Short hair vs long hair – the good and the bad

As someone who has had both long and short hair (and something in-between) over the last year, I feel fully qualified to moan write about what a pain short hair actually is. Eventually.

Let’s start with long hair.

The good:

  • Bad hair day/split end/no time or resources to wash? The ponytail or bun is your friend. And hairbands, like the lovely wide ones I knit
  • All the options: braids (fishtail, French, etc.) upstyles, curly, straight… the list is near endless
  • Can’t touch your roots up every six weeks? Simply say you’re trying out the Ombre trend (unless you’re a blonde who goes black, or something else rather extreme)

The bad:

  • Salon visits, even if you only do it twice a year (an improvement from my previous annual visit) will kill your finances
  • More shampoo, more often – at least, that was my experience. I had to wash my hair at least three times a week
  • Products: for volume use, this, for sleek hair use that, for curls that don’t frizz use that other thing
  • The time spent with a hairdryer not only caused my arms to cramp but left me hot and sweaty. And if I didn’t blow dry (before I got the bank-breaking Brazilian hair treatment done) I’d have a lovely frizzy boere-afro

And then I had shoulder-length hair, which was a dream, especially since it was a while after the above-mentioned Brazilian treatment. I’d let my hair air dry and just spot blast the front bit with the hairdryer if I wanted it to look super sleek and stylish.

Next was the No.2 buzz cut.

The good:

  • No brushing, no drying. Shampoo once a week – and only a couple of drops – stick head under tap and “style” with a towel as required every day
  • All the time – see no drying
  • Conditioner isn’t really an option, nor any products – score!
  • Bedhead is a look
  • One box is plenty if you want to do a home colouring job

The bad:

  • Once it starts growing, especially if its natural state is curly, it needs to be maintained. This means frequent trips to someone who knows how to handle scissors properly. And if you decide to let it grow out again, this is even more important
  • Short hair is great to experiment with colour, right? Sure, provided you have the resources to maintain it or shave it off every now and then
  • Bad hair days are awful days – nothing to hide or camouflage the problem with; no amount of mousse or gel or styling putty can redeem cowlicks, stubborn flicks, or wayward curls

sheepAs a result of my once-a-year-when-there’s-a-bonus-visit-to-hairdresser habit, I currently resemble a short-legged farm animal.

I kind of really want to do the platinum blonde thing as well – my greys seem more noticeable now that I can’t brush them under. And I don’t know if I want to keep my hair short or start the tedious process of growing it all out again. I do know that I need to urgently find one of those scissored professionals to tame the craziness in my neck and especially over my ears.

My conclusion with regards to which length is better is this: in terms of daily upkeep, it’s a bit of a draw, with short hair winning on cost, but long hair on variety – especially on less than stellar days. In the long run, you can get away with a lot less maintenance and a lot more cheating with long hair; again, this is only my personal experience.

It has taken a little longer than it has in the past (it has been known to set in as soon as I see the locks on the floor), but yes, I’ve reached the point where I regret cutting my hair. Sure short hair suits me extremely well –  as far as face shape, etc. but extremely poorly when it comes to my budget – that pun wasn’t intentional, but apt.

The next thing I knit might have to be a hat – out of necessity for dignity, not so much warmth.


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