Recapping The Great Cut

In Celebrate by El Rubio15 Comments

Here is an attempt to recapture just a small slice of what it was like to be at The Great Cut. We’ve left names out because including names would make this impossible.

So many incredible things happened, we can’t begin to tell the full story here. We hope you’ll share your experience with The Great Cut in the comments below.

The Cut of All Cuts

Over 1,300 hair donors, stylists, volunteers, performers and guests came from around the world to attend The Great Cut, with entire families traveling from as far as Boston.

Others traveled from Canada, Thailand, and the UK, as well as Maine, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and many other places.


Mail-in hair donations from nearly every state in the U.S. and a dozen countries as far as Australia and Japan contributed. Between these and haircuts in person, we received over 2,834 individual hair donations.

As for those who attended, 349 hair donors cut their hair at the event.

Many of them were young guys, in their 20’s or 30’s, who came alone, cross country, guys who had been following us for years, grown their hair out with us, and now, when we asked them to cut it, they traveled thousands of miles to come and cut it. Of these bros, there was a group of eight or more who shaved their heads completely.

There were lots of older guys: greyhairs, silver foxes and longhair lifers. Some had been growing for decades and came to cut it for the first time. Others made a habit of donating every few years, or had been waiting for the right time to donate.


Local San Diegans came and cut their hair. Kids and entire families cut their hair. Our own friends and family cut their hair. People off the street cut their hair. And of course, your boys cut their hair. El Rubio donated 14 inches from his mane, while El Moreno shaved his head completely for a donation of 24 inches.

All this cutting necessitated hair professionals, who came in force and brought the heart, with 100 hair stylists and barbers on hand to perform the cuts. They were comforting and compassionate, taking the time to meet each hair donor, ask where they came from and why they were donating. They did their work professionally, and we were in good hands.

Nearly 100 kind volunteers showed up, many of whom volunteered and cut their hair. These folks worked all day in many cases, running registration, checking in donors and ushering them to their cutting stations, sweeping, sorting hair, working security, and other jobs we didn’t anticipate or plan for. When the chips were down, they figured out what needed to be done and they got their hands dirty.

The team from Jon Renau came through in a huge way, sponsoring six hair professionals and sending another ten volunteers, from running orientation at the cutting zone, processing hair into the late hours, and sticking with us until the very end.

Performers came, and they performed, many traveling long distances at their own expense to be there. They brought music and magic, giving it all they had on the stage, blessing the day and our mission with their art.


Our sponsors made it happen. Knockaround impressed with their generous donation of Let It Rides for every person in attendance. James Coffee Co. kept everyone caffeinated with complimentary artisan roasted coffee. Henebery Spirits coordinated and served libations, while the red drawstring backpacks provided by Q Swimwear could be spotted from space. 30 other business sponsors contributed, please do visit them here and help us thank them.


We were joined by recipients: kids with alopecia, trichotillomania and other ailments, and their families. Having them with us was special, offering a clear and present visualization of why we were all gathered. They were happy to be there, and grateful, and their parents were friendly and kind.


Children With Hair Loss came with no fewer than 10 staff and volunteers, traveling all the way from Michigan to be there. It was certainly the largest gathering of our own families and friends in our lives. One man proposed at The Great Cut, and she said yes.

The support was nothing less than extraordinary, with remarkable participation, effort, teamwork and leadership. Meanwhile temperatures hovered consistently at 71° with bright sunshine and a cool Pacific breeze, capped off with a stunning sunset over Coronado Island.

All throughout, there was an undeniable energy, seemingly permeating from the very walls of the venue, filling hearts with excitement and positivity. It was electric, and every person there was affected by it.


The World Record

As to the record itself:

The Great Cut was initially planned with an understanding the record was 181 pounds, which it had been since 2015, only to learn one month before the event the record had been broken with a donation of 338.67 pounds at the San Juan Beauty Show in Puerto Rico.


Despite the record weight nearly doubling, we carried out our plan to execute The Great Cut. Donors, stylists and volunteers rallied to perform haircuts and process mail-in donations from 9:00 AM through midnight into the early hours of March 17.

Shortly after 1:00 AM, Guinness World Records Adjudicator Brittany Dunn announced The Great Cut had successfully donated 339.14 pounds of hair, breaking the world record by less than half a pound.

With the attempt having officially begun on March 16 at 9:01 AM, we would have had another eight hours to reach the record weight. However, when Ms. Dunn asked if the effort would continue through the remainder of the 24-hour period, El Moreno replied,

“Hell no. We’re gonna kick the field goal, take the 1-point victory and walk out of here champs.”

And that’s what happened.

In the final analysis, breaking the record by such a slim margin carries the profound implication that every single hair donor and every ounce mattered. Those who pondered a few extra inches, or decided to cut at the last moment; the people who mailed their hair overnight so it would arrive in time; those who came in off the street, waking that morning with not the slightest inclination of cutting their hair that day; every single donation counted.


The Greatest Cut

In almost every respect, The Great Cut was an overwhelming success, so much more than perhaps anyone expected. It was a coming together of people giving, and a celebration of the good we can do for one another.

