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Qadupae
December 21st, 2011, 07:15 AM
I would blog this or put it into the Friendship board, but I really need a wide variety of opinions and advice on this one. I am currently into month 2 of my second attempt at growing my hair long again and my anxiety and internal issues are rearing their heads again. So although in the end the idea to grow my hair long is my choice to make, I really would like some help with weighing the pros and cons of this. I am also hoping that some of my descriptions of my battle will be similar to others and they can help me with some advice.

I am an all-or-nothing type of person, that I either have super short hair or super long and this long journey has me itching with anxiety to give up. It will take me about 6 years to reach my goal length of TBL. I am currently at 1.5 inches. Hereís where I am at so far mentally:

Long Hair Pros:
Be able to do funky styles and updos
Possibly look more feminine (have very masculine features)
Once long enough, I can cut it myself
Self satisfaction of just having long hair and being able to grow it that long
Self satisfaction of having the patience to get it long again

Cons:
Weight
Possible tangles
Upkeep of S&D, washings
Long drying time
Might not make me look feminine at all
Attract creepy long hair attention o_O
OCD issues, I am a perfectionist, so anything even a little bit off can sometimes tweak me out, although maybe this will exercise that out of me ^_^
I am hair styling inept. Seriously, couldnít do any of it on myself to save my life right now
Have very thick but fine hair, so most updos I can't do until APL to BSL
Chin to SL= Snood only, otherwise I go mad with the wait

Short Hair Pros:
5 minute showers
Can cut it myself with electric trimmers
Can dye it regularly without many downfalls
No such thing as hat hair ^_^
People will be more likely attracted by my weirdness and not my beautiful hair

Cons:
Canít do fancy updos, or fancy anything really. At 1 inch, not a whole lot I can do[/size]
Still have bad hair days
Have to deal with my prominent cowlicks
Still look fairly masculine, I have such angular features

If there is anything else you guys can suggest for any of these columns to help me in my considerations, it would help greatly. Iím a list kind of person and I want to know all angles before submitting to something so long term again. I know that if I do go with growing my hair out again, I will have to wear a snood or head coverings most days just to maintain my sanity ^_^

woolyleprechaun
December 21st, 2011, 07:57 AM
You wont truly know all the pros and cons of long hair until you try it :)

Amazinggrace
December 21st, 2011, 08:09 AM
Maybe to help with the pros and cons you could buy a cheap wig to wear for a weekend/time off to try out the look. Then you could see if you feel more feminine, like the way it looks and feels etc...

In the end it is up to you.

Madora
December 21st, 2011, 08:12 AM
Judging from your post, it would seem to me that short hair might be more appealing for you.

Growing long hair boils down to having tons of patience and being willing to go the extra mile to treat it gently and deal with tangles. Learning updos to protect it is a matter of practice, practice, practice until the style is achieved.

Short hair can look beautiful too..but it should be healthy as you can make it. Just because it is short doesn't mean you treat it roughly (i.e. chemicals/hot curlers/blowfrying/backcombing).

You might want to consider a goal of midback length and see how you like it as far as styling and tangles are concerned. Truth be told, I found waist length hair easier to deal with because there were more styling options.

Bottom line, whatever length you choose, always remember to be gentle with your hair.

Pixie0763
December 21st, 2011, 08:14 AM
I can't really offer anything but heart felt encouragement in whatever you decide.

ktani
December 21st, 2011, 08:20 AM
I agree that you do not know what will happen or how you will feel about longer hair until you try it.

You can grow your hair out from its present length to soften your features and have a compromise. Experiment with lengths. A good cut can lessen upkeep. There are great hairstylists out there and many wash and go great styles that should not frustrate you.

Take it one step at a time and good luck!

Amber_Maiden
December 21st, 2011, 08:22 AM
Sounds like you might like shorter hair better, judging from the above. Long hair takes patience and lots of work- and most of the time it's not perfect.

Kelikea
December 21st, 2011, 08:23 AM
My hair is slowly approaching TBL. I really thought it would be heavy, but with Madora's and others suggestions of how to put it up, I really haven't noticed the weight of it this time. I doesn't take me a long time to shower, but drying time is long. Microfiber towels and oiling helps. Practice braiding and bunning techniques on someone else, if you can, so it will not seem so daunting. But, like others have said, it is up to you, and you may prefer short hair. I also hae very fine, thick hair. There are many pics of updo's I've learned (since joining in July) in my hair album. And yes, I do get tangles, but not anymore than I did at BSL.

Maybe you could photo shop long hair on your face to see how it *might* look?

MonaMayfair
December 21st, 2011, 08:31 AM
You know what, if very short hair that I could cut myself, suited me and I liked it - I think that's what I'd go for as it sounds so convenient!

I've only had "short" hair a couple of times, and the shortest was a chin length bob a couple of years ago.
It suited me, but was a complete pain to look after. I had to straighten it, wash it more often, and go to the hairdressers to maintain it! Well, actually, I only had it re-cut once before I started to let it grow out again.
For me, long hair is much less work!

