Bullies and Boys With Long Hair

In Advocate by El Rubio31 Comments

A candid examination of bullying, gender norms and selfless acts of kindness

It Started With Arthur

We were completely unaware of this topic when we started The Longhairs, or how important it would become.

For us it started with Arthur, whose mother Mae wrote us a letter about how he would get picked on by kids and harassed by adults for his long hair. But it was only after he was diagnosed with the rare Kawasaki Disease, and fought from life-threatening fevers, that his mother allowed him to grow his hair freely, after which he stormed through physical therapy and grew into a healthy, flourishing, talented boy with long, flowing locks.

Her letter was so heartwarming we were compelled to publish Arthur’s story on our website in our first article on boys with long hair, Little Guys With Long Hair.

Since then we’ve had a lot of moms write us. Some ask for tips and advice for dealing with their sons’ hair, but many have told us about their little boys being bullied and harassed.

Little Longhair Arthur

They’ve turned to us looking for guys who are “cool,” to show their sons that lots of regular guys grow their hair out, and show them there’s a supportive community where it’s ok for boys to have long hair. Many of their comments can be found on Arthur’s post, but some were sent in direct emails or messages.

For all the moms who have written in, we know there are many other parents facing the same ordeals, the helpless feeling of knowing their little guy is out there getting bullied for being different.

This topic goes far deeper than bullying, from kids, adults and external expectations of parents, to forced cutting, gender norms, kids who grow their hair for donating to charity and much more.

 

In this feature we go beyond the bullies and boys with long hair, tackling these issues head-on, highlighting some of the key layers on the topic and showing what’s happening out there. Citing comments from moms who have written in, interviews, curated content from around the internet, outside research and our own experiences, we aim to shed light on this subject, open a discussion, and show all the boys out there they finally have a place to go.

Our goal is simply this: to help boys with long hair, their parents, outsiders, and the rest of the world see that it’s ok to be different.

#doitfortheboys

Bullied For Their Long Hair

As we all know and many have experienced, kids can be cruel.
Here we’ve compiled a number of instances of boys getting bullied for their long hair.

Bodi, Adin and Isaac

Our first example is from a March 2017 video that went viral when a young boy, Bodi, describes how kids make fun of him for his long hair. His father Isaac, who posted the video, asks him how it made him feel, to which Bodi replies, “It makes me sad,” but, “I let it roll off my back.”

Isaac goes on to explain to his son how lots of people get made fun of, including himself for his tattoos, but that just because you’re unique and don’t look like everyone else, doesn’t make you weird, or that being different is a bad thing. Bodi concludes that being different is a good thing, it means you think different from other people, to which his dad warmly encourages him.

In an interview with CBS News about the video, Isaac is quoted, “I want Bodi to understand that he can affect the way other people act as much as he can effect the weather, so don’t place your emotional well-being in the hands of other people.”

Turns out Bodi has a twin brother, Adin, both of whom are growing their hair to donate. You can visit the original Facebook post with over 200 comments here.

In her original letter to us, Arthur’s mom Mae describes his experience with bullies:

Kids who are his age and younger are fairly easy going about it; they mistake him for a girl no matter what he is wearing, but when he corrects them they move on with their day. Everyone plays, has a great time, and forgets about the hair.

Unfortunately, older kids, even if they’re only a year or two older, have a much different outlook. Some kids think it’s funny to keep calling him a girl, some insist only girls can have long hair so he must want to be a girl, and some tell him they are ‘creeped out’ by long hair on guys.

Fortunately, Arthur has a few responses when other kids harass him:

1) He reminds them that this is his body and he likes his hair the way it is. If they don’t like long hair, they don’t have to have it.


2) He reminds them that popular characters like Thor have long hair. And if they’re really rude, he reminds them that religious figures like Jesus had long hair, so either they’re just being rude or Jesus creeps them out.

She goes on to explain the difference when adults make comments to Arthur, including a specific instance we’ll come back to shortly.

 

In a comment on our website, ‘Mommy of Samson’ wrote to us:

There have been times he has gotten upset, because kids will relentlessly argue with him about his gender (I know, right?). But I remind him that both girls and boys can have short or long hair, and to use it as a reminder to not judge others by their appearance, but to get to know them for who they are on the inside.

Mica, another mom commenting on our website, writes:

The most annoying part for my youngest is not when they mistake him for a girl, which they almost always do, but when they then profusely apologize for getting it wrong. He’s like, “Got it, now we can all move on without all the apologies [insert eyeroll from him].”

In an interview for this piece, MeMarie explains what happened to her nephew:

My nephew wanted to be Captain Jack Sparrow [from Pirates of the Caribbean] when he was little, and he insisted his mother let him grow his hair. But when he got to grade school he did a complete 180 because of the bullies, and came home ready to cut it. No more long hair.

Then there’s Christian McPhilamy, a 6-year-old who was inspired to grow his hair by an advertisement for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so he could donate it to kids with cancer. Despite being bullied about his hair for 2.5 years, he reached his goal of donating 10 inches to make wigs for children. More on donations later in this piece.

Adults Making Comments

Kids may be kids, but it’s an entirely different story when adults harass boys about their hair.
Here we recap cases of adults, strangers and even family giving kids grief about their long hair.

Mae tells us about her experience with a man at the grocery store:

When adults heckle him, I step in immediately. No kid should be confronted by rude, antagonistic adults! I remember an event that happened in 2014 that still burns me up. An elderly man was complimenting Arthur on his good behavior in a very long grocery line. He mistook Arthur for a girl and I quietly and politely corrected him. Most people just make an honest mistake – they’re so used to the overwhelming majority of long hair wearers being female that they jump right to that conclusion.

But this man…this man was so rude. He heard me, looked right at Arthur and told HIM, “tell your mom to cut your hair so you’ll be a real boy.”

You can read her response in the full post, but she wasn’t happy! She adds:

That jerk of a man was one of many, both men and women, who have taken it upon themselves to put their gender bias onto my son, but thankfully most people keep it between me and them. And I have no problem pointing out the utter ridiculousness of their bias.

 

 

In an interview for this piece, Shayna told us about her son Liam:

There was an older gentleman in the grocery store who called him a little girl. I didn’t pay much attention and we went about our business, later I asked Liam if he had noticed. His response was simply, “I know I’m a boy,” and that was the end of that.

