Thank you for your honesty and frankness. Some thoughts:
1- Many women in Arabia at the time would wear a head covering called a Khimaar. However, their Khimaar would not cover the upper chest area. The Qur’an commanded them to cover their chest area as well. If the Qur’an just wanted their bosom to be covered, it would simply have said cover your bosoms. The Qur’an specifically mentioned the Khimaar to indicate that the head must be covered too (and also the bosom). If the head doesn’t have to be covered, it was unnecessary to mention the Khimaar.
2- We have hadiths that confirm this. This hadith is from Imam al-Sadeq (a):
عن جعفرٍ (عليه السلام) سئل عمّا تظهر المرأة من زينتها قال: الوجه والكفين
The Imam says a woman must cover her entire body except for her face and hands.
In this hadith the Imam clearly mentions the hair:
عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر قال: سألت الرضا (عليه السلام) عن الرجل أيحل له أن ينظر إلى شعر اخت زوجته ؟ فقال: (لا إلاّ أن تكون من القواعد) قلت له: اخت امرأته والغريبة سواء قال : (نعم…)
So when you examine the verse, the tafsirs, and the hadiths, it is clear that Islam does command women to cover their hair.
3- Hair beautifies men too, so why don’t they have to cover it? True it does, but generally men react to the power of the visual in a different way than women do. This is based on their biology and how their brain functions. Please see this clip:
So honestly there is a difference.
4- It’s amazing how Allah has guided you to modesty. It seems to me that now with the hijab this is one your important life trials. I believe when you overcome this challenge, you will be a stronger person, and you will be able to guide many sisters in the community who struggle with the hijab. Possibly Allah is training you for that. Feel honored. I recommend you say La ilaha illa Allah 100 times each night (say it slowly and take a deep breath each time) and you will find how much strength this will give you.
5- I am sure you deeply love Sayeda Fatima (a) and Sayeda Zaynab (a). Imagine they visit you today and you go out with them. Between you and God, wouldn’t you think they’d want you to cover your hair? Wouldn’t they be proud of that? Sometimes we have to listen to our internal compass.
I understand it’s a big challenge. Families and societies are not really supportive. Be honored that Allah guided you to it. Be a role model for others. Know every day Allah is infinitely compensating you.