Advice for a guy with ponytail neurosis
October 24, 2010 9:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm a guy and have long hair that I usually keep in a ponytail. Should I cut my hair, and if so, what should I do with it? And, why am I so up in my head about the decision?

I started growing my hair out when I was about 17. That was 13 years ago and I've been thinking it's time for a change for a long time. I usually keep it in a ponytail, and even that work bothers me. Other guys with ponytails tend to make me angry, especially when they happen to be sound engineers. I've also found that people tend to ask me for change and drugs more than my short haired counterparts, and it does get annoying after awhile.

I'm lacking a vision of what my life would look like with short hair, and how to go about getting my hair cut. I know, it seems like it should be simple, but I want to donate my hair and I don't want to go to a hair stylist who'll mess that part up. People tell me all of these things I should do to send my hair to Locks of Love, like putting it in several braids instead of one or two before cutting to maximize its usability in wigs, and I feel weird explaining that and/or negotiating with a stylist. They'll think I'm crazy, and in this case they might be right.

Also (apologies if you're eating) I have a sebaceous cyst on my head (one that's grown since I had four removed about five years ago) when I had student health insurance it was easy to get them removed and my former University's health center. My current insurance is so backwards I have a feeling like it would take several months to arrange and not be covered and cost hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars. Maybe I could just have a really good friend with a scalpel do it? Am I wrong that people would notice it if I had short hair? I don't know.

Then, what do I do with short hair? Except for an odd part of the early nineties and when I was growing it out, my hair has always been crew cut short, or long. If I have to mess with it and put stuff in it every morning, I know I'll screw it up and never want to do it and end up looking like a disheveled screwball.

Why am I so nuts about this? Writing this, I feel like a mental health professional would have grounds to put me on a 72 hour watch. I feel like Spalding Gray in that movie about his macular pucker, except over something much more trivial.
posted by scharpy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thirty with a ponytail? Cut it.

There seems to be a lot of identity to tied up in people's hair, no pun intended. The rational thing to grok is that it will grow back but people get kinda nuts-o when their locks are at stake.
posted by trinity8-director at 9:18 PM on October 24, 2010

The good thing is that hair grows back :)

I'd just cut it off, and see how you like it. If you want to do the Locks of Love, talk to your hairdresser about it beforehand. (I nearly did Locks of Love, until I realized that my hair was a bit too damaged at the ends, and I really wanted just a few inches cut off, not a foot or two. I'm female, YMMV.)
posted by spinifex23 at 9:22 PM on October 24, 2010

Should I cut my hair

Yes, for the love of God, please cut your hair. Long hair on an adult man is a extremely hard thing to pull off and most just end up looking immature. Of course there are women who like long hair on men, yes, but I think that they are in the minority.

And, why am I so up in my head about the decision?

I think I can answer this. I used to keep my hair real, real long when I was a young girl, long enough to sit on. I was a bit on the self-conscious, shy side so it was almost like a security blanket. Also, it had been part of my identity for so long, that it was hard to see myself with any other hair style. So it's kind of an intimidating venture.

I think any experienced stylist has dealt with clients who were growing their hair for Locks of Love so no one is going to think you're weird. It's actually a cool thing to do. I don't know the specifics of it, but you could call any reputable salon in town and ask. As for the sebaceous cyst, I don't think anyone will notice.

When you go to get your hair cut, please don't go to the cheapo hair cuttery. Go to an actual salon and expect to pay around fifty dollars and up. Ask your friends around town for suggestions. These people will know their hair and you can voice your fears to them. They will show you how to style your hair and even suggest some products that you can buy at the salon, although they're gonna be pricey. I think most stylists would love to take on a haircut virgin.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:22 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

See a good hairdresser for a consultation. Tell yourself you can walk out of there without so much as a trim if he/she doesn't get you.

Do NOT have your friend cut out your sebaceous cyst. You don't want an infection that close to your brain. Unless you shave your head or get a very short cut, the cyst won't be any more visible than it was with a ponytail.
posted by lollusc at 9:22 PM on October 24, 2010

Whenever a friend is asking about cutting their long hair, I always say: it will grow back.

As far as locks of love, my friend just participated in a "lock-a-thon" as a stylist. All she did Saturday was cut hair for locks of love. Haircuts were discounted and everyone had a great time participating. You could look for something similar.

