You Should Cut Your Hair

In Advocate by El Rubio71 Comments

It’s Just So Much Better!

I was at a bar in a mountainous town, enjoying a little apres ski, where I met a fellow from the Czech Republic over a few cold ones. As often happens sooner or later, the topic of long hair came up. After describing our little project to him, he looked at me directly across the table and flatly told me I should cut my hair. Dead serious.

Did you not hear that part about the hair ties, and the global fraternity for men with long hair?

I was somewhat stunned, like, that’s the most preposterous thing you could possibly say to me. But beyond the shocking absurdity of his recommendation, it wasn’t that he was being an asshole. Rather he was interested in my well-being, and believed life would be better for me with a high & tight haircut.

He kept taking his hat off and showing me his super short hair, rubbing it to apparently demonstrate how nice it felt, how easy to deal with and how great it looked. So great, in fact, that I should cut mine off too.

Perhaps sensing I wasn’t fully on board with his proposal, he asked me, “why have long hair?”

Just as I prepared to launch into a full-blown dissertation at the bar, we were interrupted and pulled into another conversation. I was further distracted and eventually drifted to the other side of the saloon, we never made it back to our little chat and I never saw him again.

Having missed the opportunity, what better place to answer his question? So, friend, here is my response.

 

You Make A Good Point

Maybe I should cut it. There are some compelling arguments for short hair.

Long hair is a pain. You do learn to deal with it, after a while you almost forget about it, but there are regular reminders.

Like working out, playing sports, being outdoors, eating, sleeping, dressing for any occasion, riding roller coasters, making out, brushing your teeth and virtually every activity of daily life.

Then there’s having to shampoo and condition, blowdry, brush it, tie it up, and generally deal with it, rather than simply waking up and walking out the door.

Also it costs some money. Whether it’s shampoo or hair ties, you’re compelled to spend a little money on it which you wouldn’t have to spend otherwise.

Finally there’s all the shit you have to deal with from other people. Which, to me is meaningless, but it’s not to everyone.

I get it. The idea of not having to deal with it is appealing.

 

All Things Considered

At this point we are clearly invested in this community. To say the least.

Let’s pretend we weren’t operating a community based on the premise of long hair, and that my livelihood wasn’t literally connected to my long locks. Let’s say I was just a regular guy letting the long hair flag fly, and that I’d entertain the notion of cutting my hair off.

Having considered the benefits of short hair, the answer to the question of “why grow it long,” falls into several categories.

 

The Difference-Maker

Long hair is an instant differentiator. Walk into a room with a hundred guys, five or 10 at most are gonna have flow, depending on where you pull your sample.

Granted, it’s not always good to be different, but I think of it (ironically) like a job application: you immediately want to set yourself apart and be memorable. Like it or don’t like it, long hair does that.

And while there are plenty of other ways to be different, none are quite so obvious or instantaneous as your appearance including a streaming mane cascading down your shoulders.

 

A Confident Man

Along with being different comes a certain required self-confidence. It takes a little bit of “I don’t care what other people think.” It’s not easy being different, and as we’ve seen more and more often, that’s especially apparent for little guys with long hair.

With confidence comes self-respect, self-esteem, and belief in your powers and abilities. If you ask me, those things are important. Maybe the most important.

That’s not to be confused with overconfidence, arrogance or presumptuousness, because at the end of the day you gotta back it up. But if having long hair can help build and develop those self affirmations, then hell yes let it ride.

 

Keep It Independent

For me long hair symbolizes independence. It means I’m not in a position where someone else decides how long my hair should be, and that’s good because I prefer being the person who decides.

This is mostly with regard to employment. There are a lot of excellent and highly respected jobs and careers where you’re compelled to keep it short, and with respect for those positions, they simply aren’t for me.

The idea of someone telling me I have to cut my hair to work for them, choosing between a job or these golden tresses, is ridiculous. And lucky me, not everyone has that luxury, but it basically means I’m the master of my own fate and I hope to keep it that way.

 

All Natural

Another reason I choose long hair is it’s all natural. It’s a sign of health, vigor and vitality. It’s a natural biological function, we only get short hair by augmenting that.

Not to say we should all grow out all the hair on our body, ok, but you get the idea. The hair grows for a reason. And there’s a lot of people who can’t grow it out, so why not take advantage of the good fortune of follicle freedom while we have it?

