The 10 Commitments to Growing Your Hair Out

In Advocate by El Camaleón27 Comments

“I’m Still the Same Person”

When you decide to let your hair grow out, "It's just hair" will likely be in your arsenal of defenses. Since "Bite me" isn't a strong position to take, you may choose to diminish the value of your quest if someone disparages your new look:

"It's just hair - I'm still the same person."

Don't buy what you're selling. Subjectively it may be just hair, but you will not be the same person.

"It's just hair," like the Colorado is "just a river." It took some time but look at the sculpture left behind. Growing your hair out carves away insecurities, sculpting and defining your character in ways you wouldn’t imagine.

Okay, the hair doesn't change you; it's the process, the journey. But deciding to let it grow is not the first step. You've probably made that decision a few times by going a week or two past your normal cut. Maybe once you went full Fear Factor and let it ride a whole month, but you eventually caved to peer pressure or because you just couldn't do anything with your awkward stage hair.

No, the first step is commitment. Or what I like to call,


The Ten Commitments to Growing Your Hair Out

You must commit to:

1. More Time

If it took me more than 15 seconds to deal with my short hair each morning I knew it was time for a cut. A dab of pomade, rub it in, and finger comb, but as my hair got longer the pomade started making my hair look like plastic.

The hair style I had for decades wasn't going to work anymore, that's when I realized I would have to commit more time to my morning routine.


2. New Hair Styles

Part of the reason for growing your hair out is to have new options in hair styles. When a side-part stops working, try a middle-part or slicked back.

I would recommend a trim about three months in because your short cut probably grew out ragged and uneven. Stress to your barber/stylist that you're growing it out and you just want to clean it up a bit.

“It’s just hair – I’m still the same person.”El Camaleón

3. Research

For me that started by searching for pics of men with long hair for inspiration. It doesn't hurt to have a goal.

Luckily I found The Longhairs website, and BAM! The motherlode. They show you different ways to wear your hair, when and how to wash your hair, how to get through the awkward stage, and they sell awesome products designed for men with long hair. You're gonna want to make a part of your daily life.

4. Nutrition

"Really? I'm gonna to have to diet?"

No, but there are foods and supplements that can help keep your hair healthy. Nothing can truly make your hair grow faster but you can make it stronger with better nutrition. I definitely needed it and honestly, by the time I got to this point it was an easy commitment to keep.


5. Bad Hair Days

They're gonna happen. If you're lucky you can cover your hair. Otherwise, wear the mess with pride, like you meant for it to look like that.

One of the things you may have liked about short hair was that every hair was always in place. I just went through a period where no matter what product or style I tried, a rebellious lock was determined to fall out of place and annoy my forehead. I was sure it must look like the proverbial string of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of a shoe, but it often looked kinda cool. It just felt weird.

Part of the journey is getting used to those new sensations. When I'm home and not at all concerned about my appearance, I enjoy letting my bangs out of jail to run amok.


6. New Products

As your hair gets longer and you're trying new styles, try new products. I pretty much use something different every day. Protein, leave-in styling conditioners, even the dreaded hair spray can get you through a bad hair day when you need to look good.

You'll want to test new products on your day off, not five minutes before you need to leave for work. Keep in mind that everyone's hair is different. One size does not fit all.

7. Brotherhood

I remember when you were a bad seed if you had a tattoo. Now you're almost a freak if you don't have one.

I'm looking forward to the day when you're a freak if you don't have long hair. Until then, you'll definitely find comfort in the brotherhood that you'll find here at The Longhairs.


8. Document Your Journey

Social media is a quick and easy way to have fun with growing it out. It's an excellent way to document your hair journey. Looking back on my IG posts I'm amazed to see the transformation my hair growth is making in my appearance.

9. Hair Care

Long hair requires more care, but to me it's a wash. Short hair: frequent and costly cuts, daily styling and costly products, locked in to one style (sometimes years if not decades) but otherwise fairly low maintenance.

Long hair: rare cuts, more expensive shampoos and conditioners (but used less frequently) daily brushing, and after the awkward stage you'll have many styling options including the quick and easy highball or Sloppy Joe. Plus you can do hair whips!

10. Yourself

Why are you here? Because you wanted to experience long hair for yourself.

Commit to yourself; don't let anyone discourage you from seeing your journey through to the end. Don't grow your hair out because you think the girls will like it. Do it for you! Finish your journey and I'm certain you will be a different, better person.

Part of the fun is that you don't know what you'll end up looking like with long hair. If you reach the end of your journey and you don't like it you can always cut it off; it's just hair.


