High Point Barbershop in Richmond, Va

Barbershops Are For Beard Trims

In Advocate by El Barbudo27 Comments

Razors and Clippers and Shears…Oh My

Featured image by Mick Anders Photography.

As a longhair with a beard, I make a trip to the barbershop about every six weeks for a beard trim. Now, having long hair in a barbershop can be… an experience.

You’re surrounded by men with buzzcuts, fades, and high and tights. Half of these guys are wielding tools specifically designed to hack away at your hard-earned locks! Lucky for me, they use these tools to trim beards too.

Being the only one with long hair in the shop can cause some doubt to seep in, especially early in the journey. Maybe you’re in the awkward stage and frustrated. Maybe people in your life are commenting on your hair, or asking you when you’re just going to cut it. Maybe being surrounded by guys getting and giving sweet haircuts are tempting when you’re doubting your long hair.

Guess what boys, you don’t have to give in to the awkward stage. You don’t have to listen to the naysayers. And, most importantly, you don’t have to cut it. You can beat it all and let it ride!

Hippies & Longhairs Use Back Door

The first time I stepped into the shop to get a beard trim, I hadn’t fully committed to growing my hair out. It was just kind of happening. I could tie it up in a basic foldover, but only barely. I wasn’t totally sold on lettin’ it ride just yet.

Inside the shop, in the window, there was a metal sign promoting the barbers’ work… “Hippies & Longhairs Use the Back Door. No Exceptions,” it read in big, bold, block lettering. An arrow pointed towards the back door. A reproduction of a sign posted in businesses in the 60’s.

Plus, every other guy in the shop had short hair.

Obviously, the sign was a joke. Still, I let doubt creep into my head. Should I be getting a haircut? Everyone else in here is…

Not only that, but they looked good, man. They looked crisp, clean-cut. All smiles about their fresh cut. The barbers and clients admired their work together. And, believe me, it was great work these barbers were doing.

I stayed strong. I left the shop with my locks untouched. I had come so far already! I should at least put some more thought into the decision before I chop off my hard earned progress towards the promised land; becoming a true longhair.

And my beard looked sick! Without taking off much length, some clean-up around the edges and a bit of shaping left it looking thicker, fuller, and healthier. I was beyond stoked with the result.

For a couple days after this visit (and, admittedly, my next one or two visits), I considered making an appointment to have it all chopped off. This all stopped when I fully committed to lettin’ it ride.

“Hippies & Longhairs Use the Back Door. No Exceptions.”

No Doubt About It

When it came down to it, committing to the journey to long hair was easy. I stopped caring about what other people thought or said about my hair. I imagined how sick it was going to be when I could feel my hair flowing down my back, and I knew right then that I wanted it. I knew I wanted long hair, and I was ready to work and wait for it.

I was loving my hair more every day. The longer it got, the better it looked. I’m growing my hair out. This is me. I wish I had done it sooner.

Once I committed to it, there was no looking back. A trip to the barbershop was no longer a source of doubt. I felt more confident than ever.

Yeah, I’m the only guy in the shop with long hair. Who cares? That’s what this whole thing is about anyway! I don’t want to be just another guy with the same hair cut. I don’t want to form to the mold. I’m doing my own thing, and I’m freakin’ loving it.

During my most recent visit, a childhood friend of mine (now a barber) came up to me and asked about my hair;

“You growing your hair out? Lettin’ it ride?”

“Yeah man!”

“You gonna keep it forever?”

“No doubt about it.”

There’s no better feeling than looking around a barbershop and knowing no razor, clippers, or shears will go near my long hair. It’s safe and sound tied into a highball.

Okay boys, I lied to you. There’s one better feeling. Walk outside your barbershop after a fresh beard trim, pull out your Hair Tie For Guys, and do 6-10 hair whips. Then you’ll understand what I’m getting at. It tops all else.

I don’t want to be just another guy with the same hair cut. I don’t want to form to the mold. I’m doing my own thing, and I’m freakin’ loving it.

Gotta Hand It To ‘Em

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. The barbershop atmosphere is unparallelled.

From the antique barber chairs in a clean, new shop, to the fresh smell of top shelf pomades, gels, and beard oils, and the sound of loud rock music and a bunch of guys shooting the shit, every sense is satisfied.


