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I am at a vanity precipice here. I have been wanting to grow my hair out for quite some time, and made a real effort at it. For the past two years, with trims every six months, I have let it grow, and now it is down to my shoulders. Ultimately, I wanted to grow it all the way down to my elbows.

But I have reached two hurdles, namely: It is taking far too long to grow, and honestly… I don’t really like the way I look with long hair, at least not at this length. It makes my face look elongated, like a horse, and my hair has been straight at the very top, but as soon as it reaches my cheeks, it begins to fall into rather limp curls. It looks considerably better when I can use my special shampoos that I love, but they’re out of my budget out of the moment (Live Clean is a great, wonderful brand that I use, which is cheap and available at Thrifty Foods, but it doesn’t pack the same vavoom which makes my hair lovely) My hair’s not long enough to braid or put in a bun yet either, so I’ve been letting it hang loose.

I am wondering now whether it is worth it to keep growing it, or to put my hands in the air, go to a hair salon, and chop it. I loved having my hair short, even though everyone felt obligated to tell me I looked ugly and butch with short hair, and I miss it terribly sometimes, especially when buying expensive silicone free no-itch conditioner. But I am also dying of curiosity to see if this is just an awkward in-between stage which will result in my hair looking much lovelier and more interesting when it gets long enough to actually play with and do updos on. I’ve always been a fan of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics, with the women who have full, lush bodies and full, lush heads of hair to match, and I want to see if I could emulate that.

I already found two hairstyles I like which I think would look good on me, but I am still thinking it would at least be nice to reach my elbow goal first, and then cut my hair to be donated. Hair-cutting also has significance related to growing up and major life events in Hawaiian culture, so I am wondering if I should wait for a momentous occasion to cut it. Here are the two hairstyles I’m considering:

[Caption: A photo of a young white woman with brown hair and green eyes, with her hair cut into a short, messy pixie cut]

[Caption: A photo of a young white woman with blonde hair and grey eyes, with her hair cut into a sweeping pixie cut with curls]

I’ll turn to my readers, particularly those who have experience growing long hair, and ask whether it is worth keeping up the goal, or if I should cut it. I am honestly equally considering both, and would just like some outside opinions that don’t include “Keep it long, your short haircut makes you look like a lesbian”. If you think I should keep it long, could you recommend resources for helping it be healthy and strong while I grow it? And if you are in favour of the short-cut, tell me which one of the two above would suit me better.

I guess my love of reader polls and opinions means I am a big fan of democratic decision making.