So often many young women get caught up in the idea that their hair should be long, and the longer it is, the better. But the fact of the matter is, how long your hair CAN BE depends entirely on your genetics. How long it SHOULD BE depends on your ability to care for it properly.
Ask anyone with hair below their shoulders and they’ll tell you that it’s a LOT of work. There’s the daily upkeep of keeping it clean and tangle-free and healthy which means more than just shampooing and combing it out. There’s also the fact that your hair is different ages depending on the point along the length that you are considering. If a strand of hair is 16 inches long from scalp to end and the hair grows at a rate of ½ inch a month, then that half-inch at the end of the hair is 32 months old (more than 2.5 years).
And you have to consider that damage to the hair is cumulative, so that the half-inch on the end has 2.5 years cumulative damage. This means that when you want long hair, you have to think in the “long term”.
That means, keeping it trimmed, and keeping it conditioned. Hair that is ratty at the ends due to styling damage and breakage looks worse than shorter hair that ends in an even line. And remember, you only need to shampoo your hair when it’s dirty, but you need to condition it every day, whether this is simply using a leave-in conditioner, or using a rinse-through conditioner in place of shampoo (such conditioners generally have enough alkalinity to remove the amount of dirt an oil accumulated in a given day unless you do heavy labor or work outdoors).
Furthermore, keep things in proportion. If your hair is fine in texture and less dense on the scalp, growing it long will just make it look thinner and limper. While keeping it shorter (say to the tops of the shoulders) means that it will look fuller and in balance.
Finally, and this is specific to mothers with young daughters. I know little girls with long flowing hair are adorable, but if you find yourself battling with your child over grooming her hair, you should maybe rethink the length, until she’s old enough to take care of it herself.