Did you feel good about chopping off all your hair?
October 16, 2007 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever had long hair, then cut it short? How did you feel about it?

I think a similar question has appeared here before, but I can't seem to track it down--and I think this one comes at it from a different angle, anyway.

For nearly a decade, I've had long hair, down past the small of my back. I've never dyed or heat-treated it, so it's undamaged and usually shiny. People compliment me on it frequently, and make distressed noises when I talk about cutting it ("oh, you can't, it's so pretty!") It's reasonably low-maintenance, requiring little more than washing, brushing, and a simple trim every few months (I've come to think of long-hair-in-a-ponytail as the Standard Unisex Geek Hair, adopted by most of my geek friends who don't want to have to think about hair products or finding a decent barber.)

However, I've come to feel it's time for a change. I've often thought of cutting it short: for a different look, a lighter head, a larger variety of haircut options, easier day-to-day care, the ability to experiment with different colors, the sheer invigorating effect of change. I've always shied away out of fear that I'll regret destroying my several years' investment. However, according to Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling On Happiness, my own hypotheses on how I'll respond to future situations are likely to be only marginally accurate. Gilbert cites studies showing that asking other people how they felt in a certain situation is a much more reliable way to predict how I myself will feel.

So: tell me about your experiences divesting yourself of all your lovely hair. Did you gradually go shorter and shorter, or did you cut it all off at once? Did you regret it? Did you feel liberated? Did you have mixed feelings? Did you enjoy it initially but come to feel differently later? Did the process of growing it out again drive you mad?
posted by fermion to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (70 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
All at once. I'm a guy, and I had hair down to about the mid-point between my shoulders & the small of my back. I got it cut down to a short spiky look.

It was, honestly, a shock to see myself with short (SHORT!) hair for the first time in years. It took about a week before I could really get my head around it.

I liked it, and kept it short for about 5 years. Then I had a lapse in haircuts, and somebody complimented me on my semi-shaggy look. And I've been letting it go ever since. About 5 months now. I'm not going to go ponytail length this time around, but I really do like having longer hair better.

Let us know what you decide to do!
posted by ekstasis23 at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2007


For a long time, I had very long, very straight hair. It fell just below my bottom. I was very proud of it, and took a lot of measures to make sure it stayed that way, same as you - no dying, no heat.

The weight of it resulted in a daily headache, but I put up with it. The problem came with other people. You'd be surprised how many people came up to me and touched it without asking, or pulled on it to see if it was real. Then in the mall one day, a little girl told me she wanted hair like mine. She was about ten, and in the last stages of chemotherapy. She had no hair.

I cut it all off that day to about my chin and donated it. I immediately felt liberated - my head felt lighter, I'd done a good thing, and no more would I have to worry about strangers putting their hands on my head. I immediately felt different and better, although I don't know why.

Of course, you might feel differently once you get it cut, but please, please, if you are going to do it at all, do it all at once and donate it.
posted by sephira at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


I've gone mid-back to buzzcut twice now. To answer your specific questions:

- Cut it all at once.
- Did not regret it - boy, is it fun! And you wouldn't BELIEVE how much lighter your head feels.
- Obviously I changed my mind - twice (growing it out again now) but I wouldn't say I regretted it. It was a style, I rocked it for a while, then wanted something new. No sweat.
- Growing out from a buzzcut entails many moons of looking fairly silly. Growing out from something less drastic is not that big of a deal, beyond minor can't-get-my-bangs-to-stay-in-a-ponytail annoyances.

Overall... hon, it's hair, not a tattoo. It grows back, you can do what you feel like with it. Don't overthink it.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have a big afro (about 6 inches in radius right now). I cut it short once every 1.5-2 years. Before I do it, I always have pangs of regret. After I do it, it feels weird and a little sad sometimes, but within two days it isn't a big deal.
posted by nasreddin at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2007


I have had all lengths of hair, from mid-back to buzzed. I've gone from long to very short twice- once all at once (mid-back to pixie in one cut), and once in two stages (mid-back to chin-length to buzzed). I generally grow it until I get bored, and then I cut it. I've never understood why people are so attached to their hair- it grows back. Some people won't care for short hair (especially if you're female; I've found people have all sorts of methods of trying to subtly encourage me to keep it long, which I find transparent and annoying). When I want to cut it, and then I do, I feel great. And I've found that my hair more often looks the way I want it to look when it is short than when it is long. I encourage you to go for it. It's just hair.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's totally freeing! I had hair down my back in high school, then kept it around my shoulders and just higher when I first went to college, then I just had it all chopped to the chin. I never regretted it. It was so much easier to take care of. Also, I've found that short hair always seems to be more flattering on people than long.

Just after college I had a super short, almost boy-like cut, and it looked awesome, but I thought it was kinda harsh at first so I dyed it red. Growing that one out was a little bit of a pain, but I just went in for a couple of 'trim and shape and keep it in order' cuts and it was no big deal.

If you're nervous about how it'll look, go to shoulder-length at first. You'll still have the swishiness and it'll be easier to go for the full chop - but I definitely think you should try it out. Hair always grows back.
posted by lhall at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2007


I rocked the Steven Segal Drawn And Slicked Ponytail for the better part of 15 years, then I went Clooney Jailbreak Short.
Overnight.
Needless to say I like the latter more than the former and get more compliments on it now that I have gone salt and pepper gray.

Less muss, less fuss and no bother.

I say go for it! And provide pictures :)
posted by willmize at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2007


I used to have long hair like you and my first year at college I chopped it off. I loved it! I went from short to shorter to almost no hair at all!

After 6 years my hair is still short. Sometimes (once a year) I think about having long hair. But that emotion goes away.

Do it! Hair grows back :)
posted by octomato at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2007


I went from waist length to a couple of inches past shoulder length when I was 17. That was about a foot of hair taken off all at once (hey, I'm short and short waisted). I remember being a little sad and shocked at the change, but I soon loved the new look. I've never gone longer than that since, and sometimes it's been a lot shorter. (The chin length bob worked, the permed and feathered 80s mullet -- not so much.) I'm growing it out to a little bit beyond the shoulders now, but I can't imagine ever going waist length again.

