I want to change my look... but how?

I've been wanting to do something different with my hair for my birthday this year. My birthday is in mid-May (still a long time, but I like to do my research ). My hair is 3a most of the time (it leans to 2c and 3b depending on the products I'm using), high porosity, high density, and when stretched out it just reaches my hips. Its condition right now its... meh. Not exactly loving the Sofn' Free Gro Healthy line, too drying for me .
Anyways, here are the options I've been thinking about:
  • Ombre and/or Balayage hair- I really like the look (don't know the difference yet)m when it looks nice an natural. Since my hair is long I was told it would look good by a friend plus it would add more dimension to my never before dyed hair. Cons: damage from dyes.
  • Cut it short- but I'm kinda afraid of this one... I have wanted long hair since I was 1 year old and shrinkage has frustrated me so much... If i do it, I'm looking into a short, stacked or A-line, curly bob.
  • Bangs- I know they are a no-no for curlies and that they are a hassle and all of that, BUT they are on my bucket-list, so might as well right?
  • Chemically Straightening- I know. So much time, money and effort would be ruined. Pros would be that I know for sure it would look good, and my previous hair dresser uses a very light keratin momba jumba.
Suggestions are very welcomed. I'm gonna try to attach some of my inspirational pictures:1. ombre hair, 2. curly bob, 3. straight blunt bangs 4. my curl pattern in awesome mode.
Attached Thumbnails
I want to change my look... but how?-jroberts-ombre.jpg   I want to change my look... but how?-hairstyles-trends-natural-curly-hairstyles.jpg   I want to change my look... but how?-vanessa-hudgens-curly-hair-straight-bangs-.jpg   I want to change my look... but how?-woman-curly-brunette.jpg  
Well, my vote is that you try the color. It's a big enough change that it'll be exciting and interesting, but it's also the kind of change that you can undo if you don't like it or just get tired of it later on.

If I had your length, I sure as heck wouldn't cut it off! But at the same time, if you've been wanting a new cut, then you should go for it. I went from almost butt-length to a chin-length bob once and I loved it! (Although now that I'm trying to grow it out I want to kick myself for ever doing such a thing!)

The only option I think you shouldn't do is the chemical straightening. The reason why is that it will take the longest to "recover" from if you don't like it, and it will damage your hair (much more than color will).
Medium/coarse, low porosity, dense, mix of 3s
CG (again) since Nov. 2012

Cleanse: SM Moisture Retention, Elucence MBC, KC Come Clean
Condish: Giovanni DL, Cure Care, Ion Treatment, GVP Balm, AOHR
Stylers: KCCC, SM Souffle, AOMM, SS CEJ, JCRR, JCCC

Trying out steaming!

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