It's such a matter of personal preference though, it's a hard one for anyone else to answer. You seem to have thought of all the pros and cons (that's how I make decisions too, listing all the pros and cons, but when they're almost equal, it's still confusing!)

XcaliburGirl
December 21st, 2011, 08:45 AM
Here's a direct quote from my blog from a couple of months ago. I like lists too. I am still not completely sure I want long hair, so I decided to let it grow with the knowledge that if I at some point firmly decide I want it short, I can always cut in again. In the mean time, while I am "deciding" I am gaining length so that if I do decide I want it super long again, I will be much closer than if I maintain short until I decide.



Grow it out Pros:

1. Updos
2. No more haircuts
3. More flattering
4. Off my neck
5. More styling options

Keep it Short Pros:

1. Dries fast
2. Doesn't clog the vacuum
3. Easier to wash
4. Don't have to worry about damage

Georgies
December 21st, 2011, 09:12 AM
I can relate to this post - I'm kind of the same way! Except I'm quite sure I prefer long hair for me, I just can't stand the awkward growing out period. But now I've had short hair for 5 or 6 years and I'm pretty well sick of it. It really hasn't been that convenient - many times I wished I could have put up my hair on a bad hair day but it was too short. Ah, the convenience of the bun...

If you choose to grow it out there lots of folks here in the same boat, and if we support each other we can do it!

ElusiveMuse
December 21st, 2011, 09:19 AM
Are you seeing a therapist or treating your anxiety at all? Aside from the hair question, your post raises some familiar (i.e. I have them too) red flags for me that indicate deeper levels of anxiety than just about hair. I think manifesting your anxiety on your body can be a slippery slope into more serious behaviors (like eating problems).

Delila
December 21st, 2011, 09:50 AM
For me, in terms of upkeep, long hair is far simpler than short.

With short hair, I always had to wash it every single day to have any hope of a decent style.

With long hair, I wash it about twice a week or so, and just keep it up or braided.

The only daily routine I have involves letting down my night braid, detangling, then putting my hair up for the day. At night, I take it down and braid it for night. Easy. Nothing like as much work as all that washing and blowdrying and styling with short hair (only to see it flop).

MsBubbles
December 21st, 2011, 10:17 AM
I have come here to push scalp-washes again. I have 34" hair (it's fine though, so not thick or heavy), and I still take five minute showers, and my scalp hair is the only thing that has to dry. The majority of the length stays dry. You can start scalp washing probably from about BSL onwards.

For updos...you can/will learn those as you go along and not all at once. It's an ongoing education but you can improve. You can learn a lot of skills in 6 years, little by little!

UP Lisa
December 21st, 2011, 10:31 AM
My sentiments exactly.



For me, in terms of upkeep, long hair is far simpler than short.

With short hair, I always had to wash it every single day to have any hope of a decent style.

With long hair, I wash it about twice a week or so, and just keep it up or braided.

The only daily routine I have involves letting down my night braid, detangling, then putting my hair up for the day. At night, I take it down and braid it for night. Easy. Nothing like as much work as all that washing and blowdrying and styling with short hair (only to see it flop).

UP Lisa
December 21st, 2011, 10:31 AM
Your technique, please?



I have come here to push scalp-washes again. I have 34" hair (it's fine though, so not thick or heavy), and I still take five minute showers, and my scalp hair is the only thing that has to dry. The majority of the length stays dry. You can start scalp washing probably from about BSL onwards.

For updos...you can/will learn those as you go along and not all at once. It's an ongoing education but you can improve. You can learn a lot of skills in 6 years, little by little!

Qadupae
December 21st, 2011, 10:43 AM
Thank you everyone for your input into this decision! I'll try to answer as much as I can remember ^_^

I'm hoping to buy a wig in a few months, a super long one, just to see what it is like. I know it is nothing like the real thing, but hey, I can dream ^_^

Its hard because I know I won't truly know if I like it or not until I get there. I have a feeling I might really enjoy waist, but that is still about 5 years out. I think what is also difficult is I am comparing some of my reactions to long hair from when I was younger and had long hair, in which I hated it then and didn't know how to do anything with it. That can't be good for basing judgment -_-;

Maybe for the growing phases, I just need a really understanding stylist who will keep away damage, not cut away too much length, not do damaging techniques, and still be able to cut my hair into flattering styles in the meantime?

Kelikea, forgot about photoshop! That might help with me deciding on the aesthetics parts ^_^

And yes, I am a list fanatic ^_^ It just makes it so hard that 1 inch actually works for me for a hairstyle. Anything past 2 inches gets iffy though o_O So from 2 inches to about 20 inches would be nothing but awkward territory. Plus, I can actually get away with WO for a whole week without needing shampoo and I don't use any kind of sculpting stuff since I can use my own sebum to shape my hair.

Ms Bubbles, I might have to discuss the scalp washing with you further ^_^ Perhaps that is the key to growing out.