If you decide to be an incrementalist, see about having some layers or long angled bangs cut around your face. Very long, mono-length hair in front flatters few people.
posted by maudlin at 12:11 PM on October 16, 2007


I had hair down to my waist and had it cut off all at once. Not intentionally, though. I wanted to cut off the bottom six inches and grow it back, to see if perhaps cutting off some damaged bits would encourage healthier regrowth. Except the hairdresser kept cutting it crooked, until inch-by-inch he cut it off to the shoulders.

I was initially heartbroken. But I was also amazed at how much healthier and smoother and nicer my hair felt and looked. The vast majority of friends agreed it was much more flattering, even though I'd gotten positive comments on my long hair.

Also, I live in Baltimore and taking off the length was a godsend in the hot, humid summers. And I could even do a few things with it, whereas I had always been daunted by the length and been unable to do much more than a long braid. If my hair was healthy and I was one of those hair-magicians who could do crazy braided updos I'd be much sadder, but as it is I think it was a good choice.
posted by schroedinger at 12:11 PM on October 16, 2007


I cut mine all off at once, from midway down my back to well above my shoulders. My hair was similarly undyed, in good shape, and was thus eligible as a donation to Locks of Love, an organization that makes real-hair wigs for children who have had chemo. Many nice salons will even do your haircut for free if you agree to donate your hair to an organization like this - call around to see.

Beyond the general goodness of helping a child, I absolutely loved the change. I worried and dallied over the decision for months, but the moment when the scissors went "snip snip snip" through my pony tail was euphoric, because there was no going back. I didn't have to wonder anymore whether I wanted to cut it, because I no longer had the option. It's hard to explain how liberating that was.

And finally, living with short hair was great. I had always thought of my long hair as low maintenance, because I didn't need to do any styling or anything - a ponytail was fine. It turns out I can put some effort into styling my short hair to look really good, and still save time over the messy ponytail of yore, simply because the short hair takes SO much less time to dry.

All that said, after a couple years of short hair, I'm finally growing mine back out again. I'm sure I'll chop it again in a few years, but I feel the need for change creeping up on me. As much as the chop is a "can't go back" decision, it's really not permanent in the grand scheme of life. I say go for it.
posted by vytae at 12:12 PM on October 16, 2007


I've cut it all off (from mid-back length to above the shoulders) three times, and have always disliked it and grown it back, but I suspect this is because my hair is very curly and frizzy, and I've never been able to find anybody who really knows how to style curly hair so that it's easy to take care of and does what it's supposed to do. I find shorter hair to require much more maintenance -- when it's long, if I'm sick of it, I just pin it up. But if your hair is straight, none of this applies.
posted by JanetLand at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2007


I had hair down to my butt (I'm female) until I was about 30. I decided I wanted it shorter, but was kind of chicken. First I went just below-the-shoulders, then after a few months, above-the-shoulders, which is an amazingly annoying length if you have thick hair - it's too long to really leave free, but it's too short to pull back without alot of fuss. I finally bit the bullet when I realized that hair grows back (!!), and if I hated it short, I could always grow it out. Also, did I mention how annoying it was to have not-long-but-not-short hair?

It's now short - really short, like when it gets to be about 3 inches long I feel like a hippie and I get it cut - and I love it. The hard part was finding a hair person who could give me a cut I like consistently and such that it doesn't look like crap when it's growing out.

I'll probably not grow it long again. I've got grey/silver hairs coming in, and they look really cool against the darkness (black, mostly, or a veryveryvery dark brown) of the rest of my hair. It works. And it looks like me, if that makes sense.
posted by rtha at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2007


I went from shoulder-length hair to an extremely short cut- about three inches long- at about age 12. I had seen a picture of a really cool cut and I wanted to try it out. For me, it was a huge mistake, because I hadn't hit puberty yet and it made me look like a boy, which was very upsetting... but you're clearly past puberty. (Also I think you may be a guy, I'm not really sure.) I, myself, am now very reluctant to cut my hair short because of that experience.

Anyway, that's all pretty unhelpful. But- I do know a friend of a friend who shaved her head just to see what would happen and never once regretted it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2007


i had long hair and cut it off into a pixie. i had to talk my stylist into it--she was totally afraid i'd cry.

i loved it--i eventually let it grow out after a few years, but i enjoyed it. it was definitely a shock, but i never regretted it.

i'm guessing you aren't thinking of going quite -that- short, though. how about doing it in stages? cut it to the bottom of your shoulder blades and maybe get some nice, long layers cut in (not like '80s hair, just long layers for a little texture and style). it will still be quite long, long enough to put in a ponytail, but it will look different when it's down. next trim, take another three inches off. repeat until you reach a length you like.

the thing is, you don't know how you'll react. sometimes you just have to go for it. if you hate it, well, it grows.

if it makes you feel better, why not donate the ponytail to locks of love, which makes wigs for kids with cancer. it might take the sting out of any disappointment you feel about your hair.
posted by thinkingwoman at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I keep growing my hair out and cutting it very short, in what has become about a two-year cycle. I keep growing it out and thinking that I like having longer hair to put in a ponytail, but I have never once regretted it once I finally worked up the nerve to chop it all off. I just get lazy about keeping up on haircuts, and then I forget how good short hair feels.

Cut it all at once, definitely. Find people with short haircuts you like and ask them who cut it. And once you find someone who cuts your hair the way you like it, keep going back to them if you try to grow it out, because they'll know what to do. While growing my hair out, I've still managed to get rather stylish haircuts, and no one knows I'm growing it out. (However, I am female, and it seems to me that this process might be somewhat more difficult for men.)
posted by adiabat at 12:16 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


You don't mention your gender, which has some bearing on the question, but I have done pretty much what you describe and lived to tell the tale. I just hate getting haircuts so for the past ten years or so I have just let my hair go; I wash it and keep it reasonably neatly in a ponytail most of the time, but thats about it. About 5 years ago or so I felt like it was time for a change, so I had it cut off (gave the hair to Locks of Love). The deciding factor was when I was out having a beer and a stranger overheard me speculating about cutting off my hair. She told me I would never do it "because men with long hair have too much of their identity wrapped up in it." Well, I think hair is just a bunch of dead protein piled on top of your head, so her comment made the decision an easy one (I don't think I ever saw her again, though). Anyway, I shaved my head (completely bald) and kept it that way over the summer (it was really nice and cool, although shaving it a few times a week got old), then let it grow back out. I have been thinking about cutting it off again, just for the hell of it, but will definitely wait until summer is coming. I really don't worry much about my appearance (I do try to be neat and can dress up when needed) but I enjoy seeing peoples reaction when I do something unexpected (this probably stems from the mohawk incident in '82). So my take is what the hell, do it; if you don't like it it will grow back.
posted by TedW at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2007


I let my hair grow out for over two years, more or less on a whim. It didn't get down to the small of my back, but it was certainly the longest it has ever been.

