Open Thread: How Long Is Too Long When It Comes To Your Hair?

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Other than that period just post birth when I went from a cue-ball head to a toddler with full curls, a few years in early elementary school when I adamantly wanted to shed the girly image that went with a blonde pony tail, and a horrifying haircut pre-sophomore prom, my hair has always been somewhere between clavicle and waist. I like having long hair. Yes, it can be a nightmare in terms of maintenance, but it actually might be a better option for the lazy—I get two haircuts (if that) a year. But sometimes I find myself feeling like my lackadaisical attitude towards haircuts takes me from care-free to crazy, gross, and eventually "Please take better care of yourself." And I think I’m currently approaching (or past) that line, which is why I have an appointment to get a few inches lopped off this afternoon.

No matter how many times I’ve seen my hair cross into that no-fly zone, I can’t seem to pinpoint the border until it’s already too late. Is my waist the official “turn back now” line of hair growth? Does that line rise as I get older? Does appropriate length change depending on the person? So I turn to you ladies for your advice. When do you insist on getting a trim?

—Elizabeth Brockway

Gisele Bundchen by Patrick Demarchelier.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Anne

    I think it depends on proportions but around the breasts is s good length for long hair. But if it's long, it's paramount that it's well taken care off and not too thin, else it goes into "crazy, gross" territory.

    • Jo

      Agreed. My specific rulle is to not ever grow it past your elbow.

  • http://cosmoslyn.blogspot.com.au/ Ailyn Koay

    trimming would be good for the tips. but I guess you can keep it for as long as you want

  • http://taliashulze.com/ Talia

    I'm biased, being very very 'Team Witchy Hair'. When I spend more time at work snipping split ends off at my desk than doing actual 'work', that's when it's time to book a trim. Beyond that, hair is so deeply personal for some hair-havers and most especially for women. I think what matters more is whether that hair's appearance pleases the hair haver and doesn't piss off their boss. There is no 'appropriate' length when it comes to someone else's hair, at least not in the creative job blue state haven of NYC. If i want to look more business appropriate for whatever reason I put my hair up in a chignon. Road trip through West Virginia and watch strangers yell at your boyfriend from their truck that his hair is too long though. :-/

  • brionysbeauty .

    I Just cut my hair on Monday. I find if it gets so long that brushing is the most painful thing in the world then I need to cut it. I'm one of the people who cut my hair once or twice a year too.

    http://www.brionysbeauty.blogspot.com.au

    • ITGElizabeth

      It's just so easy to not get it cut, haha

  • Rachel

    I had waist-length layered hair until I was 18. Looking back at photos, the condition of my hair looked ok, but the length didn't suit the rest of my look.
    My hair is just past shoulder length right now and it feels super short to me, but I wanted to have blunt ends after years and years of annoying graduated layers, so it was a necessary evil.
    I'd like to grow my hair out to top-of-bust length and maintain that. I think mid-length hair suits most people, as opposed to super long hair or super short hair.
    This is controversial but I think that long hair* can actually be a really aging/frumpy/unsophisticated look for people over the age of 21 (there are exceptions of course, like Amanda Seyfried and Sarah Jessica Parker). I understand why people feel the need to keep their hair long as a security blanket but often it looks so much healthier and more modern when they keep it to just below the shoulder.
    *(both natural hair and hair made long by extensions/wigs)

    • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

      Seriously are you for real!?! Long hair can look frumpy over the age of 21....TWENTY-ONE!! ...Wow....sounds like someone is a little jealous...that long hair didn't suit them...sorry there *look*

      I feel inside you there's a 98 year old women just bursting to be set free....it's 2014 love....women can choose to have their hair as long and as short as they please......