‘Mommy of Samson’ shared her story:

And ever since the beginning of his life, he had been mistaken for a girl every opportunity anyone had to address it. Including people that had been told previously that he was a boy. At first I didn’t correct anyone, and he was too little to understand anyway, but as he got older, I became bolder with how I handle the comments, and now he handles the situation himself.

Even grandparents and family. In a comment on our website, Brittany related to us:

My in-laws have made plenty of inappropriate comments. That he looks like a girl, that he NEEDS a haircut, etc. His own grandparents. Most everyone else either ignores or compliments his hair – except the receptionists at my husband’s work who point-blank ask me, “Why does he have little girl hair?”

From another comment on our website, Mark’s grandson gave in to the pressure:

The last time I called my grandson, I wanted to tell him about my day of being harassed at work about my hair, by a fool and how I handled it. I thought it might help because I knew he was catching his own grief and I wanted to reassure him and help him stick to HIS desires and no one else’s.

I was about two days late, because my 8-year-old grandson had just caved a couple of days before for the same reasons: peer pressure and relentless harassment, and was now in the throes of “buyer’s remorse.” Like many of the other [commenters on the blog], even his “great” grandfather was taking his name and turning it into a girl’s name.

So my little guy will wait for another day to express himself the way he feels is right, if in fact he really still feels he is a longhair.

Shayna and Son
 

 

In, 8 Things That Happen When Your Son Has Long Hair, Michelle Horton describes the comments she constantly hears with her son:

“Oh she’s so pretty!” a wide-eyed man stopped me in the grocery store, genuine and sweet. I looked at my boy, dressed in a blue Transformers T-shirt and jeans, smiled and moved on.

My eye doctor looked at him and asked, “How old is she?”

The cashier at a local deli remarked on how adorable “she” is.

I’ve found that having a long-haired boy means struggling with whether to correct a stranger and engage in some awkward explanation/apology/reassurance, or to hope the person stops talking and moves on.

What we found interesting about these cases, is while we thought kids being bullied by kids would be the most pervasive problem, by far adults making comments to parents and their kids has been the most common scenario parents have told us about.

 

Boys Forced To Cut Their Hair

Bullying is one thing, but there have been many instances of kids having their hair cut forcefully against their will.

This is a horrifying video of a kid apparently named Dillon Grims, who is forced to cut his hair at a barber shop. It’s difficult to watch the agony unfold, but worse is how everyone in the room is treating it. The kids filming the video and the barber repeatedly antagonize him throughout the ordeal, unmoved by his pleading cries.

I have a personal experience with my hair being cut against my will.

When I was a freshman in high school I was on the JV football team. At the time I had a peculiar long hairstyle where most of my head was shaved, with the exception of the bangs in the very front, which were permitted to grow down past my chin, forming a “tail in the front,” of sorts. A curious choice perhaps, but it was my hair and I was into it.

I was a pretty small kid, 100 lbs with rocks in my pockets, maybe the smallest on the team. They called me Flea, an endearing nickname, but not one you’re gonna feel too fond about nonetheless.

One afternoon before a game, the older guys on the team surrounded me in the locker room, several grabbed me and physically held me down. As I fought and screamed in protest, one guy produced a pair of shears and ceremonially cut my tail off. They taped it above the exit doorway and everyone slapped it on the way out for “good luck,” and to them it was all in good fun.

Ok, it was only three or four inches of hair, but it wasn’t fun for me. I remember choking back tears as guys walked by callously reprimanding me to “suck it up Flea, it’s for the team,” and further antagonizing me now for my emotional response.

Trust me, when you’re 14 and having enough trouble as it is, the LAST thing you wanna do is cry in the locker room. I tried to hold it back, but it was a feeling of complete powerlessness, being physically restrained while having something taken from me that couldn’t be given back.

 
 

 

Longhairs Respond to “Stop the Knot”

Then there are these guys who went around cutting people’s hair off. Turns out it was just a publicity stunt, the men whose hair they cut were in on it. In any case, we didn’t know that nor did we think it was funny, and we issued a response.

In all fairness they did publish an apology video, demonstrating how the “victims” were in fact friends and it was all an elaborate hoax, and the guy even cut off his mustache in apparent reparation.

Nonetheless, at the time we believed it to be true, and along with these instances there are surely others.

Gender Norms and Boys With Long Hair

If we haven’t gotten deep enough yet, there’s another thick layer on this issue.

Boys should have short hair, play with trucks, GI Joes, wear blue, hunt, fish and play sports.

Girls should have long hair, play with dolls, tea sets, wear pink, cook, raise kids and take care of the household.

In a comment on our website, ‘Mommy of Samson’ reflects:

Now besides the journey of having a little man being called a girl almost on the daily, I myself as an adult, mother, and member of society, have learned a lot about our culture in general.

My son has gone through many phases during his little life of things he is into, such as Dora the Explorer, cooking, babies, and even a short lived My Little Pony phase. Now for some strange reason, those are a few of many things that are very much only manufactured for a specific gender, being female. And it makes me wonder, who on earth decided which gender should enjoy what? Why is pink only meant to be enjoyed by girls? And very obviously splashed all over everything that is meant to only be enjoyed by girls?

Who decided that little boys have to buzz their heads in order to be seen as masculine?
Or play with monster trucks?
Or with “action figures” instead of dolls?

Why does my little boy have to defend his masculinity because he has a long braid down his back?

Just questions I have asked myself and maybe we as a society should be asking. In my opinion [this] needs to be reevaluated, considering from the beginning of human existence men didn’t cut their hair, but somewhere along the line we have decided that it is no longer acceptable.

In January 2017 National Geographic published a special issue: Gender Revolution, an excellent collection of articles, studies, scientific research and interviews with children from around the world.

Without diving deeper than we need to here, there are a few notable articles in this special issue relevant to our topic.

In, “Girls, Boys and Gendered Toys,” Natasha Daly cites a study in which Sociologist Elizabeth Sweet analyzed more than 7,300 toys in Sears catalogs from the past century. Her findings showed that gender-targeted toys have ebbed and flowed since 1925. “Toy ads from the 1920s to the 1950s pushed traditional roles: the ‘little homemaker’; the ‘young man of industry.’”