Also, maybe call a stylist and ask for just a consult, to talk about style and whether or not they think the cyst will be visible.
posted by Swisstine at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ask around for stylist recommendations, especially from people whose hair you like. Call the stylist in advance and explain that in addition to getting a haircut, you will be donating your hair to Locks of Love. Explain the multiple ponytail thing. If it is awkward, call someone else. That shouldn't be a big deal for a professional. Here are the donation details.

If it has been five years since your cyst has been examined, please see a medical professional. Also, I'm not sure if the cyst would necessarily be obvious with short hair. Depends on location and size. I have a quarter-sized bald spot that isn't noticeable with short hair.

What will you do with short hair? Just experiment. Tell the stylist that you aren't used to short hair, and talk to him/her about styling suggestions and products. They'll be all too happy to sell you something and teach you how to use it.

You're thinking about it so much because it is a major change. Your identity has probably been shaped by your hair quite a bit. It is natural to feel nervous. Don't let it stop you. You might not like your first haircut--it might leave you with a lot of doubts about whether you did the right thing. Don't worry about it. You'll get used to short hair, and you'll probably have a much better idea of what you what you want the next time. Big style changes require adjustments that might not immediately be easy. Good luck!
posted by studioaudience at 9:25 PM on October 24, 2010

I tend to have my hair either real short or real long, just like it those ways. If you do cut it, go for short short, because of the extreme change, it's lots of fun; as you noted, different people will treat you different ways. I always get a kick out of watching which sort of woman is approachable long-haired vs short-haired, it's really sortof schitzy; I'm the same person in here, same clothes, too. People absolutely respond to me differently, and they will you, too. It's amusing.

But. Don't get it cut til you sort out that cyst thing. Yikes. Why put yourself through that? You can live with long hair a while longer. And no, IANAD or anything but don't let a "friend" get after you with an exacto knife -- come on....
posted by dancestoblue at 9:30 PM on October 24, 2010

Why am I so nuts about this?

Because your hair is your identity. It's a very personal, very intimate part of who you see yourself as being.

I had extremely long hair for most of my life, never ever cut it, and it was Who I Was. I was the one with the long pretty hair that I often sat on. Like you, I had thought about cutting it for a few years. I thought it would be healthier and I would look better with it cut, but the idea of actually sitting in a chair while someone held scissors made me panic and feel crazy and so I put it off. I also hated all of the people who dismissively told me to go for it because "hair grows back!" Yes, technically true, but it would take an extremely long time to grow hair back down to my butt, and I was afraid of dealing with the blow to my identity.

When I finally made the appointment and talked about it with the stylist, she made triple sure that it was what I wanted before she did any cutting. As sure as I was that this was the right decision, I still cried when she cut off 26inches from my ponytail.

How to go about doing it: Call a stylist and make an appointment. You can change your mind at any time before the actual cutting starts and you can tell the stylist how much you're comfortable cutting off. I would recommend cutting it in stages: going from super-long hair to a buzz cut would be very unnerving to you. Ask the stylist about donation options, if they do that there. If not, ask to keep the ponytail and you can donate it yourself later. My stylist asked me if I wanted to keep it or if I wanted to donate it, I chose to let them donate it but regretted that decision by the time I got home.

For the few weeks after the cut I had to put up with everyone commenting on How Different it was and that made me a little uncomfortable - like I said before, hair is part of your identity and changing your identity that visibly will make people comment. Thankfully the comments tapered off and now most of my acquaintances and friends either don't know I used to have long hair or don't really remember. I did come to like my shorter hair better than my longer hair: it's more versatile, doesn't get in the way, is healthier, and surprised me with how curly it actually was.

It's okay to not go through with it just yet. It's okay to put it off a little longer.
And it's okay to make an appointment tomorrow and go for it.
posted by rhapsodie at 9:31 PM on October 24, 2010

Hey, you're pretty much me (though no cyst) three years ago. I had long hair for about a decade, was nearing 30, just got married, and figured it was time to get it cut. It took a couple of tries to work up the nerve to do it, but it was a great decision. I bolted from one barbershop while waiting.

It's so much less work and hassle short. Washing takes way less time and I don't have to brush it. I take a little gel, styling putty, or whatever's around and mess up the top a bit and I'm good to go.

I thought choosing a style would be a big deal and was a bit worried about it, but I ended up just telling the stylist "short" and letting her do what she thought was best.

