The 8" Threshold (for Men)
First of all, if your 6th grade simian mind is in the gutter, clean it up...
WHAT are we talking about?
WHO am I (mainly) talking to?
Heteronormative cis white men, I'm looking at you. Others? Yes, of course, you too, but I'm staying in my lane. I'm mostly talking to dudes, bros, guys, breeders... all of you entitled fellas that may be happily or grudgingly managing a Tennessee waterfall since last February.
Let's back up a bit. Like many guys, I usually get a haircut every 6-8 weeks BUT! I like to keep the ears warm in winter. Long story short, my last haircut was November of 2019. Then the pandemic hit. I learned about bandanas, ponytails, manbuns. As we progressed through 2020 from summer to winter, my wife introduced me to the wonderous new secret product called "kun-dish-uh-ner." Never heard of it. Weird.
Cut to this month. As things slowly start to open up, get back to 100% capacity, etc, I imagine there are many men out there considering a haircut. The ritual, the return to proximity, the simple normalcy of it. I'm kinda jacked at the idea.
As of this writing, I can get a tad over six inches into a ponytail. Having a goal oriented, slightly addictive personality, I'm going to tough it out until I get at least eight inches. Which a made me wonder...
HOW long can a man grow hair?
The short and simple answer is, "As long as you want." Duh. Your hair, your decision.
The slightly more grown-ass-man answer is, "As long as your life choices allow." Considerations might include spousal preference, professional requirements, client perceptions, available shampooing time.
Or. Let it grow. Keep letting it grow. Can you get to a full on '80s Bon Jovi?
I'm here to say there's valuable reason to keep letting your hair grow at least a little bit more: to get to the eight inch threshold.
WHY ride it out to "the eight inch threshold?"
Simply put, your hair has to be eight inches long in a ponytail to donate it for wigs for sick kids and people dealing with cancer and other medical treatments that cause hair loss.
DONATE YOUR 8" LONG HAIR
There are many great organizations (no affiliation or connection). Take your pick:
From Best Places to Make a Hair Donation and How to Do It (thebalancesmb.com): "These are not the only options for hair donations, but they are national donor organizations, which means you can donate from anywhere. If you want to make a local impact, you can search for local hair donation organizations or drives."
National or local, it seems that the ONLY requirement is that hair must be eight inches long in a ponytail.
Do it. You might opt for the "business in front, party in back" style, aka: hockey hair. Again, up to you.
You really don't even have to tell anybody what you are doing or why. The only reason I'm sharing my plan is to encourage anybody out there who might be close to that eight inch threshold to tough it out.
Yes. Do it. Rock the man bun for another couple of months! The end game might make it a little easier on somebody dealing with chemo, or a sick kid.
If you have some misgivings, here are some FAQs:
Q: Why is your hair so long?
A: Dude, why are you checking out my hair? I'm growing it long enough to get eight inches into a ponytail. To donate it to sick kids.
Q: Are you worried about looking professional?
A: Nah, bruh. Drugstores got these things called hairbands and hairspray to help keep it neat until I can get eight inches into a ponytail. To donate it to sick people.
Q: How long does it take?
A: Bro, hair grows about half an inch per month on average. In about seven weeks I'll be able to get eight inches into a ponytail. To donate to sick people. F*ck cancer, bro.
Q: When are you going to get a haircut?
A: When I feel like it, broham. Gotta get eight inches into a ponytail. To donate it. Wigs for sick people, man.
All kidding aside, how subtle or aggressive you are is up to you, based on how much crapola your boss, spouse or friends are giving you. Shame them with some hair-based altruism or keep it on the down low.
Now here are some bonus links, just for fun...
Be like Keanu... or Jason Momoa... or early Metallica. Be patient. Be strong. Be generous.
See you later... at the salon. Or barber.