So you’re thinking of growing your hair out. But before you make your decision, you want to know if it’s worth it.

It takes time, patience, and dedication. There can be ramifications from your job if they don’t allow long hair. And some may ask if long hair is masculine.

In today’s article, I’m going head to head with Long Hair Youtube star Trav White for a 7 round showdown between long hair vs short hair on men.

The events in this showdown will be:

  • Round 1 – Individuality
  • Round 2 – Historical Significance
  • Round 3 – Professionalism
  • Round 4 – Attraction
  • Round 5 – Upkeep & Care
  • Round 6 – In The Movies
  • Round 7 – Which One Looks Best?

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Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 1 – Individuality

Short hair argument

Sharp dressed short hair man with woman

Short hair on men has been a symbol of masculinity in the west for hundreds of years.

Where short hair really shines for individuality is when you cut it to become a part of your style and personality.

Grooming is an extension of your image. So whether you go for an undercut, or a combover, or a pompadour, or a quiff, this is when short hair starts to shine.

You have so many more options to change it up with short hair. You can cut your hair to match your face shape, whereas with long hair if it doesn’t suit you, it just doesn’t suit you.

Short hair gives more options and a much wider variety to choose from. This wide array of options allows each guy to embrace who they are and make their hair a part of their unique style.

Many more options for products to be able to style it. Most products out there can work medium to shorter hair and you can style it in a lot of ways.

Long hair argument

guy with long hair

I agree with that but I would argue that short hair on men, while it may not be like that today, it started as conformity. Every culture that conquered another culture would force them to cut their hair as a sign of submission.

And to some degree, it’s still like that today, many places require short hair for men. In most workplaces, in schools, young men must have their hair short.

Additionally, short hair started to become the norm during World War I.

Men had military cuts for functional reasons. Whether it was to prevent lice and fleas while spending days in the trenches or shaving it so their enemies couldn’t use their hair as a weapon against them.

Short hair became the main symbol of masculinity after the war with military men influencing grooming similar to how they do with style.

So short hair, as most men’s fashion happens as well, became a symbol of men’s style & masculinity from the military in the west.

So because of that, in my opinion, growing your hair out is the ultimate form of individuality. Because Individuality comes down to going against the grain and rocking it with confidence.

In western culture, long hair symbolizes going against the grain.

This is most apparent when you look at the 60s era with counterculture movement and continued into the 70s and 80s with rock n roll.

Also, given that MOST men in the world have short hair, the ultimate way to show your individuality IS through long hair. It’s saying that you don’t want to conform to what culture demands of you.

WINNER: Long Hair

Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 2 – Historical Significance

Short hair argument

Alexander the Great statue

For a time, long hair was incredibly popular. Many warriors and tribes around the world would wear long hair. But it wasn’t long before they realized it was a disadvantage.

Nearly all the long-haired warriors of the past died off or were conquered and forced to cut their hair.

Vikings, Spartans, Mongols, etc.

As civilization and technology advanced, and the population in one area became denser, short hair became preferred as long hair was harder to keep clean and prevent the spreading of fleas and lice. It also became functionally safer.

During the industrial revolution men would operate machinery or work dangerous jobs or go off to war, short hair was much more functional and could be the difference between life and death.

Alexander the Great was a leader who required his warriors to have short hair because it gave them advantages on the battlefield.

Alexander the Great was a leader who required his warriors to have short hair because it gave them advantages on the battlefield.

Also, the two biggest reasons that men cut their hair shorter in history?

War & baldness. Over 50% of men lose their hair as they age. So making short hair a part of the culture was a way to flip the script of how long hair used to be perceived as nobility and short hair as slavery.

Over time short hair started to become the symbol of masculinity as that perception shifted.

Long Hair Argument

Native American Long Hair

If you look at cultures all over the world. Hair has meant many things to many different groups of people.

Seeing Long hair as feminine or unprofessional IS a western, and I would argue newly western, idea dating back to around World War I.

We can start with ancient Greece, long male hair was a symbol of wealth and power, and a shaved head was a symbol of slavery.

This is also what the Vikings believed as well by the way. Vikings took their hair and beards VERY seriously.

In fact, it was believed that the Vikings used to groom their hair with tools made from deer and elk antlers and they would seduce Saxon noblewomen quite often because they were so well-groomed & bathed.

They believed short hair meant you were a thrall or a slave.

In Greek and Roman mythology you will see gods like Zeus, Achilles, and Apollo all portrayed with long hair and beards.

Historically, long hair on men symbolized strength.

You can look at the Native American tribes, many of which believed long hair was a symbol of honor and strength, and if they cut their hair it’s a sign of submission.

But some of the fiercest warriors of all time wore their hair long.

WINNER: Long Hair

Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 3 – Professionalism

Short hair argument

Man with short hair in suit smiling

This one is a no-brainer. Short hair is synonymous with professionalism in the workplace.

If you’re in sales or working at a law firm, or in finance and you walk into an interview with long hair, they’ll kick you out of the room.

When trying to get a deal done and you walk in with a man bun your first impression is ruined.

It’s just the reality that if you want to do business, be respected instantly, or get someone to trust you, short hair is the best way to do that.

Long hair argument

professional man with long hair

I think that there are obviously jobs that still exist that have a dress code and short men’s hair might be on that dress code.

There may be a danger issue as well if you work on an oil rig, or with heavy machinery, long hair could become a safety hazard.

But if you work in tech, or in arts, you’re a photographer or videographer, or you work at a software start-up company, most of these company cultures are becoming more and more accepting of long hair on men.

And it can actually look very professional if you keep it neat, you keep it well-nourished, and you wear it in a way that is well-kept, I don’t see why long hair would be a problem.