 

It’s a Culture

There’s also a cultural aspect. Long hair in Native American culture, for example, is a spiritual artifact and for some tribes represents a connectedness with the earth. I’m not Native American, but I can respect and appreciate their beliefs, and I do believe long hair creates a certain connectedness to our environment.

Beside the historical cultures of ancient tribes and people, long hair is a culture in itself. We have a community. We have beliefs and customs. We do #HairWhipWednesdays and celebrate our locks. Even guys who have never heard of The Longhairs know when they see other guys with long hair, it’s appropriate to respond with a subtle nod of understanding.

 

And We All Know

Lastly, it’s just badass. There are limitless long hairstyles to learn and experiment with. I can wear it with a hat or a beanie, tied up, straight or wavy. Not to mention I can rip off a hailstorm of hair whips at any given moment, twist up a sick braid or choke someone out with it if needed. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but in any case the locks are just sick and I love having them.

 

With That Being Said

The bottom line is, long hair makes me different. It’s unconventional. It makes people guess, keep ‘em wondering, “is this guy some kind of loose cannon?” or make their own assumptions.

Deep down, it forces people to recognize it’s not a person’s outward appearance, but the quality of their character and depth of purpose. Which in itself is a greater platform for equality across the spectrum, for everyone who’s different.

 

I Call The Question

To the fellow in the bar. Thanks for the kind suggestion, but I’m going to keep lettin it ride.

I’m not going to insist you should grow your hair long, I think you should wear it however you like. But consider this: I’ve had short hair. For 30 years. I’m quite familiar with what it’s like, and so have the good fortune of experiencing both sides.

You didn’t mention if you’ve ever grown it out, but if you haven’t, maybe give it a try? Then you can fairly and objectively decide your preference.

And if that continues to be short, please enjoy the benefits for the rest of us, it must be nice. In the meantime I’ll continue to enjoy the benefits from our end and deal with it, because to me, it’s worth it.


Did we miss anything? Any other reasons why we should cut it…or why we should keep lettin’ it ride? Why not share in the comments?

 

Comments

  1. The title scared me a bit, but the message is on point as always!

    1. Author

      Ha! I know you didn’t really think the unspeakable Sam.

  2. Had the same at 61 long .short.my is when I was growing up it was a flat top.or reg.$1.50.they call it fade out cut know.but rember in school girls could and still can wear their like .and not said much.about.i thought as a kid wasn’t far.and guess why I still have long hair and it’s for me.because I feel like me.tks.

  3. I’d just like others always short hair until I become 55 being kicked out of church because of several narcissists they’re rather want to belief them than I. 22 Years before I lost all the friends I had, because I became a Christian and now there are 2 friends left, one of ‘m is Jesus Himself and somebody else I only connect with internet because he live in the other part of the Netherlands. I shouldn’t take longhair because I do have the Klinefelter Syndrome (1 on the 500 man has KS) and if I have short hair or long hair, a lot of people confuse me with a woman, but now much more and sometimes I must laugh if someone calls me honey or something. I do have a rough youth, both of my parents treat me or I was nothing and for a very long time I belief that, but in 2014 it was just like I say “Fuck you all!” Than I kept it growing and let it grow and grow and until it hits the ground we’re many years further, I am blond/reddish and it looks damn good! 😉

    1. Author

      Hans! Thanks for reading and writing in. Glad to have you on the team!

      You were wrong about one thing: you’ve got thousands of longhair friends around the world!

  4. The flow… love it bro….. which ever style u want… but im rocking it.till the end…….wore my yellow shirt from u guys last week… some one said i get it i get it……

    1. Author

      Krazy Karl, hell yes man! Haven’t heard from you for a little while, glad to hear you’re reppin the Golden Pony. Thanks for writing in!

  5. My biggest reason why I choose to let it ride is simply because I can. Like you said, you dont want a boss telling you that you have to cut your hair in order to get the promotion or raise. No thanks. My pay should be based on my contribution to the company, not my appearance. Hence, I have long hair and my own business! Plus, I’d rather be one of the 5 or 10 dudes with long hair than one of the 90 or 95 with short hair… Guess thats just my nonconformist, self reliant, independent nature… You guys are doing an awesome thing! And I’m proud to be apart of it! ✌❤?

    1. Author

      Hell yes man, we’re glad to have you part of it! Thanks for writing in hombre, appreciate your comments!

  6. Long hair was also sacred to the European Keltic and Germanic tribes. One of the things the Romans did to subjugate and humiliate the European tribes was to force the men to cut their hair. You don’t have to be Native American to celebrate a heritage of long hair.
    Proud men with long locks has a very ancient history in Europe!