The 1970’s saw a major decrease in gender-specific toys, attributed in part to the “second-wave feminist movement in full swing,” with “only 2 percent of toys in the 1975 Sears catalog marketed explicitly to boys or girls.”

In the 1980’s, however, with deregulation of toy advertising and the advancement of ultrasound technology, “gender distinctions resurged in children’s goods, especially clothing.” By the end of the 20th century, “the roles were simply more fantastical: The homemaker was the princess; the carpenter; the action hero.”

You can read Daly’s full article, where she considers the potential consequences of gender-targeted toys, but also offers signs things may be changing. It’s posted under an alternate title, “How Today’s Toys May Be Harming Your Daughter.

In “Color Code,” Catherine Zuckerman describes South Korean photographer JeongMee Yoon’s “Pink and Blue Project,” where Yoon aims “to show the extent to which children and their parents, knowingly or unknowingly, are influenced by advertising and popular culture.”

“Blue has become a symbol of strength and masculinity, while pink symbolizes sweetness and femininity,” Yoon is quoted. Her polarizing photographs depict boys and girls, including her own daughter, in their respective bedrooms amongst all their clothing and possessions. For the girls it’s overwhelmingly pink; for the boys, blue.

The article asserts the United States has played a significant role in the gender-color identification, “fueled by the pervasive color palettes of Barbie, superhero movies, and other staples of American childhood.”

You can find Zuckerman’s full article and Yoon’s project under the alternate title, “Pink and Blue: Coloring Inside the Lines of Gender.

While neither of these articles speak directly to boys with long hair (or girls with short hair, for that matter), the themes are easily linked, and this groundbreaking special issue in NatGeo thoroughly and fearlessly tackles these and a full spectrum of gender issues.

In other examples of parents questioning traditional pre-established gender norms, Michelle Horton writes:

Having a long-haired little boy means inevitably explaining gender norms and why, exactly, people think he’s a girl. It highlights how young these gender stereotypes and identities start, and how effortlessly they’re drilled into our littlest kids’ minds.

On our website, Brittany commented:

My five-year-old daughter’s hair is the exact same length [as my son’s] and no one ever says it should be cut “to get it out of her eyes.”

I was at the store with just my nine-month-old daughter and an older lady came up and said, “What a cute girl. She is a girl, right? Nowadays, you can’t tell.” I nodded and smiled, fully aware that she was talking about boys like my son.

He is happy, he is healthy, and he is loved. He doesn’t need his hair cut to match his genitals for the sake of people in the grocery store. They don’t need to know. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not offended when they can’t tell. I’m not offended if they guess incorrectly. It only bothers me when they tell him or me to cut it.

A family known by the lovable moniker, ‘Chloe and Beans’ created a notable Facebook page and YouTube channel featuring their family’s fun yet hectic lives with six kids.

On Facebook the family posted, ‘LITTLE BOYS HAIR 101,’ a list of various observations and comments about having three boys with long hair. A few of it’s points:

Sometimes people tell us it needs to be cut off because it’s too heavy, uncomfortable, too hot or unclean when it’s long; if that’s the case, I’m just wondering why we shouldn’t shave girls’ hair off too? Is it because boys are allowed to be more comfortable than girls? And girls should sacrifice comfort for aesthetics?

Imagine your daughter says “I want to grow my hair!” And then you say “TOO BAD” And shave it off while they scream and cry. Would that be nice? I don’t think it would be.

I have no problem with people simply assuming wrongly that my boys are girls. It happens 99.9% of the time when we are out and I just say, “oh, they’re actually boys” and the kind people say “oh okay, oops!” and the [jerks] say “BOYS? ARE YOU SURE?” …Yes I’m sure.

Whatever your disposition, the comments and the information presented raise questions, some of which are answered in the research, but many which aren’t:

  • Where have these gender norms come from?
  • Why are boys supposed to play with trucks and action heroes, while girls play with dolls and kitchen sets?
  • Why is pink feminine and blue masculine?
  • Why should girls have long hair, and boys short?

And maybe the most important question for us, from ‘Mommy of Samson,’

Why does my little boy have to defend his masculinity because he has a long braid down his back?

We don’t have the answer to that one. But I know some guys who’ll be willing to help.

Whose Choice Is It?

The question that keeps coming up. Should kids be allowed to decide their own hair length? Or should the parents decide?

On one side we have seen people questioning parents for letting their boys grow long hair. And of course there are many parents who simply won’t allow it.

There may be plenty of good reasons why. Every parent has their own upbringing, biases, experiences and beliefs. In most instances, parents just want what’s best for their kids.

Mae even said before Arthur grew his hair out,

I didn’t want him to have to face bullies, to be questioned by adults, to be judged for his choices…

Who can’t respect a parent who wants what’s best for their son?

On the other hand, there’s the camp who believes it is their kids’ hair, and therefore it is the kid’s choice.

Brittany feels it’s her son’s decision:

I haven’t cut it because it isn’t my body/choice. When it comes to healthy, safety, etc. I step in. But just stereotypical aesthetics? I absolutely allow autonomy. The day he asks for his hair cut, his hair will be cut. Personally, I can’t wait. I don’t grow his hair out for ME. I don’t enjoy the extra work of conditioning and detangling a mop on an octopus. But I can’t bring myself to pin him down and force him to undergo a haircut that he doesn’t want for no good reason.

 

Shayna feels similarly:

I’m surprised people have so many questions, like “when am I gonna cut it,” and “how long am I gonna let it grow?” I just tell them it’s his hair, as long as it’s not distracting at school he can do what he wants with it. Now he’s learned how to brush it and take care of it, it’s his responsibility and he can handle it.

Also, because I’m a stylist there’s a presumption I’m dictating his hair length. If it was up to me I wouldn’t keep his hair like that! It’s his hair, he can do what he wants with it.

‘Chloe and Beans’ posted:

My 3yo and 4yo boys have told me they want to grow their hair, why shouldn’t they be able to? Some kids don’t like having their hair cut. My kids don’t like having their hair cut. They get really upset about it actually. I don’t want to upset my children.

And Michelle Horton writes:

“Don’t cut it,” he pleaded last summer. “I want to grow it long, like John Lennon. PLEASE MOM, PLEASE!”

