View Full Version : Why do we grow our hair long and contemplation on cutting my really long hair...

June 8th, 2015, 10:28 PM
I grew my hair long as it was long when I was a child, and asked to cut it when we moved to Florida when I was around 6. It remained short until I graduated from high school in 1977.

Then, I just wanted to see if I could do it as an adult. It grew and grew and grew. I used to belly dance and it was perfect hair for that. I loved how it looked and how men loved it, too (I won't deny it is wonderfully flattering to be complimented on it!).

Dh was first attracted by my hair. He finds it sexy as anything and I love that he does. It was almost knee-length when we married, 19 years ago (I wore it down, per dh's request, so it was my veil, but not in a Cousin It sort of way).

It blossomed, even more, when I was pregnant and I lost little of it afterwards (I breastfed for years, so that might have helped).

I'm the gal with the long hair (a woman, in Paris, once actually said, "Ooh la la" upon seeing it down when we were honeymooning!) I mean, c'mon, ooh la la!!!). I still like the compliments (I'd be lying if I said I didn't!). My long hair is as much a part of me as my arms or nose. I AM my long hair and my long hair is me (yes, I know it is stupid, but where else could I say such a thing and have others understand that statement completely?).

And, now, I am contemplating cutting my knee-length hair to just below shoulder length. It is thick hair (I can't count how many vacuums it has killed).

Honestly, I am beginning to tire of it.

I would like to sleep with my hair down and not be trapped by it (or, trap my dh!). My neck aches because of it being clipped up while I sleep and my head is not touching the pillow (that big bun is). It is hot to wear it down, in bed.

I would like to be able to really wash & wear my hair faster than I do now. Water is a premium with our drought conditions (we're on a well) and I hate "wasting" it just to clean this much hair!

I can't wear hats with it up because it looks stupid or is impossible, with the huge bun on the back (and, wearing down is hot and sticky on my neck, even in below-freezing temps.)

I rarely ever wear it down because it IS so long. It is up in a figure 8 shape, clipped, on the back of my head. There are people that don't even realize it is as long as it is.

The very length and thickness affect my daily desires. I would like to exercise more vigorously than I do now. But, sweating will require daily washing and I just don't have that daily time to invest. I want to begin swimming and not have to deal with the difficulties of swimming with extra long hair+braided-or-bunned+chlorine+combing+trying to keep it conditioned (etc., etc., etc...).

Right now, it is hot outside (96 degrees, at 8:00 as I type this). I just washed it and it is still too warm.

I thought, if I cut it to just below shoulder length, I could still wear it up (to keep cooler, up off my neck). I could wear it in a Gibson roll so much easier than now (I rarely wear one because there is so much hair). I could sleep on my back and not have a sore neck on waking (but, it would still be long enough to drape it over and around dh's...um...well...just say over and around dh, which he loves :o ). I could still ponytail it and not feel like my neck will snap if I don't hold it stiff.

My hair grows FAST. Despite being in my mid-50s with thyroid problems, it just keeps going. Dh trims about 6" off the bottom each year, to keep the ends looking nice. In a year, it will grow that long. (((By the way, he is fine with whatever I do to my hair)))

The plan is to have a stylist braid it perfectly and then cut it very near the length I want (and, then, even out what needs to be evened-out). The braid will be wrapped and put away to be placed in our joint cremation urn when I die. It's weird, but I want my hair to remain intact, though I don't care about my body being cremated!!

So, any comments to this mish mash of rambling thoughts? I just needed to throw this out into cyberworld...

June 8th, 2015, 10:39 PM
My main thought is that you should enjoy your hair. If you aren't enjoying its length and think you might enjoy it shorter, then by all means make it shorter!

June 8th, 2015, 10:46 PM
I have to agree with neko_kawaii, if you're over it, that's fine. I'm growing mine 'cause I'm over wearing it short all my life. You can always start growing again if you like and I can cut if I want. Life is change, by all means embrace it if you are ready!

June 8th, 2015, 11:11 PM
I agree with Neko and Lunasea. But why not a little longer? My hair is only BSL and it's not really THAT long for like "draping over Dh's what-what" and putting up and being THE lady with the LONG hair identity thing, kwim? Or is it that you want the braid? You want all the length in the braid and to have the braid? Because I have to admit, I find that pretty cool.

I'm just pretty sure you're forgetting how short just below shoulder length really is. Or maybe I've put too much of myself and my desires on you. In which case, I'll STFU.