Then I decided to cut it. The main reason? Wind. I had moved to the Outer Sunset district of San Francisco and the constant winds just made it more of a hassle than I wanted to deal with.

I took the all-at-once approach. In fact I got the sides of my head shaved close and then just short on top. It felt great! I did have some mixed feelings - I felt the longer hair gave my face more character, somehow.

But then there was a bizarre side effect - my previously very straight hair decided to grow back all curly-like. So I had shorter hair and yet different hair, which kept things interesting.

(pics of my hair pre/post cut; more current pic)

That most recent pic is just a few days after I got it cut again. Usually I'll go about two months between haircuts now. This past June I almost decided to let it grow long again, but ultimately decided against it. I definitely would not look forward to the transitional period.

I'm kind of bored with it right now, but I don't regret cutting it.

Also, after I cut it everyone said, "wow, it looks so much better short" so I guess people were silently against it the long look in my case.
posted by mikepop at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2007


I've always had long hair - halfway down my back - and decided to cut it to about chin length about seven years ago. It was great at first (novelty - I could hardly do a ponytail!) but I hated it after a couple of weeks. I just don't think it really suits my face and I generally prefer longer hair anyway.

But I think you should do it, you never know what you'll think. As can be seen from the comments, lots of people prefer it and you can always grow it back. It'll come back faster than you might think. At least then you will definitely know which you prefer.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2007


i had hair down past my shoulders, and chopped it all off at once, to shorter than chin length. Also, my hair is naturally curly (and boy do i mean curly. spiral curls that look like a perm). Short hair? way easier to take care of. no tangles, no wrestling with wayward curls in the morning. it also compliments my face better, and i think that most people in general look better with shorter hair.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2007


If you decide to do it, here are different organizations you can donate it to.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:30 PM on October 16, 2007


Male here. Had long hair for 8 years or so. The weight was pulling it out, so I decided less was better than none. I went from around 3 feet to 2-3 inches. Blammo. One swipe. It took me a while to find a style I liked after having not thought about it in so long, but I've got it middle length now and am way happier.

Two points: 1) You'll have to get used to sweat running down your face again. Gross but true. 2) Donate your lost locks to Locks of Love, so that others can enjoy them too.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2007


People compliment me on it frequently, and make distressed noises when I talk about cutting it ("oh, you can't, it's so pretty!")

It's worth noting that those people do not, themselves, have long hair.

Yeah, go for all at once. You'll get a solid month of seeing yourself in the mirror and going "WHOA!", which is pretty fun. When I went from mid-back-length to short hair, I was pleased with the decision.

The main thing to remember is that you should still keep it long enough so that it flies around a bit when you're headbanging.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2007


I cut my long hair off when I went to college. The best part was how easy it was to wash, and how quickly it dried. My least favorite part was that it was too short to pull back into a ponytail, so I had to get used to hair around my face all the time.

I've had long hair since the end of college. It doesn't take that long to grow back.

If you're considering "donating your hair to charity", you may want to google first. Locks of Love, for instance, does not exactly follow the "Yay, they make free wigs for cancer kids!" business model people tend to think it does.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:33 PM on October 16, 2007


When I was 32 my hair was down to my belt. I got tired of it and decided to get it cut off.

In preparation for that day, I got a special T-shirt made for me that said "I don't want to hear about it!" and wore it to work the first day after the hair cut.

After that, though, it wasn't a problem. It was hard to make the decision to do it, of course, but in fact it was something of a relief.

(Now my hair is long again...)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:50 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


In high school, I had hair so long I sometimes sat on it. It was also in really good shape, no split ends or frizzies, etc. However, right before college I chopped it off to a chin-length bob. It felt SO good, so light, and felt really symbolic for starting the new part of my life.

The important thing to remember is that it's hair. It grows back if you don't like it short!
posted by tastybrains at 12:53 PM on October 16, 2007


I had hair almost to my waist from the time I was a little kid until I was about 20. Then I cut it to chin-length, and loved it - easier to take care of, more flattering, more compliments. A year later I got a pixie cut. Since then I've had it as short as a buzz cut (easy, fun, but I got called "sir" a lot) and as long as jaw length; now I'm back to the pixie. I will never grow my hair out again.
posted by bassjump at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hate to muss your 'do, but what thehmsbeagle said about Locks of Love.
I'm a guy and I have had long hair forever. Since the Nixon Administration. I got it cut right before Christmas last year. It was cut quite short by someone who knows what she's doing. Right after my haircut I went to my GF's work Holiday Party and was immediately surrounded by her female co-workers who seemingly could not resist running thier fingers through it. That was quite enjoyable. At the grocery store a week later I ran into a friend of mine who was shopping with his wife and son. His wife kept running her fingers through it. That was somewhat uncomfortable.
I'm amazed how much easier it is to care for and how I don't get approached by folks trying to sell me weed or coke anymore when I travel in Latin America. (My standard response was always "Nope. I'm on vacation!") And it seems it would double my dating prospects if I hadn't already found my one-and-only.
I say do it. If you don't like it, grow it back.
posted by Floydd at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2007


My hair was never past my shoulders, but when I had it pixie cut (loved it! never looked back!) I was shocked at how little shampoo I needed to use.

The whole quarter-sized-dollop would take me 10 minutes to rinse out! I'm down to, like, a pea-sized amount!

Then I started buying "good" (expensive) shampoo/conditioner because a bottle lasts for-evah! And maybe it's just marketing brainwashing, but I really do think the good shampoo makes my hair nicer.

So ... there you go. Count me as a vote for the super-short!
posted by mccxxiii at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2007


The biggest change for me was going from wearing it in a ponytail every day to not being able to pull it back anymore. For my entire life (and I mean for as long as I've been styling my own hair, so since about 4th grade), I had worn a ponytail or a bun every day except on very special occasions (relatives' weddings, my prom, etc.). When I cut my hair to chin length, it was no longer long enough to fit into a ponytail. I can put it into pigtails, sort of, although a bunch of hair usually escapes in the back. So the shorter hair has been higher maintenance for me than longer hair was, because instead of just being able to pull it back and forget about it, I actually have to style it every day.

