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View Full Version : Fifty years of trying to be a longhair



bte
October 31st, 2014, 07:39 AM
I recently visited my mother and found some very old photos taken in 1964, which showed me with my fringe (bangs) pushed to one side out of my eyes. That, 50 years ago, was the start of my long hair journey. Until then, at which time I was 9 years old, I hadn't really thought about hair very much - cuts happened, and although I didn't like them, I didn't realise I had a choice. Boys of my age, end in those days, even older men, didn't have long hair, but I did notice the fringes of the Beatles and discovered that if mine hung down to the side, I could achieve mouth length hair. My journey had begun. My parents were very traditional - my dad was quite convinced, amongst other things, that all women who wore trousers were lesbians! - and my school was also very strict. But, little by little, I managed to make progress. In 1966, when I was sent to the barbers, instead, I went to the local park with the kitchen scissors and did my own trim. Within two years, I had all one length hair, enough for a small ponytail at the back. I didn't wear it that way in public - ponytailed men were even in 1966 not something one ever saw. I promised myself that as soon as I could, I would grow my hair to my knees with wife or girlfriend with equally long locks. But one day my parents decided they had had enough and sent me to a different barber and it was back to square one. But I refused to go to any kind of barber or salon ever again, and never have. From then until I left home, my mum trimmed my hair, still far too often, but it kept me from the clipper brigade.

The next milestone was when I left school. I said I didn't want any more cuts or trims, but wqas told that just because I had left school rules behind me, that didn't mean I could grow my hair down to my ankles. But at least that gave me something to aim for, as soon as I was away from home.

So the uneasy truce went on for a few more years - I had slightly longer than shoulder length hair, enough for a three inch ponytail, until my big opportunity came. I spent the third year of my university course abroad, so needless to say, I grew my hair for the whole of that year. By the time I returned home, I had enough hair for a nine and a half inch ponytail, which I still didn't wear in public, although the length was commented on by a lot of people, mostly favourably. My parents thought the end of the world had come. I was faced with the choice: an immediate cut or no funding for my final year of education. I should have called their bluff, but I didn't. So my dreams of finishing my final year and then getting married with both my wife and I having waist length hair never happened - my fiancee had already offered to braid it for me for the occasion, even though it was a year away!

My first employer was also very old fashioned in outlook, so it was not for several years that I was able to be in charge of my own hair. At 39, in 1994, I decided that I would let my hair decide its own length, so I gave up cuts ans trims for ever. But still no chance of the knee length I had promised myself. MPB has set it,so growth was slow. Within a few months I had joined the ever growing (in both senses!) ranks of man with ponytails and found that plenty of people preferred me that way. My mother in law in particular was very supportive, but my parents still disapproved. I have been happy to have the longest hair I have ever had (at 11 inches from the knot) and to join both this wonderful forum and the MLHH. I changed my aim from great length to going for the maximum number of years without a trim or cut. My 20th anniversary, earlier this year, coincided with recovering from kidnet failure. Apart from nearly dying a year ago, because the doctors failed to understand how ill I was, my joy in feeling so much better on dialysis has been increased tenfold by the realisation that, after a stall of 17 years, my hair has actually grown about two inches. So I now have a ponytail just over a foot long, which I wear most of the time, and which makes me, for the first time in my life, feel like a real longhair.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope you have enjoyed sharing my journey, and understand just how hard it can be for the males of the species. My thanks to all of you who have encouraged me over the years - I hope to extend my 20 years without trims etc to al least 40, with your help.

Dickiebow
October 31st, 2014, 07:49 AM
bte - so lovely to read your story. What a journey. Here's to many more healthy, happy years of growing :applause

Angelica
October 31st, 2014, 08:12 AM
Thank you for your lovely story of your journey. I don't know why some parents are stuck in the time warp of men must have short hair, but they never seem to dictate that a girl must have long hair. At least I haven't come across that many. My hair is so fine, thin and straight that I can't achieve those great lengths I desire. When I was living with my parents, it was hard. My father hated my hair, always used to sneer at it because of the way it was. I can't help the genes I am blessed with! I don't have good hair, but I still don't want short hair. He always wanted to cut mine. Luckily I was never forced to though. But still it never grows very long. I have seen many men with nice long hair, sometimes they do have nicer hair than women. So good luck and happy growing.