Every guy in the barbershop is in high spirits and feeling good. We’re all getting squared away and having a great time doing it.

The barbers are crushing it, putting their heart and soul into every cut and trim, and loving their craft. Every client is walking in the door ready for a clean cut or a fresh beard trim, and each one leaves walking a little taller and knowing they’re looking good.

I enjoy my time in the barbershop whenever I stop in for a beard trim, and they always do a kick ass job. I may be the only guy in the shop with long hair, but these days I have no problems with standing out.

Oh, and I’ve never once been asked to use the back door.

Go Boldly

So, if you truly want to continue on your journey to epic hair, don’t let a little bit of doubt overcome your desire to let it ride. Take a few days, think it out, and keep in mind how far you’ve already come! I know you’ve already put a ton of time and effort into growing your hair and you don’t want to make a rash decision.

If you decide to keep growing, I promise you’ll thank yourself in the long run. I know I did. Since committing to the longhair life, I haven’t regretted it for a second.

Come on guys, does the world need to be full of fades, pompadours, and undercuts like barber shops are?! I, for one, think not. So, I’m gonna break the clean-cut mold and keep on lettin’ it ride.

Oh, and I’ve never once been asked to use the back door.


There it is! Now, hit me with your best and worst barbershop experiences and tell us how you overcame the doubt in the comments! And don’t forget to follow the blog for more tips and encouragement to help along the journey to long hair! Don’t give up boys, the longhair life is well worth it.

El Barbudo (aka Alec McKee) is a recent University of Virginia graduate living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Alec works as a gymnastics competitive team coach and recreational instructor. He’s been lettin’ it ride since February, 2016.

Thanks to our boys at the High Point Barbershop in Richmond, VA.

El Barbudo in action


  1. I’m a barber as well as an instructor. I can tell you that there are lot of guys who simply can not explain what they want. Here’s advice for anyone looking for a specific style: bring a picture. The person also needs to be realistic. A caucasian fella with medium to light colored fine hair is not going to rock a crispy Latino bald fade. Another thing to consider is that most barbers have a specialty skill set that is their strength. A barber shop may have a staff that just focuses only on tight curly hair on gentlemen of African descent. My particular skill set is geared towards professionals with straight to wavey hair, businessmen, doctors, attorneys.

    If you show the barber a picture they will tell you whether or not they can help you. They also will be able to direct you to someone or somewhere who can.

    1. Repping high point! I went there for years before I started growing out my hair, that’s the biggest struggle for me, finding someone to trim up my hair on occasion.

  2. Good timing . I h ave been trimming my beard myself so far but I am at a point that I would like to have a pro help me to get a shape I want. I am worried about loosing to much to cover mistakes. I will keep this tips in mind as I was look for that pro.

  3. I’ve had long hair all my adult life. I’m 69 with silver hair, the nice term for white. Although I’ve gone to the places like Fantastic Sam with OK results, I’ve wanted to get established with a barber shop. I also have a beard and after research went to an old school shop with a good reputation for beards. I went in and the guy assigned to me did a darn good beard trim. I went back a couple months later to also try a hair trim and was assigned to a different guy (the owner’s son). I immediately said I have long hair and wanted to leave with just a trim and further explained what I expected. Well, he immediately cut off three inches to expose my full ear when I had asked for only the lower part exposed. So I figured I was getting more than I bargained for. I remained outwardly calm because I couldn’t just walk out with a big chunk out of the side of my head. Well, I walked out with a haircut I hadn’t gotten since my Mom used to take me to the barber. I remained polite but pissed. He did a good job… but on the wrong head. I had wished that before I sat down he had just said he was not comfortable trimming long hair and maybe suggesting another place. But instead he decided to give me a cut that he wanted, rather than the customer. Oh well, it will grow out to what I like in a few months. And I will find another place that can do a good beard trim and I’ll stick with a salon for the long hair. Thanks very much for reading my rant.

    1. Same experiance here in my local barber shop I thought maybe I wasnt specific enough but after three times getting scalped after telling barber before,during and during and during that I want my hair long and than leaving very GQ and very pissed I realize you are right …even though they are well trained barbers they cant wrap their skills around a guy (particularly in those grey years) who wants his hair long and natural NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!

