I was lurking in a thread on LHCF and in one post, someone couldn't understand why so many women grow their hair long just to hide it all the time.Well for me:
1. I'm not done growing yet. I have a few more inches until I reach my final goal of waist length. Just because I gained a lot of length from where I started doesn't mean I'm going to ditch the protective styling that got me here.
2. To me, protective styling is like wearing a bra. It keeps everything contained and in place -- which is best for the long run. Sometimes I just like to let my hair free from the contraints but most of the time I feel comfortable and supported with my hair secured with something.
3. With the weather getting warmer, I just love to keep my hair up to keep me cool. And in the winter I keep it up so it doesn't get caught/rub against harsh materials.
4. I'm growing my hair for myself. I know what my ends look like and I know how long it is. That's all that matters. I don't feel a need to "show it off"
5. I love the surprise factor of added length after stretching/hiding my hair for a long time
So for all these reasons, I like protective styling :) Maybe when I reach my final goal I'll wear it down all the time. Who knows. But until then: up it goes and down it grows!! (that was so corny LOL)