June 9th, 2015, 12:39 AM
I say do what makes you happy! I like having long hair, but if it starts influencing my life too much and becoming a hassle, to me its not worth it. Which is why I'm staying around waist/hip, any longer would drive me crazy! :D

June 9th, 2015, 02:28 AM
I'm probably a bit of a dissonant chord, but... maybe some different ways of handling your hair would make it easier. You say it's a part of you, you might sorely regret cutting it off... And it might never again be this awe-inspiring length.

I have some ideas:
- scalp washing so the length remains dry, super easy, little water needed
- braid instead of bun for sleeping, much more comfy
- cones and then just enjoy your hair down for a bit, perhaps?

June 9th, 2015, 03:09 AM
If it were me, I would cut back to waist first. Personally, I don't have many options for putting my hair up before waist. I can see from your profile stats that your thickness, in terms of pony circumference, is less than mine, so you would be able to have a lot more variety at APL than I would, but I'm still thinking that you might find it a bit restrictive.

My hair is currently brushing TBL when dry, and I have to say I find wearing it down significantly more challenging than when it was at waist or high hip -- so much so that I am thinking about cutting back to waist if I'm not finding my updo horizons greatly expanded by the time I get to classic.

Anyway, I don't know if that's helpful, but if what you're missing is having your hair down, being able to sleep with it loose, and not having it be so heavy on your head, you may find waist length meets all those goals without limiting your styling options as much. And, of course, you can always go back and chop another 10" or 12" off if it's still stifling you. :) Although I suppose the latter doesn't fulfill the goal of keeping your removed hair intact!

June 9th, 2015, 07:15 AM
If you don't want it long anymore, then by all means, it is your hair!

I do think some of your trouble could be perhaps mitigated somewhat with different hair management methods though, as someone else mentions. I work out pretty hard, but don't really need to rinse my hair afterwards. It dries just fine and the sweat doesn't seem to cause any harm for me. I also braid at night, a bun would be much to uncomfortable with all of my hair and my scalp does not like super high buns if I tried to pile it on top of my head. I didn't like wearing my hair down when it was shorter either, but it does actually behave a little better the few times I do now since it mostly stays behind my elbows and is long enough to gently curl into my lap like my own personal pet hair snake.

Swimming depends on the pool. Mostly I advise a good long hair swim cap. Speedo makes them. If you don't get your hair wet, you don't have to worry about the chlorine. If it does get wet, I just rinsed it. It would have taken the same amount of time to dry anyhow and really, my length has not impacted that nearly so much as you'd think! The last place to dry for me is still under the nape and the back of my scalp and that would be the case even at BSL. My length is dry long before those spots! Similarly, it doesn't take me much more water than BSL. You would need to cut very short indeed to make a difference there! Some washing methods just take a lot of water. If you are worried about wasting water your best options are either no hair or long hair. Inch long hair you can just rinse quickly in a one or two minute shower. Longer hair you can stretch washes easily and just wear a shower cap. If it is too short though, it tends to start looking more oily fast because there is nowhere for the hair oils to go so you get trapped in daily washing. Well, and some people have scalp stuff or just like daily washing, but I don't think it is needed for most of us.

Bottom line, if these are just justifications, then go ahead and do it. If you want more options or ideas though, hit us up!

June 9th, 2015, 07:43 AM
Unless you like drastic change, I'd say go to a shorter length that is still long and see how it feels. The last time I decided to cut, I went from classic to hip to waist/layered. I did enjoy it for quite a long time, but now I want classic again, and of course I have to be patient. It seems like I've been hovering just above tailbone for a really long time now, and if I let myself think about it too much, I feel soooooooo frustrated with the growing process (and I get roughly 7 inches in a year).

June 9th, 2015, 08:07 AM
Well to start with, why not post a pic or two so we all here can also justifiably exclaim "Ooh, la, la!" in amazement of your beautiful knee-length hair? :)

It seems like most of what you've written are justifications for cutting instead of solvable problems to address. What approach you take depends on what outcome you prefer. As it would take many years to regrow if you regret, I'd suggest first trying to find solutions, and cut only if the issues can't be solved to a satisfactory degree.

My thoughts on the situations you've listed...

- Some use silk/satin sleep caps, others braid or bun. None using any clips (to the best of my awareness). Lately I've gotten into the habit of flinging the mane over the pillow, onto the (clean! :) ) floor; in fact I've reversed how I sleep in the bed so the pillow is at the foot of the bed and feet go near the headboard.