I look more feminine with short hair because I actually put some effort into a style. Most women with short hair, I notice, almost always look more feminine than women who wear ponytails. Similarly, men with short hair tend to look more masculine than men with ponytails. So be prepared to look more whatever than you do now. Strangers may flirt with you more or treat you more like a sexual being than they used to. You may look and feel more adult, because people, especially women, tend to cut their hair shorter as they age. It's a change, and people will respond to you differently.

I love my short haircut. I feel like a grown woman now, as opposed to a high school or college kid, and I like that feeling. I have no regrets about the haircut, and I don't think I'll ever go long again, because long hair was more trouble than it was worth, and it just encouraged me to wear ponytails that were unflattering. If I were you, I would go for it. Get a recommendation from friends who have hair texture similar to yours and whose haircuts you like for a stylist who will do a good job (and don't skimp on this; now is not the time to go to Supercuts), and cut it off! If you hate it, you can always grow it back, and even if you regret it, you'll know that you took a chance and did something spontaneous.
posted by decathecting at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Short-haired chick here.

I'm a bit evangelical in my love of having short hair and seeing short hair on other people, especially women. Here are some random thoughts from someone who has probably overthought this part of life:

1. When people say things encouraging me to grow it out or not cut it short, it just makes me want to cut it more. Not long before I cut it the first time, a guy I used to have a crush on told me I'd look like a boy. Well, that clinched it. He complimented me on it afterward--too late, sucker. Ha ha.

2. The first time, I went mid-back to pixie cut. And I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it. It was awesome! I loved surprising everyone.

3. Yes, it's so liberating. It literally makes you feel lighter, and it's also a healthy way to feel in control of your own choices.

4. Finding the right person to cut it can be really tough. There are a few potential set-backs.
4a. The most frustrating thing is getting a hairdresser that's afraid of cutting it too short. Steer clear of women who never wear their own as short as you want to go. Short-haired women (at heart, at least) or men are much safer. Long-haired women sometimes get sentimental about their own hair and project that onto yours. It's so disappointing to pay for a cut and later wish it had ended up shorter. If it's too short, you just wait for it to grow a little. Too long, you have to live with it or go back. Annoying.
4b. Haircuts are so expensive! Gaaah! OK, I guess that goes for everyone.
4c. It took me a while to realize how important your initial cut is to the length of time before you need another one. I went to a fairly expensive place and got a really good cut, and then I went longer than usual before getting it cut again. It wasn't until I was sitting in the chair again that I realized that even though it was longer than I liked, it still looked pretty good.

5. As much as I love getting my hair cut, I actually haven't had mine cut for about a year now, due to laziness and cheapness. This is my first time "growing it out" since cutting it all off the first time, and it's interesting. Not as bad as I would have thought. There are stretches where it looks good, and stretches where it looks bad, and then it grows out some more and changes again. I'm definitely chopping it off again very soon. (I can't wait!) But all in all, it grows back pretty quick, and it can be fun to see what it does while it's growing.

6. Bottom line? It grows. Hair grows, that's its sole purpose on earth. Live it up. Worse case scenario, you get creative with scarves and hats for a few months. I think almost everyone should drastically cut their hair at least once.
posted by lampoil at 1:13 PM on October 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm a man who had long hair from about 1990-1997. I've never regretted cutting it short, right before I went to grad school -- it was a good way to start a new chapter in life.

Also, I've come to feel like long, unstyled hair is often just a way to avoid dealing with finding a good style and/or learning how to talk to a stylist about what you want.

I floundered around with different short styles for many years, and even experimented in cutting it myself (with pretty bad results). Now I just take pictures with me to show the stylist when I get my hair cut, and I'm usually very happy with the outcome.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2007


I had hair that was not as long as yours, but below the shoulders. I don't remember why I wanted to grow it long, but I eventually got sick of it. That, and summer was starting, AND my boyfriend had been bothering me fore years to buzz my head (he liked slightly butch looking women).

So, I took the plunge with him. We buzzed each others heads t a quarter of an inch, took photos, posted them online, sent out misleading emails to make it sound like we got hitched with a link to the photos.

I loved it. I loved being able to feel every breeze that went past on my scalp. I loved how it made my boyfriend find me hot all over again. I loved how random men on the street stopped hitting on me. I loved how I got compliments from friends on the shape of my head.

However, winter came and I needed better coverage. I didn't buzz it again and it's since grown into a bob length. But I still have the clippers, and I've buzzed at least three other people since then. They've all loved it. When they got sick of it, they grew it out again. Basically, it's really fun and has a pretty low level of regret.
posted by piratebowling at 1:24 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Locks of Love does not make wigs for kids with cancer. It makes wigs for kids with alopecia. Hair loss from chemo grows back. Hair loss from alopecia does not.

My hair used to be quite long, though not down to my waist. I chopped it off in dramatic, but not THAT dramatic stages -- to shoulders, then to chin, then to cheekbones, then veryshort. I wish I'd cut it shorter sooner -- I love it.

Other people are weird and judgmental about the hair of strangers. Apropos of absolutely nothing, men tell me all about how they prefer women to have long hair blah blah blah (but oh, the short hair looks fine on me) while I wonder why on earth they're oversharing. My dad still complains about my haircut (but he loves my godawful fifth-grade photo, 'cause he's a dad), people want to know what my SO thinks of my short hair (he likes me the way I am, thanks).