Good luck!
posted by ODiV at 9:41 PM on October 24, 2010

Two things jumped out at me from your question:

I'm lacking a vision of what my life would look like with short hair

Your life would look exactly the same. Your personality, your career, your family, your friends: none of those things would be any different, I assure you. You would look different, but your appearance is not your life.

Maybe I could just have a really good friend with a scalpel do it?

Are you just fucking with us here, or are you seriously thinking about asking an untrained person to perform surgery on your head?
posted by deadmessenger at 9:49 PM on October 24, 2010

For the few weeks after the cut I had to put up with everyone commenting on How Different it was and that made me a little uncomfortable

Every person I know that's made this kind of an appearance change has mentioned that this was by far, the worst part of it - insensitive clods making an inappropriately big deal out of it.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:52 PM on October 24, 2010

I have quite a few female friends that love men with long hair (we're all in our late 20s or early 30s). If it's straight as an arrow and thin, I doubt it probably looks super great, though.

I also have a male friend who has wavy long hair in a ponytail. He also gets cysts on his scalp and maybe thats why he keeps his hair long, now that you mention it. In any case, I doubt the cysts could be seen as long as you don't shave your head or keep it super short.
Maybe something like this, this or this?
What bout just cutting it shoulder length to start?

I think you should go to a salon rather than a barber - because barbers usually don't frequent super long to short hair cuts. Many time they just chop a ponytail off and you can just say you plan on donate it and to keep it to the side until you're finished. They'll probably think you're sweet.
posted by KogeLiz at 10:08 PM on October 24, 2010

I asked a similar question a few years back; you might find the answers helpful. Most people in that thread were pro-haircut, and I ended up cutting off about two feet of hair, ending up with chin-length locks. I was quite pleased with the results.

A few notes on the how:
  • I went to a very good hairstylist to get the cut, and I think that was important; it meant that I never had to worry that I'd made a bad trade, and the comments I got were more along the lines of "wow, your hair looks great!" than "wow, that's really different." Ask your friends for recommendations.
  • Be prepared to convince the stylist that yes, you really have thought it through and yes, this is really what you want to do. The stylist who gave me my original haircut was very gung-ho about it, but a lot of stylists get nervous that you'll change your mind and be upset even if you're just going from shoulder-length to chin-length. Mind you, I expect they have good reason to be wary.
  • The one thing that kind of annoys me about having short hair is that I have to actually get haircuts on a semi-regular basis if I want it to look OK--it's an additional chore and an additional expense. So that's something to consider. On the flip side, it's fun to experiment with different looks in a way I couldn't before.

posted by fermion at 10:11 PM on October 24, 2010

I went from a pony tail to short hair in my early 30s, and I never really looked back. Aside from the convenience of being able to wash and dry it in just a few minutes and the fact that long hair on a guy leaves you very few styling options (pony tail? loose?), it just looks a lot sharper, and I think it gives you more options for a look. I agree with those above who advise an appointment with a good stylist. Get someone who can take a good look at your post pony-tail face, and give you something appropriate to work with.
As for other people's reactions, you should relish those rather than dread them. It's a haircut, after all, not the evening news. My guess is that most comments will be compliments.
posted by Gilbert at 10:23 PM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: It's my understanding that a critical part of cyst removal is properly extracting the "capsule" that it forms inside... if you don't, it'll come back. So, yeah, that plus it being your scalp — which tends to bleed profusely when cut into — suggests it's something to leave to a professional. Obviously your health plan is going to be unique to you, but you probably want to get a referral from your GP to an in-plan dermatologist. For better or worse — better for you, maybe worse for the System, but hey — the dermatologist will know how to best document your cyst as something that insurance will cover... as in maybe it's cancerous, this growth thing on your scalp, and a responsible, preventative approach might involve removing it right now and then sending it off to a lab. I'd bet it could cost you a couple of hundred bucks out of pocket, but that's just a guess. If you have really crappy insurance, you might be better off asking the dermatologist if you could qualify for their uninsured rate, or work out a payment plan. You won't be the first patient of theirs with inadequate insurance.

Unless your cyst is the size of a softball, don't let this stop you from getting a haircut! A salon may be best for the first cut, since they're likely more used to the Locks-of-Love business, but anyone who cuts hair should be able to help you find a shorter style that doesn't reveal any unseemly lumps. And you don't need a $50 cut every 3 weeks thereafter if you don't want one. I love my $18 barber. I'd stay clear of strip mall franchises, but old-timey barbers are still plying their trade with skill and honesty.