I was quick to cut his baby hair, and then to buzz his toddler hair, but who am I to argue? He likes to twirl his hair before falling asleep, and he wanted to see how it would look. And so we went for it.

 

 

In our own experience, we even had a young guy write us directly, asking:

What do I do if my parents are the ones wanting me to cut it? Any advice on how to convince them to let me continue to grow out my hair?

This put us in an interesting spot. We’re not here to interfere with parenting, so we offered him a suggestion which conveniently sums up our position:

First off is being respectful to your parents under any circumstances.

Talk to your parents about it. Ask them what bothers them about your long hair. There could be any number of reasons, but really listen to them.

The next step is to demonstrate a high level of personal responsibility. That could mean getting good grades, doing your chores, always being on time for things, making it home before curfew, helping with responsibilities around the house, holding down a job, submitting your college applications, keeping your room clean and hundreds of other things. If you can show that you have taken ownership over your life and your responsibilities, the topic of long hair becomes secondary. Or at least it gives you a strong platform for your long hair argument.

We advocate for men with long hair. We claim that you can be a successful businessman, working professional, family man, or anything you might want to become with long hair. The only reason we need to make that claim is because there is a pervasive stereotype that men with long hair are lazy, slackers, hippies, slugs and slack-jawed wasteoids. Unfortunately generations before us might have perpetuated that stereotype. But the only way we can break it is by actually demonstrating we’re not those things just because we have long hair.

Clearly demonstrate a high level of responsibility, and most parents will soften up on the long hair.

 

 

So whose choice is it? At the end of the day, we’re not here to answer that question. But doing your chores definitely won’t hurt.

Kids Donating Hair To Charity

With the dark side of bullying and kids being forced to cut their hair,
there are seemingly endless heartwarming stories about boys growing long hair for a selfless cause.

In a recent news story that went viral, the Kannisto family with SIX BOYS, along with their mother, Phoebe, cut their hair for Children with Hair Loss, donating over 17 feet in total amongst them.

In another video, then 10-year old Damian Carrano shares how he started growing his hair after meeting a girl with ocular cancer who couldn’t grow hair. He describes getting bullied by the football team and in Mixed Martial Arts training, but he completed his mission to grow it out and cut it for kids with cancer.

Tyler Boone grew his hair for two years and cut it specifically for his friend with alopecia: Boy Grows Hair for 2 Years, Donates to Friend With Alopecia

Earlier you saw Christian, who despite being bullied grew his hair for 2.5 years and donated it. There was also Bodi, growing his hair to donate along with his twin brother Adin.

Boy Hair Donation

With these there are hundreds more stories of boys, men and women growing their hair in acts of kindness and compassion.

What We Know

After reviewing the literature, there are a few things we know.

Boys are getting bullied for having long hair.

Many times it’s by other kids, but seemingly more often by adults. And for some reason elderly men at grocery stores appear to be notorious perpetrators. In some cases kids are even getting their hair cut against their will.

Parents have found themselves having to answer questions about the length of their sons’ hair. In some instances they’ve felt the need to defend their sons from more aggressive comments.

Gender norms are a pervasive influence in our culture, to which kids are exposed from birth. This certainly has an impact on many aspects of their lives, perhaps far deeper than we understand.

Some parents are down for the long hair. Some aren’t. Some say it is their kids’ choice, others will enforce stricter grooming guidelines. Each has their own prerogative and the right to raise their children in the best way they see fit. In either case, it’s not for others to question.

There are a lot of kids out there with big hearts, and hell if we shouldn’t encourage them to perform acts of kindness, compassion and selflessness, often in the face of bullies, harassment and ridicule.

For Our Part?

And what do The Longhairs say, you might ask?

We Stand for the Little Guys

We want them to know we are here. And if their parents will allow us to speak to them:


Yo Little Dude!

We think your long hair is cool. Pay no attention to the bullies and the naysayers.

Anyone can have short hair. It’s takes something special to have long hair.

It means you’re different. And it’s ok to be different.

It means you are confident in who you are. You’re not bothered by what others think. You believe in yourself.

It means you are down for the flow, bro! And we’ve got your back.

So for every bully who makes fun of you, or says you look like a girl, or gives you grief about your hair, just know there is a community of tens of thousands of men and boys with long hair right here.

They’re big and small, old and young, every color of skin, from every background. They are football, baseball and basketball players, world-changing scientists, CEOs and business professionals, drummers and musicians, action sports heros, US Presidents, courageous warriors, entrepreneurs, fashion experts, coffee roasters, custodians, architects and everything under the sun.

They’re from California to New York, Florida to Washington and everywhere in between. They’re from Australia and India, Canada and Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Sweden, Peru and Pakistan. There’s at least one on the tiny island nation of Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar; we know because we sent him a pack of hair ties.

That’s only the short list, because there are men and boys with long hair all around the world. And they’re regular guys. Who choose to be different.

We may have nothing else in common with any of those guys…but we all have long hair. And it means something to all of us.

So keep lettin’ it ride, kid. Here’s to hair whips and high fives.

For Those Who Donate

Hats off boys, we encourage and support you in your cause. Because contrary to popular opinion, Longhairs Do Care, which is the name of our charity outreach program where we donate $1 from every sale to charity.

Not only that, we are actively planning and organizing the largest gathering of men with long hair in the history of mankind, or at least since Braveheart, for the purpose of cutting and donating our hair to charity. It will be The Great Cut.

We hope you’ll take part.

 
 
 

To the Bullies and the Naysayers

Amazed you’ve read this far, but to each his own. Live and let live. Everything is going to be alright.

To The Reckless Haircutters

All we can say is what we said to Derick Watts & Co., and we’ll say it again here:

“The Longhairs vehemently denounce the unwilling and unlawful cutting of hair from any man’s (or boy’s) head in any form whatsoever.”

For The Parents

While respecting the wishes of all parents, we staunchly believe men and boys should wear their hair however long they choose.

For those who allow your sons to grow it out we give you all the credit in the world. You’re the ones who may be taking the risk of subjecting your boy to bullies and harassment. You’re the ones answering questions at the grocery store. You’re the ones dealing with a rat’s nest of hopeless tangles bonded firmly with a perfect blend of playdough and mud.

