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All you need to know about growing and maintaining healthy, shiny hair, plus celebrity photos for your hairstyle inspiration.

Six reasons to love your long hair

June 13th 2010 04:53
Anyone with long hair knows that there are days when you just get tired of it. Sometimes itís because youíre experiencing long hair boredom (those times when a change, any change, seems desirable over keeping your length) and other times itís because itís gotten in the way yet again (and letís face it, the opportunities for long hair to get caught in things are virtually endless). But the fact is that if you do succumb to the scissors and get it all cut off, youíll be missing out on what it is that made you want to become a longhair in the first place. The reasons for growing, and keeping, your long hair are going to be different for everyone, but here are my top six Ė no doubt one or two of them will strike a chord with you, and will hopefully encourage you to keep on growing.

Long blonde hair

Long hair is timeless.

Fashions, and consequently hairstyle trends, will come and go; they are transitory by their very nature. And sure, there will be times when long hair is less in vogue than it was a couple of years ago, but you can rest assured that it will always come back into fashion eventually, for the simple reason that long hair is timeless. Pick just about any period film, and you can guarantee that several actresses and extras will possess gorgeous long manes (my favourites are Braveheart and Little Women, set in the 13th and 19th centuries, respectively).

So even though the fashion industryís preference for long-haired models on the catwalks and in magazines may fade every now and then, they will always make a comeback in time, because ultimately long hair is a style that transcends fashion altogether. To read more about the timelessness of long hair, click here.

Long hair is easier to maintain.

Now wait just a minute: surely if thereís more of something, shouldnít it become more difficult and time-consuming to take care of? While this may be true of many things (including, but not limited to, children, pets, work and study), when it comes to hair Iíve found the opposite to be true: that in general, the longer my hair is, the easier it is to look after. Iíve had short hair before Ė a pixie cut, and later, a chin-length bob Ė and I can tell you from experience that it took a lot more time and effort to keep those styles looking good, than it does to keep my current length of hair (mid-back) looking amazing.

Why is this? Because long hair is a wash-and-wear style, whereas short hair requires daily styling in the form of blow-drying and hair sculpting products. Sleep through your alarm with long hair and all you have to do is put it up (when time-poor I usually go for a quick and simple romantic updo); sleep through your alarm with short hair and youíll just have to accept the fact that youíre going to be late Ė unless, of course, you donít mind stepping out in public with it sticking up in all directions, but if this is the case then you may as well shave it all off and call it a day!

Now, there is a point of diminishing returns (for lack of a better description), when your hair reaches a length that requires a lot of maintenance - but weíre talking thigh-length or knee-length here, and many women with hair this long really donít mind the extra work to maintain their unique beauty. If you donít believe me, check out the Long Hair Community website here (thereís also a plethora of articles and styling ideas on this site; itís a true gem for those of us who love our long hair).

Long dark hair

Your man will love your long hair too.

First, a disclaimer: Every man will have different tastes in women, and there are no doubt millions in the world who find short hair on women to be more attractive than long. But psychological and evolutionary theory-based research has shown that by far the greatest proportion of men in our society prefer women to have long hair. There are countless reasons for this phenomenon (you can read some of them here) but they include the ideas of long hair demonstrating genetic strength and good health, of long hair connoting classic femininity, and the simple fact that long hair flatters more womenís face shapes than short hair does.

As for me, personally, my boyfriend loves running his fingers through my hair, brushing it, and just playing with it when weíre hanging out together. Itís just another way a man can show affection for his partner, and it feels pretty amazing for the woman as well. Obviously you donít want to decide upon a hairstyle simply because your man (or the man you have your eye on!) will prefer it over another, but it is nice knowing that youíre probably not the only one who loves the way your hair looks when itís long.

Long hair is cheaper to maintain.

Now this reason is something of a subset of long hair being easier to maintain, but itís a relevant one nonetheless: overall, long hair is much, much cheaper to maintain than short hair will ever be. This is mostly because of fewer visits to the hairdresser - short hair needs reshaping every six to eight weeks, whereas long hair can be left to grow for six months or more without needing a trim.

In addition, because long hair requires fewer styling products than short hair does, youíll find that your monthly hair care expenses will be minimized too. To stay in shape, short hair will usually require a daily (or more!) application of a sculpting cream, wax, or gel, whereas these products will only weigh long hair down and make it look lank and greasy. Aside from shampoo and conditioner, the only product your long hair will need is a shine serum or leave-in conditioner. And if you really want to get finicky about your hair care expenses, you can consider the fact that less heat styling means less electricity used, and therefore a reduction in your household bills.

