I guess I should have made hubby's views a little bit clearer. He has told me to do what makes me happy, and he is sincere about this. He would rather I have hair that I am comfortable with as opposed to hair that he is delighted with...but I know that he treasures my hair at the length it is. He is always playing with it, brushing it, stroking it, and when I leave it down at night, he likes to have it on his pillow so he can bury his face in it (not so fun for me when I roll over in my sleep and *ouch*) He wouldn't be angry or upset if I cut it...but I know he would be disappointed and he would miss it.
I have considered getting it cut to mid-back length, but the last time I did that, I got it layered and it was a disaster! The layers were so badly done, that it just hung there, with what looked like split ends sticking out here and there. I do have it cut where it frames my face in front, and recently grew out the bangs because I thought it was too "juvenile" a look for me.
I currently have some "long layers" - about the bottom 6" or so, and they don't do anything for the style..they make the bottom 6" look kinda "fly-away" and feel coarse...where the rest of it looks rich and is very soft.
I tried getting a "wave" a few years ago, When my hair was medium length, but the stylist was horrible! I told her I wanted fat, soft waves, and since my hair has a lot of natural body, it takes curl quickly. She put in the smallest curlers, and when I questioned her, she said, "I am a hair ARTIST, not a stylist...I know what I am doing" (boy, should I have followed my instincts and walked out!) Then, she got into a family crisis and was on the phone for 45 minutes. It is her salon and hers only...no other stylists work there. (I understand why!) During the chemical process, I kept getting up and going into her office to tell her that 20 minutes was more than a enough, but she pulled the "hair artist" thing on me again. *sigh*
I could have cried when she finally rinsed it out...what hair didn't fall out in the rinsing (some of it came out in 'clumps' and I had small bald patches everywhere) looked like a poodle on a bad hair day! She, of course, offered to cut her fee in half because I was 'not happy'...to say the least! I offered not to sue her if she could recommend someone else to fix it and cut her fee by 100%....she then went on about "You wanted a perm, I used expensive product and hours of my time....blah, blah." I didn't pay her and went to another stylist who said my hair was so badly burned that there was nothing that could be done until it grew out. I cried for days! My hubby hated it (of course, who wouldn't?) and loved me anyway. (awww...good hubby)
Now, my thoughts are: go medium length, get long layers and go for a soft wave...but I am terrified of having any chemical treatments.
I know that waves aren't really the style now, anyway...but with waves, I could let it air dry and still have a nice look. This is the way I wore it all through my 20's.
As far as the braids, go...I actually get a lot of compliments, as I do some rather fancy braids: french braids; fishtail braids; twist braids, etc...so it isn't a total loss.
I am just torn within myself. I am afraid that I will miss it once it is gone, because right now, it is long, full, healthy and pretty...just a pain to wash, dry and (when I bother) style. Yes, it does grow back if I get it cut, but my hair doesn't grow very fast. Maybe the best bet would be to go in several times, getting it cut just a bit shorter each time until I decide it is "too short" then it won't take too long for it to grow out to the point where I was last satisfied.
I was just curious about the whole "preference" thing. Maybe I am more concerned about how "I" will feel about it rather than how hubby will feel. I know his love will remain the same no matter how I look.
Having hair this long is a lot of work...sometimes worth it, sometimes not. It takes a good two hours when I do the full wash, condition, rinse, dry, style...etc. Normally, it goes (2-3x per week): wash, condition, air dry, which may be the reason it is healthy. I rarely use any heat styling.
I get a lot of compliments on my hair, so in a way, it is my "crowning glory"...just an inconvenient crowning glory.
Thanks for all of the input!