Do it. It's totally fun. If you hate it, it'll grow back.
posted by desuetude at 1:25 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I went from having hair below my waist to chin-length. I donated it to Locks of Love. That part felt great, but my hair looks like crap short. It's thick, and not wavy but not straight either, so it stuck up in all the spots it shouldn't, and made my head look fat. I dont' have a head shape that is flattered by a pixie cut... oh how I wish i did. I spent more time styling it because I had to blow dry it to sit right. I need the length to pull it down some. I couldn't wait to get it past my shoulders again, which didn't take long at all. Now I'm happy with it somewhere near my shoulder blades, and with some layers cut in to take away a bit of the bulkiness. Unfortunately, I think this will be it until I'm old enough to need a wig.
posted by Alpenglow at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2007


Short haired girl speaking. I cut mine off months ago for Locks of Love (from about halfway down my back to ~2 inches long in the back with front bangs) and while it took a bit of getting used to to see myself with short hair, in terms of upkeep, it's so worth it. I've kept it short, and had fun with it- the good thing about short hair is, if you don't do TOO much damage to it, it's easy enough to correct whatever colours you want to play around with.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 1:34 PM on October 16, 2007


I've gone from short to long to short several times. When I go short, I tend to go all at once, and I *love* it. The only time I didn't love going shorter was when I had layers added to my all-one-length hair. *Hated* it, and it took forever to grow those horrible layers out and even up the cut.
posted by happyturtle at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2007


I have always had long hair (mid-back length) until my mom got this brilliant idea to give me a home perm in 4th grade. My hair was fried and I had to get it cut extremely short (think Dorothy Hammill). I hated it. Kids thought I was a boy and I swore then and there I'd never cut my hair again.

That held until my late 20s when I got it cut to just below my shoulders. I had just decided it was time to change and try something new. I loved it and I realized how much better I felt with hair that was healthy and shiny. Gradually over the last few years, I've progressively gotten it cut shorter and shorter until last month. It was at my shoulders and I'd had the same style for 3 years or so. I looked at my stylist and said, "I want a bob." Thirty minutes later it was just barely long enough to cover my ear lobes.

It took me about a week to adjust to seeing myself in the mirror, but everyone, even my boyfriend who is not fond of short hair, thinks it looks fabulous. It feels great and is so much easier to deal with. I may grow it back out in little while, but for right now I'm sticking with it.

Oddly enough, the gradual shift felt bizarre. I see pictures of me a few years ago and my hair is sooooo long. But now that it's short, I wouldn't change a thing. Go for it.

For decades, I was very uptight about my hair. I was convinced it was the only good feature I had, and the longer the better. But after I started getting it cut and had to style it and pay attention to it, I felt more confident and happier. Now that it's freaky short, I rarely have bad hair days. In fact, when I told one of my girlfriends I'd cut my hair, she freaked. She was not happy and didn't think it would look good. However, when she saw it, she said it looked like movie star hair and started fingering hers. She's now contemplating a shorter cut.

Getting your hair cut short can be a very liberating and profound experience. Or it can be really traumatic. The difference is in the mindset when you do it. If you're cutting your hair because you want to, then the odds are it will be much more pleasant than if you feel you have to for some reason.

And for the lack of ponytail issue, headbands are your new best friend. It still looks cute and is way easy to deal with.
posted by teleri025 at 1:48 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


if you do it, go all the way and donate it as others have said.

i went from mid-back to a very short bob a few years ago, and have only gone shorter since. i look much better with short hair, and you might too!

then again, every once in a while i want it long for just a day or two to do something fun.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:52 PM on October 16, 2007


Keep in mind that your hair may be different shorter - it may be frizzier or wavy without weight, and not look like your hair, just cut short.

I cut my hair every now and again (very recently - it's just below shoulder length at the moment), but it grows so quickly that within a few years it's waist-length again. I like both, but find I don't need any product to control the frizz when it's longer, whereas I do when it's shorter.
posted by goo at 1:56 PM on October 16, 2007


(Female here) My golden-red hair used to be extremely long. It was beautiful in and of itself, this huge mass of spun-gold Titian glory, but I finally realized that it didn't make *me* look attractive. I was just making up in quantity what I lacked in style.

When I was 23 I bobbed my hair with a great deal of trepidation -- and absolutely loved it. The shorter cut just suits my face much better. I don't get the same number of compliments at the grocery store, but I have cute hair that I love, and I feel like I'm wearing my hair now, instead of the other way around.
posted by junkbox at 1:57 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Another female. I had extremely long hair (roughly knee-length, but I'm quite short) throughout elementary and middle school, then cut it to mid-back shortly before my freshman year of high school. It then moved to upper back, until I got it bobbed this August (before my junior year). I love it! I've become much more confident and happy, and it's so easy to take care of. However, it seems like no-one ever noticed the gradual hair cuts inbetween the knee-length and bob - quite a few people have asked me, "Was this your first haircut?!"
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 2:04 PM on October 16, 2007


Female here. I had long hair since I was in 3rd grade, and it was seriously traumatized hair (lots of dying, bleaching, and a perm). It was down to about the small of my back for most of my life. Almost a year after I graduated from college, I cut it off to just above my shoulders.

I'd thought about going shorter, but I'm very low-maintenance with my hair (the biggest reason it looks like shit most of the time, but mehhhhhhhh). My hairdresser left it that long (although I kinda wanted it a touch shorter) because it gives me a tiny little nubbin for a ponytail. It's not a really big ponytail and it amuses me because it just sticks out there, but it's nice to be able to get my hair out of the way.

As far as after I cut it, I was surprised every time I looked in a mirror for a few weeks. It didn't really look like me any longer.

I've gotten many more compliments on my hair now (which is also probably because I've stepped away from the hair dye) and apparently it suits my face better, although I'm crap at noticing things like that. I also like the fact that it doesn't take as long to dry and doesn't get in matted tangles like it used to.
posted by sperose at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2007


I'm a female, too, but I don't have an anecdote for you. My hair is currently down past my butt and I have been considering cutting it. Everyone I know and everyone I don't know have opinions on my hair: strangers tell me it's beautiful and to never cut it, other strangers tell me it's beautiful and I need to donate it.

But the whole thing scares me. I've always had long hair, never ever cut it, and worry that I will hate it short. Or what if I get a bad stylist and have just paid a ton of money for a cut I hate? It will take years to grow it back the way I have it now. And it's very healthy and shiny with no split ends, full and wavy. If I cut it, will it go curly? Too curly? It's so unknown, and I know how I look with my long hair and I like it (I rarely pull it into a pony tail, mostly leaving it loose or half-pulled back).

Thank you for the question, I will be following it.
posted by rhapsodie at 2:22 PM on October 16, 2007


From the front page of the Locks of Love site:
WHAT IS LOCKS OF LOVE?

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.