ElusiveMuse, you actually bring up a major point that I have been skating around -_-; I do have some pretty big anxiety issues that are tied up with my personal body image. I've gone through therapists and medication before, but for the past 5 years I have had neither, on purpose mind you. I have actually been doing great without either, but every now and then the anxiety and depression rear their ugly heads. I've been doing bodybuilding to help with that, but the exercise alone is not diminishing the battle over my own appearances. I know that long or short hair, I would and do look fine, but my conscious keeps whispering that if I had long hair I would magically be more beautiful. At the same time, if I had long hair, I'm sure it would be whispering that short would be better too ^_^ My job also relies somewhat on my appearances, otherwise I would solve this by just putting on a snood every day and not thinking twice about it, but they are even iffy about me wearing my snoods.

In the end, I don't know, but I am all the happier to have everyone's support here ^_^ For now I think I will just try to save money for a wig and see what happens with that. Baby steps ^_^

Mayflower
December 21st, 2011, 11:09 AM
I've had (very) short hair for most of my teenage-years. It was supereasy, I just had to wash and go. I had very curly hair back then and I liked the messy look. If any damage occured, I could just chop it off.
To me, long hair isn't that much of a hasle, but it does take more to maintain than short hair. It is WAY more difficult to get some volume at the roots than it used to be too:p. Detangling takes a lot of time, washing and drying, deep treatments and henndigo,... But! I just love love loooove long hair, both on myself and on others. I don't think I'm gonna get back to short hair any time soon. Plus it's actually nice to have some kind of routine every day; detangling, combing, putting it up/braiding.

EdG
December 21st, 2011, 11:15 AM
As others have said, you just have to try it.

I used to think that having long hair was more work, but now I feel that having long hair is less work. Hair doesn't stay short by itself. ;)
Ed

Tea Lady
December 21st, 2011, 11:21 AM
The trouble with a wig is that it is not going to give you a true perception of what real long hair really feels like.

Regarding hair care, I will say that I find long hair much easier to care for than short. I have had both extremes: super short and very long. When I had short hair, since my hair is very straight, it looked bad unless I used styling tools. Since now with long hair I only wash my hair every 2-3 days, I am not shampooing daily, blow-frying, curling ironing, and all that frustrating mess that goes along with a short style. My non-wash day showers are totally less than 5 minutes, hair comb out does not take long whether post-wash or dry. If in a hurry, I quickly style my hair into a simple bun with a Ficcare and I'm on my way.

During the warm months when I go to the health club and shampoo there, it is the same thing: I comb out, put my hair in a gentle half French Twist and leave...while the shorties are still at the mirrors blow-frying, blow-frying, blow-frying. In cold months when I do not want wet hair, I just rinse off in the shower post work-out and shampoo later, or the next day.

Just my take on long vs. short: I think the beauty of long hair and the fun caring for it is so worth any time or "trouble" it might be (and I don't find it troubling at all, that's just what outsiders might say!). There is something about long hair that short just won't match for me. I see it as a frustrating cycle of hair annoyance that never looks good (short) vs. a very happy and daily unique experience and mysterious beauty (long). There can be days when tangles may frustrate me (short-lived though because I just take out some hair oil and treat my hair and the tangle with that - voilŗ, gone). There may be days when styles don't work out (I'm a little style-challenged). But the overall benefit and joy I get from long hair is all worth it.

:twocents: YMMV

Tea Lady

UP Lisa
December 21st, 2011, 12:27 PM
You can always cut it if you don't like it. That's the nice thing about hair.

Dragon Faery
December 21st, 2011, 12:51 PM
It sounds like you're leaning toward short hair, but it also sounds like you won't be completely satisfied until you've tried it long again. :) I'm a very all-or-nothing person, as well, though perhaps you might be a little more extreme than me.

I'm a bit OCD, too, but either not as much as you, or else it just takes different forms for me. As far as "perfection" in the growing-out stages, here are a couple thoughts:
1. Gel is styled hair's best friend. (If you've been styling your hair with your own sebum, there are gels out there that will do a similar job. My husband used Aloe Vera Gel and some actual styling gel until his hair was long enough to tie back.)
2. The touseled look can be nice, and might be reallly softening for your features. (Having never seen you, I can't say for sure, but if your face is angular, a touseled mop could soften it a bit; just tell yourself FIRMLY that it's an actual Style and you're doing it on Purpose. ;). )
3. Maybe some of your OCD can be channeled somewhere else? Like into obsessive nail polishing or something? Just a thought.
4. Also, having a hair care routine instead of a hair styling routine might take care of some of that, and at the same time might help your frame of mind slowly change about your body image and sense of worth. Care is always nurturing, but styling can be frustrating because of the pressure.

Good luck! We're all behind you, either way. :)

lapushka
December 21st, 2011, 01:36 PM
Sounds to me as though you're wanting to be persuaded to grow your hair long, as though you don't really want to go there.

I'd try and see where it'd take me, if I were you. Starting by not razoring your hair shorter again and by slowly growing it out. Lots of awkward stages are waiting for you. I'd first see if you can get past those.

jacqueline101
December 21st, 2011, 01:47 PM
I'd wear a wig or just take a chance and start growing.