    1. Author

      Leo, great stuff man! We would love to dive into some of these other cultures. You want to write a guest blog post for us?? Hit us direct on email if you’re interested.

      Thanks for writing in!

  7. I grew my hair out for almost two years, it got to be about 15 inches by the time I cut it. Getting it chopped was the worst decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t feel like me. Now I’m about five months into regrowing it and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Let it ride!

  8. Awesome article. I got a little bit of crap from my friends (mostly the girls I’m friends with) when I was going through the awkward stage and everyone told me to cut it. I powered through and actually met my girlfriend when my hair was shoulder-length. She’s told me multiple times that she thinks my long hair is cool and that it made me different from other guys.

    1. Author

      And who knows if you would have ever met her or connected with her if you had short hair.

  9. in that case, i answer ” you should grow your hair” why not?
    we could be oppressive as them, but it’s only a joke, for we ask tolerance and must be tolerants
    now, in Europe, long hair on men is accepted for you meet often manbuns, and our gansgtas usually are sort or buzzed hairmen
    long hair is seen as quiet opposition to the economic-political system ( alterglobalists) and accepted with sympathy ( thank you, José Bové : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Bov%C3%A9)

  10. There are so many reasons why I let my mane flow. One in particular is why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary? My hair sets me apart from the masses. Living a life as cookie cutter wannabe was never my forte. Love the skin you are in and the rewards will multiply. My hair is a gift that keeps on giving. I trim it and give away my inches to make wigs for women and children who have lost their hair. This resonates with my personal vision statement, “Creating a life of change, impacting the lives of the one or the many”. Live large and in so doing you model the way for others to be courageous.

    1. Author

      Live large man! Good to hear from you as always Equus, thanks for your take on it.

      “Model the way for others to be courageous.”

  11. I love everything about this and I really, really wish I were sitting next to you at the bar with the Czech. WE WOULD HAVE HAD SO MUCH FUN FUCKING WITH THAT GUY.

    😉

    1. Author

      HAHAHA! Ash, wish you had been sitting there too. Thanks darlin 🙂

      1. Ash is a so nice woman that you should be in a great danger, El Rubio….lol
        but it should be funny earing Ash answering that man….

        1. Author

          Haha, Chamane if you knew Ash you’d be even more interested in hearing what she had to say.

  12. I just recently buzzed my head. I had shoulder length hair and buzzing it was devastating. I caved in to pressure of advice to cut it. Take it from me, long hair truly lives in the heart. I wish so badly I hadn’t cut it. It’s as if I watched my pride and honour be swept away by a broom and a part of you gets swept away with it. Sure I find it easier maybe to “fit in” now in certain situations, but damn, I’d go back to having it long in an instant if I could. I took the easy rode this time but it will never happen again my friends! If you truly love long hair (who wouldn’t I mean seriously?) take it from me and the longhairs; let it ride! It’ll be a good year til I’m back to myself again with hair. As for whatever reason they give you to cut it, there in fact lies a far better reason to reply as to not cut it. I promise. You just need to search harder because if long hair were easy, everyone would be doing it. But it takes effort and lots of work as do all great things worth while!

    1. Author

      Striking the heart man! You’re still with us. In fact, consider documenting your trials and tribulations through the awkward stage as you go back through it, and help the other guys make it through.

      Hit us direct on email if you’re interested in that idea. Thanks for sharing man!

  13. Well, here is the thing… I hear that awful advice all the time. I just ignore. I also ignore those ones who always say something like OH, YOU LOOK BETTER WITH SHORT HAIR. Only I can count how many times I did cut my hair short after hearing that, to later hear the same person say WHY DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?

    So, people are mean all the time.

    I live in Brazil, in a very small city, and people still act like having long hair means you’re gay and deserve no respect. And if you are not gay, then you love rock ‘n roll and is a drug addict. In fact, by coincidence, I’m gay.

    I’m gay because I’m gay, and not because I have long hair, and my hair would never define my sexuality if things were different. But believe it or not, even gay men also have no respect for me because I have long hair. In their heads, having long hair makes me “gay-er”. Yeah, since my hair is long (for 2 years), countless times I heard guys saying that would not date me because I have long hair, or they just ignore me because of that.

    I don’t care because I knew things would be like this. For years I tried to be what people expected me to be, and I gained nothing in return. So, I’m 35 now, and when I was 32 I though it was time for me to do what I wanted and conquer my own confidence and independence. And here I am. Never been happier with my long hair. Maybe I will cut it short again in the future, but if I do that, I’ll do it because I want to, and not because someone told me to.