For that you deserve some credit.

A mother wrote us anonymously for this piece:

Running into your site has given me a great boost of confidence on what I do with my son. There were moments when I would see him get bullied and I would question if I’m doing right. But seeing there is another side to this madness gives me much hope.

We stand for the moms and dads, too. When you need tips and tricks for your little guy. When you need a special message for your son about his hair, like other moms have. And hopefully, when you need that boost of confidence.

You are part of this community. So please feel welcome here and visit often, we’ll help if we can.

And just to put our money where our mouth is, we’ll start ya out right here with a free pack of the finest men’s boy’s hair ties in the world.

Free Hair Ties For Little Guys

We’re offering a free pack of Hair Ties For Guys™ to any boys with long hair 12 years old and under.
Must be redeemed by a parent or guardian.

To get your free pack, all we ask is you leave a comment below. You can write as much or as little as you like, but we’d love to hear about your son and his experience with long hair.

We will respond directly by email to every parent who leaves a comment with further details. There is no obligation, absolutely free, including shipping, no catch, you just have to comment. We are a small outfit though, so it’s while supplies last!

We have some great content your little guy might enjoy, but this website is for adults, and we ask parents to monitor any content before letting their kids read. We shoot for PG-13, but you know, the occasional f-bomb slips out at well-timed intervals.

For The Boys

After publishing Arthur’s story, Mae wrote to us:

If boys who are facing ridicule for their hair could hear words of encouragement, support,
and acceptance from men who share their love of long hair, I think it would go a long way to boost their self-esteem.

We hope we’re doing it.

 

 

DID YOU LIKE THIS PIECE? TELL ELLEN ABOUT IT.

Every parent of a boy with long hair needs to see this. We think our best chance at getting the message out to those parents is going on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Screenshot from the Ellen Degeneres Show website.

Screenshot from the Ellen Degeneres Show website

Ellen has done programs highlighting men and boys with long hair, bullying, gender, and of course there’s Baby Theo.

If you think this story would make a great fit on Ellen, help us get the word out to her.

Here’s what you can do:

 

1) Send a Suggestion on Ellen’s Website

You’ll need to fill out a short form when you get to her site. Complete your own information, then write your message to Ellen or simply click to copy the text below, then click the button to go to her website.

Dear Ellen,

I just read this story and you have to see this:

Bullies and Boys With Long Hair: A candid examination of bullying, gender norms and selfless acts of kindness https://thelonghairs.us/bullies-boys-with-long-hair/

Every parent of a boy with long hair needs to see this, and the story would make a great fit for your show. Please do it!

#doitfortheboys

Don’t be afraid to include your own words of encouragement!

2) Tweet This Article to Ellen

CLICK TO TWEET

#DOITFORTHEBOYS

Who Are These Longhairs?

The Longhairs is a global fraternity for men with long hair. We publish tips and tactics for guys with locks, interview successful professionals with flow, and celebrate men’s long manes with hair whips and high fives.

Advocate. Educate. Celebrate. Because long hair…long hair lives in the heart.

Every parent of a boy with long hair needs to see this. If you agree, please share and leave your comment below.

Comments

  1. You guys are absolutely amazing. Not going to lie that I got teary eyed when I saw the post. This is exactly what we have been needing for his whole life. Support. Men that understand what he experiences on a daily basis. An actual group that doesn’t assume a person is female because they have long hair. It may seem dramatic to say, but up until now I have felt alone on this journey, no one to relate to, no one who truly understands the trouble of your innocent child not understanding why people just won’t accept him for who he is. I understanf that a lot of the comments have been honest mistakes, but the majority are from ignorant, closed minded fools, and that is really what gets my blood boiling.
    He has been called a pretty/beautiful girl, princess, lady. He has been given girl prizes or pink stickers when we’ve checked out at the grocery store. We have heard snide comments like, “So long hair, huh?” I have even been asked, “are you trying to make him gay?” A few months ago a woman very passive aggressively commented to someone in front of me ABOUT my son,” Come on, you have to cut a boy’s hair eventually.”
    (Um…. actually, no. No you do not.)
    I most commonly am asked by curious yet nosey people, “So…… what made you decide to grow his hair out?” And this is my answer:
    ” I actually haven’t decided to grow his hair out, allowing his hair to grow is the act of doing nothing, cutting his hair would be a decision.”
    I hope this article will allow people to find it in themselves to care less what people choose to do with their own bodies, and teach the children the same. My son sees people on a regular basis that are “different” than him or I and I teach him of who they are and what they do. We have used his long hair as a learning experience, we now know (on a whole other level) how it feels to be criticized and judged, and it had given us a broad spectrum of compassion and empathy for others. I am grateful for every challenge having this little longhair brings, watching the way he has grown in accepting him self and standing up for what is right, he is my hero.

    Since not all comments and reactions are negative, thought I’d share a positive one. The most recent and best compliment my son has received happened fairly recently. We were in a public restroom out of town, and a woman started talking to my son, and addressed him as a girl, he stopped her and said, “actually…… I’m a boy.” It obviously caught her by surprise, but she very lovingly looked at him from head to toe, and said,” You are your mom’s protector aren’t you? When I look at you I see a peaceful warrior.”
    And that is exactly what he is.

  2. i’ve answered to Samson that i ‘ll wear my sword to defend him against the oppression
    the oppression of authorities which are scarred or his gender future; as when he is 7, he does identify himself as a boy, there is no matter of fear ; he uses his freedom, and that’s his fundamental right since year 1776 ( independance proclamation)
    when a boy chooses to be a longhair, thats must be seen as his happiness pursuit right !!!
    if he were bullied for a supposed faith or political choice, everybody should protest !!! why not for hair freedom?
    for those who want cut men’s or boy’s hair, i ask ” what is for you liberty?”
    and to the bigots, i say i don’t admit the satirical picture ” the future under a democrat administration” and showing a hard muslim wife and a drag queen in the metropolitan; it’ s for me scandalous and it’s so scandalous judging anyone on his hair lenght ( thre are the same people who publish that kind of pictures and want cut men’s hair)
    and i ask: ” what kind of freedom is there in the free America?”
    Gilbert la Mothe deLa Fayette should be very disappointed seeing that !!!!( i’m a belgian who live in France)

  3. Thank you Chamane! ❤️
    I may have to hold you to that one day.

  4. What a great read! I’m so glad you guys are taking a lead on this by showing such support for these boys.

    Who would have ever thought that something so trivial as HAIR could rile someone up to the point of perpetrating an act of physical aggression against another person? It’s beyond ridiculous. I know people like to gloss over and say how much we’ve grown as a species, but… “we” still get caught up on trivialities to the point of hurting another person? We’re far from where we think we are, and even further from where we need to be.

