Beardsmen and Longhairs
By now you’re familiar with the sense of community amongst beardsmen. While this camaraderie has lived as long as facial hair, Beardbrand has identified and cultivated this fraternal association like never before.
There’s another community you may not have noticed: longhairs we call ‘em. Like you never thought of beards before you grew one, you probably never thought about long hair unless you’ve had it.
You may have never considered the similarities between these gentlemanly societies, or the distinct overlap between the two. Turns out guys with long hair and beards have some things in common, and while they might be in different clubs, they drink at the same bars.
1. Men's Hair is History
Long hair and beards have been common through civilization. From ancient Egypt and Greece, to the Victorian beards of Great Britain, to the 19th century in the United States, beards have ebbed and flowed throughout history.
Meanwhile, long hair has had its share of the limelight. Who could imagine William Wallace charging the English lines with a flat top? Or the Viking tribes of Scandinavia pillaging distant lands with bowl cuts?
From a symbol of wealth and power in ancient Greece, to a mark of parental legacy in primeval China, to Native American culture, Harley Davidson and rock & roll, mens long manes have had their glory since cave men were hair whipping next to the bonfire.
Yet today, men with long hair and beards are a minority in most populations—and they have to deal with a lot of the same shit.
2. It's Part of Our Identity, Man!
Like beards, long flowing locks are visually conspicuous on a man, creating a unique identifying characteristic. They are as much part of his identity as his face, so much that if he suddenly shaves or cuts it off, his whole appearance is changed.
Along with this comes a certain pride in our hair. On your face or your head, there is something about it we hold dear. It’s your look, it’s your thing, it’s part of your personality.
But whether you wear a shag carpet countenance or a hardy head of lettuce, there are naysayers. You’ll hear them say, “you should cut it,” “you should shave it,” or “you need to look professional.” Some people just feel the need to tell you how you should look, or be.
With that comes a requirement of confidence. A certain amount of not caring what others think or say, but knowing what you like and choosing to pursue it...regardless of the world around you.
3. The Stereotyping is Real
It’s been well-documented: longhairs and beardsmen have been stereotyped, misrepresented and discriminated against. The bearded man is said to be dirty, lazy or unkempt, while the longhair has been called hippie, slacker and “excuse me, Miss…”
If that’s not enough, long hair and beards have limited the vocational opportunities available to their owners. Employers across industries have decried, “no beard and no long hair, or else no job.”
Granted, there are industries where the expression of follicle freedom may potentially pose a problem, like construction or firefighting. But who’s to say you can’t balance the books or officiate a basketball game with a long, luscious flow, or a robust, burly face blanket?
Society, that’s who. And it’s something we all face when we opt-out of “clean” shaves and “acceptable” haircuts.
4. We're in This Together, Boys
There are certain things you know when you see another bearded guy. He went through that awful itchy phase, he continuously discovers food in his beard, and he’s been indiscriminately told he should shave it.
When you see a fellow longhair, you know he suffered through the awkward stage, he’s gotten his hair caught in his seat belt, and he’s not an NBA referee.
There are many examples, but each group has a particular set of problems. It’s these common challenges and experiences, understanding what the other guy has been through, and being the minority in a conventional world, that make us a community.
5. So, What the Hell Do I Do With This Hair?
Grooming, caring for and maintaining facial hair is an art. There’s skill involved in shaving and manicuring your beard, the tools and products you use, and the processes you learn.
Likewise there’s an art and skill to caring for long hair, with products, tools, brushing and particularly braiding. Entire cultures are based on hair and how it’s worn, manipulated and adorned.
And like beards, you don’t just magically know how to do it. You aren’t born knowing how to trim your beard or twist up your locks, which is why groups like Beardbrand exist: to learn, congregate and commiserate about the hair we grow.
It's About Damn Time We Had a Place to Go
Lucky for you, Beardbrand has led the way as an advocate, creating awareness and providing knowledge for beardsmen globally. Longhairs have had no such place, left to answer long hair questions on their own while standing awkwardly in the women’s hair care aisle.
Until now. The Longhairs is a global fraternity for men with long hair, whose mission is to advocate, educate, and celebrate. Our online community provides long hair tips and advice, long hairstyles for men, tips for guys who WANT to grow their hair out, and a full line of superior mens hair ties.
Like Beardbrand we advocate for men who grow hair, and through interviews with successful long haired professionals, charitable programs and support from women who are down for the flow, we’re making long hair cool again.
When You See Other Guys With Long Hair and Beards
So there ya have it boys. That’s what beardsmen and longhairs have in common—and why you might see us at the same tavern. Now, finally, we all have a place to go.
Remember that. And when you see other guys with long hair and beards, tip your glass, give ‘em the nod, the high sign, the “I see ya buddy.” Because we’re all in this together.
- Chris Healy "El Rubio"
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