Also, grow a mustache for the hell of it sometime. Or shave it. Change is good.
posted by mumkin at 10:56 PM on October 24, 2010

I've had both long and short hair, and also have an almost-genuine phobia of hairdressers!

Firstly, short hair doesn't require anywhere near the attention that long hair needs. If you put in enough effort to avoid looking like a hobo now, you certainly won't end up looking like a "dishevelled screwball" with short hair. In fact, that total lack of effort required to maintain it will delight you!

Because I hate hairdressers so much, I cut my own hair (and have done now for nearly a decade). I just place my palm against my scalp with my hair sticking through my fingers, pull my hand away from the scalp by about a centimetre, and then chop whatever is still sticking through with scissors! Easy peasy - and very cheap :)

I'm not suggesting you cut your own hair by the way, I just chucked that in there because most people are shocked when they find out I cut my own hair. I definitely think you'll feel bigger, better, faster, stronger and probably cooler, with short hair though. Do it mate.
posted by autocol at 11:02 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I used to have waist-length hair but then got it all shaved off for charity when I was 27.

I haven't looked back since then. I've kept it short (grade 3 all over) and I can cut it myself plus I spend about 90% less on hair care products than I used to.

Embrace the change (but buy a hat - it's really cold without hair!).
posted by mukade at 12:18 AM on October 25, 2010

At 35, I had hair that I'd let grow for 15 years without a cut. During the year I spent travelling around Australia and swimming in the ocean most days, I'd also stopped brushing it and it had gone to dreads.

I really liked my dreads. I felt comfortable in them. They were part of what made me feel like me. And when I got my taxi licence, they got me lots of tips.

One day I decided that having so much self-worth invested in part of my personal appearance was stupid, cut them off, mulched a pumpkin seedling with them and shaved to bald. That got me lots of tips in the taxi as well (and I was quite taken aback by how many people wanted to touch my head - night shift in Melbourne is kind of strange).

After a month or so I got sick of shaving and just let it grow out again. I wanted my dreads back, but being fundamentally opposed to Product and not having daily access to salt water and sunshine meant they didn't work anywhere near as well. And then I started balding at the crown, and my beloved kindly informed me that dreads + balding was a one way trip to looking like Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, to whom she wasn't happy to contemplate being married.

So for a few years I shaved back to #3 on the same day the Angora goats got shorn (roughly every six months). That didn't please my beloved either. She said it took weeks each time before I stopped looking like a lobotomy patient.

And after a while I got sick of the whole thing, and solidarity with the goats didn't seem so important any more. So for the past two years I've just been letting it grow again. It's long enough all over now that I could tie it all back if I wanted to, though I generally don't bother. More or less daily wet brushing in the shower is stopping it from dreading up, and it's curly enough that I no longer fear the Riff Raff outcome. I'm also 48, and could use a little immaturity.

And the point of this onion-on-my-belt rambling? Turns out I'm just generally happier when my hair is long. Maybe Danny is onto something.
posted by flabdablet at 12:31 AM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Watch this. Then watch this.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:39 AM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Hi there, I'm a guy and had my hair long for 16 years (waist-length). I understand the attachment. When you're a guy with long hair, nearly everyone sees you as "the guy with long hair" with all that entails (imagining I'm a drug user, a musician, a hippie).

Then I cut it. It was a nice change.

It grows back pretty quickly, too.

Guess I'm saying, maybe what you fear isn't a haircut so much as change. The best way to deal with that is to do the thing you fear, and then realize it's not so bad and it's also not permanent.
posted by zippy at 1:43 AM on October 25, 2010

If you have enough hair to divide into multiple ponytails for donation, then it's likely pretty thick, no? Even short, it should be thick enough to cover the cyst. If you're worried about it, you can talk to the abovementioned stylist and make sure that your new haircut will still cover it adequately.

I sympathize on the dithering. I had a change I wanted to make to my long-enough-to-sit-on hair (bangs to frame my face, since I generally pull my hair straight back) but it took me a YEAR to talk myself into trying it. I was delighted once I did, it was just like I thought it would be...and even if it weren't, I could have found a way to deal with it. Hair can be so important to one's self-image, and changes to one's self-image are really tough. If you've been mulling it over for a while and you still want to try it, then you probably really do want to try it, despite your misgivings.
posted by galadriel at 5:29 AM on October 25, 2010

Hey, this was me until about 4 years ago. Early 30s with long hair, usually in a ponytail. I spent 3 or 4 years threatening to lose the long hair, but I had a hard time working up the gumption; I had been looking at long-haired me in the mirror for so long that it was hard imagining myself looking any other way. "What if it looks stupid?" was the mantra that restrained me for a long time. In hindsight there may have been a little bit of subconscious clinging to my youth happening as well.

