Long Hair Don’t Care

The feeling of long hair on a bare back is a feeling I would have a hard time letting go.

The feeling of long hair on a bare back is a feeling I would have a hard time letting go.

May 1, 2017, was the last time I cut my hair. 

Since then I’ve been growing my hair out as part of my identity. I went from clean-cut fresh-out-of-a-fraternity house to long, curly hair fit for none other than a beach bum named Beau. Over the years, I let my hair slowly migrate past my ears, neck, shoulders, and finally down toward the middle of my back. I have felt more comfortable in my skin ever since I decided to let the flow grow. Before I grew my hair out, I would rarely see other males with long hair, but when I did, I often assumed that they are chill and down to earth people, which is the same vibe I’ve hoped to give off since moving to Hawaii.

This decision ultimately led to my future growth in more ways than simply the length of my hair. I decided to look past the judgmental views of my conservative, religious high school and hometown to begin growing my hair out in the hopes of shedding away the negative energy associated with males having long hair in a conservative environment.

Growing up in a strongly Republican state, many people lacked the opened-minded and accepting attitude that residents give off here in Hawaii. Although the people in Nebraska are some of the kindest people you will meet, they still have room to develop their acceptance toward people of different oppositions and lifestyles. Length of hair being one style they weren’t used to seeing on a male too often.

Pictured above is the short haired Beau that most people from home remember me as.

Throughout my earlier years of education, I was fortunate enough to attend private schools my entire life. Uniformity is a practice critically enforced at many private schools, and if you go against their ideas of uniformity, you could expect to be disciplined by demerits or even a suspension. After many years of strict regulations, I decided to do my own thing by letting my hair do its own thing. After getting past the awkward phase I was able to reap the benefits of luscious locks and freedom. These benefits included the option to style my hair in various new ways, as well as the satisfaction of taking care of my hair as it grows.

Although I get my hair trimmed every so often to keep it clean and let the damaged hairs heal, I have hardly given much thought into cutting it. Many people, my friends included, believe that long hair fits my personality and vibe. Since I have lived in Hawaii, I have seen it as a place that is safe to try new things, whether it be a different hairstyle, a risky tattoo, or even body piercings. Although my visits home are rare, I have noticed that I get far more compliments on my hair here in Hawaii than I ever have in Nebraska.

Throughout this journey, I have experimented with different hairstyles such as the middle part, French braids, the man bun, the lazy bun, and I have even dabbled in a local favorite, the titah bun. It has also been fun to match different hairstyles with accessories such as a variety of hats including snapbacks, beanies, bucket hats, as well as headbands.

Despite the knots, split-ends, and hair in my mouth, I have no regrets about how long I’ve let my hair grow. Although it has turned out to be more work than I figured it would be, growing my hair out has taught me a lot about both patience and responsibility to keep it healthy. 

What started as an act of rebellion has now led to a change in my everyday appearance and has gifted me with a new perspective on trying new styles. Long hair has helped me feel good about the way I appear toward others, regardless of what they think about my hairstyle. Before I grew my hair out, I often would look at other people’s spontaneous hairstyles and think to myself why they decided to do this or do that with their hair. It took time for me to realize that you can do whatever you want with your hair because at the end of the day, whatever hairstyle it is, if it makes you feel more like you, then you are the only person whose opinion matters. I grew my hair out because it makes me happy, then do it. If you find yourself having a problem with someone else’s hairstyle then maybe you should do what makes you happy, then you might understand.