Mike O. (aka El Camaleón)

An accountant by day, rebel when no one is looking. He lives in Sacramento and has been letting it ride since April 2017. Representing the Baby Boomers he brings a fresh perspective to the awkward stage and the longhair journey. Often wacky, always sincere, follow his brand of outside-the-box shenanigans @mike_o_sacto.


  1. sir, you forgotten the 11th commitment: to be an insurgent
    for it is an insurrection against the close mind conservatism, and to say [email protected](& to bigotry ( not the religion, bigotry only..)
    it is mainly questioning the established principles, to carry out an experiment and develop a critical spirit
    and much perseverance for not being stopped by criticism
    for the brotherhood, there was not many as i grew out my hair, for there was at that moment no internet, and wewere very few longhair called ” late hippies” …lol

    1. Author

      Groovy Man! It is wonderful now to have the brotherhood. It’s perplexing that people would never say “I don’t like the clothes you’re wearing” but they will say “You need a hair cut.”

  2. Awesome stuff Mike! It’s so cool to see the entire community of Longhairs contributing content.

    1. Author

      Thanks, bro. Actually I think it’s a reflection on The Longhairs. They are an inspiration to everyone! I thought I was just an obnoxious fan, but the flood of contributing content shows just how many lives they touch and inspire.

  3. Mike, nice story bro, I’m trying to grow my hair out, I cut it short for Easter to appease my parents, I know shampooing your hair every day is bad, but what about using sulfate free shampoos and natural shampoos? I’m using a sulfate free shampoo from a salon and j r liggets natural shampoo bar, is that ok?

    1. Author

      Nick, El Moreno had a great idea to go about 5 days or so without washing so you can judge how often you need to shampoo. Everyone’s hair is different. With short hair, you kind of have to wash it every day to get the “product” out. Now that mine is long enough that it doesn’t need product, I can go about 3 days without shampooing. My hair could go longer but my scalp needs it more often. I recently bought a boar bristle brush and that has been the best thing for my hair. There are some sulfates that are okay. Sulfates are basically detergent and I think it’s how their engineered with other chemicals that can make them harsh. I think the condition of your hair is the reason to avoid sulfates (color treated, dry and brittle – avoid harsh sulfates). When The Longhairs come out with their own brand of shampoo and conditioner, it will be the BEST! 🙂

    2. jr liggets shampoo bar is a bar of soap: in europe, several longhair wash their hair with ” savon de marseille”, wich is a soap bar with low glycerin ; in the formula, sodium cocoate, sodium palmate, sodium kernelate, sodium chloride and a calcium chelator ( editronic acid, EDTA, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate)
      much people who tested castille soap or cold proceeded soaps did get the roots very greasy

  4. Nice write up Mike and some great pics on the link!
    I’ll soon be 4 months into my (second) journey. Made the horrendous mistake of getting it all chopped off just before Xmas having just reached the two year mark. Not many positives to talk about but one is that I know what’s coming and right now I’m in the completely daft looking ‘big bush’ stage! The other is that it’s a mistake that I won’t be repeating!
    Think i’ve said it before but this site needs a forum, a brotherhood has been formed!

    1. Author

      Thank you El Nico!

      Amen on the brotherhood and the forum. I know I couldn’t get through the awkward stage without the support and inspiration I’ve found here with The Longhairs. The more I dig into the LH site, the more ways I find to improve my life.

      Was there a reason for cutting your hair? Have you found The Longhairs on Instagram? It would be nice to see that big hair! I’m a big dork, if I didn’t have to look presentable for work, I’d let my awkward hair rage all the time.


  5. No particular reason, i can be pretty impulsive and just fancied a change, I found out soon after about the 2 week rule! I made my mind up and it was all gone within 24 hours, the drive home from the hairdressers could not have been more traumatic if I had had both legs cut off instead.
    I had gone my whole life (up to 50) with short (spiky) hair, at least 30 years with exactly the same cut 🙂 and somehow came across the longhairs and decided on a new path. So annoyed i’m having to start again but time goes quick and I like challenges!
    I run my own business here in the UK so I’ve got to be (semi) presentable but with most days spent in the office I don’t have too many issues as the slicked back look worked pretty well last time around. Right now it’s still too short to even try that style again but progress is being made. Funny how your hair can become your number one priority!