In all our efforts, we only fell short on our GoFundMe campaign. Though it had raised over $20k by the day of the event, it has yet to hit the goal of $200k. The GoFundMe remains open for donations in hopes of reaching that mark by the end of 2019.

Our financial goal notwithstanding, what happened on Saturday was something truly special. The sun shone, the music flowed, the children played, people laughed and talked and shared and were happy together. It was a blessed day.

And from that day forward, no matter what happens, forever...we did it. We pulled it off. In doing so we brought goodness into the world, the ripples from which will continue to have an impact for years to come.

We can hardly begin to express the enormous gratitude we feel. For now we’ll simply say thank you to every person and organization who helped make it real.




Before & After Photos

From every person who cut their hair at The Great Cut. See them all and find yours.
see yours

Event Photos

We’ve posted a selection of photos from The Great Cut, where you can also upload your own. Please do share, so we can all see and relive our experience from another perspective.
relive the event

Gift Bags

If you attended The Great Cut and you did not get a gift bag, please visit here to claim yours.

get your gift bag

An Even Greater Cut?

The question everyone’s asking now is...will we do it again?

After careful consideration, we’ve concluded The Great Cut must happen again. While we’re not eager to dive back into the mayhem, we’ve recognized how special this event was, and that we’ll be uniquely positioned to do it again, even greater than before.


Breaking the news in dramatic fashion, we announced exclusively on KUSI Good Morning San Diego, we’ll go back under the shears with The Great Cut 2024. Using El Moreno’s freshly-shaven scalp as a timeline, we estimate five years will give everyone enough time to grow their hair out, with enough extra to enjoy a few hair whips and high fives before heading straight back to the chopping block.

Which begs the question...why wouldn’t anyone start growing it out now?

#thegreatcut #thegreatcut2024 #whosgrowingwithme

Share Your Story

There are more stories from The Great Cut than we can possibly tell ourselves. For every experience, every hair donor, every haircut, every person who attended or mailed in their hair, there is a story, while many new stories were made.

We hope you will share yours in the comments below, that we might all have a chance to reflect and reminisce on the great achievement that was The Great Cut.


The Championship Package

Your team just won it all! What are you gonna do next??

Whether or not you donated or attended, you can still be part of our record-breaking charity effort with a championship package commemorating The Longhairs’ run to the world record title.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of history and celebrate The Great Cut!

Shop Championship Packages


  1. I was sitting facing the ramps, surrounded by people with cameras, as my hair professional started ponytailing my hair to be cut. Up on the ramp was a little blonde girl with her family, just staring at me. I waved and smiled. She waved and half-smiled. I made a scissors-cutting motion and said, “Are you cutting your hair?” She said, “What?” with a puzzled look. I did the motion again and asked if she was cutting her hair.

    She reached up and took off her wig.

    I started crying. My hairdresser started crying. 16 people around me started crying. I’m pretty sure her parents were crying. She may have been crying.

    After my son cut my first ponytail, I held it up toward her and said, “This is for you.” She gave me heart-hands, which I gave right back. Then she gave me thank-you/prayer hands, and I held out my arms to her. She launched herself down that ramp, and people were holding up barriers and pushing aside chairs to let her get to me. She gave me the biggest, tightest, most wonderful hug of the whole day (and I hugged 1,000 people that day).

    Our souls made a connection right then and there, and everyone who witnessed it knew. It was overwhelming and astonishing and a blessing to see how my small gift–just a little hair–led to a human connection with a beautiful little girl who couldn’t grow her own.

    P.S. I’m still in touch with her Mom and am going to see them next time I visit their town. The connection is real.

    1. dear Sheila,
      to mix in the public without presenting them as such the recipients of Children With Hair Loss was a will of the Longhairs to safeguard their dignity as children and as patients suffering from alopecia; indeed, some readers had emitted reservations following the photo of a group of recipients at the Chicago ( il) charity Ball
      and it was marvelous you have not seen that this girl wore a wig…

  2. as i wanted buy a pack of the Great Cut, the site did not accep france as a country, the only choice beeing Usa, Australia and United Kingdom

  3. Honestly what you guys do is amazing. It’s a shame I couldn’t be there to donate my hair this time but hopefully The Great cut in 2024, I will be one of the first there. #GreatCut2024

    1. there is no shame for not donating this time your hair, and , with 359lbs of hair donations, the most important now is collecting money to converse all those donations into wigs
      i suspect you are Muslim and, in your religion Zakhat ( tariffed religious income tax for making charities) is a fundamental obligation ( one of the five pillars of Islam) and giving a few buckets to Children With Hair Loss it could be a good case of it
      more, much young Muslim women are also convinced longhairs, and they can also contribute with a few money to help children get locks ( your wife can evenly signal that case to the feminine part of your community)

  4. In all honesty, this recap has brought me a sense of peace and a real coming to terms and accepting my new cut. I wasn’t a fan at first, I took it kind of hard…I had long hair for 23 years. So I consider myself a longhair lifer and will continue to grow, and rock the locks!