Beautiful wavy hair

Long hair is an investment.

This reason could be considered controversial, in that there are many of us who wouldnít dream of selling their hairÖ but for me itís nice to know that such an option is available, should I ever find myself in dire financial circumstances. Long hair, particularly that which is considered to be Ďvirgin hairí (i.e. hair that has never been highlighted or coloured) can command quite a decent amount of money, should the owner decide to sell it. Human hair is highly sought-after by wig makers, for the obvious reason that it is so much more natural-looking than its synthetic alternative.

While the price of human hair will vary depending on the length, colour, and quality of the hair, as well as the economy as a whole, you can expect to receive a reasonable payment in exchange for the long locks youíve grown tired of. There are a number of different ways to go about selling your hair, whether directly to the wig manufacturers or by alternative means, so make sure you do your research before you go for the big chop.

Obviously such a decision is entirely up to you, but if youíve had long hair for more than ten years or so and absolutely must try a different look, then itís comforting to know that it neednít end up being swept into a dustbin on the hairdresserís floor.

Long hair is becoming increasingly unique.

Letís face it: there arenít many people in this world who have the patience that growing long hair requires. Right now, weíre living in an age of consumption, where having the latest gadget or garment is (for some) an absolute must, and where everything else is tossed aside. Itís a time of ever-increasing change, and naturally, the kinds of women who have their wardrobes set on a constantly-updating rotation will also be more likely to change their hairstyle frequently as wellÖ. and they can only colour it, add a fringe (bangs), straighten it or curl it so often before they are compelled to go for the chop.

As a result, short hairstyles are becoming more and more the norm, and longer hairstyles increasingly unique. Back in the 1970s (I'm told) it was commonplace to see women with hair brushing their waists; now itís a genuine rarity and as such, has become a standout; something truly eye-catching in the crowds of medium-length and short hairstyles.

It also says something about the wearer: that while she may choose to pick up on certain trends, she is not one to be pulled along by the undertow of fashion and turned into something less than herself. Rather than wearing the same old haircut as everyone else, sheís chosen to keep this part of herself unique, and to an interested bystander, such a decision speaks volumes about her personal strength and commitment to her own sense of individuality.

Long red hair

While there are a multitude of other reasons to love your long hair, these are the ones that really speak to me when Iím experiencing a moment of long hair boredom Ė theyíre the ones that remind me why I wanted to become a longhair in the first place. Long hair is not for everyone (it wouldnít be anywhere near as special if it was!) but for those who choose it, it can be one of those elements in their lives that make their existence that much better.

So if youíre sick of your long hair and are contemplating a cut, make sure you remind yourself of the reasons you love your long hair, before itís too late. Whether itís mid-back, waist length, classic length or longer, hair that falls below your shoulder blades is a thing of true beauty, and not something to be removed on a whim.

If you need inspiration of the visual variety in order to keep your long-haired dreams alive, check out my extra long hairstyles gallery here. Happy growing!

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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by angelbird72

June 13th 2010 12:24
I love the feeling of being unique that comes from having long hair. I feel like it's such a part of my identity, especially since the way it waves and the different colours in it are unique to me.

A couple of times when I was in school my family convinced me to get it cut short, but I just don't feel like me when my hair is short. Long hair is part of how I see myself.

Like you say though, sometimes it's very tempting to cut it all off, and I'll definitely keep these reasons in mind. I didn't know men preferred long hair! (on average, of course)

Comment by Journeywoman

June 14th 2010 03:56
I have very similar feelings myself, when it comes to my hair. I just didn't feel like me when it was short - thankfully, hair grows!

I didn't want to put this link in the article itself, because of the crass language and hints of misogyny, but here's some (mostly) male opinions regarding the sex appeal of long hair: from It's only anecdotal of course, but scientific research has been done as well, published in the peer reviewed Human Nature journal... according to that article I linked to anyway!

Thanks for the comment angelbird

Comment by Anonymous

September 25th 2010 07:35
My hair is mid length and I hate it!
I want to have long luscious locks again!
I have been growing it for months & months and i just seem to be getting no where!

Comment by Anonymous

January 7th 2011 07:21
I love my long hair, but honestly, I struggle with trying to keep it back day to day. I really don't take the time to style it, and many long hair up-dos would not work in my active lifestyle. I need it to stay out of my face, out of my way. But on the few occasions I actually wear it down, I feel like a super model! I love how sexy and confident I feel with my long, waist length hair! Yes, it does bore and annoy me at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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