View Full Version : To cut or not to cut, that is the question.

November 2nd, 2010, 01:21 PM
Two years ago I got a bad haircut that left me with short (chin length as the shortest) thin layers and an overall length of BSL (from my previous waist length). It only looked good when straightened and so, being the lazy person I am, I tried to let it grow out. Sometime last year I wondered whether or not I should cut to the shortest layer, which is a few inches above BSL, or to my virgin hair, which starts at shoulder.

I haven't had SL hair since 6th grade and I remember hating it (think 80's hair.. got teased for it a lot. which is why I grew it out). But I'm not sure if my hair regimen now, compared to the shampoo/conditioner every day +brush of my childhood would make it more tame.

I'm afraid of how long it will take to grow back if i don't like the cut, especially since I had been growing it out, with 2 bad haircuts, for 7 years and am finally reaching my goal length. I never got to experiment with my hair like other teenagers have because I've been so bent on growing it out... but I'd lose all my progress. :confused:

- Might like it.
- No more stressing over dye damage.
- No more stressing over thinness brought about by layers.
- Get to experience short hair for the first time since I was little.
- Get to "experiment" with hair for my teenage years.
- hair will be thicker due to increased shedding and first layer of hair stopping at APL

- Might hate it.
- I've spent 7 years getting my hair to be where I want it to be and it would seem like a waste to start over
- 3-4 years of growing out to get it back to this if i hate it.
- Increased need for haircuts.
- won't be able to wear up as often
- it's finally getting to a manageable length

October last year:

October this year:

I can't do anything with it until June (no hair cutting until I graduate pact with DBF) but I really just need to decide what to do before I drive myself insane.

November 2nd, 2010, 01:23 PM
Oy. Hard to say. Were it me - I would trim the ends ( maybe 4-5 inches) and go for a blunt hemline. And then continue on my journey. But that's just me :)

November 2nd, 2010, 01:31 PM
Of course I have no idea what it's like to deal with, but your hair looks pretty good, and I wouldn't cut it all the way to the shoulders unless it's so damaged that it matts together and makes your life miserable. I notice that on each side you've got a shorter length that is around BSL to waist length (hard to tell with the loose shirt you're wearing). I wouldn't cut the rest any shorter than those two, rounded to a U shape in the back.

November 2nd, 2010, 01:40 PM
Personally I wouldn't cut it at all because it looks fabulous. Perhaps only give it mini trims, unless you are desperate to get the length blunt cut. You might really miss the length though. I wish my hair grew so well as yours.

If it does get tangled then that could mean it needs an inch or two off, but a good leave-in conditioner will also help to detangle.

I like the way your hair looks so natural.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you are happy with the results. You did the right thing about drawing up a pro and con view as well, always good to take a balanced view on things.

November 2nd, 2010, 01:41 PM
Trimming the ends would look fine, maybe 2 inches....I think you might regret the short hair, I cut it under my ear from a hip length. And now I am at BSL but have dye damage and I am considering cutting it. Actually, I'm getting it done, I've decided, but MAXIMUM one inch .:/ I'm scared too but I want to get rid of dye damage as well.

Good luck deciding!

P.S. You have beautiful curls

November 2nd, 2010, 01:53 PM
IMO you hair looks just beautiful i would love hair like that but you could do micro trims until the layers are nearly gone and then go for a blunt hemline as if you cut your hair back that severely i think you may regret it as you have spent so many years growing it. What ever you decide good luck

November 2nd, 2010, 01:55 PM
I think it looks pretty good as-is. Those wavy curls work well with tapered ends!

If you want to trim it to get rid of the layers, I'd suggest doing it yourself. If you follow Feye's instructions for a U cut, that will shorten the back and should blend it into the layers nicely. Alternatively, we've been discussing how to cut layers in this thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=57254). Depending on where you gather the hair (top of head, forehead, nose, chin, under chin), you'll get more or less layering, with less layering when you gather hair lower down. That would allow you to trim all the layers, but you could alter the angle to decrease the difference in the lengths over time.

November 2nd, 2010, 02:00 PM
Well, one way to look at is you can always take more later if you decide to. Start out with a little see what you think, then go from there. I would not take too much at first, especially because you are thinking of the pro's /con's. That way you will not have so long to wait for it to grow back if you start with a small amount. But this is my opinion because last time I went for a dusing/trim (I had never been to this stylist before because of my recent move) I really regreted it she took many inches from my hair:( My hair takes what seems forever to grow. Good luck. ;)

November 2nd, 2010, 02:15 PM
Thank you all, so far it seems people are leaning towards just trimming.

*snip* If you follow Feye's instructions for a U cut, that will shorten the back and should blend it into the layers nicely.*snip*

I don't understand the U cut completely, I'm afraid of it turning out wrong or even inverted :eek:.

One thing I hate about the curls is that they part awkwardly over my shoulder when I bend down to get things. When I was younger one friend said it was as if I only had 7 huge hairs(aka clumps of curls) on my head. I'm guessing shorter hair wouldn't look as awkward like that, especially since my hair seems to be thinning more. If I do decide cut I'll definitely go with a few inches at a time.

November 2nd, 2010, 02:17 PM
Judging from your picture, you have a lovely head of hair.

I'd trim it back to just parallel with your underarm, and see how you like it.

Since you remarked that you were lazy, I wonder if you wouldn't prefer a shorter style. Beautiful long hair requires real dedication and patience.

Just keep in mind that with shorter hair your hairstyling options are limited to a certain extent (as opposed to those of us with long hair). Also, long haired people are not as reliant on hair salons to keep a favored hairstyle looking good, etc. With the money saved, we can spend it on other things..flexi 8s come to mind!:) Good luck!

