One of our readers asks how to grow his curly hair long as a male and Rogelio gives him the pros and cons to growing a curly mane long as well as his experience.
I saw some pics of you with your long curly hair and I want to grow it like yours. I have never been a fan of growing my curls longer but yours look great and I think we have the same hair too (hair type III). What is your take on growing long curly hair? What are the ups and downs of having a mane like that? I really want to be sure before I commit myself.
Alexander, Chicago (USA)
I’m glad you want to do something different with your hair.
Growing curly hair into the longer lengths and especially to Shoulder Length and beyond, is not for everyone. Curly hair tangles, knots, frizzes, dries up and does what it wants. I have learnt to tame my beast after all these years but then, I was 100% confident in experimenting with my mane and immersing myself with getting to master curly hair.
Once your curls reach the minimum length for the long length classification (6 inches), you will reach a turning point in which you either continue or you cut it. If you decide to go ahead, you must stick with it and, by then, you will know whether this is for you or not. This is my what I think and have experienced with long curly hair.
With long curly hair, you will have to do all sort of funky stuff you never thought you’d ever do (e.g hair buns)
Yeah, I was actually hiding all this hair in the above bun, that’s how crazy it gets…
CONS OF LONG CURLY HAIR
1) Curly hair is more difficult to manage than straight hair, this is especially true the higher you go in my Hair Type classification. Someone with Type IV curly hair will have to spend more time into grooming his mane than someone with Type I. Go to any average city and you will find that 95% of those peeps with long hair have straight hair, there’s a reason for that.
2) The longer your hair, the more difficult it is to keep it looking good. Long curly hair will rapidly look dry if you don’t know what you are doing and fact is, most people (including women and hairdressers) don’t know how to properly address curly hair, and it is not their fault for who in this world wants to add another drama to their life?
3) You must be ready to sacrifice your looks temporarily in the name of experimentation. Knowledge comes by keeping an open mind so if you like your curly hair neat and low maintenance, do NOT grow it long.
4) Long hair, whether straight or curly, is seen as a statement. This can be good or bad, but it tends to carry negative and unfair connotations in the workplace. In other words, depending on your profession, you will have to put up with not being able to grow it for fear of discrimination or limiting your job promoting potential.
5) In terms of attractiveness, long hair should only be sported if you also take care of your overall looks. I have said this before, I have absolutely nothing against overweight people or balding heads, but I have spoken with plenty of women about hair and the consensus is that long hair in men will only look good if the male has a thick mane and is, at least, of average to athletic build. You must take this into consideration if you are at a time in your life where your physical image is important to you because you can undermine your perceived attractiveness with long hair. Personally, I think this point is moot and you should go with what YOU like but my opinions in many life things tend to be different to mainstream.
6) You can get abuse or be discriminated against. This is very a real and serious issue. I have seen some nasty cases of abuse to long hair dudes, to the point that I have intervened to defend the guys (and actually put the bullies in their place). You must be prepared for this, especially if you are not a naturally confident guy.
7) Long curly hair takes a very long time to dry up after a shower. During your first winter with your long curls, you will start having second thoughts about your mane as water trickles down your nape in the cold. Or how about when you have to shower with cold water? These points may seem trivial but they will carry a big meaning when they occur (see my experience showering with cold water and long hair).
Looks bad enough, doesn’t it? Let’s see the pros.
PROS OF LONG CURLY HAIR
1) With long curly hair, you feel like your true self. It is a difficult feeling to explain but you feel authentic. You also feel a total connection with your hair which unsuprisingly has a very personal and introspective touch to it. Curly hair takes anywhere from 1 1/2 to 4 years to grow long and a lot happens in that time so it will carry memories. I suppose you only get to understand this once you have experienced growing long hair, but it is very real and the reason why many dudes with long hair won’t want to cut their locks even though they want to try going back to short hair.
2) The feeling of your curls caressing your face is awesome. Seriously, it’s priceless.
3) If you take care of your overall looks, long curly hair will look great and women love it. Again, “taking care of your overall look” is key here. Women love athletic bodies but an athletic and neat body with a long mane is a preference to a big portion of them (think Fabio/Tarzan type).
4) No longer do you have to wear wigs to dress up as Conan to a theme party. I once went to a party as the latin version of He-Man and Japanese tourists were stopping me on the street to take pictures with yours truly. It was a serious WTF moment. Oh, and Asian women love (I really mean it) curly men for some reason.
5) Long curly hair is versatile, both for hairstyles and haircuts. Because you can always cut more, you can shape the haircut as you wish or wear your hair in many styles. If you do it right, a ponytail will make you even more alpha than what you already are (again, keyword here is “right”).
6) DID I SAY THAT LONG CURLY HAIR IS AWESOME?
Growing curly hair long can become a very personal experience. It surely is not for everyone and I recommend you to give my pros and cons a good thought and then ask yourself why you want to do it. If anything, you can instantly go back to short hair by cutting it so if you really want to do it, then I surely recommend you to go with your gut feeling and grow your curly hair long.
Of course, keep us posted on your experience!
All the best.