      • Rachel

        Long hair looked fine on me thanks, it just made me look kinda hipster-ish and I'm not into that look on myself.
        As I said in reply to ITGElizabeth, I think I worded my original comment clumsily and wrongly came across as dismissive of long hair. Long healthy hair can be so beautiful on all types of women (I liked my own long haircape very much before I cut it) but for me personally, mid-length to short hair looks more put-together. It's my opinion and you don't have to like it or agree with me. That's cool. I respect your right to disagree with me.

        "I feel inside you there's a 98 year old women just bursting to be set free....it's 2014 love....women can choose to have their hair as long and as short as they please......"

        1. If you're going to snark at me, please use the correct singular/plural versions of the word 'woman'.
        2. People who make it to 98 years old are generally badass, so I'm going to interpret that as a compliment. I will release my fierce inner 98 year old! Thank you for the encouragement!
        3. Of course women can style, dye and cut their hair exactly as they like - I would never suggest the opposite. I was merely expressing my personal taste. Just as you have expressed yours :)

        • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

          I was talking collectively thats why I used the word *women* as opposed to woman...I wasn't referring that point to you! (Yes,I do have problems with my spelling and grammar) and this is a work in progress for me.....we can't all be perfect like you...can we...

          How I read your comment, was that all people over the age of 21 with long hair can look ageing/frumpy...and you yourself started it by saying this is controversial....BUT.... you also wrote that people keep their hair long as a security blanket.....so what as soon as you get to 22...you have to cut your hair just below your shoulders..otherwise it will look frumpy....and ageing?.......Thats what bugged me....almost a bit like...your over the hill now....what are you? 22...you better cut your hair then!

          • Brittany

            I think you took way too much offense to someone's simple opinion.

          • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

            Rachel give her opinion....I gave mine...like you are giving yours...that's what they are...opinions.....we all have them and are entitled to them....whether you agree with them or not.

    • ITGElizabeth

      That's an interesting point. While I'm not sure I agree about the 21 cut off point, I do know where you're coming from in terms of long hair being aging. My mom has hair just around shoulder length (or maybe a bit past) and is always worried that it's too long for her age. I've never thought that her length didn't suit her, but that point is definitely on her mind. But on the other hand, my grandma (who is turning 90 in August) has very long hair and has had it since I can remember. And I think it looks beautiful!
      I can't imagine becoming middle aged and thinking, 'Well, that's it for my long hair!' That seems like such a sad idea since I like my long hair--it seems youthful and feminine and wouldn't want to give it up just because I turned 45 (or whatever birthday constitutes middle aged). But I would certainly be conscious of avoiding the "my hair is the last vestige of my youth! I can never let go!"

      • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

        My grandmother had beautiful just-past-the-shoulders hair that she had colored a soft blonde shade and usually kept in a pretty, loose updo. She was STUNNING. I think that look is so much more flattering than the blue-haired, permed, above-the-ears cut that so many other ladies wear when they reach a more mature age.

        • ITGElizabeth

          Totally. I'm kind of excited to have white hair and play around with it. I'm definitely going to play the wacky grandma with pink hair role after I exhaust my period channeling Carmen Dell'Orefice!

      • ksegs

        The worst thing would be to see luscious flowing locks, turn it around and see the face of an octogenarian... sorry, but there IS an age where it works against you! Too much contrast of the young face one would expect to see with very long hair. Same way pig-tails are relegated to the under 21 club. Exceptions? sure, but generally speaking its not a good look.

        Alas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so...

        • Dru

          oh dear, then all those countries where women don't follow the 'chop it all as soon as you hit menopause!' rule must have it all wrong, then. Sorry, we don't all follow American/European rules on what is 'appropriate' for an older woman to have, by way of hair.

          And I can't believe some of the ageist nonsense I'm hearing in this thread - some of it under the guise of 'just my personal opinion'.

        • Lily

          The worst thing would be to see luscious flowing locks, turn it around and see the face of an octogenarian.......Too much contrast of the young face one would expect to see with very long hair.

          Really? You'd expect to see a young face on someone whose long hair is white/grey?

