Look at beauty magazines and you'll see models sporting long, beautiful hair. Turn on your TV and all shampoo commercials feature women with flowing locks, walking as if they don't have a care in the world. Even the photos of your friends on Instagram make you think that they've never had a bad hair day, thanks to the way their luscious waves fall perfectly on their shoulders, no matter what the time of day.
But before you turn green with envy, here's a dose of reality for you: It's all a sham. Women with long hair don't live a life of picture-perfect selfies where their hair always looks so silky and shiny, with just the right amount of volume. More often than not, their long hair is such a pain in the neck that they'd rather have it up in a bun than worn down and whipped all over the place.
If you're thinking of growing your hair beneath your shoulders, first take a look at these 12 painful realities of having long hair.
Split ends are your biggest enemy when you're trying to grow your hair. They make your ends look frayed and dull. Needless to say, the more your hair grows, the more susceptible you are to developing split ends. Short hair seldom has split ends because the hair isn't given the chance to grow that long.
To avoid them, frequent salon visits are absolutely important, and this translates to more expenses. You need to get your hair trimmed regularly. And don't even attempt to do it yourself by using regular craft or kitchen scissors—they'll just cause more frayed and split ends.
If you want to have easily manageable, wash-and-go kind of hair, then having long hair is not the answer. Some women spend hours styling it before their day starts. You have to wash it, blow dry it, apply some hair products, and style it the way you want to—and this can approximately take an hour.
But even if you decide to just wear your hair down, washing and drying it would still take a longer period of time compared to short and medium-length hair. Of course, you always have the option of sporting a wet look and just letting it dry naturally, which can get pretty old if you wear it like that every day.
Getting hair tangles is part of a long-haired girl's life. Those shampoo commercials you see on TV promising you a tangle-free head are simply not realistic. No matter how many times you comb your hair throughout the day, some part of it will surely get knotted. This is especially true if you have long, frizzy hair. And you can't simply brush the knots away because it will make your hair look frizzier than ever.
To prevent tangles, you can do two things. One, use a conditioner after every shampoo. Preferably do a deep conditioning treatment every two weeks. Two, cut your hair short.
It goes without saying that the longer your hair is, the heavier it gets. It can get pretty uncomfortable as time goes by, but that's not the only inconvenience that you'll experience. The heaviness of your hair can also affect its volume and curl patterns, making it hard for your hair to hold a style in place.
For instance, if you curl your long, straight hair, your curls won't hold that long compared to if you have shorter or medium-length hair. You need to apply some spray net on your hair to make sure that it holds the style you want.
Forget those pictures you've seen of women frolicking on the beach, clad in their bikinis and sporting gorgeous windblown hair. If you try to pull off the same look on a really hot summer day, you'll end up with beads of sweat on your nape and forehead instead.
If you have long hair, you'll probably opt to have it done up most of the time during the summer because it can get unbearably hot on your neck and back. Plus, sweat-ridden hair is simply sticky. Better pull it up in a messy bun because sticky hair won't look even remotely good in photos.
The longer your hair is, the harder it is to maintain. Simply shampooing it every other day won't work. You have to visit the salon frequently to make sure that it stays as beautiful as you want it to be.
The problem is, going to the salon is pretty expensive, especially if you have long hair. Most of the time, you need to double the amount of the products being applied to your hair. For instance, most hair dye tubes are only good for medium-length hair, so you need to buy at least two tubes to cover everything. Stylists might also charge you more than they do with their short-haired customers. See to it that you can cover the maintenance costs of having long hair before you decide to have them.
If you have long hair, you either have too little or too much volume. For those with naturally straight hair, the longer your hair is, the flatter it looks. You can try to solve this volume problem by having some layers cut, but this will only add volume to the top of your hair and not to the bottom.
Those with naturally curly or wavy hair, on the other hand, might suffer from having too much hair volume. It's simply all over the place. Either you have to cut your hair short or use plenty of hair products to keep it in control. And we already know that that's expensive and time-consuming.
Having long hair is like having a tail—you easily forget about it until it makes itself noticed, like when a whiff of wind blows a handful of hair on your face or when you try to eat and a strand of hair dangles on your food. It can get pretty annoying.
The solution? Tie your hair to keep it out of the way. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of time to braid their hair or put them in an intricate bun. Most of the time, they'll just settle for tying it in a ponytail, which isn't really a very flattering look.
One of the most annoying things about having long hair is that it's more prone to falling. You'll usually find your hair on your pillow, on the floor, or even clogging your shower drains. You have to pick up those clumps of hair and throw them in the trash to make water run freely into your drains.
And not only that, but loose hair can also get caught up in your brush, making cleaning them such a chore. On the other hand, these things won't be a huge problem if you have short hair since they're more unlikely to get loose. Hence, you won't have to deal too much with falling hair.
Have you ever experienced your hair getting pulled as you stand up because it's stuck at the back of your chair? How about a comb that just refuses to budge because it got stuck in your hair?
Well, you better get used to such things if you want to sport long hair. It's pretty common to find your hair get caught up in things because the strands easily get tangled. It's both annoying and painful because it feels like someone's yanking at your hair.
But nothing beats getting gum stuck in your hair. Now that will definitely get you an emergency haircut.
Not everyone washes their hair on a daily basis, as this can actually make their hair look dry. The problem is, not washing your long hair for an extended period of time can make it look limp and greasy. It's definitely not okay unless you want to have hair that looks like Professor Snape's.
It might even smell, especially during humid weather. This is usually not a problem for short hair because they're less likely to trap heat than long hair. Of course, the simplest solution to this is to wash your hair on a daily basis or as frequently as possible when it's hot and humid. But then, that would entail additional shampoo expenses on your part.
The bottom line is this: Long hair is terribly hard to maintain. It may look great in photos and make you feel more feminine, but at the end of the day, you have to actively take care of it in order to make sure that it really looks good and remains healthy. You need to have a plethora of products to apply to your hair to make it look as pleasing as possible. You can't just opt to tie your hair all the time because it can damage your hair in the long run. Every now and then, you need to treat your hair to a hot oil or hair spa to maintain its sheen.
If you're willing to put up with these inconveniences, then maybe you really deserve to have long hair.