Ladies: What length hair did you have when doing your PhD?


Not a spam thread, I can assure you! I have very long hair which looks quite nice (well, I admit I like the compliments) but is a bleeding nightmare when it comes to upkeep. I'd like to know - did any of you go for a shorter cut when you started your PhD? I start mine in October and I'm thinking of going for the chop, but I don't know if I'll regret it!

What are your experiences on this most trivial of matters?


The long and short of it is that it's really a personal decision as to how you wear your hair! Would this not be better in off topic?


Well, I suppose it is 'off topic' - but in my defence, this is related (tenuously) to issues of time management...

Avatar for sneaks

I have really long hair. TBH I'm not much of an upkeep person. If I'm lecturing or have an important meeting, it gets a GHD-ing but about 340 days of the year its just left to be its wavy/frizzy self. If I work at home I stick it up and then my glasses get stuck in it when I put them on my head :p If at the office I keep it down so I can drown out the noise of my office mates with my lucious locks ;-)

Oh and I never ever blow dry it - always leave it to naturally dry,which take about 3 hours on average, so I always wash it at around 6-7pm if I know I want to go out early the next day.


You're learning a good skill in defending your position as you'll need that for your viva! A lot of people doing a PhD find it very stressful and probably feel like pulling their hair out at times and so you may not even need to get it cut...


Quote From sneaks:

If at the office I keep it down so I can drown out the noise of my office mates with my lucious locks ;-)

Brilliant reason... Do you use invisible tit tape to maintain hair-to-ears contact or do you just restrain yourself from making any sudden head movements lest the muffle effect be diminished?

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lol. Unfortunately my hair is reasonably fluffy, so it has a kind of cousin It look about it. ;-)


Well I haven't let my PhD get in the way of my grooming - I am actually growing my hair now (6 months in), it is just past my shoulders and gets washed and blowdried every day, thankfully it is naturally straight so doesn't take too long. I also put extensions in on average 4 days a week, then it is like bra-strap length.

Maybe get a Brazilian blowdry or something like that (Keratin blowdry also) so it is permanently smooth and takes less time to do yourself? Expensive but I've heard very good things about them from people with long and/or thick hair. I was in hairdressing pre-PhD so I like threads like this!

Avatar for sneaks

Oh just to clarify, it isn't my PhD that means I don't blow dry/straighten every day - its my laziness gene, I had it before the PhD too ;-) Part of the reason I have long hair is that the length weights it down and its more manageable. I think if I had shorter hair I'd have to spend far more time faffing with it.

But I thought it was bad to wash your hair everyday? I wash mine every other day, but my mum said I should leave it every 3 days, but I've never been able to stand that.


You're not meant to wash your hair at all. If you leave it long enough (no pun intended!) it will eventually start to clean itself.

A friend of a friend had really long hair and only washed it once a week and according to my friend this person had the best head of hair ever!


this is such a fun post:-) I had my hair quite short when I started ( not because of the phd- but because I had wanted to cut off all my hair for a while)...anyway its all grown back now ...

It takes quite a chunk of time to maintain it sometimes, but I will be honest I only feel most pressurised when I have a deadline looming and I want to wash it ... otherwise its fine..

My advise- dont chop you hair for the phd- chop it only if you realy want to, and for you. Cause once you start the Phd you will find ways of working round it - honestly....;-)

All the best whatever you decide to do

Avatar for Eska

What do you have to do to your hair - are you sure it's not fine as it is?

Mine has grown from mid length to long since starting the PhD. But I don't blow dry it, just comb and leave, the same as I did when it was shorter, but now I can get away without washing it for longer by pinning it up...

What's so bad about wavy or curly hair?

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Quote From eska:

What's so bad about wavy or curly hair?



I had shoulder length hair when I started last year but was always tying it up because it irritated me so went for the chop about 6 months ago and it is now jaw length and very low maintenance (it was before anyway). I wash and condition every day and dry naturally and that's it. My hair curls up at the bottom naturally and it kind of looks like I've spent ages with a curling tong but in reality I do nothing with it and have never really bothered with styling my hair as I am a bit lazy :p


I started with pretty long hair, and now, having submitted my thesis a month ago, I have *really* long hair - about waist length. I also wash it every day (my mum's from a tropical country where you just have to, and it's rubbed off - my hair looks and feels dreadful if it isn't washed every day as well, as it's completely straight and the grease seems to run straight down). :p

I don't think there's any reason why you should cut it. I wasn't funded during my (technically full-time) PhD, so at one point I was teaching in a school four days a week, as well as doing my thesis, but I still washed my stupidly long hair every day; also did so with one arm in plaster! There's no reason why you can't allow yourself the time to sort out your hair - you might think about your research 24-7, but that doesn't mean you necessarily have to spend every waking moment practically engaged in it.

Before I finish, a related anecdote - a friend of mine, with very long, naturally curly hair which she straightened once or twice a week, became pregnant. Practically everyone around her told her that she'd have to cut her hair, as she'd have no time at all on her hands. She told them that the baby's father could surely look after him for an hour or so a week. Just think of it that way - in the greater scheme of things, it's not that big a chunk of time, surely, and frankly I think it's good for us to get a break from the never-ending slog sometimes!