- I get regular vigorous (sweat-inducing) exercise and as Chromis suggests, don't find that I need to wash it much more often than times that I don't get such vigorous. I also live in a similarly hot climate (Florida), though not as hot as where you are, but more humid (and my hair is kept up all the time when outdoors.) Swimming can be easily accommodated; to me the most important things are to wet the hair with tap water beforehand, and use a chelating shampoo afterward.

- I suspect there are many (flattering) updo's that may work better for you than the Gibson roll. I'm the least qualified to speak on this but this community abounds with knowledge of this topic. Research and experiment. :) Oh, and you are being too hard on yourself for thinking that an updo "looks stupid." Whichever it is I'm sure you look good with it.

I hope I've given you some helpful food for thought.


June 9th, 2015, 10:15 AM
I noticed a lot of love for your hair in your entire post. At one point you wrote it is just as much a part of you as an arm, or your nose. You extolled it's virtues in a way that shone through. Even after saying you are beginning to tire of it, and all the reasons a cut would make life easier, you want to preserve it and have it tucked whole in your cremation urn. That speaks volumes.

If this is a new feeling, or something that mainly crops up when it is exceedingly hot, I would take time (two weeks minimum) to really think it over. Make sure to be fair, and think of it in times when you are enjoying it, and not just when it is frustrating you.

If after you have given it the consideration it deserves, if you do cut, and cut drastically, you will still be you with a DH who adores you, and we will all still value you around here.

I would caution again such a drastic change in the length, but that is my own emotions spilling through. I have nightmares about finding myself with shoulder length hair and panic ensues. I know that at this point in my life and journey I would be traumatized. You, sound like you're somewhere in the middle between pure adoration for your hair and extreme frustration.

Long thick hair requires a degree of work. You can wear hats, you can swim, you can work out, you can preserve water/be quicker in the washing process, and you can sleep comfortably in it.

If you decide to keep your length, and would like some ideas for each of these, please do ask!

June 9th, 2015, 10:28 AM
Going from knee to a very short length is a mite drastic. Perhaps you could cut to waist and see how that length works for you. If it doesn't work out, then cut it shorter.

June 9th, 2015, 11:13 AM
I'd say cut in increments. The difference in length (that much difference) might be a shock to the system, and you may not even like it that short - then what'll you do? Cut back to classic first, see how you like it, then TBL, then waist, and so on until you have reached a length you can live with.

June 9th, 2015, 11:29 AM
My hair is not like yours. That said, just below shoulder would leave me with small claw-clip peacock bun or thin ponytail. How sad that would be. And your hair is thick, so needs more length for cool updo styles.

Also, when my hair was shorter (SL-BSL) I had to wash darn near every day for it showed greasy stringy rattails within about 24 hours.

Whatever you do, I hope you will be happy with it. And if you're not you can always grow again. (I have a memory of my hair when about shoulder length, maybe a bit shorter, and it was really cute - but that was many years ago and I'd not look like that now.)

June 9th, 2015, 11:32 AM
I'm just going to echo the cutting incrementally comments. I don't really see there being a need to perhaps cut it too drastically and then regret it, when you could go through a classic-hip-bsl-shoulder progression to see what achieves comfortable for you without being too much of a shock to your system.

But by all means, enjoy your hair! That's what we're all here to do, after all!

June 9th, 2015, 11:33 AM
There's pros and cons to both long and short hair, you happen to be feeling a lot of the cons right now. If I were you, I would cut it a bit shorter but nowhere near what you're thinking about. It could be a huge regret like you see all the time. I think if you cut it maybe to classic or tailbone it will still be very long but you could probably wear it down now have fun with it and be less overwhelmed without the risk of too many years to grow it back if you don't like it.

June 9th, 2015, 02:08 PM
I echo those who said try cutting a little bit first. I'd say: why not cut to classic and see, or waist. It's still long then, but maybe more manageable? But most important, do what you want and feel comfortable with :)

June 9th, 2015, 02:22 PM
I wanted to throw out an idea for sleeping. I make a loose-ish ponytail on the very top of my head with a scrunchie, then braid the length. When I lay down, I direct the braid over the top of my pillow, then tuck the end under the pillow, leaving enough slack so that I can turn over without pulling my braid loose (unless I'm having a whirling dervish of a toss and turn night).