    Now I’m in the process to get it longer enough to donate but still keep it long after the cut, in the hopes that my hair can also make another one as happy and confident as I am now.

    And thanks for your inspiring words for all long hairs around the world.

    1. Author

      Yo Junior! Your comments are genuine and meaningful, thank you for sharing. We’re glad to know our words have inspired, especially all the way in Brazil. You’re always welcome here amigo, thank you for being part of the community!

  14. All great points El Rubio.
    Its just a stupid thing to say to someone & in all honesty makes the perpetrator seem a bit of a dork!
    Like many have said the main appeal to me is to be different, life would be so boring if everyone had exactly the same type of personality so why not try to have a different look as well?!
    Power to the longhairs & to the people who have the courage to be different!

  15. Been letting it ride for the last 7yrs. This is my 4th blonde whip since high school. The only thing about short hair is keeping it cut, and finding that special someone to cut it just the way you want it, same goes with long hair too but a bad haircut grows so slow. When I would get it cut I felt as though I was just like everyone else. But it wasn’t long before I would start letting it ride again, awkward stage and all. 55 and still letting it ride!!!

  16. Been a longhair on and off since high school. Every time I got it cut it didn’t take long before I would start growing it out again. Made me feel like I was just another face in the crowd, and who wants to do that. 55 and letting it ride till it runs out lol!!

  17. Awesome man! That’s why I will continue to grow it out, a little bit more and the awkward stage will be something of the past \m/
    …and also I’m letting grow my beard hehehe, next year I think I could go to stand in election for a new Santa XD

    Cheers!! 😛

  18. Retired after 30 years in the military. Wanted to try it. I love lettin it ride! I have a job which traditonally leans “short hair”. So I enjoy the “is this guy a loose cannon angle?” Great blog – excellent content. Thanks.

  19. Great comment, Junior. I’m in a similar situation. Some of my gay friends have said and acted in the same way. I’m happy with it and I can actually see where they are actively trying to look or be someone else. Why be a copy? God bless!

  20. El Rubio,

    Thank you my long-haired Ambassador, for speaking your mind and defending our cause. This story gave me hope that I can get through this phase of annoyance and weird looks. lol You’ve also given me more perspective as to the benefits of having long hair. Longhairs United!!!

    1. Author

      Glad you connected w/ the story Chris! Stand with us man! You can make it.

  21. It has always made me mad that schools or work places force man to cut their hair, no job has ever demanded me (I’m a girl) to cut my hair ? sooo… I think you need one more reason for you’re long locks like for example; FREEDOM AND EQUALITY. Why should girls have long hair? They are free to cut and decorate their hair but not boys o no no no. Boys should be boys ?

    1. Author

      Thank you Sai! As you’ve pointed out, we’re simply advocates for equality, with long hair as our platform. Thank you for supporting!

  22. Right to the point. Excellent. Who does this guy think he is? I say every guy should try long hair a least once. If they don’t like, they should shit the hell up. I love growing my hair out and don’t want to go back to the short hair. I’ve been told different times I should cut it. But now no one seems to say anything. Guess there use to the idea. I hope they keep it that way. But if they don’t it goes in one ear and out the other.

  23. Thanks for sharing that! I really enjoyed reading about you staying true to yourself.
    I’ve been growing my hair out for about 14 months now, and I’ve had to defend my reasons for doing it so many times. It’s forced me to be ok with being different, and not care so much about what others think of me. Ironically, I’ve become more confident in myself because of the haters. I love the long hair! Let it ride boys!

    1. Author

      Kenneth, you know it man! Glad to have you on the team!

  24. You forgot to mention the fact that all your strength and super natural abilities ride on you not cutting your hair…. just saying…

    My son tells people he is growing his hair out so that he can whip the moon one day.
    That’s right, he is going to “hair whip” the moon.

  25. In high school I always wanted to have long hair. Being that I attended a strict private Christian school, they had some wierd rule that Christian men can’t have long hair. I remember trying to cheat the system by using massive amounts of hair gel and spray to form only medium length hair in a hideous form that would make it look like I had short hair. When I got home, I would clean my hair and then let what was really nothing that long ride free! One day during school photos, I tried letting my hair down naturally and my headmaster actually pulled me aside and gave me a stern talking. He combed my hair back for me and made me retake my picture. When I got home, I was ordered to have my hair cut real short. The moment I graduated I immediately started growing it out again. I’m in my third year of college and now my hair is a long dirty-blond wavy dream. Nothing beats the feeling I get when random girls come up to me saying how much they wish they had my hair. I’m at a Christian university now and I guess they realize that in the big scheme of things, hair length doesn’t change what kind of man you are.