  4. I am 64 with lots of gray, still thick with no bald spots. Saw Sergio Giorgi, father of Camila, as in US Tennis Open. Love his long gray. I have tried dyeing and buzzing mine. Now I want to try embracing the gray by growing it out. I started on my birthday in September. I wanted to keep it neat as it grows out. Today I guess my barber forgot I am growing it out and set me back at least two months. My bad for not reminding him. Now I am afraid to go near a barbershop for at least 3 months. Other than reminding barber is it smart to try to keep it neat or too risky?

  5. It’s a great blog and very interesting too. There are very few people I have seen who dares to keep long hair. According to me, you did a fantabulous job, and you had a great experience too.

    In my case, I am strong enough to have long hair, though I don’t even like much longer hair. But when I have a trip to the barbershop (manohman in windsor), the barber did a great job. He fully groomed and gave me all of a sudden, a new look.

    I appreciate the barbers their and would like to thank them for their excellent work. Keep up the same and thanks to you for motivating everyone to share their barbershop experience.


  6. I love that thought, “if you grow out your hair for 18 months, I’ll cut mine if you cut yours”! I’ve never taken the time to explore these feelings because I’ve only recently started going through the awkward in-between stage since getting out of the military. My inner monologue is similar to the above quote, but more of a “I’ve done my time. All due respect but if I wanna grow my hair out then that’s what I’m gonna do regardless of your opinion.”

  7. El Barbudo,

    Something in your story – maybe the overall sense of the testosterone-laden environment, where ironically, shorter is something to be proud of – made me think of what might be the perfect response to a man who tells you that you should cut your hair. “If you grow out your hair for 18 months, I’ll cut mine if you cut yours.” In other words, never ask someone to do something if you don’t know what you’re asking them to do.

    Good job, bro!

    El Camaleon

  8. Hey I was wondering, when you needed to trim your hair, did you go to a salon or a barbershop for it? My hair is about 10 inches now, and I want to trim about an inch or so off and don’t know what to do.

  9. in europe, there are very few barbers ( tendancy lounges only), but the muslim community separates hairdressers for ladies only and ” hair barbers” who does not cut any beard, but mens hair only, and always very short haircuts
    here is a reason to explain why it is difficult for a strict muslim beeing a longhair: he is not allowed going to a female hairdresser ( the other is the conservatism of his community)
    all christian, jewish and atheist longhair go to the hairdresser and some stylists can also trim the beard ( at the capacity examination, there is a beard trimming test, even for the female apprentices)

    1. Author

      You’re Krazy, Karl! And I’m curious with El Moreno.. what do you mean? Haha

  10. Great article! I’m an aspiring long hair, got about 6″. About 8 months ago I chopped off my beard that I had grown for over a year. After what I just read I’m inspired to grow it back again to compliment my soon to be long hair.
    Thanks guys, this is always the place I come to when I start thinking about a haircut.

    1. Author

      Dude! I’m stoked to hear this inspired you to grow back the beard. I love the hair on my face almost as much as I love the hair on my head. Keep lettin’ it ride, man!

  11. Well the worst was when I went for the very first time to have my beard cleaned up and this guy starts hacking away like Edward Scissorhands, lops off my long-ish goatee before I can say “HEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”. Then he cuts me with the scissors because he’s being flashy. I MEAN CMON. Then he goes at it with a straight razor on my neck and turns into roadrash.
    I complained to the owner and he said he’d hook me up for free next time. He messed up too! I had kind of a strappy beard and stache and he made it waaay too thin. He’s black so I think he was used to a different style and hairtype. I went to a different dude at the same place and HE DID THE SAME THING. 0/3. That was like 2 years ago and I’ve just been doing it myself carefully since until last week. I found a place on Yelp and it’s the first time I haven’t hated what the barber did. He did take it a little too short after I told him I was growing it out but it looks good for once. They have lousy hours like most barbers and I work so I won’t go often.

    1. Author

      Yo E! Thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear about the terrible time at the first barber shop you went to. Hope you get plenty more chances to go to the new place you found!

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