          (and let's not even get into what you say about how awful it is to see an 'old' person's face with long hair, like how dare an old person have thick hair and have the temerity to keep it long like young people)

          ITG, I don't know if y'all read this, but frankly I find this attitude more than a little troubling. I mean, what would you think if someone went around this site claiming that, say, women who wear makeup are insecure people in need of a 'security blanket' and only trying to look younger?

      • unvanquished

        Yeah, but you aren't supposed to look youthful when you aren't a youth anymore!

  • http://www.twitter.com/georginawootton Georgie

    I think unless it's well cared for, hair below the waist doesn't look that great. Often it gets all thin toward the ends and it's hard to look polished with your hair down. Mine ends 2-3 inches below my boobs and already the ends are going a bit weird.

    • ITGElizabeth

      That's what always happens with me. Rarely is it that the length actually looks tired, just that the ends (particularly because I highlight my hair) start to be too brittle and too light and too gross to be helped by any and all deep conditioning masks I can try.

  • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

    I feel it very much depends on the person, face shape and hair type...long hair ( which I have and love) can look amazing but only it it's taken care off.....long spindly ends suit no one!

  • Jess

    I have always had long hair and at the beginning of this year it reached my belly button so i cut up to my shoulders and i so regret it. I miss having long hair, i feel like a part of me has been exterminated. Like an arm or a leg

    • ITGElizabeth

      I'm always slightly curious about what my hair would be like a bit shorter. I just rewatched the second season of The O.C. and Marissa (who I thought was the prettiest person to ever exist and copied non-stop in HS) has shoulder length hair for a solid part of that season and she looks beautiful (as always). But then whenever I start to seriously think about chopping it all off, I get too nervous and instead reach for some Manic Panic... haha

      • Aubrey Green

        Your hair will always grow back :).

        • ITGElizabeth

          I know you're right! But, oh man, I am far too nervous (at least at the moment) to commit quite yet.

          • Aubrey Green

            Me too, I've cut my hair a few times in my life and have always loved it, but get sick of it in about, uummmm, 2 weeks. What do you think about clip in bangs? I've read that the Jessica Simpson line is good?

    • unvanquished

      To your shoulder is still long . . .

      • Eli

        In what world is shoulder length hair long? There is a huge, huge difference between long waist length hair and short shoulder-length hair.

  • http://rosewatersaffron.wordpress.com/ Sharareh

    This is a question I ask myself a lot, too. Right now it's reaching below waist and I really really love my long hair. But since some time my hair gets greasy more easily and I just can't wash it more frequently than every three days!!! So I mostly wrap it up in a bun. It is soooo time consuming and I have a friend who dared to tell me I look like an old lady who can't afford a hair-cut :(((

    Well, I think it's time to say goodbye to quite a few inches...
    But beforehand I will take the chance and experiment with ombre :)

    • ITGElizabeth

      While I'm sure your hair looks lovely (I would dare say your friend is out of line!), definitely have some fun with your hair before you cut it out of your life. Why not, right?

    • thunderlegz

      Im sure your hair is lovely, too! I think that's a really good point though: hair length should be determined by the quality/type/degree of maintenance, etc. you up for per lifestyle/desire, etc.

      My hair is burly curly Braveheart hair and it just stops growing at some point! Id love mine to be long like the Giselle picture above but it won't grow anywhere near there and Im obsessive about hair care!

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    The quality of the hair seems to be the difference when it comes to long hair. Scraggly, split ends screams "I'm lazy or may be salon-phobic," but well-maintained long hair can be very pretty.

    When my hair is long, I call the salon once it's long enough to get stuck in my armpits. Not the most classy way of putting it, but hey, it's the truth. :-)

  • http://www.twentysomethingintoronto.com/ Shanondoah Nicholson

    I don't cut my hair that often, I usually finally cave and get a hair cut when my hair stops holding a curl. It will just get to heavy.

