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Long hair - Thoughts, Opinions, & Styles?

FarmerTan

"Just Call Me Billy"
I find long hair to be a wonderful social filter.

Some people do harbour negativity towards long hair, and assume a lack of social morality or reliability. The status chasers, terminally vain, and other superficially driven individuals, tend to give me a wide berth. That's brilliant as far as I am concerned. Anyone that assumes I am socially inferior purely due to my looks, is doing me a favour by avoiding me, as they are precisely the people I don't want to get stuck talking to.

That leaves two other "groups". There's the curious ones who think my long hair means something, such as biker, or musician. My conversations with them are likely to be brief, as we'll probably have very little in common.

The ones that treat me no differently to any one else, are undoubtedly the ones I'll end up having the best conversations with. No initial impressions of superiority or inferiority, due to not measuring themselves against others, and enough imagination and freedom of personality, to not assume I am locked in a small focussed subset of society.

So, interesting people talk to me, and superficial and boring people leave me alone. What's not to like?
Well put. In all honesty, I would probably fail the "test" for no other reason than I can be the oddest duck.

I am as close as one can be to bipolar without a diagnosis. I can be in a social setting and be thrilled to have NO ONE speak to me, and literally an hour later chewing on some poor soul's ear not letting them get a werd in. Quite rude, but there it is.

And the next party it is just the opposite. I'll start out talkative and then clam up.



Now you can see why the War Department prefers to lock me in my crate and just go out by herself whenever possible.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I find long hair to be a wonderful social filter.

Some people do harbour negativity towards long hair, and assume a lack of social morality or reliability.

That leaves two other "groups". There's the curious ones who think my long hair means something, such as biker, or musician.

The ones that treat me no differently to any one else, are undoubtedly the ones I'll end up having the best conversations with.
Well, the length of your hair does actually "mean something" and signal something to those around you. So does the length of my much shorter hair, for that matter. Not that either of us ought to be pre-destined to the Fires of Heck for the long or short length of our hair, but ... it's how we choose to present ourselves to the world, and it's wrong of us not to assume that people will pick up on those signals we are sending out.

And yes, the signals we are each sending out are different from those we'd be sending out with the exact same haircuts in say 1974 ... when you would be the social conformist and I'd be the strange outlier who's obviously marching to the beat of his own drum.

The risk we all face is that we will put too much emphasis on first impressions, and cement that into permanent opinions about people. We should use them, and rely on them as much as is appropriate, of course ... but they are not the be-all and end-all ... just first impressions after all.

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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Well, the length of your hair does actually "mean something" and signal something to those around you. <snip> ... it's how we choose to present ourselves to the world, and it's wrong of us not to assume that people will pick up on those signals we are sending out.

I'm not convinced that my choice of hairstyle is about telegraphing my personality to others. It's more about me being happy with me. It's not about rebelling, or intentionally looking different, I just feel more comfortable in longer hair. How others may interpret it, and whether they do likewise or take a different route, is very much secondary.

That may well be how my earlier described notion of a social filter works. Some may interpret my hair as a "message", or a visual introduction of sorts. I don't. Just because others may interpret my appearance a certain way, does not mean I am intentionally "transmitting" signals.

Or to put it another way, how should someone dress or groom themselves if they do not wish to send any signals at all? Some might wish to communicate professionalism, some might wish to communicate rebellion, or alliance to some specific demographic or social allegiance. Are those who aren't interested in visual self-branding, destined to stay home? I'd still have long hair if everyone else had it.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I'm not convinced that my choice of hairstyle is about telegraphing my personality to others. It's more about me being happy with me.
Your primary purpose may not be to "send signals" but ... signals are being sent regardless.
how should someone dress or groom themselves if they do not wish to send any signals at all?
Impossible.

Just consider clothing. If you show up at Tesco naked, well ... everyone thinks you are a lunatic. So you put on some clothes. T-shirt of polo? Jumper? Shirt and tie? Every decision is a decision and sends a signal, no matter how small or subtle. Not every choice is going to get you on the front page of the Sun ...
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I'd still have long hair if everyone else had it.
Yes ... because you like having long hair. But you would no longer be the "outlier" as you are today, when long hair is unusual. So you wouldn't stand out as much ... would "look" more compliant with the social norms.

I remember when the only people with shaved heads were Yul Brenner and Tele Savalas. Boy, they really stood out as unique. Over time, shaving the head became more and more popular, ... Michael Jordan ... Stone Cold Steve Austin ... four guys at the office ... until nowadays it's an accepted and "normal" way to deal with one's hair, and the "wow" factor is gone.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Your primary purpose may not be to "send signals" but ... signals are being sent received regardless.

Fixed that for you ;)

I think we need to be aware that people might try to interpret our choices, and that they may try to make sense of them using a value system which is different to our own. Understanding that there are multiple value systems, may help us both make our own informed choices, and help us understand why others made theirs.

