Long Hair vs Short Hair : Should You Grow Your Hair Long?

The length of your hair affects your look a lot but the debate about long hair vs short hair doesn’t have a “one size fits all” answer.

long hair vs short hairLong hair is feminine but it is not necessarily beautiful unless it is healthy and glossy and it suits you.

If it doesn’t work with your features and overall look, it can make you seem like you are caught in a time warp or that you didn’t have the wit, money or confidence to get your hair cut in a style. It can appear as if you just let it grow without thinking and couldn’t be bothered to go to the hairdresser.

So don’t decide that long hair is for you without thinking things through. In many cases women who have had long hair forever, have it cut by a decent stylist and it makes them look 10 years younger and 100 times better. So do think about it first.

Just for the record in case you think I am trying to persuade you away from long hair, that’s not so! After years of shorter hairstyles, my hair is longer than my shoulders for the first time in years and I love it that way! It makes me feel feminine, flirty and it provides a lot of options for different ways to style it. But what suits me and my lifestyle may not suit you.

Is a Long Hair Style Right For You?

There are a few things to think about when making the decision about your hair. Don’t rush when considering which kind of hair style, long or short, suits you best.


Think about the Shape of Your Face

Long straight hairstyles do not suit everyone. If your hair is cut and colored to flatter your face it can make you look a million dollars. It can disguise facial features that you are less than happy with and slim down your face. With a medium length cut you can still get the femininity of having a bit of length to your hair but it can be combined easily with a stylish cut or curls around your face to flatter.

The best face shape for long hair, is the classic oval shape. You can afford to wear your hair in lots of styles and long hair will help you create lots of looks!

Why Grow Hair Long?

  • Long hair is feminine
  • Long Hair is attractive to men. A study in the Journal of Human Nature showed that men are more attracted to pictures of women with long hair than pictures of women with short hair though I’ve never seen them turn their nose up at Halle Berry or Natalie Imbruglia either LOL
  • Long hair is often easier to style
  • Long hair is versatile – you can wear it up and down to achieve a lot of different looks and hairstyles
  • Long hair is a great show case for shiny healthy hair

If you have the following face shapes, think twice about long hair or consult a great stylist about a style that has some shape at the front while keeping the length at the back to get the best of both worlds.

Round Face – Long hair will emphasize the roundness in your face. You suit styles which break up the moon like qualities and bring hair forward onto the cheeks.

Long Face – A long face will be emphasized by long hair particularly if the hair is straight. In any case, avoid a center parting with long hair which can make your face seem much longer.

Square Face – This shape generally has a prominent jaw. You need hair that is longish to soften the area but super long straight styles will emphasize the angularity of the face.


What About Your Neck?

If you have a long neck then emphasize this asset by growing your hair long. In fact a short style might emphasize it too much and look out of proportion. If you have a short neck on the other hand, avoid long hairstyles as the gap between shoulders and chin will appear even shorter.


And Type of Hair?

Any type of hair will grow long if you just leave it to grow but will it look good? Perhaps not.

If you have very fine, thin hair then growing it long will only make your hair look finer and thinner. Your hair needs a great stylist and a stylish cut to make it look at its best whereas if you have thick, glossy hair it can be a great way to show off your assets.

Long curly hair can look spectacular as long as you can tame the curls and you deal with any frizziness with styling products (think Nicole Kidmann).

Wavy hair can be the most trouble as it looks better if you either go straight and sleek or have lots of soft curls and that involves a lot of work to straighten or curl it. If you have the kind of lifestyle that means you don’t have a lot of time to spend on your hair you’d probably look better with a chic easy to manage cut.

Coarse, wiry hair may not work well when it grows and it can be better to make the most of your hair with a beautiful layered cut which won’t go flat like it would on those of us with thinner hair. On the other hand growing it might give it the weight it needs to keep it smooth. It depends on how your hair behaves as it grows whether it will be better or worse to grow it. It really depends on how coarse and how wiry it is. Ask your hairdresser next time you go for an opinion.


Your Style

If you have an edgy style in clothes and like to look chic and modern, then a stylish hair cut will work better than long hair. If you have classic style, then that can work with short or long hair as long as the style you choose is also classic. Romantic style is crying out for long hair although a little elfin cut can also work.

Older Women With Long Hair

Many say that long hair is for the young but that long hair over 50 is a no-no and you should get it cut as you get older. I think that long hair can look good at any age if it is in great condition and if it is in a style that suits you and flatters your face. Just look at Christine Brinkley.

A very long style with no shaping might drag your features down a bit and as your features will already be heading downwards as you get older, you have to make sure your hair does not contribute to that impression.

A length just past your shoulders can work very well though and make you look great as well as give you a feeling of youthfulness. This allows you to create a sophisticated up-do for evenings and special occasions too.

How Long Should You Grow Your Hair?

It is rare for extremely Rapunzel-like long hair to suit anyone. Particularly if you are small, very long hair can look ridiculous, unless you wear an up style and then the volume of hair can still look out of proportion on a petite frame.

As a general rule, long hair which is anything from just below your shoulders to half way down your back (no longer than elbow length) is right for most people who suit long hair. It has the flexibility of being able to be worn in many styles and it is much easier to keep in fantastic condition.

Of course, you will see hair models with hair longer than this but their sole purpose in the ads is to sell hair products with their hair. You will rarely see anything other than their extra long hair in pictures and videos because with a top to toe shot you would see that their hair length did not flatter them.

There’s no benefit in having extremely long hair for your looks. I had almost waist length hair as a teenager and I’m not sure why I grew it that long. Maybe because I could. Now it is just past my shoulders – that looks much better!

Still not sure?

After considering all the factors there’s often not a clear cut answer whether you should grown your hair long (otherwise you would have decided already). Some factors may be in favor of long hair and others point you to short hair being better. Your hair stylist may help you in your decision if you have one who knows you and your hair well.

If you’re still not sure whether long hair will suit you, don’t worry, grow it and see! You can always change your mind at any point! It is far easier to go from long hair to a stylish short cut than it is to grow a short cut out.

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