    Kudos to these boys for being unapologetic in wanting long hair, to their caregivers who unapologetically support them, and to all of the strangers out there who got their backs. <3

  5. EPIC!!! Beyond epic in fact.

    Thank you soooo much and then some more for putting this out there in such a clear, loving, and triumphant way. I never even questioned whether my two boys (shown above) “should” grow their hair out. Of course they can grow their hair out … because they WANT to. Done. End of story. Now for the tangles, conditioner, and trims info we needed, we learned that right here with the Long Hairs so we’re all set.

    I love this article more than most anything else, but definitely not more than my two rock star boys.

    Huge love and appreciation to this community,

    Mica

  6. Right on BOYS!!!!! I am a long haired elementary teacher who pushes and shows all students how it is ok to express yourself. No matter what society tells us is the norms!! Long hair for life! Let the locks flow!

  7. Advocate – Educate – Celebrate … like a BOSS!

    Gentlemen thanks for making a difference in so many lives; I’m extremely proud to be a member of this community.

    Thomas … aka ‘The Gray Ghost’

  8. BOYS!!!! Awesome!!! I apologize in advance because you’ve hit my soapbox. I’m a middle school teacher, so I get a front row seat to this kind of stuff when it happens, and I hate it. Since becoming a longhair (two and a half years-ish ago) it’s amazed me that MY hair is such a big deal for other people. And it’s crazy to me what kind of stuff people feel like they need to say. My favorite is when they ask me “How long is your wife going to let you keep that hair?” Or, when we were getting married, they said to her “Of course you’re going to make him cut it before the wedding, right?” But, I’m an adult, and I can deal with hearing that stuff. Plus, my wife and I just get to laugh about it later.
    But, I hate the fact that kids have to deal with it. I’ve got a couple of longhairs among my students, and I hope seeing me–as a college graduate, and teacher, and professional–ALL my students realize that the stereotypes are wrong. And I hope it gives my longhairs the confidence to let it ride, enjoy it, and know that other people’s opinions don’t define them.
    But I think you’re right. Since the stereotypes of longhairs exist, we have to do an even better job and work even harder than most to show people what they’re missing when they look us over. Often, people are surprised to find out I’m a teacher. It’s like they’re surprised to find out I’m doing something with my life, you know, because longhaired guys are….blah, blah, blah (insert stereotypes here). They’ve even suggested I cut my hair to “set a better example for those kids.”
    Parents of little longhairs: GOOD ON YOU!! Thank you for supporting your kid! Your kids teachers are witnesses to some awful ways that parents tear their kids down. We do the best we can to build them back up, but there’s nothing better for a kid than a supporting, loving parent–especially in the face of criticism from others. Kids get so few choices as it is, thanks for letting them have this one.
    Little longhairs: I wish I’d had the confidence to grow it out as a kid. The fact that you’re doing it shows you’ve already got things figured out a whole lot better than most kids your age. That self-confidence will help you SO much. This world needs people who know who they are and what they’re doing, and who aren’t afraid to say what they think (especially when it’s unpopular). The rest of us understand the crap you get put through, we love ya’ and can’t wait to see the awesome things you grow up and do!

    El Rubio, there’s real power in this community you guys have created, and this post is an example of harnessing that power for one of the best reasons anyone could think of. Thanks for writing it!

  9. I am not a parent, and I do not have biological children of my own. I do though have young boys that I mentor, and as a Longhair and educator I have a lot to teach about being unique, loving the skin you are in, and making a global difference. Some of the boys I work with have fathers that live at home, other fathers are incarcerated, homeless and w/o custody, in recovery, or never knew their children. I am a male, Longhair, role model and love Little Longhairs unconditionally allowing them to be special in their own way knowing they will one day be grown men continuing to make a difference.

  10. found that scandalous video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xZ3mNycFX0
    it happened in a suburb of Brussels; a gang decided to apply their own law and shave the longhairs
    i ask to Youtube to suppress that content ( all the comments say they are ” bastards”)as it shows a physical agression
    and to the king’s prosecutor to send those gangstas to the court !!!
    in belgium, we sing in the national anthem: le roi, la loi, la liberté ( king, law, freedom) and i cannot accept that a gang impose his rules to others !!!
    seeing it, i feel the shame to be belgian …

  11. An extraordinary compilation of stories regarding the injustices imposed upon boys with long hair. Beyond painful to watch the persecution of young Dillon Grims. I’m not one to casually use expletives, but that barber is a f*cking d*ck. He shouldn’t be allowed to hold a license in whatever state he currently practices. The constant verbal abuse that he dispenses throughout the haircut shows a complete disregard for Dillon’s feelings and, just as importantly, a total lack of professionalism. I don’t know which is worse: The parents (using this term very loosely) ridiculing this boy and ignoring his requests to retain his locks; or the barber’s complicity in berating him. How can these people hear someone say that he is going to take his own life and respond with derisive sarcasm? Beyond comprehension!

    I know you guys are trying to get a spot on Ellen, but have you considered putting together something for a TED Talk? No doubt, the gentlemen at Longhairs would rock that stage!

    Keep on doin’ what ya been doin’!

  12. Great article. Certain people may have failed to understand, but boys with well maintained long hair are displaying responsibility, freedom of expression, and taking good care of themselves. It’s often a long term commitment filled with lots of hurdles to handle. And it also helps those boys to relate to the challenges of long hair that many females face.

    The long-haired young man in the snappy suit in the picture above kicks ass. To all the long-haired men of all ages: Keep it flowing, dudes!

  13. I like the video of Bodi, it makes a big difference the way your parents act. And Isaac is a good father. I don’t know what was the matter with my own parents: no feeling, as if it was turned off, perhaps because of Worldwar II.

