Short vs Long: The eternal hair dilemma

Everywhere I look these days, be it Pinterest, Instagram or even my own friends on Facebook, the trend seems to be for long, flowing hair. Perfect waves with a subtle hair colour, or a long sleek mane falling in a waterfall down the back.

Short hair seems not to be the current trend, which is a bit annoying, as I currently have this haircut:

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Yes, that’s me. Hello everyone! As you can see, I’ve got a short bob/long pixie thing going on. I’ve rocked this style before, and decided to get it done again after I made the decision to chop off my mane of nasty, illness-ravaged hair earlier this year.

However I didn’t go straight from a long mane to this short bob. I had a transitional haircut to my shoulders, but that started to annoy me, so I cut it off.

The shoulder length haircut wasn’t bad, in hindsight.img_5457

Also I kind of miss my old glasses.

Anyway, even before this, was The Mane. The Mane was the result of a good long while of not feeling good about myself and not having my hair cut as a result. This was also the bad patch when I wasn’t wearing makeup every day and let my eyebrows get a bit unacceptable. I had initially decided to stop getting haircuts every six weeks to let my hair grow a little, but then life, work and serious illness happened and I sort of… just stopped caring about my hair. The Mane grew and grew and grew, and before I knew it, the thing was down at my waist.

Here’s a shot from the day I got it cut off:

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You can see how ridiculously long it was. The ends were horrible.

Anyway, condition aside, I’ve been thinking of growing my hair again. Not down to the ridiculous lengths of The Mane, but maybe back to my shoulder length again.

There is a problem with this though. When my hair is at that length, it tends to develop a life of its own. If it’s down my back, I can at least plait it and bun it and put it in a ponytail. At my shoulders, it’s harder to do that. I can get a rubbish ponytail going, or wear it down, or put on an Alice band and look really young (Alice bands only seem to work on me when my hair is really long or at my chin or higher, it’s weird).

So from a practical and keeping-myself-sane point of view, I’m better off with short hair. But the longing to have perfect long tresses has been nibbling at me lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m still on a new life path (cheesy, I know, but it’s true – there’s been a lot of changes this year and I’m still stumbling through some of them). I’ve been very ill this year, but I’m finally getting better and, when I get approval from the NHS, should be starting a new treatment soon that will make me feel even better.

I had my Mane when I was really ill, so in my head I associate me and super-long hair with illness. However, I do think that if I hadn’t got sick, The Mane might not have been so awful. It got to the point where I couldn’t brush out the knots that formed in it, and that was purely down to being so ill. Now I’m well, and my hair is well, I’m thinking that regrowing The Mane might not be a bad idea. And, obviously, now I care more about myself and I’m not crumpled with pain every day, I will manage it a bit better – as in, get it cut every so often and have some layers put in.

So what to do? Keep it short and sweet and easy to look after, or go through the pain of growing out a pixie cut again to get back to having a sheet of hair down to my waist? I really can’t decide, and I’m sure I’m not the only person that has this dilemma.

Hair is an intensely personal thing, and I really don’t like it when people say to me ‘I don’t like girls with short hair and I don’t think you should cut your hair’. I wasn’t aware your happiness and personal preferences had an impact on what I could do with my hair. I don’t really care what people think about what I do with my hair, and yet people think they have a right to comment and that I should do what they tell me to. Not your hair, so not your problem, mate. This especially applies to men who try to chat me up – I actually had one say to me once ‘You’d be pretty if you didn’t have short hair’ and I was like ‘so why are you even talking to me then?’ He didn’t really have an answer for me. Go flirt with someone with long hair, my friend!

I will continue to wrestle with my own personal dilemma of short vs long hair. I’m leaning towards growing it again, but not looking forward to the in-betweeny hairstyles. Luckily I have a potful of bobby pins, a nice Alice band and a hairdresser who’s been through this with me before so if I do decide to go long again, I’m all set. And likewise, if I get fed up and decide to cut it all off, my hairdresser will sort me out.

But it’s so hard to decide!

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