Am currently on my second round of growing my hair out for the above. Will be the third time with long hair. Definitely go all the way short when cutting it and donate. It feels good on both accounts.
posted by bastionofsanity at 2:24 PM on October 16, 2007


Another male. Had waist-length hair from about 1987 to 1994. My advice is to do what I did: Have a friend braid your hair so you can keep it as a memento. Then have your stylist (or the friend) buzz it off as close to the scalp as possible.
posted by trip and a half at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2007


In high school, I had long long hair all the way down my back. I wanted to cut it for a long time, but I was afraid to do so. I finally did it at my regular trim appointment -- no pre-planning -- just told my hairdresser to cut it back to shoulder length.

I loved the lightness and the feeling of air on the back of my neck. At that time, though, I didn't find the cut too flattering. I put it back in the standard Geek-Ponytail every single day, and kept cutting it shorter and shorter (though always long enough to stay in a ponytail). I was hankering for shorter hair, but (again) afraid to do it.

One hot summer day, as I was lugging boxes up four flights of stairs, I just got sick of it. In between boxes, I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut it all off myself. It was shaggy, uneven, and very short, but it looked and felt great. After that, I went quite short (maybe 1/2-inch or so) for a while. It felt great, required zero maintenance, and looked (I think) endearingly butch. At a certain point, it became slightly too butch, and I started growing it out again.

Right now, I still cut it myself. It's about chin length in front and much shorter in back. I absolutely love it this way -- it's easy, flattering, and has a sort of 1920s flavor. Any time it starts covering the back of my neck, I grab a pair of scissors and clip away.

The biggest thing I've learned is this: Cutting your own hair is fun!* I used to dread paying $40+ for crappy haircuts that I didn't like. Now I get 'em for free! No, actually, I think at this point I do a better job than most of the hairdressers I've ever visited. I also get a geeky kick out of the DIY-ness. My hair doesn't require a specialized maintenance technician; I can take care of it myself and adjust it at any time to suit my whims.

*Please note: my hair is thick and quite curly, so it's forgiving -- it doesn't need to be perfectly even to look good. You might get (undesirably) different results if your hair is very straight.
posted by ourobouros at 2:29 PM on October 16, 2007


I've grown mine pretty long and then dramatically lopped it off numerous times in my life. Mine grows fast, but still...I have never been traumatized. Usually I feel reborn, and freak out my friends. That last part is usually really fun.
posted by konolia at 2:36 PM on October 16, 2007


(I am female.) I once cut my hair from waist-length to shoulder-length after having waist-length hair for a couple years. Though I sometimes missed my warm and secure blanket of hair, I enjoyed no longer having it catch on everything, and enjoyed no longer getting the creepy stares and comments from strangers.

Later, I tried cutting it very short. Going from shoulder-length to very short was much more traumatic, and I hated it. I wasn't ready for how old it made me feel to have my hair that short. I know some women look good with short hair even when they are young, but I tend to associate short hair with age, and if you also have that association then you may want to think twice about cutting it very short.

I'm currently trying to grow it a bit, because it's so wavy that it gets huge at its current length of just above my shoulder if I don't weigh it down with gel. It needs some length to have enough natural weight to look decent. If you have thick, wavy hair, be aware that it may poof out if you remove length.
posted by veronitron at 2:37 PM on October 16, 2007


I just had my mid-back length hair cut to above collar length this past Friday and I LOVE IT! It's so shiny and healthy, my head feels lighter, in fact I'm giddy all over :-)

One thing you might not have thought about is your wardrobe - t-shirts and sweaters look so different with much shorter hair. I pulled on a favourite grey wool sweater this morning and damn, it looks good.

And the best thing of all? Bathing without having to gussy up with shower cap/towel to keep it all dry. Bliss.

I think you're almost ready to have it cut. Go do it. If you really hate it (you won't), it'll grow back.
posted by ceri richard at 2:45 PM on October 16, 2007


I think it also matters what your hair length means to you.

My entire childhood, I had very long hair (that was a pain to keep neat) partially because my mom had a punky pixie cut and wanted to demonstrate her femininity on me. So when I went into 7th grade, I chopped it to chin length to demonstrate my independence. (It felt really good and was much easier to maintain.)

After years of a bob, I went to long hair for college, to be more hippy dippy freespirit-like and after writing a paper about the symbolism of hair in representational art that equated short/tied back hair with female self-oppression (yeah, I was no fun in college).

As a mom, I went to shorthair for function, and to stop getting other people's finger food stuck in it.

When my college sweetheart waxed poetically about how pretty my long hair was and I wanted to snag him, well, it got long again. (It also helps that my hair texture changed after pregnancy and bobs no longer kept a perfect angular shape without lots of product and styling.)

Why was your hair long in the first place? Are you ready for a switch? Every major hairstyle change has been a symbol to myself that times they are a'changing.
posted by Gucky at 3:16 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I had long hair much of my life. My hair is naturally full of attractive highlights, and looked beautiful when it was freshly washed and long; but it's baby-fine, so it doesn't hold style at all, even with lots of product. It can only be either long and straight, or short and plain. I used to wear it long, then I gradually went shorter and shorter.

Now it's very short and shaped to my head and I LOVE it. It's so much easier to look after, it dries quickly, it looks more professional and it requires less fixing during the day. It's much lighter and cooler in hot weather. You can see my earrings now and my hair doesn't get tangled in them - or in necklace clasps for that matter. I wish I'd done it all at once, and done it years earlier.

My partner preferred it long, but he doesn't have to take care of it :)
posted by andraste at 3:52 PM on October 16, 2007


I got my hair cut from about the middle of my back to about an inch long one day. I told the haircutter, "I am ready to go short," and she went for it.

It was a mildly interesting sensation, but it looked *awful* to me, and I never got used to it. I felt abused, actually - and could easily call up the upset I felt a couple years afterward. I've tended to keep it shorter rather than longer since then, which I do like now - when my hair gets that long again, it feels a bit shapeless and frustrating to me, even.

Finding a happy length after that disastrous haircut had its inconveniences but they never came close to the initial shock of, in essence, losing all my hair. Which, in case you missed it, I hated.
posted by caitlinb at 3:59 PM on October 16, 2007


After cutting my hair short: It's a LOT less shampoo, and a lot less time in the shower, and haircare in general. I'm shocked at how little shampoo I need now, how quick my hair dries, and am appalled at how much time I used to spend on my hair!
posted by Xere at 4:06 PM on October 16, 2007


I'm a guy. I started growing out my hair in middle school. For about a dozen years, I had long hair, which I pretty much always wore in a ponytail. Over the years, I got bored with it. I kept it in its ponytail because it seemed like the easiest thing to do, rather than because I particularly liked the look.