    The header means something like you should kick this barber!
    I’ll hope it comfort Dillon Grim http://bit.ly/2pCzFsA

    This week a Christian brother told me the following out of the Bible: 1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? I told him that he don’t know the gospel, that is that Christ died for all mankind to fulfill the law. I didn’t say more because he won’t accept it, but hair means power in the Scripture, look at Simson. Much hair on your head means that you’re very intelligent, if you get much hair in your armpits it means that you have strong shoulders, hair on your face means you’re a good speaker.

    For the Mommy of Samson: Long, long time ago men used to wear a dress and women in trousers.

    About the following: “The next step is to demonstrate a high level of personal responsibility. That could mean getting good grades, doing your chores, always being on time for things, making it home before curfew, helping with responsibilities around the house, holding down a job, submitting your college applications, keeping your room clean and hundreds of other things.” That sounds like blackmail! 😉

    Kids with cancer, that isn’t necessary, because there are plenty of natural medicins to cure cancer, for example olive oil or curcumin, but if you rather belief in your doctor whois part of Big Pharma, than your kid will die after all.

    If you have long hair or you squint, are small or tall, or whatever that it seems like you are different, most of them are just jealous on you. And if they aren’t than it has to do with the pecking order, whois the boss and than I allways says: A good boss is a dead boss and I know Who have taste dead and ressurect on the thirth day! 😉

    This longhair come from The Netherlands.

  14. Thank you for supporting the little guys! So much of this rings true to our son’s experience. Other kids can certainly be unkind but more often they are confused, curious, or even trying to be helpful. It is the handful of adults who feel compelled to be mean to a child they have no need to interact with in any way that most astound me. I always tell my son there are many ways to be a man and boys should have all those choices of how to express themselves as well. Thank you for your message of acceptance, it means a lot!

  15. Hopefully I’m not too late to the party commenting here. I discovered The Longhairs a couple years ago when I had recently finished with the awkward stage, but man do I wish this site existed when I was a kid. I always hated getting hair cuts and started wearing it longer during middle school. While I wouldn’t say I was ever really bullied for it, my friends and family sure did give me plenty of crap about it. Saying I looked stupid or like a girl, always asking when I was going to cut it, the usual remarks I’m sure most guys here have heard countless times. I would always be forced to cut it before it got too long which unfortunately left me in perpetual awkward stage during high school. Finally, in college, I was able to say screw it and start really growing my hair and have it the way I want it.

    The community that has been built here along with the fine works of El Rubio and El Moreno such as this article have done wonders for me feeling confident and proud about my long hair. I know if this existed back when I was a kid I would have had such an easier time standing up for myself. I really hope kids today get to see this and learn that it’s ok for guys to have long hair. It’s more than ok, it’s cool! As long as you’re responsible about it, your long hair doesn’t make you dirty, stupid, or unprofessional. You guys are very right that these long perpetuated gender stereotypes can make choices like this very challenging, but I’m sure we are moving in the right direction.

  16. Thanks for supporting the little guys! It is such an important issue and no matter their gender, race or age all people should be allowed to make up their own minds on how they want to wear their hair and not get bullied or harassed over their decision! I have faced adversity from my friends and people I do not know on my long hair but I have also gotten compliments on my hair, especially from women who are jealous of my beautiful, curly locks. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for a little boy to get called out, bullied and harassed by kids and adults alike on their long hair and I truly wish people would stop doing that. Thanks for doing this guys and I do hope you get as much publicity for this as possible!

    Longhair from Finland – Viking at heart

  17. It is refreshing to see a site that supports boys going against the norm because they like their hair on the longer side.. our 10 yr old son has been called sweetie, cutie etc and complemented on “how pretty her hair is” .. Even at a TKD tournament while lining up for Sparing with his Cup on the outside of his uniform and fully visible he was asked by not one, but two lead instructors if he was a girl because of his longer hair.showing under the helmet. he politely, tapped the cup so you could hear it and stated he was a boy and in the correct arena.. They laughed it off and stated they had to be sure, but he was visibly flustered.. later he asked me “Mom, why did they ask me if i was a girl since only boys wear a Cup?”

  18. as i shared the testimony of mrs Fortin about his longhair boy in Quebec, mrs Klav, mother of a 4 years longhair son replies
    i’ve seen the article about the longhair boy
    about my son, i always ( really always) hear; “what a nice girl”, ” how is she pretty”
    nobody criticize me; they confuse him as a girl simply; but he is dressed as a boy: jeans, boots, shirt, polo. forever, if even there’s no sexual dimorphism at his age, you can identify him as a boy
    about boys forced cuts, the son of one of my cousines, 10 years wore his hair at waist lenght as he wanted it until last year for the crticizes of the other children were oppressive, and for the mother those from other parents
    finally, the son asked to cut his hair very short
    and the result was everybody ( those who criticized him) says to the mother ” whyd did you cut his hair? he was so nice with his lenght, and that was more convenient”
    for my part, nothing or nobody will force me to cut my son’s hair for y fuck the criticism; i did’nt send him in any school, and he learned 3 foreign languages, he does count and becomes reading, but that’s another debate…
    seeing as my son goes away when he sees any scissors, i believe he will be a longhair for a long time more !!!
    french language comment available at that adress: http://chamanedaniel.canalblog.com/archives/2017/05/14/35285173.html#c72244394
    the testimony of mrs Fortin ( french language) at that adress: http://www.marginaleetheureuse.com/2017/03/27/garcon-aux-cheveux-longs/
    to Mommy of Samson: the paper you cite shows that in many schools, children of colour are tolerated when only they disguises themselves as white people…. colour discrimination is not dead in all the usa !!!

  19. Mom to Z,
    That reminds me of last season when my son played soccer, during one game the ref kept calling him “she/her” and he said “I’m a boy!” And even the coach correct her once. But I was thinking, really?? He’s on an all boys team.
    It’s just silly how in even those situations where it is only common sense that they are long haired boys, people still will call them girls. Just shows that some cannot look beyond the hair.
    But him tapping on his cup is hilarious, I love
    when they handle things like that on their own. It’s always the best. ?