When I was training in hypnopsychotherapy several years ago, I was asked a very good question. What does it mean if you are talking to somebody, and they yawn? Some people's first answer is that you are boring them. Others that they are tired. Poor air quality? New baby in the family? Jet lagged? Caffeine or stimulant dependency related? there are many reasons why someone might yawn.

Often, the signals received, are more telling about the recipient, than about the supposed transmitter.
 
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Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Fixed that for you ;)
Tomayto potahto.
I think we need to be aware that people might try to interpret our choices, and that they may try to make sense of them using a value system which is different to our own.
I'd go even further, and say that it's not just about people trying to interpret things, but it's even happening on a sub-conscious level, basically automatically.

That's how we survive.

Something is coming toward you ... or your caveman ancestor. He has to decide "threat or no threat" in a split second so ... he needs just enough visual information to decide what this thing coming toward him is ... bear? bad. Wolf? bad. Deer? not bad ... and we may eat tonight. You are walking along the side of the road and see a car coming toward you. All you need to know is whether or not it's going to hit you. It's in its lane? No problem. It's headed to you ... jump now!! The brand of car, where it was made, how much gas it has in its gas tank, what the driver is wearing or had for breakfast, where he went to school, is he Remainer or Brexiteer ... all irrelevant. By the time you figure all that out, he's either half a mile down the road or he's turned you into human jelly on the pavement.

We are hardwired to make those instantaneous decisions all the time.
 
I've never had long hair, even growing up in the 60's and 70's. My brother started growing long hair in the late 60's (before either of us had hit puberty). Waitresses called him "miss," and he had to wear a swim cap in the pool. I believe that traumatized me to the long hair idea. For the last decade I've been shaving the head as there is very little left on top.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Tomayto potahto.

I'd go even further, and say that it's not just about people trying to interpret things, but it's even happening on a sub-conscious level, basically automatically.

That's how we survive.

Something is coming toward you ... or your caveman ancestor. He has to decide "threat or no threat" in a split second so ... he needs just enough visual information to decide what this thing coming toward him is ... bear? bad. Wolf? bad. Deer? not bad ... and we may eat tonight. You are walking along the side of the road and see a car coming toward you. All you need to know is whether or not it's going to hit you. It's in its lane? No problem. It's headed to you ... jump now!! The brand of car, where it was made, how much gas it has in its gas tank, what the driver is wearing or had for breakfast, where he went to school, is he Remainer or Brexiteer ... all irrelevant. By the time you figure all that out, he's either half a mile down the road or he's turned you into human jelly on the pavement.

We are hardwired to make those instantaneous decisions all the time.

I totally agree that it's human to try to find reason in what is around us. I was just trying to differentiate between receiving intentionally sent signals, and perceiving signals which were never actually sent at all.

Another example might be silence. If you were expecting a call that didn't come through, that may be interpreted that the other person was being lazy, ignorant, or had taken the umph with you for some reason. It may have been a flat battery though, or network failure by their carrier, or even that the other person has been taken ill, or an urgent matter has arisen that they have to attend to. Literally no signals sent at all, but yet a perceived (false) "signal" may be received.

Not all signals received, were ever transmitted. If people falsely interpret my long hair as a statement, that's potentially a marker of their personality, not mine, which is why I said it can act as a social filter. Their actions (not mine) may cause them to leave me well alone, and I may well be glad of that. If not, I may choose to intentionally send inviting signals of my own. :)
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
Tomayto potahto.

I'd go even further, and say that it's not just about people trying to interpret things, but it's even happening on a sub-conscious level, basically automatically.

That's how we survive.

Something is coming toward you ... or your caveman ancestor. He has to decide "threat or no threat" in a split second so ... he needs just enough visual information to decide what this thing coming toward him is ... bear? bad. Wolf? bad. Deer? not bad ... and we may eat tonight. You are walking along the side of the road and see a car coming toward you. All you need to know is whether or not it's going to hit you. It's in its lane? No problem. It's headed to you ... jump now!! The brand of car, where it was made, how much gas it has in its gas tank, what the driver is wearing or had for breakfast, where he went to school, is he Remainer or Brexiteer ... all irrelevant. By the time you figure all that out, he's either half a mile down the road or he's turned you into human jelly on the pavement.

We are hardwired to make those instantaneous decisions all the time.

I totally agree that it's human to try to find reason in what is around us. I was just trying to differentiate between receiving intentionally sent signals, and perceiving signals which were never actually sent at all.

Another example might be silence. If you were expecting a call that didn't come through, that may be interpreted that the other person was being lazy, ignorant, or had taken the umph with you for some reason. It may have been a flat battery though, or network failure by their carrier, or even that the other person has been taken ill, or an urgent matter has arisen that they have to attend to. Literally no signals sent at all, but yet a perceived (false) "signal" may be received.