    1. Author

      Same here, I’ve had pretty much the same short cut for most of my 57 years. OMG yes, I have the same #1 priority. It’s good to know it’s not just me. I’m so thankful for the Longhairs for doing all of this. The awkward stage is annoying, but I kinda enjoy it. Every day is different. Lately I’ve been wearing a spare pare of glasses at work to hold the hair out of my face.

  6. I enjoy all your posts but the name is especially on-point, El Cameleon!

    1. Author

      Thank you Sheilatost! I had a couple others picked out but I completely forgot what they were when I decided on El Camaleon. I had been looking through my pics and I thought to myself “Who are all these people?” Wait, did I just say that out loud? I should have gone with El Derly and see if anyone gets it. Glad you like the posts. When I need a smile and a giggle I always go back to the cat and dog wrestling (Bad Habit song). Thanks again!

  7. Well said, sir! I’ve been through the process a few times in my life, every time going back to the chair because I caved in to some societal norm. This is my fourth time going long, and I think finding the Longhairs has really given me a healthier perspective on what it means to have long hair.

    It is TOTALLY a commitment and test of your will to stay with it, but it’ll definitely make you a better-rounded (and long-haired) fella in the long run.

    1. Author


      Thank You! I was almost afraid to claim the longhair journey can make you a better person. I thought maybe I was just imagining all these changes in my life. My outlook on life is so much better now. I’ve always thought that men with long hair naturally look more masculine (unless you’re trying to pull off Cindy Brady double side-pony ringlets). Maybe that’s where the peer pressure fear comes from. “Get a hair cut” (because you look more manly than me). Thanks again, Bro! LET IT RIDE!

  8. Great post ! It is a journey. Not sure why I waited till I was a 50 something to start on it. But I’ve been at it for over a year now. Starting to feel like I’m getting past the awkward stage. So good to have found this wonderful group !

    1. Author

      Thank you David!

      We must be long-lost twins. I’m 57 and my last hair cut was a year ago this month. Yes, The Longhairs are awesome and what they have created is truly meaningful for all of us. You should post your pic at #maneupdatemonday on Instagram. Let’s kick the Awkward Stage in the butt!

  9. Wow awesome article el camaleon!!! I’ve made it 14 months without a cut and I owe it to the long hair community and articles like yours to keep me inspired…..keep letting it ride!!!!

    1. Author

      Jeremy D! Thank you!

      This is an amazing community. I get so much inspiration from The Longhairs. I’ve never written anything before and now the ideas won’t stop coming to me. I take it you’re a drummer. Or is that your last name? 🙂 There’s so many talented longhairs here. What an awesome band that could be. Maybe an impromptu jam session could be arranged at The Great Cut in San Diego 03/16/19.

  10. El camaleon, yes I am a drummer and that makes my hair even more awesome. It’s like hair whips found a purpose behind my drum kit, I would love to show up to the great cut. As a SoCal native now living in Denver it would be an awesome homecoming.
    Thanks for all you do.

    1. Author

      Groovy man! It will be EPIC! (I think that’s the only speed El Moreno and El Rubio know.)

      C’ ya!

  11. Hi El Camaleon, i’ve set up an Instagram account, how do I go about posting my pics on the longhairs account? New to it, not grasping it properly yet!

    1. Author

      El Nico,

      I’ve only been on IG a few months myself. When you post your picture the last step is to write something about the pic, at the end you type #thelonghairs.
      Use the magnifying glass to search for #thelonghairs and then you want to FOLLOW that group. Your pic should show up in their grid when you tag (#) them. There are 2 categories of posts under tags; “Top” and “Recent”. Tap “Recent” and you should see yours. If someone else can explain this better, chime in. I am mike_o_sacto on Instagram. Search me. There are also some quick and easy tutorials online. You don’t want to tag thelonghairs for every photo you post, just those that pertain to thelonghairs community. There’s also a difference between # and people. # are like groups that everyone can post to. (#cats, #dogs, etc.) You can’t post to a “People” page/channel. You can mention “@” someone and they’ll get that message. “The video ‘Pumping Iron’ by @mike_o_sacto made me spew beer from my nose.” You could be replying to another message altogether and I would get a notice that you “mentioned” me in that message.

  12. El Camaleon, have now set up an Instagram account but struggling working out how to get a couple of pics on the longhairs page or have I got the wrong end of the stick? New to it if you haven’t a guessed!

  13. Say what? 🙂
    Just kidding, thanks a lot, tried it, think I’m following the longhairs and you now Mike!
    I have the grand total of one follower, my daughter 🙂

    1. Author

      Good job. You can also follow #maneupdatemonday #twistedtuesday #hairwhipwednesday #famouslonghairfriday

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