  26. In 2011 I was lucky enough to have survived a brutal car accident. After two years of multiple surgeries (6 to be exact) and other personal setbacks I knew it was time to start living a more fulfilling life. I quit smoking and my kids said I should mark that day with some sort of special occasion. I came up with the idea that if I failed at quitting the dags, I would buzz my hair. So I let it grow. Let it flow!

    After 4+ years, I’m happy to say my pelt is now in the 18″ range. Over the first year or so, there were scores of folks (friends, family and strangers alike) that asked, WHY the long locks…and at YOUR AGE? At which point I shared my storied reasoning with pride and self respect. Needless to say, most walked away with a completely different perspective. Touché’

    Found your website a few weeks ago. I membered up, ordered a couple packs of hair ties and the calling cards as well (brilliant marketing idea). In a sense, my hair IS my calling card? I will support your products and direct other longhairs to your site. IF/when I get out to San Diego, let’s go have a few ‘Daddy Pops’.

    1. Author

      Yo TF! Man, thanks for telling your story, that’s remarkable! Shot to the heart.

      Thrilled you found us. Thanks for ordering hair ties and cards, hope you have fun handing them out, I know we do.

      Absolutely get in touch if you make it to SD! We’re always down for a few oat sodas.

      Stoked to have you write in, thanks again amigo and keep it long and strong!

  27. Long hair acts as a filter for people who are judgmental and helps me decide who is worth taking to. Why waste your time on folks who judge you by the length of your hair? Actually, I find more interesting people are willing to engage a badass with long hair. I do want to find a way to manage it better now that it’s mid back and I’m 6’2″. Wash it everyday and I need efficienct method to tie it up and keep moisture from wetting my dress shirts. I’m an Engineer and expected to look professional. But to be honest, long hair tied back right looks a lot better than most of the half ass facial hair men war today.

    1. Author

      Well said John! Thanks for writing in amigo. We need more 6’2″ longhairs out there!

  28. Agreed! I have had my doubts too especially when I graduated college and started applying to jobs, but I landed one at Coca-Cola in ATL and they are very corporate. It goes to show that if you have a nice highball or lowball in my case then people will respect you and won’t thing you’re just a stoner.

    P.S. found you guys from How I Built This on NPR – ROCK ON!

    1. Well said Kyle. Stoked you checked us out and thanks for stoppin by. We’ll for sure check out your Funkadelic project.

    2. Author

      Yo Kyle, hella stoked you found us from the podcast! Welcome to the community, keep it live down there in the ATL.

  29. El Rubio,

    This is my first time writing in. I’ve been following The Longhairs on YouTube for a few months now. You guys are awesome and I truly commend you for the work that you’re doing.

    I’m on my 2nd grow out. I had the locks down to my shoulders (finally out of the awkward stage) after three years of growing it in high school. I kept it for a year after graduating but cut it because I thought it was holding me back from getting a job. A few years later I joined the USAF so I had to keep it short. Now that I’m a civilian again, I can let it ride… once I’m back out of the awkward stage.

    I feel like this article speaks to a lot of men out there who have or aspire to have long hair. It certainly spoke to me. Thanks!

  30. How about this for an answer?

    I can cut my hair any time but you’ll always be stupid.

  31. I’m going back to school in about a month. I am having a hard time deciding whether to cut it or not. It is like 3 inches below my shoulders. It takes 2 years to grow 5ish inches. (Slow) My mom has always had short hair since I was born except for one year when it was at her shoulder. She looks awesome with short hair. But my hair is curly and a big Afro, so there are many good reasons to cut it short. I’ve wanted to for months. I think short is the way to go, no matter what people think. Long hair isn’t the bomb, really. Everyone has it and it gets really boring. You stand out with short hair. Depends on what’s person you are- short, long, somewhere in between. But long hair is not really cool. Short hair comes with confidence and total swagger for many. I think it’s lit. I’ve had both and short hair is the perfect choice for athletic people. Got nothing to worry about whether it’s in your face or falling out of a ponytail.

    1. Author

      Finally we’re hearing from the other side! You make some profound observations, Yellowfang_101. Sounds like short hair is the ticket for you. C’YA!

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