November 2nd, 2010, 02:25 PM
Of course I have no idea what it's like to deal with, but your hair looks pretty good, and I wouldn't cut it all the way to the shoulders unless it's so damaged that it matts together and makes your life miserable. I notice that on each side you've got a shorter length that is around BSL to waist length (hard to tell with the loose shirt you're wearing). I wouldn't cut the rest any shorter than those two, rounded to a U shape in the back.

I second this.

I think your hair looks *great* as it is but it is up to you what look you prefer.

November 2nd, 2010, 02:40 PM
I recently experienced this exact predicament.
Here is what happened... http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=57703&highlight=yikes

Do not cut your hair UNLESS you hate it in its current state, and are willing to gamble your years of growth.

You have waited a long time to reach your goal, you are feeling apprehencious about the final outcome. Calm down, take a step back and think of the patience you've shown. Make sure you wear the style you've craved for so long THEN judge whether you like it or not after a few months of wearing it. If you simply cut it short you risk hating your hair with no control over doing anything to fix it.

Do not cut.

November 2nd, 2010, 03:12 PM
I think your hair looks pretty great to me, doesn't look damaged just layered. There isn't really a noticable dye difference and why experiment with shorter hair when you're happy with it long?

Keep your hair as is :) you may find that your hair improves its condition and the bits you don't like by June.

November 2nd, 2010, 03:15 PM
Id give it a trim max. 2 inches. Its sooooo beautiful I would not cut it too short.

Really its so beautiful- please save it!

Jessica Trapp
November 2nd, 2010, 03:15 PM
I like it the way it is.


November 2nd, 2010, 03:45 PM
I think your hair looks fine. I'm in the same boat as you so I know how it can be bothersome, so maybe just try doing micro trims and eventually you will get rid of the bottom layer over time and won't loose all your length in one big chop.

November 2nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
You have beautiful hair! If old dye damage is concerning you, or giving you trouble then maybe a two inch trim wouldn't be a bad thing. I don't think you hair looks like it needs two inches taken off, but I think that would be enough length for you to feel and see a difference, and if it isn't enough for you then you can always cut more later.

A word of caution though, if you go get a two inch trim you should probably tell your hairdresser to only cut one inch. A hairdressers inch is very rarely an actual inch, plus you have curly hair, which some hairdressers don't really know how to cut without lopping off 8 inches. If you ask for one inch off, and be very clear about it, you should end up with 2 to maybe 3 inches of length cut. :)

November 2nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
Oh, dear. We've all been there. You have this urge to CUT. You just HAVE to do it. And you know it.

You think, wow, here is one, two, ten reasons why a cut is a great idea. You think about it, you tease the idea, you are SURE this is what you want. You stand in front of your mirror folding you hair to make it look short and think - wow, I look fabulous! - and you go do it.

Now that you chopped it off - do you look better? More stylish? Your hair is dye damage proof suddenly? It can have no split ends ever? Yeah. RIGHT. And it's so thick now, so healthy... AND SO FREAKIN SHORT!! IT GETS IN YOUR EYE, IT JUMPS UP AND FLIES AWAY.

But hey, girl, you don't have to spend ages waiting for that hair to dry, you don't have to detangle anymore, you don't have to care about whether what you are doing to it is going to keep it healthy... Wait, or you do?

November 2nd, 2010, 04:23 PM
Honestly, Anywhere, I think your hair is gorgeous. I love your waves, and they look so natural with your layers! :crush:

If you're thinking of cutting, I would echo Spidermom and say no longer than BSL. In your earlier photo that length looked so beautiful on you!

November 2nd, 2010, 07:58 PM
I think BSL would solve most everything, and that length would be lovely on you. I wouldn't go to shoulder. You can always cut to BSL, then later, if you still WANT shoulder length, go for it.

November 2nd, 2010, 08:11 PM
I think your hair looks very pretty just the way it is. I can't imagine you cutting it any shorter than a bit below BSL. That would get rid of the vast difference between the layers, but would still be long enough to do updos when you want to.

I really think it looks great now though. Well, you've got a lot of time to think about it, due to your pact.

Lady Mary
November 2nd, 2010, 08:49 PM
Perhaps do micro trims for awhile to slowly work out some of the damage? But honestly, if I were you that is, I wouldn't touch it. Your hair is beautiful. :flower:

November 2nd, 2010, 08:52 PM
I have found that smaller trims are VERY therapeutic and a lot less traumatic than big chops. Also, by June you'll have about 8 months of new growth -- probably around 4 inches, if you have an average growth rate. That may be a total game changer for you, in that you may find by that time you love the overall length so much that you HAVE to keep it to be happy.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I think you need to be open about this subject until June. Your decision could be this:

"I have decided that I'm not deciding on what to do with my hair until it's actually time to take action, so that my most current state of mind is accounted for. Until that day, I'll just enjoy seeing how much it grows between now and then." :)



November 2nd, 2010, 08:55 PM
Only 2 sections of my hair are dry, due to past damage, but my hair is on borderline boyness. The ends are NOT split and I try to keep them moisturized. Should I wait for my next cut? I only got it cut a few weeks ago.

November 2nd, 2010, 08:56 PM
I don't see anything wrong with it. The layers actually look good with your hair's texture. If you do want to get rid of them then an inch at a time is the way to go for sure. That way you will be sure not to hate it and won't lose a ton of length.

November 2nd, 2010, 09:08 PM
Good idea. I might wait a few months until I can't stand the dryness anymore....The rest of my hair is perfectly fine but those two little sections are just so thirsty.

November 2nd, 2010, 09:17 PM
I recommend cutting to the length of the shortest layer, babying your hair, and having fun with half updos and updos that are feasible for shoulder length hair.