    • ITGElizabeth

      This happens with my hair too. For a while, it's great--when my hair air dries, it's super curly for a few hours and then the weight makes it wavy and manageable, but once it gets too long, the top of my hair (near the root) just gets too weighed down and looks flat and terrible

      • http://www.twentysomethingintoronto.com/ Shanondoah Nicholson

        that's exactly my problem. it gets to a point where I can't even use a curling iron.

  • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

    As long as it's healthy, I don't think your hair can be too long. Mine ends right above my butt and I love it. I don't have split ends and I have natural waves and layers, too. Although I'm tired of people telling me to cut it and donate it... maybe I like it this long?

    • ITGElizabeth

      If you love your long hair, I say keep it! Though I do have a question for you... How often do you have to buy new conditioner? I typically go through a bottle every 2-3 weeks

      • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

        Mine lasts a few months, but I really only condition the ends of my hair (although my "ends" is really the bottom 8 inches!) I deep condition all my hair though once or twice a week

        • ITGElizabeth

          That's always a good tip. I try to do that in theory, but I just got this mint/eucalyptus conditioner that feels so good on my scalp...oops!

    • Nisha

      people telling me to cut it and donate it.

      How rude. Your head is not someone else's wig farm.

      They wouldn't tell you to donate clothes if you were wearing extra ones, why the entitlement to hair?

  • Guest

    Too long? It's too long when the wearer thinks it's too long. Otherwise, it's nobody's damn business.

  • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

    As long as it's healthy, grow it to the floor! It's all about what you like and/or feel looks good on you. I hate it when people say that past a certain age you shouldn't have long hair. Eff that. I'll have long hair forever.

    • mlle p

      I agree - I am in my 50's and my hair is just above the waist. I say if others don't like it, well, avert your eyes then!

  • Gabby Meriles

    I have the same issue. I am Latina and have thick, long, black hair so going the Pocahontas route seemed the best way to go. For years I had waist length hair which I loved and always looked glamourous in a very Cher-like way. However, as I got older I gave less Cher and more Witchy-poo. I gradually started to cut upwards and have finally settled on breast-length locks. I have also done a little ombre look and some layers to brighten things up. My personal opinion is that long hair tends to age you so past the 30-35 mark you should probably shorten up a bit. I also find that layers are less maintenance and still give the feeling of really long locks. Just don't go crazy with the layers/color or you will look like a Real Housewife!

    • ITGElizabeth

      I agree-- layers are definitely something to consider with longer hair. I'm definitely a fan of the blunt cut on certain people, but for me-- because my hair is decently thick-- it starts to look too much like a triangle without some length variation the longer it gets. But you're right, there definitely is a difference between the modern, more subtle layers, and the harsh mullet wannabe layers of the early 2000s. :)

  • Patty Santos

    Its sooo hard to say since some people make everything work. I personally don't like anything that goes pass my bra hook.

  • ksegs

    I, too have entered into this dilemma. I concur that super long hair (especially a blunt cut) can weigh one down if you're under 5'7" it just looks trollish or cultish. I can see in the mirror that my long tresses just don't suit my tiny frame-- I look like a tall girl in a headshot but when you see my body it looks like someone cut off my legs. However, Asian hair is the lucky exception to this.

    In my opinion... if you gotta put it up to use the toilet... its too long.

    • ITGElizabeth

      Cultish-- that's a funny way of putting it but I know exactly what you mean!

  • Dru

    I've had my hair go from collarbone-length to tailbone-length over the last decade, and it currently hovers around my waist. This entire debate about cutting off long hair once you hit ~a certain age~ (21, as per one commenter above) is pure horseshit to me. I don't know if it's an American/European thing, because all the women in my family have kept their hair long well into middle and old age - my grandma is 70 and has a pure white, waist length braid. I don't even know if it is a cultural thing because I see plenty of old women whose hair is in good shape, wearing chignons and the like. Or even leaving it down sometimes like Connie Leto.