Finally, I entered a job-hunting cycle and that gave me the external stimulus I needed to finally just do it, reasoning I'd be taken more seriously with a grown-up haircut. I spent some time poking around hairstylists' web sites looking for photos of the general sort of look I wanted, printed a couple out, and brought them with me. As ridiculous as I felt pulling out those photos of poochy-faced male models, the stylist didn't blink... she seemed glad to have something to go on for such a drastic change of style, and I walked out looking and feeling good, wondering why I hadn't done it sooner.

Major bonus: I can now wear hats without looking like a jackass. Go for it! As everyone else says, worst-case, you can grow it back.
posted by usonian at 5:39 AM on October 25, 2010

Cutting long hair can be liberating! Your head feels lighter and it takes less maintenance. It generally has more body and more lift to it. Go to a reputable salon and not a snip 'n' clip place - it's going to be expensive but it will be so worth it.
posted by Ostara at 6:21 AM on October 25, 2010

I don't have time to read all the answers so far, so excuse me if I'm repeating what others have said (which I most probably am).

I can see this from both sides of the coin. I'm a guy, and kept my hair reasonably long well into my thirties. Not pony-tail long, but long enough. Eventually I went the clippers, and haven't looked back. I got comments for about a week, most of them being along the lines of "Woah! Haircut! It looks good, it suits you".

I also know a guy who had the almost-to-the-ass ponytail into his forties. Others kinda quietly laughed about his ponytail, until he shaved it all off, at which point everyone that I know said "That looks great, dude. Well done".

Don't fret about it. People who are used to you with long hair will be all "Wow!", for about an hour, then they'll get used to it, and probably respect you for it, and the big plus for you is that you'll only have to spend seconds in the bathroom dealing with your hair (and people won't quietly snicker about your ponytail behind your back). (sorry to be frank, but it's late here).
posted by Diag at 6:21 AM on October 25, 2010

On scalpal sebaceous cysts:

I don't know how big yours is--I had one that started out the size of an eraser, and eventually grew to the size of a walnut or a golf ball before I had it surgically removed. The surgery required general anesthesia, and a fairly large patch of hair had to be shaved to the scalp (almost 3" diameter), and the thing was a bloody mess requiring a gauze packing in the wound that had to stitched in, and then cut open, replaced, and restitched every day at the dr's office, for 4 days.

so, even if it's a hassle through your current insurance, I'd recommend getting the cyst taken care of sooner rather than later. You won't know if it's covered until you look into it. Perhaps you're concerned that it won't be covered because it's considered "cosmetic," but in my case, at least, insurance covered it without even blinking. I think from a medical standpoint, you can't actually know what these things are until you slice it out, so better safe than sorry.

Also, as the cyst got fairly large, it kinked up the texture of the hair growing out, and some of that may be permanent (a year after removal, the hair where the cyst was is still coarser than the rest of my hair, though not as dramatically different as when the cyst was still there).

In my case, I was also dealing with a long hair/short hair dilemma. I decided to keep my hair long for the surgery, as I am female and my hair grows slowly--it was easier to hide a big bald patch amongst the long hair than to wait the many months for it to grow out to the length of the shortest hairstyle I feel comfortable with.

And even though you are male and can theoretically get away with just shaving the rest of your head short to match the surgical shaved spot, the short-hair approach would make the incision much more noticeable to others until it heals up.

Finally, on Locks of Love--an experienced salon stylist will surely know about what works best for your particular hair donation, more than random friends. Patronize an independent salon rather than the el cheapo in-and-out mall hair-cutting assembly line. Especially since this is your first foray into short-hairdom in forever, a good style consultation will be worth the extra cost.
posted by drlith at 6:31 AM on October 25, 2010

Had long hair for about as long as you. Shaved my head one day, because I decided I'd had enough. It is strangely difficult, isn't it? But I haven't regretted it one bit.
posted by Nothing at 7:03 AM on October 25, 2010

I may be the opposite gender, but your irritation sounds just like the point I reached before I chopped my hair off. I did the same thing: I thought if I was going to cut it, I was going to donate it. So I can tell you that at least that part is easy- any barber shop or salon you go to can send your hair to locks of love, you just need to tell them that's what you want to do before they start cutting. The only stipulation is that it has to be at least 10 inches of length to donate. What they do is put it in a ponytail and cut the ponytail off, so the hair is banded and ready to go. So you have to make sure the length of the ponytail is long enough (sounds like that won't be a problem since you've had long hair for quite some time).

