How Do You Make A Longhair Smile?

In Advocate, Celebrate by Paula Des Jardins13 Comments

Now now, it’s not what you think

As a painter and printmaker I’ve been around longhairs much of my life: fellow artists, models and friends. There’s something intriguing about a man with long hair. It conveys mystery, screams unconventional, and just looks good.

My art studio is in the same building as The Longhairs’ headquarters. I knew them back when their hair was merely shoulder length, and the idea for the Longhairs was in its inception.

The concept was brilliant: a community for men with long hair. To offer guys a place to go for hair knowledge, grooming tips and just to celebrate their manes. As the momentum grew (along with their hair) the concept became a reality. The Longhairs officially launched with a bash—Long Manes and Candy Canes—with speciality cocktails, appetizers, gifts, prizes, speeches and videos that hair-whipped the crowd into a frenzy of enthusiasm! I wanted to be part of it.

“THESE MEN ARE MY BROTHERS!” he shouted, laughing.

The Approach

I’m not a guy with long hair. But I’m an advocate. So I started handing out referral cards.

What a blast! I cannot tell you how much fun it is to walk up to a longhair and give him a card, and see him smile as soon as he reads it. To hear the questions, “Who are they?” “What is this?” and one of my favorites, “Do you think they’ll want my picture?” One guy even broke into a full-fledged hair whip! Fantastic!

In the beginning I was a little shy and would talk rapidly, “Hi I noticed your hair and thought you’d like to look at this website that my friends have and they are your age and have long hair too.” (Translation: I know I’m older than you, and no, I am not trying to pick you up, so relax. And no I am not trying to sell you anything. Honestly this is about you and your hair and the Longhairs only, whew!)

A Happy Longhair With A Card
At first I had a few funny reactions, like, “Do you want me to cut it?” and, “This is the best pickup line ever!” (ok, ok, it can work that way, single ladies take note!). After a little practice I’ve got it down to a simple, calm statement: “Hi. I noticed you have long hair. I think you’ll appreciate this…here.” No ambiguity, no confusion as to why I am approaching them. Just a simple introduction that works every time—because the card says it all!

The Reaction

I was overseas recently and anxious to spread the word internationally. The first guy I spotted was in an Irish pub, blonde locks and a perfect lowball, an ideal Longhair candidate. Referral card in hand I made my way over to him. Suddenly he was surrounded by a gaggle of tall gorgeous 20-something women (at 5’1” trust me this is intimidating!). But he’d seen me approaching and so he turned to me. “Hi. I noticed your long hair. I think you’re gonna like this,” I said above the din of female voices and handed the card to him. He broke into a smile as he read it aloud, “A Global Fraternity for Men with Long Hair…”

“THESE MEN ARE MY BROTHERS!” he shouted, laughing. Score!

It’s fun, light-hearted, it takes me just a little bit out of my comfort zone.
Later at the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen I spotted this guy with shoulder length hair and a partial topknot. I give him the card, he reads it, smiles, then tells me “I’m from Sweden. There are many of us there with long hair, it’s as if we have a fraternity too! I will spread the word!”

The Result

These are just a couple of examples but I’ve handed out dozens of cards now, and the response is always positive. It’s fun, light-hearted, it takes me just a little bit out of my comfort zone. And it makes me feel happy that I made someone’s day, not just for complimenting the way they look but more importantly for the CHOICE they made.

I’ve always admired people who can step outside the box and express themselves in their personal appearance. That’s what longhairs do. And handing out referral cards let’s me connect them with something they’re excited enough to smile about.

A Happy Longhair With A Card

Paula Des Jardins is a fine artist in Little Italy, San Diego, specializing in contemporary abstract oil paintings and monoprints. Her work is characterized by her use of brilliant color, rich textures and powerful brushstrokes. Why not check out her website?

Wanna try?

Longhairs Referral Cards