    Frankly I think that as long as it's it's still growing out of your head and in good condition/well styled, you can keep your hair however long you want, at any age. None of this 'compulsory bob for senior citizens' brand of rubbish, please.
    (and there's another thing, the assumption that most people with very long hair wear theirs down by default - they don't. Updos and braids are my entire reason for keeping my hair long, along with the fact that my poofy, wavy hair generally behaves better when it's got its curl loosened by the weight of being long)

    • ITGElizabeth

      Yes x 10000000 to the last part! I love having my hair down in theory, but I almost always end up putting it back in a chignon, especially in the summer. Hair really does retain heat and sweaty necks are never desirable (at least for me)

  • Lisette

    My silly point: when your hair falls in the toilet when you bend backwards. To me (as a 29 year old mom) my max length would be at breast length. No more. I would feel immature and silly. Right now I'm rockin a bob though.

    • ITGElizabeth

      Did you feel pressure to cut your hair after becoming a mom? I know so many women do (whether to make life easier while caring for a new born or to give themselves a bit of a makeover or whatever). I always think young moms with cute babies and beautiful long hair look so glamorous, but I can only imagine how difficult that must be to maintain!

  • Jennifer

    Ultimately I think it's about your hair type (thin, thick, healthy, dry) and it's relationship to your face and body. Some people can grow it longer and it looks great and healthy and chic and doesn't overwhelm them. Other people just look like their hair is overtaking them. Or, the flip side, it looks stringy and unhealthy. Mine was short for several years, but is now boob-length, and doesn't seem to want to get any longer than that. It just looks dry if I try to skip the trims. It seems like it's my personal limit. (I'm 34, but I don't think that really matters).

    I don't think there's a "right" answer. As with all things beauty, we've all got what we've got, and we need to make decisions that work with our biology and lifestyle, rather than aspire to a one-size-fits-all standard.

  • Cat

    I had past my boobs hair for a couple of years -around 2007-2010 because it was oh so trendy and everyone had it waist length. But it looked really stringy and thin in the ends and I cut it off around the collar bone. Been through a pixie and have a slightly wavy bob right now which really suits me. My Mom (56)has thick, lovely brown hair boob length and looks fantastic. And @ITGElizabeth:disqus your hair is the stuff of dreams!

    • ITGElizabeth

      Thank you! So kind of you to say :)

      I love the pixie look. I don't think my features really cater to such a cut, but I am all for you ladies who can pull of the look

  • Aubrey Green

    I have to cut/trim my hair every 8 weeks, or it's not as manageable and it's fairly damaged. I have naturally wavy/curly hair that I blow dry and straighten twice a week (cause that's how often I wash it). Prior to blow drying and straightening, I would say I also only cut my hair twice a year too.

  • A Karina Zatarain

    I had waist-long hair from age 13 to 20, then I started experimenting with cutting it to below the boobs, then below the shoulder, then slightly above, and last September I got a pixie cut. I definitely used to freak out at the thought of not having my long hair (it was part of me!), but really, it's just hair. Letting go of the idea that my hair was somehow crucial to my identity was really liberating, as stupid as that sounds.

    That said, after many months of trying really hard to convince myself I love the boy hair, I've finally admitted that it looks much better longer. Also, people seem to be under the idea that short hair needs less maintenance. Nope. I have never needed so many texturizing, volumizing, sea-spraying products in my life.

  • grumblemama

    I had short hair, in varying lengths and styles from super-short, spiky pixie to long bob and everything in between, from 7th grade until my early 20s, and I am SO OVER short hair. I've grown my hair out and kept it long for the last eight years, and I feel like the sweet spot is just a bit above elbow-length, with some layers cut in to make it lighter and less blanket-like. Last spring it was all the way down to my butt and although it looked amazing, I couldn't stand it. It was hot, it was heavy, I couldn't wear it up without my neck and scalp aching, and it was constantly getting caught it stuff. I don't know how women have the patience for the super-ultra-long hair thing.