Hotrox
October 31st, 2014, 08:15 AM
What a great story of commitment and dedication to a goal, I wish you many many more years of happy non-trimming and health.

embee
October 31st, 2014, 08:23 AM
I enjoyed reading your story. Nice that you are able at last to grow your hair as long as your wish.

And I'm glad they finally figured out your kidney problem, gee whiz, that's *serious*.

lapushka
October 31st, 2014, 08:45 AM
Such an awesome story, and so many setbacks, but you still persevered, I admire that. :)

tiny squirrel
October 31st, 2014, 08:57 AM
Great story. Thanks for sharing your journey!

Crumpet
October 31st, 2014, 11:50 AM
I love it that you seem to have known who you are and what you want so clearly and you persevered. It might be hard for some other people to understand how important hair is, but we do here. Wonderful story!

hanne jensen
October 31st, 2014, 12:03 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. Happy growing to unknown lengths.

Agnes Hannah
October 31st, 2014, 12:55 PM
Wow a truly inspirational journey, I forget how difficult it can be for male longhairs! This summer I met a man whose wife was a hairdresser. He had lovely long locks, and hadn't cut it since he was 17. He had a pact with his schoolfriends not to do so. He said that most of them had cut,but he still sported a terrific caterpillar braid at tailbone.

fiğrildi
October 31st, 2014, 02:09 PM
I very much enjoyed reading your story :flower:
You sound to be a very authentic and interesting person. Congratulations on reaching your current length, I can only imagine how long will your hair be in 40 years time... you can be sure that you'll get to reach knee, and beyond that, with that amazing perseverance of yours!

AmyBeth
October 31st, 2014, 03:06 PM
As a tot in the 60's, my parents decided to save money on haircuts by taking all of the children to a barber, including me, the only girl. I got a short short razored up the back cut- I looked like a boy! Oh the horror!:mad: The first few weeks of kindergarten were awful, I got teased by the other kids so much! I didn't cut again for 27 years, but never really got as far as waist length, so I can feel a tiny glimmer of understanding of your frustration. I have always, always liked long hair on men, and I'm so glad that it seems now to be a socially acceptable choice, even for professional men. It's also kind of a shame that children are not given the option of self determination on something so trivial as hair.:( You may not have your knee length hair, but you win the gold medal for determination and perserverance (which I esteem even more highly!). After all that you've been through, those 2 extra inches are a lovely trophy.:blossom:
P.S- your conflict with your parents is also reminiscent of my conflict with my parents when I announced, at the age of 8, that I would be vegetarian from that point on. No matter what they did, they could not compel me to eat meat, and oh how they tried! As your parents made you go to the barber's, my parents made me go to the doctor so he could explain how I would DIE if I didn't eat meat. The doctor told my parents to leave me alone, I'd be just fine.:p

gnome82
October 31st, 2014, 04:06 PM
Thank You for sharing your inspiring story :blossom:

Aurum
October 31st, 2014, 04:12 PM
This story is so inspiring! I'm glad you got the opportunity to grow it after so many years. :cheer:

Beatnik Guy
October 31st, 2014, 04:12 PM
Congratulations on 50 years, bte. :)

MsBubbles
October 31st, 2014, 05:43 PM
That was a great read! Good to hear your long hair story after all these years (and I've only been here since 2008 ).

Puffer Fish
October 31st, 2014, 05:49 PM
Congratulations on finally making progress to where you want to be! I know the feeling of not having the hair you want due to outside factors, too.

It's taken me my entire life up until now (granted, I'm only 21 but that's still too long of having little say about my hair!) to finally put my foot down and decide to grow it long, but I am a girl so I have significantly less of the social pressures about it than you do. I do have some though, since my mother hated having long hair as a kid/young adult, so she's always insisted that I'm going to hate it too. Well, we won't know unless we try, right? So I'm going to try. Here's hoping we both make our goals in the near future!

