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?”
“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.
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