A Legal Opinion on Long Hair

In Advocate by El Abogado3 Comments

*this post is anecdotal and does not constitute legal counsel in any way.

Three Certainties

There are three certainties I’ve learned during my 33 years on this fine planet:

  1. Life is too short to worry about what other people think;
  2. Take pride in what you do; and
  3. Longhair living is a way of life.

One of my favorite things to witness is a person’s reaction when they find out I am a corporate attorney – it usually starts with a look of bewilderment or a laugh, followed with “Wait, with hair like that?” “Good joke, what do you really do?” or “I cannot believe you haven’t been fired yet for that hair.”

 

I haven’t always been a “longhair.” I dabbled briefly in undergrad at Villanova University (go Cats! 2 national championships in 3 years, no big deal) and then again in law school, but never fully embraced the lifestyle and surely never imagined I’d become a long hair in corporate America.

That all changed about 2.5 years ago when I decided to let it flow, and here we are, 2.5 years later, maybe 3 haircuts in that time, long flowing locks, and to many people’s disbelief, a still-employed and practicing corporate attorney.

Life is too short to worry about what other people think.

The funny thing is a lot of dudes tell me that they want to grow their hair long but are worried about the reaction of others (whether it be family, friends, an employer or even the random stranger on the street corner). 

My response: why does that matter? Who cares? 

If you want to grow the hair, then let it grow, my man. Life is simply too short to worry about what other people think – you do you and do what makes you happy; pretty simple recipe, but just promise that “you doing you” equates to you being a good person.

That goes well beyond growing your hair out, by the way. I also understand and appreciate the reluctance of some to grow out the locks because of work constraints. I get it, but as discussed below, that should not be the sole reason you cannot grow out the hair.

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Take pride in what you do.

If you take pride in your job, you do your job well, don’t make the same mistake twice and are a good employee, why does it matter if you have long hair, short hair, medium length hair, or a shaved head?

It shouldn’t, and it doesn’t. The importance of your work product and how you carry yourself at your job far exceed the importance (or lack thereof) of the length of your hair. Take pride in what you do, work hard, be the best employee you can be, and the rest will fall into place.

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There are also a ton of ways to make the flow look professional (if you’re of the mindset that the hair-down-fabio, beach bum or surfer look won’t cut it at the office) with the trusted Hair Ties For Guys. For those who are curious of how I rock the flow as a longhair in corporate America, my default is a fold over in the back. Clean, simple and gets the job done.

Longhair living is a way of life.

Fellow longhairs get it. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes dedication to the cause. It takes suffering through the much feared, “awkward stage,” where you don’t know if you should slick the hair back, tie it up, comb it over, or just let it fall wherever it falls.

Everyone’s reason for growing it out is unique, and mine is pretty simple: it’s a way of life.

What’s your reason? Let me know in the comments. 

 

Get to Know El Abogado

Tim is a long hair corporate attorney by day and an endurance athlete & beach lover by heart. When not negotiating deals in the office, find Tim on the streets of SoCal cycling, swimming or surfing in the Pacific, or logging trail miles with a Siberian Husky named Bella.

You can follow and connect with the guy on Instagram (@timpoydenis) or Facebook.

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Comments

  1. I remind you that in the Declaration of Independence of 1776, the founding fathers appointed the insuppressible rights of every people
    and this list ends with this one: the right to look for your happiness
    therefore, if we feel that our hair length is a part of our freedom, it is our constitutional right, as well as that, for others, to wander with a revolver at our belt….or mine bearing a sword to defend against any tyranny ( no risk cutting by accident my hair for a sword have none cutting edge…lol)

  2. Tim: Nothing like billing 2,000+ hours, always being available to your partners for work-related matters, and being able to effectively negotiate a non-tipping indemnity basket for your sell-side client to ensure that you can wear your hair as you wish:) In fact, do these things and the firm will proudly hold you out as evidence that they offer a work-life balance and a chillaxed office environment. Fall short on these items, and your long hair will suddenly become indicative of your lax work approach, lack of commitment to your work, and less-than-stellar work product. And by the way, this is not unique to long hair in the corporate workplace–the same goes for tattoos, piercings, sexual orientation, and hobbies (like ultra endurance sport). These items only take on a life of there own if you are not making the corporate bosses happy and checking the appropriate boxes. Do that and you can practically come into the office in clown make-up and get away with it–especially in Southern Cali:)

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