“Hair Ties for Guys”: catchy name, great idea. Lindsay Barto and Chris Healy had each been growing his hair for a year or two and had dealt with the consequences, including hair slipping into soup, the risk of leaning over a running motor and being blinded when caught in a strong wind. They were tired of the odd looks as they cruised along women’s hair accessories aisles. So they thought, “Why not a hair tie for men?” Lindsay and Chris are both creative types (they co-own a digital marketing agency), so they had a really clever commercial filmed for the hair ties in less than two weeks. Then they designed a website, and that catapulted them beyond the idea of hair ties: They would establish a global community for men with long hair: thelonghairs.us. The site would be a sanctuary of sorts—the place to go to for ways to deal with the people who bully or mock you for your hair, the place to learn how to take care of your hair.
After all, we didn’t grow up taking hair care for granted. We didn’t brush doll hair for hours on end. Slumber parties didn’t include styling each other’s hair. We didn’t spend hours debating the relative merits of hair products. Even boys with long hair didn’t have moms who brushed their hair until it was shiny or try an upsweep for a special occasion. Men’s magazines rarely, if ever, feature articles on hair, and when they do, it’s how to get rid of dandruff. Next time you see a magazine stand, see if you can find a woman’s magazine that doesn’t mention hair.
So long-haired guys have a lot to learn, and they can learn it on Lindsay and Chris’s website and in their YouTube demonstrations: How to style your hair, how many ways there are to braid it, how to treat split ends (right after they explain what split ends are). A major topic is how to get through that awkward 12 to 18 months that it takes to go from short hair to becoming a Longhair.
And then it was time to get back to the roots of the community they had formed—the hair ties. A small elastic band is not as simple as it looks. Lindsay and Chris started with a woman’s hair tie and, after several trials and errors, discovered the perfect elastic that they were looking for: a unique material that is strong but soft and pliable and receptive to the bright dyes needed for the wild designs they created. There is something for every guy in the dozens of designs: tied-dyed, flames, fish, pirates, patriotic and camo among them.
There is also the “Lids for Locks” line with headwraps (one of the tricks to use to get through that in-between stage), ball caps and knit beanies. A men’s skin care collection is in development with one product available now, a serum with argan oil that detangles, moisturizes and nourishes.
The Longhairs charity, Longhairs Do Care, donates a dollar for every purchase to Children With Hair LossTM, a non-profit organization that provides a free human hair replacements and hair products to children and young adults who are experiencing hair loss due to a medical condition or treatment.