  • Sarah Beth

    I have quite long, just-touches-the-waist-kind of length hair, and it can be a bit of a mare in terms of maintenance, it usually looks ace at the beginning of the day and gradually becomes a straggly mess over the course of a few hours. I've only ever had awful experiences with hairdressers though so I avoid salons at all cost, and get my locks trimmed ever so slightly at the ends probably about once/twice a year too.. But my biggest issue is that I can't really seem to suit any hair length. I look back on photos of me with my hair at different lengths and shorter to mid-length hair seems to make my face look very round and moon-esque, but longer hair looks quite messy (not in a beachy, tousled 'I'm so Tumblr' way) and it looks quite heavy on my head.. not to mention it makes my head look so teeny. I just can't seem to strike a balance between the two so I just keep growing it out in the hope that it will look presentable one day!

  • http://www.mademoisellenature.blogspot.com Mademoiselle nature

    Too long is for me when my chignon doesnt look nice anymore :-) (yes, I'm french :-)).

  • kurohana

    I've had long hair down to my butt and as short as a pixie cut. i would never have my hair to my butt again since it is heavy and gives me headaches but shoulder to collar bone length is great for me. I don't blow dry, curl, straighten or style my hair in anyway so shoulder/collar bone length is easy to manage and all i have to do is brush it in order to get it to behave

  • http://www.glossyblonde.com/ Niki Caron

    I think the "too long" point depends on the person. If your hair is overwhelming your frame, it may be a little too long. But otherwise, go with what you like!

  • B~

    In my opinion... If you accidentally sit on it... maybe its time for a trim. I LOVE my long hair... I think a bob is great- it looks so great on the right person... but I love my hair far too much!! I trim it once or twice a year, and even if I have 3 inches amputated off... I feel like I've gotten a pixie cut. In a weird comparison: it's like how dogs don't always love being bathed, it makes it harder for them to recognize their own scent. Of course, its good for them (the streets of this city are durtaye- so my dog gets bathed a lot)... But its like I dont recognize my hair after a trim because it looks photoshopped or something. The length of my hair his my lower back, if I had a tramp stamp it would sit an inch or so above it. People always ask me if I'm going to get a trim soon or if I ever think about cutting it... m/ Long hair, dont care m/

  • http://www.victoriaelena.com/ VictoriaElena

    Totally depends on the health/texture of the hair. I'm a fan of witchy, long locks -- but not if it looks too unkempt or weighed down.

    I had hair that was five inches longer than mid-boob point (lol), and it was pretty damn healthy until I started experimenting with a curling iron. It only took a few weeks for me to realize the damage it was causing and I quickly had to lop off the five inches to get back my healthy locks. Also, long hair can get pretty heavy! Mine was causing head aches and it was lacking body. I think by that point, it's time to get a trim.

  • http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/ Lauren Ashley

    As long as the ends are healthy, grow baby grow!

  • sharisblog.com

    Once the hair passes the bum, it's too long in my opinion

  • Duff

    Nope. I like it too. You are not alone, sister. When I get new extensions, I let the stylist layer it up and fuss over it. Then I go straight home, take out my thinning shears, and fuck up those ends. :)

  • F

    I have beautiful hair. lol. I don't wanna sound boastful but I am just riding this self esteem high and everyone should get on it, feeling good about yourself is the best thing. Anyway yeah I have very long hair and it's quite curly. Lately I want to chop it all off into a Halle Berry esque pixie cut!! I WISH I had the cuts to do that, but honestly I could never handle the growing it out period and I hate in between hair (on me) in the sense that I would only really like quite short hair or very long hair. Plus curly hair is hard to manage as it is :(. However much I hate how tired my arms get in the shower when I'm washing my hair (damn shampoo never gets out??) (I rinse it with apple cider vinegar to get rid of it) and how heavy it is, I still love oiling it and creepily stroking it. It's my baby. Maybe one day I'll get the guts to chop it off!