Eventually, I got tired of it, and spent a few months trying to bleach it to white (never got past a light platinum blond, even with various toners), and then had a little party where I invited some of my friends over to cut it. I had a bunch of ridiculous hairstyles over the course of a night, ending up bald.

In the two years since then I've tried out a bunch of colors and a few styles (all short). I'm not tempted to go back. It's much easier to care for now, even if I do need to get periodic hair cuts.

I got past the "OMG, what am I doing?" feeling during the bleaching phase. After that, the actual cutting was easy.
posted by aneel at 4:35 PM on October 16, 2007


Good heavens--I didn't expect quite such an enthusiastic response. Much appreciated!

In response to Gucky, my hair is long partly because I just don't pay much attention to it, and partly because I do think it looks good--a nice-looking, distinctive accessory to an otherwise unadorned appearance.

In response to the people who wanted pictures, here's a "before" shot--not a great photograph, but the best I have access to right now. As you can see, my hair is very straight and fine. It's usually darker than it looks in that picture.

If I decide to make the Big Snip, I'll try to post an "after" pic, but that probably won't be for a couple of weeks (I'd wait until I could get an appointment with my partner's friend the Master Hairstylist.)
posted by fermion at 4:36 PM on October 16, 2007


I had that waist-length-hair-until-college thing going, then I cut it to medium length. And after college, to pretty short. I don't think I'd ever go back to hair that long, although at the time, I did like the compliments. It's just past my shoulders now, and it's making me bananas. What I like best about keeping shorter hair: doesn't get as raggedy as long hair, takes about five seconds to brush, and uses very little shampoo or conditioner, if I want to use either. And air-drying is much shorter. It's also nice to go swimming without soaking up enough water in my hair that my head is noticeably heavier.

I don't think you need to cut your hair if you don't want to. But I also don't think you need to listen to other people's opinions on this issue. Especially the people who cluck for you to not cut your hair, because it's sooo pretty. It's not their hair, and they don't have to maintain it.

When I went to mid-length, my best friend was angry with me (because she thought I was wasting a gift of long hair, since she can't grow her own), my best friend's mother called my mother to express concern for my mental health (because, why would I cut that glorious hair unless something was wrong with me?), and a dude who was interested in me pouted for a while, because he had a serious thing for long-haired women. That's not taking into account the dozens of small comments over the years, when I spoke of cutting it. What drives people to plead that long-haired women never cut their hair, I'll never know. I found it pretty annoying.
posted by Coatlicue at 4:37 PM on October 16, 2007


My hair's been long ever since my parents lost jurisdiction over it. Like you, I never dyed, permed or blow-dried it.

After my studies in Britain finished, I decided to apply for a visa. When I was leaving Dulles Airport, I thought "Hmm, my hair's getting a little untidy... well, I'll get it cut when I get back."

The visa application was meant to take two months or so. It took two years, during which I couldn't leave the UK (or work legally). I kept rebooking my flight home till my ticket expired. My grandmother died in the States and I couldn't go to her funeral. Meanwhile my hair kept growing, because I was grimly determined not to get it cut until I was back in DC. It became so long it was butt-length even when braided. It's light brown and wavy, so when down it looked very Pre-Raphaelite. I liked it and was proud of it.

Nevertheless, when my visa finally came through and I was able to visit my family in DC again, I went straight to the guy who's been cutting my hair since I was 13 and said "Do what you will." It ended up chin-length. All the hair grown in the bad years was gone, and I felt great. For weeks afterwards, I kept shaking my head at odd times to feel my short hair going shimmy-shimmy-shimmy around my shoulders and chin. Without the extra weight it became much more wavy and went into ringlets occasionally. Shortly afterwards, I had it chopped to cheekbone level; that was fun too.

I eventually grew it out again because, being an actor and singer, I liked being able to look right for any historical period. Also, short hair requires frequent haircuts, an expensive habit. It's now about bra-strap length. I'll have to chop it off again for a Handel opera in February, though.

To sum up: I like having long hair; I liked having short hair. I think having someone you trust to cut it makes the decision easier. I wish you luck.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:42 PM on October 16, 2007


DON'T DONATE YOUR HAIR, AND HERE IS WHY: Locks of Love gets too much hair, needs money not hair, and can't handle the donations. Ditto for other hair donation groups.

New York Times:

At the headquarters of Locks of Love in Lake Worth, Fla., the hair deluge — up to 2,000 individual donations a week — can be daunting for the small staff of six employees and 10 to 15 volunteers. ... Locks of Love sends the best of the hair it receives to a wig manufacturer, Taylormade Hair Replacement in Millbrae, Calif., which weeds through the selection still further, rejecting up to half.

“We hate throwing it away but ultimately we have to clear the place out,” said Greg Taylor, the president and owner of Taylormade. “There is a disparity between the hundreds and hundreds of braids and ponytails and the number of hairpieces we’ve produced.”


Cut your hair if you want to. And then send a check to a charity if you want to. Giving hair to charity is a waste of your time and money (shipping costs) and the charity's time and money (dealing with it costs).
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm a life-long yo-yo hair grower. Down to my waist then cut it all off to a boy-cut. I've done it half a dozen times. If you don't like it short, it will grow back.

Short hair is liberating. You'll love it.
posted by nax at 5:57 PM on October 16, 2007


I seem to be going in 5-6 year cycles. In 7th grade, I went from long hair to a bob. That then grew out over the course of high school 'till it was past my lower back. I got my senior portraits taken with the long hair, and then the next day got it cut to chin-length. (I then proceeded to bleach it and dye it blood red, which resulted in a moment of panic when we went back to review the pictures - the girl came back saying, "Well, we found a set of pictures with your name, but this girl has long dark hair!...") I liked it, but wanted shorter. So I went shorter. And loved loved loved it. I thought putting hair in a ponytail was low-maintenance, but taking a shower, running my fingers through it, and being good to go was a hundred times better. Plus, then I got to dye it darker and look like Trinity for Halloween. Disadvantages were having to get it cut every 6 weeks and bed head. Having long hair, you don't really have to deal with this. But cut it short-short, and you'll find yourself waking up with hair literally sticking straight up, fanned out on one side of your head, and whatever else.

