*Dear Tamara:

My hair is to the middle of my back and I really want to get it cut short, but my husband doesn’t want me to. He says he prefers long hair and doesn’t think women look good with short hair. I have never had a short hairstyle before and really want to try something different. On one hand, I want to be attractive to my husband, but on the other, I think he should be attracted to me for more than just my hair. I also don’t like the fact that he thinks I should consult him before changing hairstyles. My husband has changed his hair several times since we got married and he has yet to call me from the barber shop and ask me what I prefer. Should I even take his feelings into consideration?

Rapunzel

Dear Rapunzel:

At the end of the day, you are a grown woman and do not have to get anyone’s approval to cut your own hair. But, at the same time, I think taking your husband’s feelings into consideration is the right thing to do, especially when you both care about and respect each other. Taking a person’s feelings into consideration is not the same thing as getting their approval. Taking your husband’s feelings into consideration and involving him in your decision-making process may help him feel more comfortable with the change. I think you should talk with your husband and let him know the reasons why you want to cut your hair. Maybe show him some sample hairstyles that you like and are considering and get his opinion. Or consider taking baby steps. Ease your husband into a short do by taking off an inch or two here and there. Sometimes too much change too quick can be difficult.

I know plenty of men who say they prefer women to wear their hair long, my husband included. And as you can see from my profile picture, I am sporting a very short cut. To me, hair is a fashion statement and over the years I have changed hairstyles almost as often as I have changed my wardrobe. I get bored easily and like to try new things. When I first chopped off my hair my husband was shocked and I am sure it took some getting used to. But for me, I loved it the moment I did it. It took years off my face and I no longer had to spend hours in the bathroom every morning. However, I do miss the days when I could pull my hair into a ponytail and keep on pushing. Nowadays it is a little harder to mask a “bad hair day!” But cutting my hair was my decision.

I think a woman’s hair is a part of her personal style and that she should be able to express herself freely. I also do not believe that we are defined or bound by our hair. If my hair changes, I am still the same person. I am sure that your husband is attracted to more than your hair. Again, the thought of change can be scary and a drastic change in your hairstyle and appearance can take some getting used to. The good thing is that it’s only hair and if you and/or husband don’t like the new look on you, you can always grow it or sew it back!

Author of the upcoming book Been There Done That: And Lived to Tell About It, Tamara R. Allen is Your Advice Guru giving REAL advice from REAL experience. Email your questions to [email protected]. You can follow Tamara on twitter @tamararallen or check out her daily column and archives at www.tamararallen.com.