Well, I did it. After over a year of growing my hair out, I made the decision last month to chop it off. 
Basically, I was growing out my hair for spiritual reasons, but I was suffering in silence from chronic migraines & neck pain from the sheer weight of my hair (my hair is SUPER thick & heavy). I decided after a long deliberation that it was in my best self-interest to cut it & give myself a new look.

My standard slicked-back bun was incredibly aging, not to mention time-consuming. I had so much breakage & shedding from keeping it pulled back. Here's the before (at it's best, mermaid-like state):

Another angle:

When curled, my hair touches my waist. Straightened, it grazes my hips. I decided to go to Bellezza Cristali's Salon in Danville, about 30 minutes from where I live. They had great reviews, decent prices, & a cute, homey vibe. As you can tell from the first pic, John got his hair cut too as it had grown far too long. His haircut cost $40 (starting point is $30). My haircut cost $85 (starting point is $50). So I spent the most I ever had on my hair, but it was well-worth it. There was no salon around me that I felt comfortable with which is why I traveled a wee bit. The only downside is that they only use products by L'oreal, a notorious animal-tester. However, I explained to my hair stylist my stance on animal-testing & she had no problem with me bringing my own products in! 

It's not always feasible to find an all-vegan or even completely cruelty-free establishment, but it's important that they can work with you. Anyway, here is the result of an hour in the hair chair:

The style is actually quite short as it barely grazes my shoulders. The back is slightly shorter to give it more of an interesting twist. I decided to start straightening my hair again because after years of dealing with curly hair, I don't have the patience nor do I think it suits me.

This is the shortest hair I've EVER had, but it feels light, liberating, & it's low-maintenance. I think it makes me look much younger & even slims down my round face. Overall, I am over the moon about my new hair & I think this is how I will be keeping it!

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