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Why Does this Old Man Have Long Hair?

Updated on August 5, 2019
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 9 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

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Don Bobbitt, Himself
Don Bobbitt, Himself | Source

Why do I keep my Hair long?

"Hey Don, Why does someone your age have Long Hair?"

You would not believe how many times, over the years, I have been asked this stupid question.

One significant thing that I have learned though is that when you don't conform to "that other persons vision of normality" you often end up a source of personal confusion for them.

I've been questioned about this by family members, friends, casual acquaintances, and even co-workers, over the past several decades, and, I finally turned how I answered these silly questions into a little game.

A game for my own amusement, of course.

Depending on the person, and how well I knew them, and the circumstances at the moment, I would usually tailor my answer for the biggest laugh, or on occasion, just to see how easily the other person would be confused by my response.

Reasons for having Long Hair

I feel that my personal hygiene, and my personal taste in clothes, among other things, are my business, and when questioned as to my choices, I often see the question as an intrusion in my personal life.

And honestly I have to control myself anyway, so in my mind, I have a personal list of responses, developed over the years whose purpose is simply to make the questioner move on to something else to talk about.

Here are a few some of my favorite responses:

  • I can't afford a Haircut!
  • I am retired, and I can't afford a Haircut!
  • I live on Social Security and I can't afford a Haircut!
  • I am a Child of the 60's and long hair is a symbol of my rebellious nature!
  • I am part Cherokee and it helps me keep in touch with my Heritage!
  • I am on medications that cause my hair to grow fast!
  • I grow my hair long to sell for wigs!
  • I am a member of a religious sect that requires long hair on the head and a shaved crotch! Wanna See?
  • I found that I can lift heavier weights at the Gym, if my hair is long, than when it is short.
  • I keep my hair long to Piss Off bald people!
  • I sell hair accessories to Beauty Salons, and it helps me get more sales!
  • I am actually bald, and this is a wig!
  • Do I ask you why you are so UGLY?
  • Do I ask you why you have Halitosis?

Using these have all been good fun for me over the years, for different reasons, and most people realize from my response, or lack of one that they have meddled too much in my life and back off leaving me alone.

And, I have found that the persistent ones must have some kind of personal problem that forces them to be so rude, so with them I really don't feel bad about my flippant responses to them, at all

Why long Hair? ..... Really!

The real reason why I have long hair is a multi-faceted thing, and to most of you, probably pretty boring.

First of all, in High School, in the early 60's, I actually had the Beach Boys look. I had a FlatTop haircut, with bleached blond hair in front. Why? Well, I was a teenager, and I had to fit the mold, just like everyone else.

I went into the Navy for a few years, got out, found a good wife, and went to work, building a life.

I had the long hair, down to the shoulders for a number of years in the late Sixties, when it was fashionable, and I eventually cut it short in later years, again as fashion demanded.

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I have this kit and I use it to trim my hair as well as my beard. They make a quality product and mine has lasted for several years so far.

Being Ill and going through CHEMO

Then in the early Nineties, I caught a rare disease, called Wegner's. It was a near fatal disease for me, and I went through a long period of experimental medical treatments and radical drugs as a range of Doctors tried to keep me alive.

The disease pretty much wiped my Kidneys out, before the Doctors could stop it's progression, and after I was stable, I still had the disease to be dealt with.

For one of the treatments I went through, the Doctors put me through several months of Chemo-therapy, on the premise that it would possibly improve my kidney function.

At that time it was fashionable for couples like my wife and I both to gt our hair done by a hairdresser.

You know, one of those, "sit down and have a glass of wine while I take care of you" types of places.

We tipped well, and the guy was pretty good at his job, and when I became ill, he was very upset, along with us.

Anyway, the Doctors were very adamant that I was going to lose all of my hair from these treatments, so I decided to have a little fun with the whole CHEMO experience.

I mea think about it, if I was going to lose my hair, I figured let's have some fun. So I went to my hairdresser, the week before I went on Chemo, and told him to color my hair jet black.

He, of course, was appalled, but after a couple of glasses of wine he saw the humor of my plan, and said OK.