:toast:

Amapola
October 31st, 2014, 06:42 PM
Really great story, thank you for sharing it. How silly our ideas of gender are; "only women can have long hair" etc. Look at the Samurai! Look at the Navajo! Your hair should be how YOU want it, not everyone else. I'm so glad about your new growth! Here is hoping it will continue for many long years.

EdG
October 31st, 2014, 06:55 PM
bte - your dedication is fantastic. I salute you. :agree:
Ed

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 01:48 AM
bte - so lovely to read your story. What a journey. Here's to many more healthy, happy years of growing :applause

Thank you! Juststarting to red these replies after two days away. Thank you for your good wishes!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 01:50 AM
Thank you for your lovely story of your journey. I don't know why some parents are stuck in the time warp of men must have short hair, but they never seem to dictate that a girl must have long hair. At least I haven't come across that many. My hair is so fine, thin and straight that I can't achieve those great lengths I desire. When I was living with my parents, it was hard. My father hated my hair, always used to sneer at it because of the way it was. I can't help the genes I am blessed with! I don't have good hair, but I still don't want short hair. He always wanted to cut mine. Luckily I was never forced to though. But still it never grows very long. I have seen many men with nice long hair, sometimes they do have nicer hair than women. So good luck and happy growing.
Thank you! Sorry that you had parent troubles of a different kind, but glad you hae overcome them.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 01:15 AM
What a great story of commitment and dedication to a goal, I wish you many many more years of happy non-trimming and health.
Thank you for your good wishes - I hope you achieve all your goals!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 01:17 AM
I enjoyed reading your story. Nice that you are able at last to grow your hair as long as your wish.

And I'm glad they finally figured out your kidney problem, gee whiz, that's *serious*.
Thank you for your support. yes, it still is serious, but I a gradually improving and feel much better, thank you!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 04:06 AM
Great story. Thanks for sharing your journey!
And thank you for reading it!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 04:07 AM
I love it that you seem to have known who you are and what you want so clearly and you persevered. It might be hard for some other people to understand how important hair is, but we do here. Wonderful story!
Yes, that is a good point - here, we all know who we are and what we are aiming for and understand how much it means to us. Thank you for your support.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 04:08 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. Happy growing to unknown lengths.
Thank you - heading into the unknown could indeed be fun!!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 04:10 AM
Wow a truly inspirational journey, I forget how difficult it can be for male longhairs! This summer I met a man whose wife was a hairdresser. He had lovely long locks, and hadn't cut it since he was 17. He had a pact with his schoolfriends not to do so. He said that most of them had cut,but he still sported a terrific caterpillar braid at tailbone.That's inspirational, too - thank you for sharing.

StellaKatherine
November 2nd, 2014, 04:16 AM
Here in Finland I see more and more men with a longer hair and I truely think it looks beautiful! That is partly because of metal music genre been extrimely popular here.

We women hear all the bad things about growing the hair long, but for men it must be 100 times harder :( I do hope with time men will be able to wear their hair as they like it! Thank you for sharing your story! :flowers:

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 05:00 AM
I very much enjoyed reading your story :flower:
You sound to be a very authentic and interesting person. Congratulations on reaching your current length, I can only imagine how long will your hair be in 40 years time... you can be sure that you'll get to reach knee, and beyond that, with that amazing perseverance of yours!
Thank you for those kind words. With such an unusual user name, I am sure you must be an interesting person, too! I will continue to share my journey with the forum and see where the future leads - knee would be wondrful!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 05:01 AM
As a tot in the 60's, my parents decided to save money on haircuts by taking all of the children to a barber, including me, the only girl. I got a short short razored up the back cut- I looked like a boy! Oh the horror!:mad: The first few weeks of kindergarten were awful, I got teased by the other kids so much! I didn't cut again for 27 years, but never really got as far as waist length, so I can feel a tiny glimmer of understanding of your frustration. I have always, always liked long hair on men, and I'm so glad that it seems now to be a socially acceptable choice, even for professional men. It's also kind of a shame that children are not given the option of self determination on something so trivial as hair.:( You may not have your knee length hair, but you win the gold medal for determination and perserverance (which I esteem even more highly!). After all that you've been through, those 2 extra inches are a lovely trophy.:blossom:
P.S- your conflict with your parents is also reminiscent of my conflict with my parents when I announced, at the age of 8, that I would be vegetarian from that point on. No matter what they did, they could not compel me to eat meat, and oh how they tried! As your parents made you go to the barber's, my parents made me go to the doctor so he could explain how I would DIE if I didn't eat meat. The doctor told my parents to leave me alone, I'd be just fine.:p
Oh dear - the boot on the other foot! I share your pain. My parents also thought I would die when I became a vegetarian, but so fare I have proved them wrong. Thanks for sharing!