June 9th, 2015, 02:32 PM
I have to agree with the others about cutting in increments. You may decide that hip or waist length still suits your needs without compromising too much length. And by the way, I work out daily and wash my hair every 3rd day. I find that once the sweat dries, my hair is fine and isn't any dirtier.

June 9th, 2015, 04:33 PM
You seem to be very attached to your long hair, to the point you want it to be preserved even after your death, so I think that getting rid of the majority of it can be a bit of a shock, and if you do regret it it would take many years to grow back.

If it's a practical matter, you can try the Madora's inverted braid for sleeping, scalp-wash only, and other methods for super-long hair.
If you just can't handle it anymore, then go ahead and cut it, but please do it in increments! Knee to shoulder is a huge difference in one's figure and face look.

June 9th, 2015, 04:54 PM
You know, I like your idea just the way it is. Practically speaking, I might consider cutting closer to armpit length, just because it's such a minor addition of length that adds such a huge amount of updo security and options. I found shoulder sort of frustrating to keep out of the way, and hair was always slipping out whenever I put it up. Even a simple ponytail would start falling apart after an hour or so. But perhaps that's just me and my sneaky hair.

I think I sort of get you here, because I'm similar if I'm reading you correctly.

I greatly appreciate the symbolism of the braid -- even, and perhaps especially, as its own non-attached entity that never really decays; hair, being already dead, sort of "survives" the death of our bodies by remaining its glorious self no matter how long ago it was severed (assuming it's been adequately protected).

I am also someone who often goes drastic, and am generally happy with that decision. I went from BSL to bald, for example, and now I'm back to growing. Am I a little impatient about growing it now? Of course I am. But I wouldn't do it any other way -- the symbolism of cutting was meaningful for me.

I think perhaps there are, very broadly speaking, two categories for how people here tend to value their hair that are slightly different. One sees it as kind of an identifier (the incremental cutters who would be upset with a radical departure from how they currently envision themselves) and the other sees it as sort of a entity unto itself, even detached from our person (the drastic symbolism-lovers, where seeing a sudden change can sometimes be its own reward).

I could be wrong, of course. And in any case, I think you should do what will bring you the most joy. :)

June 9th, 2015, 07:18 PM
I would add another vote for a less extreme cut (initially) if you do cut it. I had beyond classic-length hair until the end of 2013 and found that getting it cut to BSL first and enjoying it at that length for a year and a bit helped ease the transition before I shaved it all off (something I have always wanted to do at least once in my life). If I had gone straight from long to bald without an in-between stage I think it would have been too much of a shock. So in your case I would suggest maybe cutting to waist or hip length first and seeing if you are emotionally okay with that before you go ahead and cut to shoulder if you are still determined to do so. The only downside to that is not getting to keep your long braid as a momento! But do take lots of pictures if you do cut - something to look back on fondly from time to time.

June 9th, 2015, 07:35 PM
Unless you like drastic change, I'd say go to a shorter length that is still long and see how it feels. The last time I decided to cut, I went from classic to hip to waist/layered. I did enjoy it for quite a long time, but now I want classic again, and of course I have to be patient. It seems like I've been hovering just above tailbone for a really long time now, and if I let myself think about it too much, I feel soooooooo frustrated with the growing process (and I get roughly 7 inches in a year).

This would be my suggestion as well. Good luck with your haircut! Hair is meant to be enjoyed and if you aren't enjoying it then by all means cut

June 9th, 2015, 07:58 PM
I just want to suggest that you cut it an inch or two at a time (cut an inch and live with it for a few days to see if you like that better, if not, cut another inch or two and so on) to avoid regret.

June 9th, 2015, 08:03 PM
I feel the same as you. I recently cut back to waist, because I feel past hip is too much work to love.

June 9th, 2015, 08:30 PM
I hadn't considered when I responded that cutting a little length at a time wouldn't allow you to have a long braid to keep.

June 9th, 2015, 09:54 PM
I had almost classic lenght hair last year before joining here and I was just not feeling great with it anymore (thin ends and not being able to wear it down). Cut back to mid back and then cut a little shorter. I love my current hair lenght, as a guy it is fairly long but not overly super long so I dont have to wear it up all the time. Now I want to grow it out again just because I have somehow a thicker hem, between mid back and waist is my ultimate hair goal. Still I would mind having this current one for a longer period because it feels really versatile to me (hair grooming and with my life outside). When in doubt it can always be cut again.