It was great! Over those weeks on Chemo, I was seeing a number of different doctors a couple of times a week, for different treatments and tests.

And when I saw all of these medical professionals, I would show up with Black hair and the next time I was a bleached Blond while the next, I would would be a flaming redhead. In between, I might have a full tight perm, or the next it would be straight long hair.

It cost a little extra, these multiple visits to my Hair huy, but I enjoyed the shocked looks I was getting, and anyway, it was all going to fall out at any time, right?

Well, guess what?

I am that one in a hundred, or whatever the statistics are, that doesn't lose his hair when undergoing Chemotherapy. Not a single noticeable hair was gone after six weeks.

My Doctor laughed at me and told me about how lucky I was.

A little dejected, I then went to my hairdresser, and told him the good news, and I tasked him to "get the color and curls out", and make my hair look like it did before the Chemo.

He gave me an odd look, that turned into a broad grin and then degraded into uncontrollable laughter.

He walked over, poured two glasses of wine, handed me one and told me to sit down, which I did.

He then explained to me that, it wasn't his fault, and it was actually mine, because no one abuses their hair like I had done over the past few weeks, and expects to escape without hair damage.

I frowned and said; Hair Damage?

He laughed, and explained that I had Fried my hair, and to fix it, the best solution was to just shave my head, and let it all grow back, new, and undamaged.

I thought for a few minutes, and accepting my fate, I grabbed his bottle of Chardonnay, sat down and let him shave my head.

Long Hair requires less care!

The great thing about having Long Hair is the fact that I don't need to get it cut every few weeks.

I had a Hair Epiphany

As my hair grew back, it again became the subject of many questions and conversations with friends, and even strangers.

The interesting thing was, as I explained about my Chemotherapy and all, most people really seemed to care more about my health than my hair situation.

So, I just kept letting it grow, and then, one day, I was able to pull it back into a Ponytail.

I suddenly realized that I had not been to a hairdresser or barber in over six months. And the thought of planning for and going to get a haircut, after all of the health problems I had gone through, just seemed like a nuisance to me, rather than a necessary service.

So I quit getting my hair cut!

It was an easy thing to do.

I have straight hair anyway, so maintenance entails washing my hair when I am in the shower, and then combing it and pulling it into a Ponytail when I get out of the shower.

Once or twice a year, my wife will grab a pair of scissors, and cut off the Dead Ends, whatever they are.

That is the sum of my hair care and maintenance program. No more being told my hair looks shaggy, or my sideburns are too long, or I need a razor cut, or whatever.

It grows of it's own volition, and I just don't worry about it.

Another Advantage of Long Hair!

There have been some other advantages of having long hair, in a world of short haired people.

First of all, it was easy for people to tell which person I was in a crowd or a large meeting. I was the guy with the Ponytail.

As I aged, I was the OLD guy with the Ponytail.

Another thing of interest is that, as an Engineer, I worked in a high-tech business.

On top of that, I spent the next dozen years or so in the R&D section of our business.

Internally, the R&D world is a very competitive area of a business, and pretty much everyone is a little wierd, typically young and highly educated.

Oh, and universally, the people are non-conformist, to say it nicely.

I found that being older than most of them wasn't as much of a hinderance in communicating with my co-workers over those years as I would if I didn't also look a little non-conformist myself.

Strange but true, I am afraid. I actually fit in, by not looking like "an Old Man", but like a weird Old Engineer..

Why Long ..... Now!

Now, I'm retired and living the good life, as they say.

So, I've been asked; why don't I just cut the damned stuff off?

Well, I invite you to pick one of the reasons you see listed above, because, you see;

  1. I really don't care what other people think of me, much less my hair
  2. I am inherently lazy and I love not having to go to a barber.
  3. Even though my hair might be a little thinner, it still fits in a Ponytail.
  4. Being one of those people who still has hair, I seem to be a source of jealousy with many of my retired peers, or at least the bald ones. (Which is a lot of fun.)
  5. And finally, as long as I don't have to shave my head, the better, but I would shave it before I did such things as; a Comb-Over, a Wig, Implants, or other such silly egoist moves.

