Lindsay Barto with Long Hair and Braids

Twisted Up: Long Hair and Braids

In Advocate, Educate by El Moreno13 Comments

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get your long hair braided? We have. What’s it feel like? How does it look? How long is the process? Does it make me look like a gangsta? Just a few questions we had, so Brookie B came down to the studio and braided Lindsay up.

Watch him share the experience of getting his long hair twisted—and learn a little back-history about about long hair and braids while you’re at it.

UPDATE

When I first stepped outside with the braids my head felt amazing. A cool breeze blew over my scalp, the skin on my head felt tight, my hair was out of the way and I felt fast—something I hadn’t experienced for several years. It was a great feeling and I thought I looked pretty bad-ass too, but that feeling didn’t last long.

As soon as I was walking around in public, I suddenly didn’t feel so awesome. I started to feel very insecure about my newly twisted braids. I felt as if people were giving me dirty looks and snickering as I walked by. I imagined everyone laughing and thinking to themselves, “look at this guy! Who does he think he is??”

Why? I guess because braids are different, unconventional, extreme, radical. Maybe I felt braids are most often worn by black guys, and what business does a white guy have wearing them? Whatever the reason, I felt insecure and uncomfortable.

As each new person crossed my path my regret for getting braids grew stronger. I started telling myself I was going to take them out as soon as I got home.

“I have to unbraid this shit and be relieved of this awkward, uncomfortable feeling. What am I doing anyway, everybody is thinking I’m some kind of wangster and they’re all laughing at me.”

This was a strange feeling because usually I couldn’t care less about what strangers think about me. For some reason this was different, I had these braids and they were making a statement. A statement I wasn’t sure I was prepared to claim.

Lindsay Barto with Braids Top
So after the awkward stroll through downtown San Diego I made it back home and had to get ready for the ultimate test. A night out with the girlfriend. We were going to hit up a nice romantic Italian restaurant in Little Italy. I was going to be looking sharp and the hair was going to remain braided.

A couple glasses of wine and a pasta dish later I started to reflect on my experience earlier in the day. I realized that this experience was much deeper than just long hair and braids. I let the insecurity and discomfort pass with a third glass of wine, relaxing and thinking to myself:

I have already chosen to grow long hair. That by itself has set me apart and made me different. Now that I have long hair, I can—and should—do anything I want with it, try new things, if that’s braids, a ponytail, tied up, dreads, whatever the hell I want. It’s my hair. I’ve already put myself out there by growing it out, to some degree saying I don’t care what people think. That’s part of the deal. So I’m gonna rock these braids, own them, and feel great about it.

And I did.

Lindsay Barto with Braids
It’s an exercise in self-confidence, and owning it.Lindsay Barto
There’s an emotional connection with your long hair. With that may come insecurity with trying new and different things with it. But as longhairs we have the opportunity that others don’t: to challenge our insecurities and grow—figuratively…and literally. It’s an exercise in self-confidence, and owning it.

So I’m challenging myself, and I challenge you as well to step out of your comfort zone and try new things with your long hair.

Cuz what if you go bald tomorrow? It’ll be ok, because we respect the combover. But that’s a topic for another time.

So rock that shit, try something new, something you’ve been wondering about, something a little uncomfortable. And let us know how it goes.

And yo Brookie B, thanks for dialing it up! Rest those fingers, Chris is next.

Comments

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  6. Those cornrows look fabulous! A whole new YOU! Great rockin’ style!

  7. these braids look hella good man. im letting my hair grow out and im looking for some hairstyles this is on my list dawg.

  8. Dude, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve just finished Year 12 (last year of schooling before university in Australia) and I’ve let my female friends braid my hair many times, at first I couldn’t stand having everyone stare at me and think “what the hell is this guy doing”, but that feeling starts to go away as I was rocking them more and more regularly,and people ended up getting used to the fact that I like to wear my hair in this different way to them. I have my long hair for a reason, and I will rock my long hair in any style I deem worthy. You just gotta rock it dues, peace out.

    1. Yo Segrave! Awesome man! “I have my long hair for a reason.” You’re damn right! Keep lettin ride man, thanks for the comment and keep stepping up that twisted up game!

      PS: post a picture of your braids on Facebook and tag @thelonghairs for #twistedtuesday, we’ll feature you.

  9. Hey brother, I first of all want to say thanks for this site…second of all I have to say…man I understand the nervousness of braiding…went through my first braiding experience Saturday night…someone french braided my hair….at first I thought, “french braids are for girls” 5 minutes later I was rocking a whole new look, and it was amazing. This is the second time in my life I have had long hair, but the first that I have been proud to where braids…I am part Mandan Indian and when I saw myself in the mirror boy

    1. Dude braids are sick! Wait until we post “The Brave…”

      We are very interested in long hair in Native American culture. If you know more about it or would like to help out let us know.

      Next step is learning how to braid it yourself!

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