  • Hai Yen Nguyen

    I think it depends on a combination of factors including face shape, build, height, hair thickness, etc. If you can maintain long hair that is shiny, bouncy, and healthy, then more power to you. I don't think there's a hard and fast rule for hair length and what age you are. What does make long hair aging and/or inappropriate is if it's in bad condition, e.g. limp, straggly, frizzy. Simply because there is more hair, less than healthy hair is extremely noticeable.

  • mick

    I agree with other commenters that "too long" depends on many factors including height, hair type, profession/career. Long hair on petite women can be overwhelming. Long hair on thin hair can look unkempt and limp. Long hair in conservative workplaces like in the finance industry can be inappropriate! But super long hair can look amazing on someone very tall and amazonian as long as it's healthy, thick and shiny. Thick and long flowing hair has a lot of sexual connotations that doesn't work for a lot of women's career aspirations/standards. I don't agree with the idea that long hair after 21=aging. Look at the Victoria's Secret models and the girls in the Free People catalogs. All those women are in their 20s and 30s but obviously have a creative type of career that allows them to have that kind of hair. I think they all look very young..

    • Dru

      Long hair in conservative workplaces like in the finance industry can be inappropriate!

      There are things called updos, buns and braids, you know. Long hair =/= loose hair.

      Signed,

      a lawyer with waist-length hair.

      • ITGElizabeth

        I've never experienced this since, obviously, I work in a a fairly creative setting, but these two comments got me wondering... do you ever feel prejudices from other women or men that you work with when you have your hair down? Do you ever wear your hair down at the office?

        • Dru

          I know this is late, but figured I'd respond - I never wear my hair down at work, but there are women in my office with the same hair length who do. The difference is that they both have straight hair, and one wears hers in a half-up do (think Kate Middleton's wedding day but straightened) so it looks somewhat restrained but she can still leave it free.

          The reason why I don't leave mine down at this length is because the air conditioner really fucks it up if it's ever let down. I can't even do a ponytail, it has to be a bun or braid so everything is tucked safely away. And yeah, I would definitely attract comment if I let my hair down looking the way it does, though that wouldn't be the case if my hair was straight.

      • f

        I totally agree with mick. I think he/she meant long loose hair though. anyway, I am going for the amazonian look myself lol I'm not too tall (just under 5'5") but where I live everyone is TINY so I seem "tall" and I am kind of skinny so to the people around me think I pull off the look. If i went to like Poland though people would think I am a 14 year old with out of control hair (growing out my layers to just below my tailbone). kinda like a troll...

  • SiobhanM

    I think it's less about length and more about cut. My hair is SUPER thick and is now hitting with my longest layers to my lower back (just below my waist) and I think it looks great. It's heavy, sure, but I have lots and LOTS of layers cut in, and it's naturally wavy. I wear it up mostly in the summer, but having lots of long hair gives me great opportunities to do tons of fun braids and updos and weird things with it that I wouldn't be able to do if it were shorter.

    I think you start to look fundamentalisty when the hair is all one length, just a thick hunk of hair hanging off your head. I think people make the mistake of thinking "long" is a style but it's not. You need it to be cut. I prefer a v-shaped back with lots of long layers to give it life and movement and keep it from weighing me down.

    • ITGElizabeth

      Preach. I completely agree!

  • Marine T.

    I have very long hair ( just bellow my waist) and sometimes I feel the need to chop it all off...But then I think about it. It's way easier to have long hair, because as you said it, I only cut them twice a year, when they bug me I can just put them in a messy bun super fast, and in terms of maintenance I am lucky enough to have very easy hair. But I won't grow it longer than the length I have right now, just because on me, I don't think it would look good !

  • Nisha

    People can do whatever they want with their hair once they themselves decide to cut it.