Besides, I don't know but I hear that, with all of the fashionable baldies running around today, they have a lot of nice head polishing products on the market. HMMMMMMM? Maybe?

I am actually just having too much fun living my life, even if it is with socially disturbing long hair! And, before you ask anything else.

I need to stop here and brush out my long Hair!!

Have a Nice Day!

How to Scissor Cut Mens Hair

© 2010 Don Bobbitt


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      smw1962- You know, as I mentioned in the story, I got through a lot of years with being a "curiosity" with many people.

      But, the strange thing is, now, being in my late Sixties, I get more and more of my peers who actually act like I am doing something offensive.

      I am beginning to suspect that there is some kind of jealousy going on as they lose more and more of their hair. LOL!

      But, I just keep letting it grow. A Braid isn't s thick as it once was, but, it can still be braided.

      Have a great day,


    • Anna Marie104 profile image

      Anna Richmond 

      6 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

      Great personal story and great humor! Growing up, my father always had long hair and when I was a child, his hair was as long as mine! People would ask him all the time why he didn't cut his hair and he always responded with "Why should I?" Looking back, my father was making an example that I didn't need to worry about what other people thought of me. I am still young (23) but when I see older gentlemen with longer hair, I think it is awesome!

    • smw1962 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this hub! I'm in my 50's and have had longer hair most of my life. The reason - I just like it. I can't count the number of times people have told me to cut it or suggested something "more in style". I say, let them look like everyone else, I'm going to be myself.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good on you! It's an expression of your character, and nobody has the right to deny you that. From your photograph, it looks well kept and it suits you.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      paperfacets- It is a crazy world all right.

      The young of the world consistently look at their older citizens, with their wrinkles and their ailments, and thin they will never be like that.

      Well, if they live long enough ...........


    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I don't know what people are complaining about. I don't see a scarf tied around your head. And about hygiene. How come young people think old people have questionable hygiene? That is just the wrong assessment.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I don't know what people are complaining about. I don't see a scarf tied around your head. And about hygiene. How come young people think old people have questionable hygiene? That is just the wrong assessment.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      6 years ago from Texas USA

      Very amusing. I enjoyed the read.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Cool my Man! if you got it, Grow it! ..... heard that somewhere! Glad you liked the Hub and thanks for the nice comment. And, you know that I just Gotta say it ....... Keep On Trucking!

    • zzron profile image


      9 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Awesome hub brother. I just turned 50 this year. I have a brother who is 64 and will be 65 in February. About four years ago him and I both had a long ZZ Top beard mine only went to almost my boobs before I got tired of the maintenance and trimmed it short as it is now. He let his go almost to his belly button. Anyway for almost 10 years. I had the long, thick beard. I have been a long-distance truck driver for the last 15 years. Great hub.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks for the comment Miss Pinkchic18. Yes, I am a freebird with only a few of my feathers plucked!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      9 years ago from Minnesota

      Funny hub! I say do whatever you want, and it sounds like you do!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Pamela, Thanks for reading this. Yeah, and one of the treats that I added when I retired was an ear ring. Boy, did that stir up conversations with family and friends. But, I figured ..... What the Hell, I may as well just totally ruin whatever semblance of a reputation that I still have. LOL!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love your attitude and like long hair on men. I was a teenager during the late 70's and guys had long hair then too. I guess I got used to it. I can't get used to this shorn look and am noticing long hair is making a comeback. Thank goodness.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed your story here, my friend. I have long hair, too. In your case, since you were so fortunate as not to lose your hair in chemo, I would surely keep it as a badge of honor. "Almost cut my hair. Happened just the other day. It was gettin' kinda long. I could have said it was in my way." :D

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks Fetty. I appreciate that you appreciate twisted humor! I looked at your stuff, it's good so keep writing those hubs!

    • fetty profile image


      10 years ago from South Jersey

      Great read as well as very funny and moving personal story. I can believe how rude some people can be asking such a personal question. I also believe that your personal style is personal. A choice just to please yourself. Maybe next time when someone asks you about why you wear your hair so long, blonde, black , etc. You might respond, " Because I can!" You have a wonderful joy for life and it shows ! Oh, Great hub!


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