I am really not nearly as vain as you. I don't mean that meanly, just how it is.
Speaking of vanity...
How do you style your hair? From your picture it looks like it grows out the same way as mine but I don't know what to do with my bangs that won't make it seem like a little kid's bowl cut. I could just get it cut really short like I've been doing but I really wanna grow it out and try the dumb ponytail idea I mentioned in my monkeytail thread.
I didn't see that thread . . . don't do a poney tail. Please.
It. is. the. worst.
Actually, I've gone to extremely short, I usually do in the summer, especially now since my allergies are crazy and I do some work in temperature control rooms which are stupidly hot. I sport a very short fade let it grow out till my cowlicks get insane. Repeat.
(EDIT: If you get a fade, do yourself a favor and let a black guy do it. You won't end up the three band buzz that most white guys are going to throw at you. And black dudes take their time and it feel quite nice. Typically the barber shop is cool with lotsa colorful talk.)
I understand what you are saying about the bowl cut thing (from my experience not from seeing you).
The way you get around that is legion, but obviously is not to wear a bowl cut.
If you are going to wear a medium to long hair cut the best thing you can do is let your hair grow longer, maybe an inch longer than you hope to have it. Then pay real money for a real cut. I am partial to getting it done with a straight razor as the stylist can add whatever degree of texture I would like.
(EDIT: Different than a fade obviously, but getting a good cut with a straight razor feels great as well. It is time consuming, but nearly like getting massage with cut.)
I have tons of hair but their are thin and straight as arrows, so there is a lot of ways for things to go wrong. (Hence the need for more than a little texture to avoid a very limp look or a bowl cut if I am wearing a conservative longer to medium cut.)
Once you have gotten a decent hair cut a few dozen times, you might be able to do it yourself if you are insane like me. I've done nearly everything you can do with hair like mine. A buddy of mine I made was due to a compliment he gave me on my cut. He is a stylist and was curious who had done it.
I can't stand doing that anymore, so I usually sport a fade. My hair grow like a weed. So medium to long with beard in the cooler months. Really, I was missing both this weeks, it has been oddly cool.