  20. Thank you for taking the time to write and sharing this information.

    I am my brother’s guardian and both of us have long hair. We very often both get harassed by family members about cutting our hair and I catch a lot of heat for not taking him in to cut it. While we often hear the “its not in the family,” or “why do you want long hair anyways?” from family members, we have gotten the occasional, more problematic statement. An uncle said to me, “if he stayed with me, it would be the first thing that would happen for him to stay.” This blew my mind. Instead of needing to take care of a child and look after them after they no longer are in the custody of their own parents, the only way this child can be shown human decency, love, and a place to call home is if he cut his hair? I didn’t fight my uncle on this much, but simply stated that “its a good thing he doesn’t live with you then.”

    My brother is just finishing up elementary school. I know next year middle school is going to be a whole new experience with new kids. However, its also going to introduce a whole lot more opportunities for people to pick on him and tease him. I have always stood to be a role model for him in his life, however, being a kid is hard. I don’t know how I would handle the situation if I was my brother’s age. I can at least encourage him to stay strong, keep his head high, and to not worry about the bullies who tease about his hair. This article was very helpful to read through and hear from other parents who are dealing with external forces trying to influence their parenting/little guy’s choices. Being relatively new to this whole guardian thing, this will help be a cornerstone for when that inevitable push-back from society comes. Its unfortunate our society has created such a stigma around long hair on guys. Its unfortunate that men of all ages have to deal with comments from random members and society. And its incredibly problematic and heartbreaking when that happens to young children who just want to live freely and enjoy themselves. I want my brother to stand strong and I want him to know that I am standing right beside him.

    To the parents and community here, thank you for sharing your stories and for supporting one another.

  21. A couple of years back, I dragged my son to the barbers, as my friends and family kept telling me he looked like a girl / Justin Beiber and he needed short back and sides.

    Walking home, he hadn’t said a word. I eventually coaxed out of him, “but mummy why did you make me cut my hair.”

    My heart broke, and I promised that unless HE wanted to, I wouldn’t force another haircut on him.

    He managed to pass the awkward mullet stage at about age 10, and since then for the last two years has been called a girl at least once a day.

    Proud to say, he stuck with his guns. He’s just finished his first year of big school without feeling pressured into cutting it all off; though we did agree to get him a little undercut to make the knots easier to manage!

    Adults definitely are THE WORST. An older female neighbour of mine, babysitting her granddaughter, just passed us in the street and said hi, she then turned to the girl and went “guess whether this is a girl and a boy or two girls” … who even does that?! Just because you tell us we’re beautiful after doesn’t make it ok. She will be getting a mouthful next time I see her without the kid.

    Honestly. I don’t think I would have been able to take the pressure my boy does on a daily basis. I’d never realised how much we associated gender with hair length!

    Anyway. This site is completely awesome, long hair boys you rock! Xx

    1. Great to hear from you Crissie and thanks for sharing. Yea it does seem that the adults are the nastiest thinking it’s funny. I don’t blame you for rippin her next time you see her. Tell your little man we got his back!

  22. This was a very powerful article.
    As a child I remember always wanting to grow my hair out and not really ever getting the chance to – not that my parents would have disallowed it (they wouldn’t have cared one way or another) – but the social stigma attached to having long hair as a boy. All the ridicule & getting made fun of is something that I think a lot of guys are able to just brush off and ignore but as a relatively self-conscious person fairly low on the school popularity scale I couldn’t bear the thought of attracting any more malice than I already received. I carried that mentality all the way through my first two years of college after which I ended up joining the military (in which long hair is absolutely not an option).
    What surprised me when I transitioned out of the military six years later was the vehemence towards men with long hair even in adulthood – I had initially decided to grow my hair out one year ago today in order to get it long enough to donate. As a thought experiment I chose instead to grow it out long enough to donate with the caveat that I would extend the amount of time I would continue growing it by six months each time someone told me to cut my hair; people who asked questions about why I was growing it or why it’s so long don’t count, and neither do people simply suggesting I cut it. Only serious, weighted, scornful, or otherwise negative reactions from strangers count.

    So far in 365 days, that mental tally is now at six years, meaning that almost once per month someone had specifically obtained my attention to share their displeasure in seeing a man with long hair. In addition to the points you mention in the article, I think this also speaks quite heavily to the general undertones in society; imagine the good we could do as a society if we collectively spent even 10% of the energy that some people choose to expend towards ridiculing people’s hair styles, clothing choices, which brand of mobile phone they prefer and instead channeled it toward education, infrastructure, or even just flat being kind to one another.

    1. Author

      Wow man! Thanks for your well-thought and articulated comment. Six years worth of negative remarks, almost hard to believe. Sounds like you’ll be with us for a while! Lol. Thanks again, appreciate you sharing.

  23. This is one of the best blog pieces I’ve read in a long time – great job, guys!

    I’m in the process of growing my own hair out – almost 10″ now! My shoulders are getting itchy in anticipation. Since starting this journey and dealing with tons of criticism from guys at work and family, I applaud any man/boy of any age who decides to let it ride. Even before reading this, if I saw a boy with long hair, I would make it a point to compliment them – “awesome hair, little man!” Or something similar and not creepy.

    It’s interesting how the gender stereotypes are so ingrained in kids. My oldest daughter (5) tells me I look like a girl. My wife and I have never tried to teach her that boys have short hair and girls have long. She recently wanted to get a shorter cut so my wife took her to get it cut and now her hair is shorter than mine. It was a perfect teaching experience about how she can have short or long hair and so can a boy.

    Anyway, thanks again guys for great content like always.

    To any man or boy growing it out – do it! Don’t listen to other people’s nonsense.

    Can’t wait until a few more inches so I can try out the awesome hair ties you guys came up with!

    1. Author

      Matt, thank you man! Appreciate the kind words and telling us about your experience. Punch it into the endzone man!

  24. Hey, I am the father of two boys 10 and 14. They are quite different as the older one is a swimmer and has super short hair. About a year ago my youngest, Elio decided he wanted to grow out his hair long enough to pull back. It has been a long struggle with other people wanting him to cut it, and he is just into the awkward length of it in his face but not quite long enough to pull back. I heard about your site from Side Hustle School and came looking for boys hair bands and content for him to read and connect with.
    Thanks for providing this needed resource!

    1. Author

      Glad to have you here Nathan, thanks for commenting. Tell Elio The Longhairs are hair whippin for him!

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