Santi
November 2nd, 2014, 06:01 AM
bte, your story reminds me of why kindness to others is so important. We never know what others are going through. Best wishes on the rest of your life & hair journey.

emilia1992
November 2nd, 2014, 06:43 AM
Great account; thanks for sharing your experiences with us! :)

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:49 AM
Thank You for sharing your inspiring story :blossom:
Thank you - and I hope my story can inspire others to be equally determined.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:50 AM
This story is so inspiring! I'm glad you got the opportunity to grow it after so many years. :cheer:
Thank you - I hope others find it equally inspiring. Good luck with your journey to Classic!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:51 AM
Congratulations on 50 years, bte. :)
Thank you! I have always admired you for your success.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:52 AM
That was a great read! Good to hear your long hair story after all these years (and I've only been here since 2008 ).
Glad you enjoyed it - 2008 is still enough for some great growth!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:54 AM
Congratulations on finally making progress to where you want to be! I know the feeling of not having the hair you want due to outside factors, too.

It's taken me my entire life up until now (granted, I'm only 21 but that's still too long of having little say about my hair!) to finally put my foot down and decide to grow it long, but I am a girl so I have significantly less of the social pressures about it than you do. I do have some though, since my mother hated having long hair as a kid/young adult, so she's always insisted that I'm going to hate it too. Well, we won't know unless we try, right? So I'm going to try. Here's hoping we both make our goals in the near future!

:toast:
Well done for sticking to your goal - sharing our hopes is one of the great things about this community.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:56 AM
Really great story, thank you for sharing it. How silly our ideas of gender are; "only women can have long hair" etc. Look at the Samurai! Look at the Navajo! Your hair should be how YOU want it, not everyone else. I'm so glad about your new growth! Here is hoping it will continue for many long years.
Thank you for those kind words and joy in my new growth. As you say, most of these ideas are absurd. Let's both look forward to many years of growth.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:57 AM
bte - your dedication is fantastic. I salute you. :agree:
Ed
Praise indeed from one of my hair idols! Thank you.

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:58 AM
bte, your story reminds me of why kindness to others is so important. We never know what others are going through. Best wishes on the rest of your life & hair journey.
A lovely sentiment - and a reminder that we should always be kind to each other - thank you!

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 06:59 AM
Great account; thanks for sharing your experiences with us! :)
\ou are welcome. Thank you for your reply an good luck with all your goals.

woodswanderer
November 2nd, 2014, 07:22 AM
This post really makes me understand for the first time how lucky I am that no one has really tried to prevent me from having long hair. I'm so impressed that you stuck with your goal to grow your hair despite obstacles and setbacks. :)

bte
November 2nd, 2014, 07:38 AM
This post really makes me understand for the first time how lucky I am that no one has really tried to prevent me from having long hair. I'm so impressed that you stuck with your goal to grow your hair despite obstacles and setbacks. :)
Thank you - good luck with your goal, and keep on wandering the woods! I hope others will be inspired to brush aside obstacles and setbacks.

Madora
November 4th, 2014, 01:08 AM
Congrats and kudos, bte! Just goes to show you what determination and positive thoughts can do! Long may you enjoy your hair!