The goal to reach long hair is one which many naturalistas work hard to achieve. No efforts are too small and your focus, energy and determination are parallel to those of a high-level athlete. You’re on the start line “armed” with magic vitamins for hair growth, whipped up crazy concoctions, the latest hair method to increase hair growth and all else that can help you reach the finish line – Long Hair! But wait! Have you thought about this? Do you really know what it takes to have and maintain long natural hair? It might not be all that glamorous. Here are 10 cons of having long natural hair.
The longer your hair grows the older the ends of your hair are. They have been exposed the longest to environmental conditions (the sun, the wind, cold winter), manipulation (styling, shampooing, towel drying), heat styling tools, chemicals (colouring, chlorine, perm, etc) and so forth. The ends of your hair start to wear out and they get thinner from all the exposure which make them lose its protective (cuticle) layers, once some of these are chipped or broken the cortex is exposed and porosity can increase. You need to be very careful with this, read this post and this one.
Short hair is a breeze compared to long hair, have you thought of this? Long hair takes longer to pre-poo, cleanse, detangle, apply products, style, dry… I’m tired already aren’t you? You will probably need to have, at least, 3 to 4 hours set aside for your washing routine (some will take longer) just to do all of this. If your girlfriends or boo call you up for a last minute program you can’t just shorten the process to an hour, unless you wanna be called the human frizz ball.
3| Protective Styles
All naturalistas and wannabes should have this one checked. We all know that curly hair can easily get dry, dull, frizzy, prone to breakage and all sorts of “ailments”. Protective styles help us to keep these problems at arms length, they support hair growth and they look stylish as well. However, when you have long hair they get harder to do, they take more time, and you know you need to protect those ends because of number 1. Ultimately, you might feel betrayed since you’re not able to show off your length and your curls as often as you want.
4| More Product Use/More Expensive
Let’s face it, long hair needs more product to cleanse, condition and style. The life cycle of your products is shorter than when you have short hair and let’s touch base on the other side of this problem. Money! You end up spending more because you have to buy products more often, not to mention that some of the natural hair products are more expensive than the conventional ones. Oh, and don’t forget that when you go to your hairstylist they charge you more depending on hair length.
5| Summer Sauna
Long hair in the Winter is like a nice warm blanket you have around your face, shoulders and neck. However, this is not so nice when Summer comes along, it can be annoying. Your back, your neck and even you face getting sweaty. You may look like your going trough menopause with hot chills and sweat.
6| Gets In The Way
If you’ve ever had long hair you know what this one means. When you have long hair it gets trapped very often and you can’t move your head properly. If your partner throws his arm around you, many times this is accompanied by a howl of pain as your hair is pulled. Long hair can get into places it shouldn’t be such as food, furniture and other people’s faces. And if you and your partner have a private time in the bedroom some adjustments are needed as your hair isn’t edible or a horse’s rein. Finally, having the wind blowing on your face may sound good, but trust me it only looks good on the cover of a magazine. Just try it in real life. OMG, sometimes you look like a crazy, homeless person (no offence here) and if it’s really windy you’re basically being whiplashed. Not a good picture.
7| More Tangles
Long hair can potentially mean more tangles. No, it definitely means more tangles if you’re not careful. The wind, your clothes, and accessories can all work against you. This means more time detangling and more chances to cause split ends and hair breakage.
8| Drying Time
It will take you longer to dry long hair, especially if you wear protective styles. If you leave the house with wet hair you can end up with frizzy hair. And if you use the blow dryer to speed up the process you can be doing more harm than good to your hair. Not allowing your hair to normally return to its natural curl pattern (by using heat) can damage your hair’s elasticity. This drastic and rapid process wears your hair out much like a rubber band and you can loosen your curl pattern or cause breakage.
9| Makes You Look Shorter
If you’re not a tall girl like me, long hair will make you look shorter. Like a walking pile of hair. I know that everyone looks good on TV with long hair, but real life is different. More often than not, having your hair cut short will look better on you, it will show your beauty.
10| Curl Pattern
Long hair means heavier hair, and heavier hair means your curl pattern will change. How is this so? Well, if your hair is heavier your curl pattern will be stretched, elongated. If you like to show off your curls and enjoy all the volume you get from them, long hair will kill some of the fun out of it. Unless, of course, you go to your stylist and layer your hair.
The reasons put forward in this post are not meant to convince you to abandon your cherished dream of having long hair. That would make me a hypocrite as I too long to have long natural hair. My purpose was to bring attention to all the disadvantages of having long hair and to help you consider all the facts on your transitioning journey.
Have you considered all these disadvantages? Can you add more to this list? Which one do you agree/disagree more with?