hifive: :cheer:

AnqeIicDemise
August 19th, 2013, 08:48 PM
1) When it comes to hair, do what you want with it as long as *you* feel good about it. What's the point of having masses of hair if your'e miserable with it and can't do diddly with it for whatever x reason?

2) While your friends and family may have been honest with you, what are they going to do after you chop it off? Try to glue it back in place? Never speak with you again? If so, they weren't healthy relationships to keep anyway. Consider it a life-trimming lesson and keep going. If they're going to still talk to you but be sad about your hair, fine, but don't let their peanut gallery chorus make you feel shame for it. Its *your* body, and I don't see how someones' opinion about keeping your hair long for their benefit is any different from the uneducated fool who tries to guilt trip a long hair into donating their length to some piddly organization like LOL. 9-9

There is more to you than besides your hair. You seem like a very sweet, level headed individual and someone I'd personally like to know better. -- and not just because of that amazing head of hair of yours. For reals.

Maybe, just maybe, for once they'll be able to see PAST your hair and see you for you and appreciate you.

3) Go slow. Dont' go straight to mid back. You may regret it. Go up to tail bone, or waist first. See how that goes. If you want it shorter, you can go shorter but once you go to a certain length there is just no going back. -- But that's my opinion now that I'm older. When I was seven, I conned my dad to let my knee-length hair go chin short. While my parents were devastated and my family in shock, *I* was beyond thrilled. Think about that for a second, proceed with whatever you decide to do later. (And yea, no one's head imploded at me going 'bald'. LOL)

4) Happy growing, or happy cutting. Whichever way you want to go with. ^-^ Welcome!

PetuniaBlossom
August 20th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Knee length - wow! I hope to be there someday, but it will be years, I'm just inching past waist now.
So, to cut or not to cut?
Don't know what your relatives have said exactly, but it doesn't seem like they asked you this question: "What do YOU want?" And, frankly, that's the only question/comment anyone needs to make right now. The great advice on this thread is basically saying that exact thing, right?
So figure out what you want, you alone, you by yourself as if nobody else cared or would notice. What do you want? Then go for it.
By the way, if you do cut, we need pictures, please.

Beborani
August 20th, 2013, 02:50 PM
I was almost you once upon a time--not exactly as my mother used to cut and trim my hair and I have had short hair in early and mid childhood but even then at 16 I had this beautiful hair admired by everyone but me. I absolutely wanted to see what short hair felt like (memories at that age dont last) and I went from probably classic (I have no clear pictures, just estimate from braids and what I was told) to apl and didnt regret the cut at all. But, here is the big but, if I had to do it in the present time with current knowledge on haircare I would have cut less, cut layers and worn it curly/wavy long because ultimately that is what I wished to experience --I wanted to get out of girlish two braids into something more interesting. From your posts it looks like you straighten it to wear it out--I would strongly suggest looking up curly girl techniques and applying it to your hair and see how it shrinks and looks and then get it cut to whatever length your heart desires. Those other naysayers should have no say in this as you have to live with this hair, not them and you shouldnt be afraid to experiment. Most changes to hair are reversible. Enjoy the change.

Maktub
August 20th, 2013, 03:13 PM
Didn't have time to read all those long posts, but if you cut, and as it has never even been trimmed :

I'd start by self-trimming the damaged ends (the length you want). (there's a method with which you can't go wrong, many of us do that here. It will be less stress, YOUR control, etc.)

See how you feel afterwards. How it feels to have cisors cut off part of your hair.

If you still feel like a bigger change after that, go ahead. It's YOUR hair !

lapushka
August 20th, 2013, 03:18 PM
I'd start by self-trimming the damaged ends (the length you want). (there's a method with which you can't go wrong, many of us do that here. It will be less stress, YOUR control, etc.)

There are a few methods around, a few for layering, called "compact cuts", but for blunt cuts there's the well-known "Feye's self-trimming method". Here's a link to it:

http://feyeselftrim.livejournal.com/

Tangle or Curl?
August 20th, 2013, 03:40 PM
Do layers take a lot of upkeep? Like, you have to keep trimming them/going back and forth to the hairdresser? I'd prefer something low-maintenance so I guess layers aren't for me![/QUOTE]

Layers don't need to be trimmed more often than you want to trim the rest of your hair, and can be relatively low maintanence if you are not interested in braiding. Mine are a one step cut that I do myself: brush hair upside down, collect it in the middle as a handful, then run my hand up to the place where I want to cut and hack away. I get a ton of growth and they help me avoid tangles/tuck my ends under buns. They are a braid nightmare at my length, but when it gets longer I can just secure it above the level of the layers.

Beborani
August 20th, 2013, 03:45 PM
Oh also take a lot of 'before' pictures for your future reference--braided, out, front, back, all permutations so when you are 50 and wondering what you had at 21 you will have these pictures! :)

Also agree layers on wavy curly hair are low maintenance.

tiny squirrel
August 20th, 2013, 04:06 PM
Hello! Your hair is very beautiful! But, it's YOUR hair and it absolutely should be what you want it to be. I couldn't help but post because I can relate 100%. Iím actually getting a bit emotional because I know exactly how youíre feeling. When I was a girl my mother would not cut my hair either. Although she did micro trims about twice per year (just enough to even up the hemline) she never cut length and she would not allow me to cut it even though I asked. I remember being able to sit on my hair in kindergarten. Lots of my friends had short hair at school and I thought it would be fun to have a bob. I didn't hate my hair, I just wanted to try something different. Finally, in 5th grade (after years of asking) my mother cut my hair up to my waist. It felt SO SHORT! No one at school even noticed. Several more years of begging and in high school I finally convinced my mother to take me to a hair stylist for a short haircut. Apparently we had different ideas about what's considered "short." My mother was furious when she saw me come out with an undercut bob! She never got over it, not until it grew out. I loved it though :) I've grown my hair down to BSL and chopped it off several times since. Now, I'm on the long hair journey, hoping I can make it to classic again. Don't worry. It will grow back.

ď1.how should I go about researching the best place to get it done and what sort of style to go for, if any?Ē If you just want your hair cut straight across with a blunt hemline go anywhere. I get my hair trimmed once in the summer at a hair styling school! I've gone to Super Cuts before. I figure anyone can handle taking an inch or two straight off the bottom. I prefer someone else to trim my hair, but you can also try some of the self trim methods suggested here. Iíve cut my own hair before and it feels empowering. If, however, you decide to do something drastic I recommend finding a high quality full service salon. When dealing with layers and bangs and fancy stuff, it's worth paying more.


"3.What do I do if it goes wrong? What if I don't like how it looks after?" My advice is don't stress and go slow. Why not cut once a month or every other taking it shorter one milestone at a time. From classic, to tailbone, to waist, to midback, to bsl. That way, if you hate it you know it will grow back in no time. And I would suggest not cutting a million layers into your hair all at once. Once you find the length you like then you can experiment with style.

"2. How do I deal with my family/friends' reactions/feelings?" There is only so much you can do. Try to explain to them lovingly that while you enjoy your hair you want to try something different. And, the fact is, I rarely see hair below waist length (outside of LHC that is). So, until you go above waist, you're actually still fairly unique. :-) It may be easier to deal with your family and friends if you cut it shorter in stages. It will give them time to get accustomed to your new look.

"4. Does anyone else think that having shorter hair makes you look less pretty or unique?" Nope. Having shorter hair definitely does NOT make you look less pretty. My mom gave me that same speech! Some haircuts do make me feel more feminine, but I've had very short and very long cuts that made me feel beautiful and sexy. Again I say, go slow, experiment, and find the cut that makes you smile when you look in the mirror.