Not all signals received, were ever transmitted. If people falsely interpret my long hair as a statement, that's potentially a marker of their personality, not mine, which is why I said it can act as a social filter. Their actions (not mine) may cause them to leave me well alone, and I may well be glad of that. If not, I may choose to intentionally send inviting signals of my own. :)
Good points. When I dress for work, I’m mostly interested in sending only one signal: am I visible? Hence the hi vis work top. The rest of my attire is purely functional, heavy work pants, leather boots, sun/rain hat, safety/sun glasses.

When I go to church I want to show that I care about my appearance and am being respectful of the place, others, and time honored tradition. I don’t normally wear my work clothes, unless unavoidable. I take the time to properly prepare myself.

When I’m going out with my wife I dress to please her. She wants to be seen with someone who cares and gets nice compliments. This presentation usually includes cologne. Even though she picked my top three colognes, it is more than just pleasing her directly, she likes it when others notice and ask what it is or simply pay a compliment.

Just last weekend, while two hours from home, a complete stranger yelled at me from halfway across a small parking lot to tell me how much she admired my vest. She could have said nothing and just went about her business, but she noticed something that she liked. I chuckled and thanked her. As I got in the car my wife said, “another one of your admirers, I see.” We both laughed. My wife selected and bought me that vest, and the cologne I was wearing.

I’m not deliberately trolling for compliments, but the message is that I care about how I look when I’m out with my wife. When I’m dressed well and my hair is just right, I check myself in the mirror before leaving the house to make sure there’s not a grease spot on my face or spinach in my teeth and I feel very confident. I think the confidence (which is definitely a transmittable attribute) is really what draws the compliments more than any one item of clothing, cologne, or hair style.
 
Your hair is part of you. Formal is how you carry yourself.
We should define long hair. I consider mine long, but it's shaved around my ears and neck. The top is kept "long"... meaning when my bangs can hit my chin I get a cut say to to my nose.
I just keep it naturally back. Out of the shower, towel it dry-ish brush straight back and let it dry. I don't like product in my hair, don't blow dry it... just wet my hands time to time and comb it back with my fingers. I'm no super model, but never was with a woman that didn't love running her hands through it and scratching my head... what can I say, I enjoy that for sure. :)
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Mystery to me as well and I know guys that have them. Seems odd these days. I will say that one of them has done quite well in his career - it has not gotten in the way.

Like many things, I think it comes down to can you pull it off? Or does it look like you are trying too hard. Worse yet, does it look like you don't give a rip. If you don't care then you better be good at what you do so that you get hired in spite of your grooming habits or lack thereof.

These guys sure could pull it off with no effort at all. They were the real deal and long hair fit with the times and their music. It all just came together and all was right with the world.


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Live At Fillmore East- great album. I saw the Allman Brothers around 1989 at Blossom Music Center outside of Cleveland. Best damn concert I ever saw. AB were better live than on album
 
I have had long hair and somewhat shorter hair. I have never had a crew cut in my life. The closest I’ve had was buzzed to a #4 on the sides and longer on top, spiked and messy. Other times hair down to my shoulders. And everywhere in between. I am in the process of growing out my hair now, as I am approaching my mid 50’s, and it’s thinning. So this may be my last chance. My career has been in technology my whole adult life. During periods of shorter hair I had taken some gruff for not having long hair or a ponytail, as that is what was the norm in my field. Once I grew out my hair and got an earful from a younger guy that was a creative director about how unprofessional that was, which is so ironic given what he did for a living. And I am a life-long semi-pro musician that often plays hard and heavy styles of music… and no one in those circle cares or comments on hair length, other than telling someone their hair looks good or whatever, which I also find ironic. But the position I have on the subject is I don’t care what people think. I keep my hair as long or as short as the mood strikes me. Same with facial hair. I do me, and that’s all that matters. And regardless of how long it gets, I will never ever have a man-bun or a top knot. 😜🤪😎
 
I had hair past my shoulders in the early 70's and found the most formal look for me was a ponytail.
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But when all is said and done I think you can go with whatever is comfortable for you and then just own it.
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Just shy of 70. I had long hair (past should length) most of my life. Buzzed it off for Locks of Love in '03 (18" at least) & kept it buzzed until January of last year. On a whim, I let it start growing. It's past my shoulders now. My "almost a girlfriend" (she's married, so it goes no further than sushi lunch) loves it. A number of the young ladies at the Club like it.
That being said, most guys just don't look good in long hair, especially when they're bald up top (like me). Damn hippies 😎.
My final word is "If YOU like it long, wear it long, fashion be damned"
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If it's thin, long hair looks terrible. Full stop. If I had to I'd rather have a Homer Simpson donut rather than a pony tail made from wisps of hair in the side and back. Mines thinning. But no bald spots. I have to get it cut every six weeks for it to look decent.
 
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