The point here is you can experiment and dont be afraid of shorter lenght, yes long hair is beautiful and must have some dedication, but it doesnt have to the center of your beauty-life world. And the sort long bob to almost bra lenght is pretty popular now, so its not a big hair crime what you have in mind.

Remember to enjoy and have fun with it!!! :cool:

June 10th, 2015, 09:53 AM
Thank you, EVERYONE, so very much, for your replies!!

I have been thinking about this for awhile, so it isn't a "Bah-I-slept-trapped-in-my-hair"moment!

Dh trims about 6" (total) off the ends each year, 2-3" each time. I think doing it in stages would drive me loopy, as it would still feel long-long and I would be annoyed/frustrated at getting it up in my go-to style, it would be different over and over.

I have tried sleeping with it braided. But, it's too itchy and hot on my neck and I find that keeps me awake. My metabolism has changed over the last few years, and I am almost always warm now. Dh calls me his "Heater Wife" as I keep our bed extra warm! I tend to be a light sleeper, so anything that keeps me comfy helps.

It's funny, as much as I do love having long hair (obviously, it would be this long if I didn't!), I don't have the desire to do lots of fancy things to it as so many LHC members do. I don't own any of the hair toys I have seen here and don't want any. I have several old metal clips that hold this mass just fine. They make putting up my hair fast and easy.

Oh, argh, I don't know! I thank you, again, for all your replies. Thank you for taking the time to answer my concerns, angst and indecision. I am re-thinking this idea, a little bit, and will hold-off a bit longer. I will continue to check this thread (if it continues onward!) for ideas and feedback.

When I have mentioned my thoughts to in-person friends, they always react in horror at cutting it. They all have very short, wash-&-wear hair! I knew I'd get a different perspective here.

You folks are the BEST!

Saucy (feeling more wobbly than saucy!)

June 10th, 2015, 10:55 AM
Given your reasons for cutting, I'd be inclined to go for something in the region of hip or TBL. You'll lose almost half of the weight and bulk, which will help with most of the issues you mentioned, but you'll have enough left to still be the lady with long hair and do all the things you want to do with it (just below shoulder is too short for some of the things you mentioned, I agree with the people who said you might have forgotten just how short that is)

June 10th, 2015, 01:02 PM
No-one has any right to act offended by your own choice on your own hair.

Sure, I haven't seen your mane, and sure I would be impressed and amazed by it, and a part of me would scream "no! Don't cut that marvel away from you!" but hey! you're not here to decorate anyone's world.
You must do what makes you feel happy, and if your hair doesn't you cannot sacrifice yourself for it.

Just be sure it's something you really want to do and not just a phase of distress :)

June 10th, 2015, 01:41 PM
When I read this I'm somehow happy that my hair is still short... I had WL four years ago and it was too heavy and gave me headaches and as a single mother I had no time to take care of it and I was bored of it... so I cut it off. And my mother influenced me pretty much too, but that's another story...
I want WL or longer again but if I get headaches like years ago or feel bored of it or if it makes my life, exercising or sleeping difficult, I cut it off to shoulder or APL again. I don't want my life to be made harder and more complicated because of my hair.

June 10th, 2015, 10:07 PM
Hi!! I am growing out my hair from a curly 3b chin length bob in March, 2011 to cut off the dyed brassy length that had grown out to chin length. My memories of shorter hair are pretty vivid as I am just about a couple inches from tbl now. I would not recommend going any shorter than classic at first. Extreme length hair is so unique and actually it is sincerely a part of your body. I went into a depression with my short hair, and thank G-d everyday it has grown back to 33 inches now. Of course it is your hair to do with as you please, but from my personal experience, I wouldn't cut shorter than classic length. That alone will be a huge change for you and quite possilby all you need to do. Hugs! It is a huge decision and has taken alot of tender loving care to achieve knee length hair. What an accomplishment. Please don't trim to apl all at once. I promise you, classic will be a big enough change and you might be very happy with it at this length. If not, then wait 6 months to be sure before going any shorter. Hugs! :grouphug:

June 11th, 2015, 09:10 PM
I say cut it if you wish. It will grow back, of course, and no one should be identified by their hair length. It's just hair after all. Life is an adventure.

June 11th, 2015, 10:08 PM
I am growing my hair out until I get sick of it. That is really my goal. I've only have long hair for at most four years in my thirty year life, two years as a teen and for the last two years. My hair was less than an inch long for the longest time. I've just gotten sick of getting it cut all the time so I want to see how long I can get it to go before I give it the shop. So far it has been so much easier to maintain this round.