    I was at the event for several hours (delaying the inevitable) and I must say every word of this recap is 100% on point! It helped reaffirmed my reason for committing to the shears in the first place… and that was to help bring less fortunate children joy with the experience of having long hair.

    My hair has taken center stage on a number of occasions over the last 23 years. I’ve been asked probably well over 100 times to donate it for various causes, events and organizations from all over the country. Some have said I was blessed for having it and maintaining it so well for so long. So, when this unique opportunity presented itself, I felt an obligation, and a duty, to be a part of it! It was time for me to let a child less fortunate than I, enjoy having long hair, the way I did. I was all in from day 1!

    That being said, I am honored to have been a part of this amazing event that brought so many children so much fulfillment and positive energy. Thank you Longhairs and thank you CWHL! Let it ride! ! !

  5. A small hometown salon in Vermont known as the Red Clover Salon, was with you all months before and through to the record break moment.
    We had hair donations from throughout the previous months ready to donate directly to CWHL, then we heard of the Great Cut! The whole salon and clients for the month leading up to it were so excited and created a great buzz!

    Mary the salon owner and stylist Holly (who is familiar with San Diego) were going to attend to cut, but due to some unfortunate events that happened they did not make it out. The salon and very generous clients did manage to however ship out five pounds of hair in time to add to the great weigh in.

    We are sharing the even greater cut for 2024 and people are excited to grow their hair already! Hopefully Mary will make it out and many great ideas along the way may happen as well!! Cheers to the Long Hairs it’s been a great ride! Best to CWHL

    1. we recognize there the European mind usual in Vermont: as in Europe, less charity shows, but much stylists propose, when the customer wants to cut, to donate his hair to a charitable organization
      and, for the hairdressers: when you accept a hair donation and the customer who donate wants to regrow, you must provide him a cut which ease the regrow, and help him during the regrowth, by forbidding you to prolong the growth to keep him as a regular customer
      that is what did the stylists at the Great Cut
      Jean Louis David, who recently died, was a great stylist no for his creation ( and it was great), but for his absolute respect of his customers, refusing to be considered as an artist; ” je suis un artisan” ( I am a craftsperson)

  6. While we couldn’t be there in person, we were certainly there in spirit, watching the social media pages throughout the day and shedding a tear or two for the outcome.

    My daughter has received her wigs from Children with Hairloss for 13 years now and we are so grateful for the awareness you have brought along with the hair and money. Watching two Longhairs over the last 6 months finalize this event and pull it out with such grand fashion, engaging hundreds of folks across the world has been the single most impressive thing I’ve seen.

    What is so apparent and heart warming is their incredible passion for this cause, evidenced by the look in their faces when they beat the record.

    I, along with dozens of others I’m sure, am so damn inspired by their effort. I’ve been involved in a lot of special events but none come close to the energy, organization, thoroughness, fun, sucrsssful event that The Great Cut was. A sincere thank you and congratulations to all involved!

  7. Congrats on a successful event. I think the idea for El Moreno and other guys that went more severe with their hair cuts to do regular updates on growing out their hair, and powering through the awkward stages would be massively inspiring to other people to join the long hair club.

    It would also help inspire those that have thought about donating their hair but been put off by the awkward stage that would come from growing it back.

    I still remember the awkward stages when I was growing my hair out in my early-mid teens. It seemed to take forever, and I got some serious crap for it in school!

    If there are journals from guys with similar hair to mine (B3 waves, very course: from memory it has a mind of it’s own and just sticks out and is uncontrollable between 5 months – 14 months growth, probably the worst part is around 6 – 8 months granny perm/mad scientist stage) perhaps I will do a donation in future, if there is a plan in place (i.e what to do on days where you can wear hats for example due to more formal events) to navigate the awkward stages.

  8. It was a day like no other I’ve ever experienced and I’m really old! Everyone who was there wanted to give something, their hair or their time or their help, something. I’m still reliving it and I can hardly stop telling your story. Love to you guys ❤️❤️❤️.
    Kate Ryan…Gramma

  9. Hi my son Arian who is now 5 years decided to donate his hair .. After 5 years of being called girl but he never cared he love his hair .. i read to him about you guys and he said yes mommy iam ready to donate my hair so other people can enjoy it i will like to send pictures of his before and after that day was his birthday party so we couldnt attend the event but we mailed it we are happy that the goal was met !

  10. finally, having observed the French superstition which forbids to wish good luck before an event, and to replace it by the “word of cambronne” brought you luck … lol
    after his very severe cut, I hope that El Moreno will publish regularly his journal of regrowth, and the help of hairdressers will be welcome to manage his akward stage, many hairy aspirants having the need of net hairstyles at work (and many are those then return to short cut)
    I thought I saw in the pictures of your fesse bouc that you have a condition in preparation; to have the hair “soft”, I give you a last rinse recipe (after the conditioner): add 2 metric g of table salt to a gallon of water (1 cup per rinse is enough)
    for those who, like me, do not manage to hold a bun with a hairtie, you should catalog hair picks …
    next Monday being the joke day in France, I will publish one from photos of the team found on your instagram … lol
    let it grow, bros !!!

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