Okay gentlemen, I'm looking for some advice.

I've seen old pictures of my father when he had long hair and a beard and always thought it looked bad ass.  I have the beard thing down, but growing out the hair still hasn't happened.

I figured I should have long hair once before I die, or, before it falls out.  My long time girlfriend is on board with the idea, but surprisingly can't really offer me any tips.  I've tried to grow it out numerous times, but end up getting frustrated and buzzing it off.  My head gets too hot, too itchy, or it just looks lame. Instead of my dad's hair, I was born with my mother's, which is super thick and wavy, and literally feels like it weighs a ton.  When it was kind of long a while back (like 4 inches) I looked like a damned carrot top.

I've heard that once you get past the "awkward" stage, you're golden, but how long does it last? I wear a hat most of the time anyway, so 'styling' it isn't really a big deal while its growing out.  I am also a returning student, so no need to appease bosses or clients.

I was having a beer with a friend who has long hair and he mentioned the key for him was getting it "thinned out" now and then... I've never heard of this but maybe I should just find a good barber (I usually do it myself with clippers) or *gag* hairstylist?.

Anyway, to you men with long hair, how did you make it happen, how long did it take, and what tips can you share? 

(pic for inspiration)

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I would suggest a good Barber, I'm growing my hair out as well, and my barber had very good advice on what to do, and what not to do. getting it trimmed and thinned every once in a while helps it grow without slowing.

I definitely second getting long hair regularly thinned. I have thick, wavy hair too and if I let it grow I get all the feelings the OP is complaining of. Getting the weight taken out of it is crucial for comfort.

I always hated getting haircuts. So one day, I stopped. As a minor, my parents agreed to let me grow it out if I kept it clean and out of my face, so I just let it grow and do what it was gonna do. It's down past my shoulder blades now, thick brown curls that I keep brushed back behind my ears and hold in place with a flat cap so they don't get in my way when I'm working or anything. I didn't go into it for the look, I just hated getting hair cuts, so that's about the way it happened. I think the flat cap makes up for any manliness lost. As for facial hair, what I've got isn't quite filled in to such a point that I would really grow it out, but one day I think I'd like to save money on shaving materials and suchlike, and the idea of a beard appeals to me.

At the moment I also tie it back if I'm working around equipment, and it works just fine. I might hack it off one day, if I go to work for my brother on the ranch over the Summer months, but we'll see.

I recommend just letting it grow and leave it be. The uncomfortable stuff goes away later, and once you can either tuck it behind your ears or tie it back, it's great. Just roll with it and see how it goes. If you don't like it, cut it, otherwise, do whatever works for you. I suppose you could ask a decent barber for any help, if it's a big deal to you, otherwise... Just leave it be and keep it clean.

This sounds very much like my story of why I have long hair. I just didn't like haircuts, so I  stopped getting them regularly when I was about 13 (I'm 20 now). I still got it cut short about once a year for a few years after that, but it now hasn't been cut for almost two years, and I love it.

Unless you are a fur trapper traversing the northwest territory, the yukon, or alaska; I wouldn't even bother with long hair.

I don't really have any advice for you, but I decided to throw in my dad's highschool graduation picture, which I think is beyond awesome.

I suggest the classic Oster 76.  More than enough power for the task.

There is going to be a point where it gets annoying, but once you get past that, it is smooth sailing. That and keep it thinned out. 

i have long hair past my shoulders. two and a half feet to be exact. I can still wear my three piece suits daily along with my bowler and have no problem. it took me around 5 years to get it how i like it. anyway in my display pic, there is hair hidden behind that hat haha.

I'm mostly going to mirror everyone else here. I have thick, heavy, and straight hair so the awkward phase can really be awful for me. What worked for me was styling it differently while it was in that odd phase and just putting up with it. Having long hair is a cinch getting to that point is a pain in the ass. I didn't bother with any cuts or styling which may have been a mistake, but I figure any cutting will only make it take longer to get to the length I want.

Just an update: 

I took a long break from this site since it was distracting me from my brutal course load at school last year.  Taking a much more manageable load this year.

I still haven't cut my hair, though, since about February.  I had it thinned and trimmed in July and it made a HUGE difference in comfort.

I would say its about 5" now, and getting pretty damn close to being able to tie it back.  Wearing a hat has been getting me through the awkward stages.  I came really close to cutting it recently but am deciding to stick it out.

Beard growth is now commencing with the return of Fall and Elk season approaching.

As bizarre as this sounds, the best way to encourage hair growth is to cut it.  Just trim it...like the very tips.  And, of course, diet.

 

But it sounds like you've got it under control.  Congratulations on achieving the look you wanted!

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