But it does come down to the specific company.

Obviously working at a law firm, or in finance, or if you’re getting on an airplane and you see that your pilot has a man bun, how would that make you feel? To me, I wouldn’t care.

But I know a lot of people, because of how our culture views long hair on men, they might respond negatively to that.

I think we are making progress on the long hair professionalism front, but there’s still a long way to go.

Being remembered for long hair.

WINNER: Short Hair

Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 4 – Does It Make Men More Attractive?

Short hair argument

Man in suit with woman

Study after study shows that women prefer short hair.

In a study out of 1978 in Sage Journals, 43 males and 45 females were presented with one of four drawings, representing a man who had either long or short hair (hair-length) and was either bearded or clean-shaven (beardedness).

Subjects were asked to form an impression of the person represented; and to indicate the impression formed by placing checkmarks between a number of bipolar scales.

Results indicated a markedly negative impression. was formed of the long- as compared to the short-haired male. Consistent with prior research, the bearded male was regarded more positively than the clean-shaven male.

Results were discussed in terms of the stereotypical view associated with long hair.

So it would seem that both men and women see long hair on men in a more negative light.

Women don’t want you to have nicer hair than them.

They don’t want you to take longer getting ready for dates. Being a high-maintenance man isn’t attractive to a woman.

They want you to admire them, they want you to feel proud of being with them and see other people jealous of you when they admire her.

She should be the spotlight of beauty, not the guy.

And many surveys and studies have shown that to be the case. Women are more attracted to men with short hair.

Long hair argument

Couple with long hair

That’s a great point.

First of all, I would argue that that study was conducted during the height of the hippie movement and that most people alive then saw long hair on men as unattractive. Even a guy in a suit with long hair back then was just a closeted hippie.

No offense to any hippies out there.

They were just not seen as the most masculine of men back then.

But, I bet if that study were to be conducted today, the results would be totally different.

Today a guy with long hair and a suit is a big question mark. And question marks are attractive.

There are also women who exclusively love men with long hair. It’s their thing.

So not every woman will prefer your long hair, but the ones who do will have a much stronger reaction to it.

One thing I would add is that long hair kind of has this amplification effect.

Meaning if you’re out of shape, not dressed well, have poor presentation and grooming, long hair tends to make you look a bit more of that. Lazier, more unkempt.

But if you’re fit, have great style, have well-groomed facial hair, now long hair makes all of that look even stronger and amplifies all of those qualities.

So my conclusion is, women love confidence, and long-haired men who take good care of their hair definitely possess confidence and mysteriousness to be able to pull it off.

So if you can grow your hair out I think you should try it at least once in your life.

It’s also a sign of commitment and patience, two virtues that are very attractive to high-quality women.

But, the most important thing, be who you are! Because confidence is the ultimate attraction.


Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 5 – Upkeep & Care

Short hair argument

man smiling

I gotta tell you when it comes to short hair, I just get up style it a bit with my fingers, maybe put one product in and I’m good to go.

My men’s hair care routine in the morning is incredibly short.

Worst case, use a bar of soap if you’re in a rush and don’t have shampoo.

With long hair you have to brush it, you have to spend a much longer time washing it, conditioning it. You can run into more frizz, dryness, greasiness, split ends. You might as well watch the women’s beauty channels if you’re going to take care of your hair properly.

Long hair argument

guy in shades talks over phone

That’s actually great and funnily enough, I’ve learned a ton of great tips from women’s hair channels. They really do know their hair care.

But sure, you might have a couple more men’s hair styling products. You might spend a little longer in the shower on the days you wash your hair.

Maybe you spend a little bit on a decent brush, good hair oil, or upgrade your 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner to something more suited for your hair type, but think of how much money you’ll save not having to go to the barber every 3 weeks.

Especially if you like a tight fade, then you go for a clean-up every 2 weeks.

If you’ve got longer hair, you might spend a little longer in the shower on the days you wash your hair.

With long hair, while you may need to brush it and make sure it’s nourished, but you only need to go to the barber for a clean-up every 4-6 months. And even then you’re just trimming the split ends. I’d argue you actually save money in the long run.

Another point is that when men have shorter hair they tend to wash their hair more often, especially if they sweat daily.

This is actually not healthy for your hair as the surfactants in most drug store shampoos are really harsh on your hair.

You start to learn how to better take care of your hair and you realize you don’t have to wash your hair every day, even if you sweat.

Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 6 – In The Movies

Short hair argument

James Bond, Superman, Captain America, Peaky Blinders, Any military movie.

Some of the most masculine men in movies have short cuts.

Whether it’s a texturized quiff, a military buzz cut, or an undercut like in Peaky Blinders, most of the heroes, spies, or bosses all have short hair.

Long hair argument

I could say the exact same thing about long hair. Thor, Aquaman, Rambo, Conan The Barbarian, Achilles, Jon Snow, Jack Sparrow, Legolas, John Wick, Geralt Of Rivia, Tarzan, Hercules. Any movie about Rock N Roll.

I mean I could go on all day naming badass dudes who rock long hair in TV and Movies. I even made a video listing the top 30.


Long Hair vs Short Hair Round 7 – Which One Looks Best?

Wow. That was an awesome battle.

So who’s the winner?

Well…. the answer is…..

It’s a tie.

I know, I know – but it’s too close to call.

Both long hair and short hair can look awesome on the right man.

What to read next? Discover the most attractive men’s hairstyles!

The post Long Hair vs Short Hair: Which Is Better On Men? appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: Long Hair vs Short Hair: Which Is Better On Men?
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Published Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 14:44:00 +0000

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