Is It Manly To Have Long Hair?

Fashions come, and fashions go, and as the saying goes, there is not much that is new under the sun! Long hair on a man is one of these fashion statements that become popular, then fade away, only to enjoy a resurgence in popularity in the next cycle of public perception! But speaking as a man, is it considered manly to have long hair, despite the latest fashion trends?

Long hair can be manly, but it is not the length of a man’s hair that makes him manly or not. Rather, a man’s demeanor, inner strength, ability to lead, take care of the weak and helpless, protect and defend those who are close to him, and being a good human being. These attributes make a man manly!

There are certain male traits and characteristics that determine whether a man is manly or not, and these have remained the measure of a man throughout the centuries. The length of a man’s hair very seldom has any bearing on the manliness of a man, but it can influence the first impression that is perceived about the man.

Men With Long Hair in Historical Times

In the days when men were barbarians, pretty much every man had long hair, and it was often viewed as a status symbol, and their har decorated with talismans of their prowess.

Think about Conan, the barbarian; would he have portrayed as fearsome an image if he had short hair? I think a clean-cut hair hairstyle would have reduced his perceived manliness!

As man has become civilized, the perception of men with long hair has changed a number of times, often with cycles being repeated throughout the ages.

In times gone by, many men grew their hair for religious reasons as well, and their long hair was a symbol of devoutness and commitment to their faith.

In more recent times, men have grown their hair for more superficial reasons. For some, it has been in protest and to show their rebellion against societal norms, or simply as a fashion statement.

Society has gone through various times where long hair was acceptable on a man and other times where it was frowned upon.

Modern Men With Long Hair

This cycle has occurred several times over within the space of our own lifetimes. As recently as the 1960s, clean-cut short hair was the norm for most men. Then along came the Beatles with their “long hair,” which wasn’t even on their shoulders at that time!

They were considered to be bad boys, the long-haired rebels from Liverpool! Their choice to have longer hair gave them a certain public image. The older generation looked on them with disdain and did not consider them as manly, while the younger generation looked at them as heroes!

Since then, long hair has been viewed in some circles as cool and manly, while in other circles, it is still viewed as a disgrace and something that is not manly.

Since the days of the Beatles, long hair on men became associated with rock and roll. And, of course, long hair became a symbol of everything associated with rock and roll; sex, drugs, wild living, and wild women. Long hair on a man was an icon of a rebellious rock and roll lifestyle and was still seen as uncouth in general society.

If you were a businessman or a serious career-oriented person, you had short hair. No banker or insurance broker, stockbroker, or corporate executive would ever consider growing their hair long.

However, if you were a rocker or a biker riding your motorcycle in a gang, having your hair long was a way of “sticking it to the man” and showing your disdain for mainstream society.

And nobody would dare accuse a hell’s angels member of not being manly because of his long hair; you probably would not survive the encounter!

Even in these more conservative times, the length of the hair was less of a designation of manliness than other traits of a man. Some men with long hair look manly, while other men with long hair do not. Likewise, some men with short hair have an air of manliness about them, and some with short hair do not.

Society has become more free-and-easy in recent times, and long hair on a man is not viewed with as much prejudice or disdain as it has in the past. Now it is not unusual to see businessmen with long hair or rock stars with a clean-cut hairstyle.

Does Long Hair Look Manly?

Manliness is less denoted by the length of a man’s hair than by the man himself. So, if the length of a man’s hair does not portray his manliness, what other attributes do make a man manly?

Manliness means different things to different people, and if you ask the fairer sex what their perception is of manliness, you will get as many different answers as the women you ask.

If you take a look at the measure of men throughout the ages, there are a number of attributes that stand out that cause them to be viewed as manly.

  • The man’s demeanor. A man who has an air of authority, confidence, and conveys the impression that he knows what he is doing is often looked upon as an attribute of manliness.
  • Inner strength. A man that shows himself to be strong and has an inner calmness about him gives those around him a sense that he is in control and can make a difference in any situation.
  • A man who does not shrink back. Manliness is often seen to be a man who will step up when the situation demands action and not sit back and wait for someone else to do something.
  • A man who is willing to take charge. A man is often seen to be manly if he is willing to display leadership ability and lead others when leadership is needed.
  • A measure of sensitivity. A man who is a bully and preys on the weak is not viewed as manly, but a man who displays a level of sensitivity to others and protects and defends the weak and the helpless is seen as more manly.
  • Self-sacrifice. A man who is willing to help others at his own expense or with less concern for his own wellbeing over the needs of others can be viewed as a trait of manliness.
  • Taking care of those you love. A man who is willing to protect, defend and take care of those who he loves is a man who is perceived as being manly and is someone who others admire and look up to as a good example of what a man should be.

These features and characteristics of a man are what determines his manliness. Some men do not have the ability to grow their hair long, but rather have a bald head. The manliness of these men cannot be judged by their lack of hair any more than a man’s manliness can be judged by the length of his hair!


Long hair trends come, and long hair trends go, and men grow their hair and cut their hair depending on stages in their lives. The length of a man’s hair is not an indication of his manliness. A man can be manly with long hair as easily as he can be manly with a short back and sides haircut!

The measure of a man is not the length of his hair in the same way that it is not in the size of his biceps. Most women would also agree, I am sure that the manliness of a man is more in his character, rather than in his appearance. Of course, the package is more appealing if a manly man is well-groomed, so whether he has long hair or a military buzz cut, or no hair at all, the impression will be much more marked if it is obvious that he cares about his appearance and makes an effort to look good.

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