Anyway, I've been growing it back out again since May 2002, and it's down to my butt again. I'm thinking of cutting it, but I hesitate because a.) I'm getting married next year, and vainly want long hair for that event, and b.) I kinda want to see how long it will go. But especially if you've never done it before, go for it! It's fantastically fun and awesome. This next time, I think I want to try shaving my head, just to see what it's like . . .
posted by po at 6:42 PM on October 16, 2007


Grew my hair out to ponytail length in the early 90s. Decided on a whim to cut it all off in 92. Hated it and immediately grew it back out. Around 97, I'd had my fill. There wasn't any particular thing that happened, I was just done. The hairdresser seemed incredibly paranoid and asked about 5 different I was totally, completely sure. I guess some kind of dickhead must have had buyer's remorse before me. How immature do you have to be to take it out on some hairdresser? Anyhow, I digress. I never regretted it, and I've never wanted to grow it back out.

That all said, it's just hair. I don't know why some people get their identity so deeply wrapped up in it.
posted by O9scar at 7:00 PM on October 16, 2007


Cut it off, boyfriend hated it, had a fight, he reaffirmed that he loved me despite my hair, brought us closer, my hair looked cute, and can grow back. Happiness about the decision, 8 on a scale of 10.

Should have gone to a better salon, would've made me happier.
posted by sondrialiac at 7:31 PM on October 16, 2007


I have my hair on a five-year cycle, more or less. Grow it to mid-back, then chop to chin length or shorter.

My chopping phase is usually induced by a major life event - getting rid of a bad boyfriend, or a bad job - and it never fails to make me feel lighter, happier, and liberated. Sort of a personal purification rite.

I've never regretted a chop, not even for a minute. Though the growing-out phases can be awkward.
posted by Andrhia at 8:01 PM on October 16, 2007


I go from below-shoulder-blades to nape-of-neck showing every once in a while. It is an amazingly liberating feeling.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:55 PM on October 16, 2007


I was traumatized by a too-short haircut that left me in tears at nine years old. My dad and I preferred my hair long, and my mother preferred it short. Anyway, I decided to grow it after the mishap, but aside from tiny trims I did myself or my aunt did, I never let anyone touch it.

I enjoyed having super long hair. I'd get comments on it all the time. I was seriously an anime character. Big eyes and hair down to the thighs.

In June of last year, I got about 20" chopped off, up to lower-mid back. Not exactly short, no. But it was the first time in 17 years I'd had a haircut.

In January, I got it layered a bit, and in June, I wanted a bit of a trim and some new layers, but wound up with it MUCH shorter than I wanted. I asked for it to stop at my boobs and it was just past my shoulders! And layered crazily, with bangs, which I loathe. Again, I left in tears.

I went to my boyfriend's that evening and he loved it. I secretly wanted him to hate it so we could commiserate, but he said it brought out my pretty face and made me look overall sexier. I cried and cried into his shoulder.

It took me over a week to stop tearing up over it. I've let it grow in since then. It still hasn't reached my boobs. It probably won't until January or so. In the meantime, I've played with it. It curls much more easily now that there isn't bulk to it, so I have a few options I didn't previously.

On the flip side, I am still mixed on it. I don't LOVE it, but I do like it sometimes. I tolerate the more annoying aspects, like my bangs.

However, my favorite looks are old Hollywood inspired, like with long curls, long waves, and glamorous sleek styles (think Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge or Rita Hayworth), and it's hard to do long and sleek when your hair isn't very long anymore.

I miss my super long braids and Princess Leia buns, and other things I could do with super long hair. also, nobody comments on it now. It isn't special or attention-grabbing to the average person on the street anymore.

So, I'm entirely mixed. Some things are nice. Some are very not nice. Even all this time later.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:10 PM on October 16, 2007


As a kid, my hair was never cut; it was down to my butt by the time I was in sixth grade. That year, I was twelve, and desperate to get pierced ears, like every other girl in middle school already had. Mom -- spurred on by my practice of whipping my long braid above my head for a helicopter effect -- drove a hard bargain; in seventh grade I got it cut just above my shoulders . . . and I got those piercings. The haircut wasn't really traumatic; it just left me with one less defense against my younger brother.

The braid was preserved in a ziploc, and somehow wound up in one of my mom's kitchen cabinets, where it periodically freaks out people who discover something mouse-shaped, mouse-colored, organic, and fuzzy. Don't save the hair.

The only other pain-in-the-butt thing to avoid is midlength hair. Through most of high school, I stayed between chin and shoulders. At the longer end of that spectrum, you can put your hair up, which is great when you just want a bun or ponytail. Get it a little too short, and good luck keeping it up off the back of your neck and out of your face.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:35 PM on October 16, 2007


Well, thanks to a bout of pneumonia making my hair fall out for 6 months straight, I got forced to cut my hair off.

On the one hand, it didn't look as bad as I thought it was going to, and I could wear big complicated earrings without my hair eating them. And for a period of time, my weakly-wavy hair was very curly. Then my hair grew back, and it somewhat straightened out to medium-wavy. I actually tried re-cutting it off again to see if the awesome curls would come back, but alas, they did not.

In the end, I have gone back to long again. It looks good like that, and I really have no interest/time to go get regular haircuts. I only get my hair done seasonally or so, and short hair is more maintenance in that regard.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:17 PM on October 17, 2007


I've pretty much always had long hair about half way down my back. Anytime I have ever cut it (just above shoulders), I regretted it so much. That's just my experience though.

My hair grows pretty slow, so I'd say if your hair grows fast then I'd go for it.
posted by 20something at 5:31 PM on October 20, 2007


Did it! And I feel great. The chopped-off ponytail is just short of two feet long, and what's left is chin-length in front and very short in back. My hair is lighter, morning showers are shorter, and life is good.

I think it helped tremendously that I went to my partner's world-class hairstylist and spent a bit of extra money to have it done really well; the constant compliments on how great it looks have certainly helped confirm my decision. Even some die-hard long-hair partisans have told me that they liked it in spite of themselves.

I like it so much I'm thinking of going even shorter after a month or two when it grows out and needs trimming. Viva la haircut!
posted by fermion at 5:00 PM on November 13, 2007


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