This morning my daughter decided to wear her long hair loose and flowing. She has gorgeous long hair that reaches mid-back. As with most children, her hair is difficult to manage. It is fraught with tangles and she complains when her hair is combed. Nevertheless, the quality of her hair is ten times better than what I had at her age. Her hair has body where mine didn’t.

For the past few years, she has wanted to grow her hair long. As a baby, she had the cutest bob haircut and it looked adorable on her. By the age of four she put a stop to that. She wanted long princess hair. OK, she’s an individual and she gets to decide what she likes right? Except mommy has to maintain it, and it isn’t fun.

Growing long hair is the easy part. Maintaining it, is a bit of work. My problem was that her hair was always a mess. What’s the point of growing your hair out if it doesn’t look good? Sure it looked good right after it was  combed, but that was where it ended.

To add insult to injury, she wanted to wear it in a pony-tail all of the time, even to bed. You would think wearing it in a ponytail would keep it somewhat neat. It did not. Her hair near her face would constantly fall out of a ponytail, she refused to wear barrettes or headbands too. Because of my own issues, I always want my child to look presentable. So it really bothered me.

I’m not sure what changed but she now wants to wear her hair loose. I say, Hallelujah. Why keep your hair long if it’s gonna be in a ponytail all of the time?

My own hair has been long most of my life. I like to play with it, curl it, braid it, wear it up, keep it down. But my hair is very different than my daughter’s. It is finer, limper and stick straight. It gets oily very easily and gets flat too. I have to wash it every day or else it is extremely limp and unappealing. When I style it, it doesn’t hold a style very long unless I have a perm in it. I wore perms for a two decades until straight hair became stylish. Perms not only gave me some curl, but it enhanced my ability to style it on my own. In fact, in High School, I permed it, then set it in rollers every night!

I never feared cutting it, and have done it on many occasions only to grow it long again. Hair will always grow back unless you have a medical condition so why fear cutting it? I get bored and I like change. Also, the longer my hair gets, the flatter it gets. If it goes much beyond my shoulders, I can simply kiss ‘body’ goodbye. On top of that, washing it every day is not only intense, but damages my super-fine hair. I imagine it will be ten times worse after I have to start dying it to cover grey hair. For now, it’s completely natural. My one saving grace is that I was born with a color that many women spend hundreds of dollars to get in the salon.

About a decade ago, I made a decision to wear my hair in ways that enhance my natural hair. What that means is a good hair cut that suits my features and works with the natural texture and quality of my hair without an elaborate amount of work. That usually meant a longish layer with face-framing fringe in the front. Lately, it has been different. For the first time in my life, I’m wearing it medium-short and I don’t have any desire for change it. Every person I have met, begged me not to cut my hair which was getting to be very long. They said it was gorgeous but they didn’t have a concept of how difficult it was for me to wash and dry such long hair every single day. Plus I wear hats in the winter which is the kiss of death for hair like mine.

I needed a radical change so I cut it. Those same people told me this new look is fabulous. I agree. I feel gorgeous, get plenty of positive attention from the opposite sex. I love my hair. My biggest obstacle is keeping it this way. It grows too fast and I’m not accustomed to getting it cut so often. I suppose I will get bored of this eventually. For now, this suits me. I may never go long again. Then again, because my hair grows so fast, it doesn’t take much effort to grow it, so it may be long again, just by accident.

If you are contemplating change, I say go for it with one caveat. Only use a hair stylist you trust. Mine steered me away from a different cut and into this one. She made a good call and I would trust her judgement again if I were ready to do it again. It will take a few days to get used to the change. If after a few weeks you still don’t like it…. Well…. It is only hair. It will grow back.