Based on my experience as someone who also kept their hair tied back all the time, I would recommend going short enough so that the hair isn't swinging in your face or it will drive you bat-shit crazy not being able to just put it in a ponytail! So stay away from shoulder-length or an emo-style. I would also recommend not doing a total buzz cut. But just get a nice "regular guy" haircut. Yeah, it's a little bit of a shock at first; and yes, people are a little annoying about commenting about it; but it really does end up being refreshing to really change your look.

Go for it!
posted by Eicats at 7:54 AM on October 25, 2010

There is a lot of room between long and short. You could cut it shorter without going very short.
posted by millipede at 8:10 AM on October 25, 2010

Please take a look at other charities besides Locks of Love which has had some questionable (IMO) activities in the past. (Doesn't donate the wigs - sells them instead, doesn't use most of the hair it receives)
posted by getawaysticks at 8:29 AM on October 25, 2010

There is a lot of room between long and short. You could cut it shorter without going very short.

Honestly, don't bother. I had ponytail-length hair in high school and then cut it to chin-ish length in college. At that length, you get all of the hassles of long hair without the benefit of being able to get it out of your face with a simple ponytail.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

My boyfriend had long hair for the first year we were together, and I really wanted him to cut it. It obviously took a year before he finally decided to do it.. he was attached to it! I didn't like it at all, and he's a thousand times more attractive without it, but he just was so scared! He was known as the guy with the long hair, and I think he just saw it as "him" and part of his identity. He also was afraid he would look gay.. He gave it to Locks of Love and has never looked back! And you can definitely take it little by little, it's not like you have to get a buzz cut or anything.
posted by kerri13 at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2010

JMHO, YMMV, etc. etc. but I think most men from 30 and upwards look better in short hair (or a shaved head). Not even because of the hippy or wanna-be-rock-star images ponytails on mature men tend to conjure up, but because hair tends to get thinner and dryer as we age, unless you're very lucky. This isn't enough to be noticeable if the hair is in a tidy style or layered, but long and all one length tends to emphasize it.

And many men, depending on ethnic group and heredity, will start to go thin on top as they age. Not full-on bald, just sparser, enough to see the scalp or get a higher hairline. And long, thinning hair in a ponytail - don't. Please, in the name of all the style gods, no.

Unless you wear your hair long for specific reasons of ethnic/spiritual identity - and I'm assuming you don't - get it cut. Short hair on a guy only looks bad if you don't wash it or take care of it, or you go to Supercuts and get one of those cheapie "I can't be bothered" cuts. So get thee to a good stylist for a consultation. And yes, have pictures of what you have in mind.

As for the cyst, I don't think it will be noticeable unless it's this huge golfball-sized thing. But do go to a dermatologist and have it properly looked at and removed.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:15 AM on October 25, 2010

Cut it and donate it. It will grow back. I did this about two years ago when my hair had gotten so long it was at my butt. I went for something mid-length, about 3-4 inches rather than super-short hair. I liked it fine, but being averse to getting haircuts, it's well past my shoulder blades again, and that's OK with me. As it was OK with me when my head was shaved entirely. (that's been 15 years now)

Don't listen to the ninnies that say it looks bad. It may bring up preconceived notions for some people, but that's their own damn problem. If you feel like it's time for a change on your own account, then do it! It'll grow back.

I am speaking from a position of privilege, though. I don't have to do anything to my hair beyond a little brushing after washing and it looks decent. Washing it when it's long takes perhaps 1-2 minutes longer. This is why I have no particular preference regarding length. If it was a pain in the butt to keep my long hair looking good, I'd probably have more motivation to throw money at it and get it cut and kept short.
posted by wierdo at 10:47 AM on October 25, 2010

"And, why am I so up in my head about the decision?"

You're driving yourself a little crazy over the decision because you're used to seeing yourself one way - as a man with long hair. To you, the change you're considering seems huge.

Do It!

Never forget that you are not your hair. Not your clothes or the things you own. It's all just stuff. You only live once. Change things at will.

Do it!
posted by 2oh1 at 4:30 PM on October 25, 2010

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