    That is not the same as telling a woman who has long hair and has evidenced no desire to go short, that she ~should~ donate her hair just because it's long. That kind of sanctimonious entitlement is a worse look than too-long hair.

  • Dru

    Rachel's 'comments' were ridiculous and ageist passive-aggressive generalisations against other women, and they deserved to be dragged even if she tried backpedalling with 'it's just my opinion!' etc.

    I have no sympathy for people who try to enforce these arbitrary 'rules' of what women should do with their long or short hair (or, in the other thread, their eyebrows) by attempting to shame them.

  • Dru

    I think mermaid ends can be very pretty, but there's a fine line between looking slightly grown-out and natural (as opposed to freshly-cut blunt) and looking straggly and sad.

  • Sam

    I'm really lazy and have found it hard to come by a good hair stylist so I could go a full year without a haircut. Right now my hair is to my ribs and I know it's getting really bad because it's so damaged that it is basically translucent at the ends.

  • guest

    I agree, I think that bottom-skimming is probably too long for anyone but did you really just say 'extra Christian, extra-Russian'?

  • luxleesg

    if it's in great condition, I think elbow/actual waist is the longest. after that, it starts looking crazy-cat-lady-ish. mine is only about breast length right now, so I have a ways to go!

  • ITGElizabeth

    haha, gross

  • L

    Do whatever you want with your hair, eyebrows, clothes, and whatever & what you are comfortable and happy with and don't let anybody else tell you or snark at you about it. It's obviously their insecurities, not yours.

  • L

    Also, I must add - it's not like the society doesn't tell women enough about what they should do with themselves, including their hair. This is all ways of trying to control their appearances on what is considered appropriate. I say do whatever you want and be happy with it.

  • unvanquished

    Super long hair drags down 90% of people. The most flattering long length on most people is only a few inches past their shoulders. Super long hair is also wildly age inappropriate after the age of 21.

  • unvanquished

    When hair goes grey it usually becomes much coarser in texture. Long grey coarse hair? That isn't a good look on most women. Even when it is dyed you can tell.

  • Chelsea van den Berg

    If you've got beautifully clean, luscious and healthy hair I don't think any length is too long. However, if it's swamping your face/destroying your features or its dirty, frazzled and dying; I think it's time to trust your hairdresser and go for the chop.

  • Ishaba Haque

    Being South Asian, I've been blessed with super thick and silky hair. When I was little, my mom never let me keep long hair as I was never taking care of it properly. So when I hit 16, I decided to grow out my hair. 4 years later, my hair is an inch past my hips and I LOVE it. I've considered bob cuts, but with a round face like mine, it'd just make me look more childish than I already look. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about cutting it short. Not as short as a bob, but shorter, taking off perhaps 4 inches. I can't part with long hair, since I've wanted it since I was a little girl, but I am ready for a change. I think the length depends on your frame and your style, but I think once it's near your knees, you need a haircut!

  • Anna

    Women and their hair…they should do whatever they want and it is hardly something we need to argue about. Women's appearances are policed enough as it is. As far as some of the comments here about "women of a certain age" and their "short spiky" hairdos, or their "blue tints", etc… For most of us, our hair texture and thickness changes when we go grey or hit menopause. Your hair will probably not grow like it used to either. That "flattering shade of blonde" is a wonderful option if you have white hair (not medium/dark grey), as it doesn't need to be touched up every week. Certainly, women who can wear long hair until the grave should do it if they want to. But it seems like there are a lot of women on here assuming you will have an amazing-looking head of hair despite whatever happens to you hormonally or emotionally (ah, my mom just had a 4 month stint of her hair falling out due to stress). Not to mention women who go through chemo, etc… So maybe we can all lay off what women should or shouldn't do. Do whatever you want, and hopefully you'll have the option to do what you want and these things won't be decided for you by genetics/aging processes out of your control.

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