Long, flowing, silken locks have always been associated with women and femininity. It is not unusual to see women frequenting shops like Anchante Hair for hair clip extensions to make their locks look fuller and longer than they are. In fact, a study conducted by researchers from the University of South Brittany concluded that long-haired women are seen as more feminine, healthy, young, and sexy.
To challenge the common belief that long hair is exclusive to women, Chris Healy and Lindsay Barto started a community called The Longhairs in 2014.
Haircare a Hassle
Healy, one of the founders, has always had long hair. He says his hair has become part of his identity. For a long time, however, he struggled to navigate the drawbacks of having long locks.
He shares that to this day, long-haired men need to go to the women’s haircare aisle if they needed hair ties and other products. The experience, he said, could be a bit embarrassing and uncomfortable, as these products are made specifically for women. Sometimes, he admits to trying to conceal the products underneath all his other “manly” purchases.
This inspired Healy to create products for long-haired men, particularly hair ties. According to Healy, their mission goes beyond coming up with products: it’s also about creating a community.
Set to Raise Awareness
For the Longhairs, education is a vital part of what they do.
Healy says that women are indoctrinated into a culture of handling and caring for long locks early on as children. They are exposed to ways of handling long hair, even helping one another style it. It’s different for men, he adds, as most guys growing out their mane are at a loss as to what to do. This is why they included tutorials on their website and YouTube channel.
According to Healy, they are open to accepting guys who can’t wear their hair long but still wish to be part of the longhair lifestyle. The idea is to wear your hair and live your life the way you want to.