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  1. #1
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    My long hair on tour

    OK, I'm leaving in two days for a 50 day tour, a lot of it through the south. My hair is rather long and I always wear it in a ponytail. Is this going to be a problem for me? Anyone have ant experience?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I have hip-length hair ... and I've cycletoured in many parts of the world, and for some fairly lengthy tours. I wear my hair in a long braid when I ride, and I wash it when I shower in the morning. Quick and easy.

    How did you manage your hair on your short practice tours? Just do the same thing on the longer tour.

  3. #3
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    Machka, No problems on short, local tours. A lot of guys around here have long hair.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwpshaw View Post
    Machka, No problems on short, local tours. A lot of guys around here have long hair.
    If you had no problems on your shorter tours, you shouldn't have any problems on longer tours. Just do whatever you did then.

    If you're staying in campgrounds or hotels, use the showers to wash it. If you spend a few days wild camping, your hair will survive not being washed for a few days. I like wearing mine in a braid so that it doesn't flap around in the wind and I hope it gets less road dust etc. in it too.

    However, if I've washed it in the morning, and put it into a braid almost right away, I like to undo it when I get to camp at the end of the day to allow it to finish drying. Sometimes the braid can prevent it from drying thoroughly. Cycling for a month in Queensland where it was hot and humid, and where we either went swimming in the ocean or a short tropical storm blew through, my hair was almost always wet, and I did feel a little bit concerned that it might start to mold or something if it didn't dry thoroughly. But that was really my only concern with my long hair.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    rwpshaw:

    Are you a guy, or a girl? Are you asking about maintenance of your hair, or are you asking if the people down south will have a "problem" with your long hair?

    Having traveled all over (and I mean ALL over) the US for business, I can say that men everywhere in this country get away with having long hair. The only time you might have a problem is if you get stopped by the cops somewhere in the deep south. If you don't do anything wrong, this shouldn't be an issue.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Guy. Prejudices in the south is my concern.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwpshaw View Post
    Guy. Prejudices in the south is my concern.
    It's the south, not the 1950's! Don't worry: Lynyrd Skynyrd and Billy Ray Cyrus made it OK for guys to have long hair

  8. #8
    Senior Member Vintage_Cyclist's Avatar
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    Prejudices of the south seems to be the only problem.

    Try not to watch a Deliverance / Easy Rider double feature before the trip.

  9. #9
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    Living in the South, I see a lot of guys with long hair all the time. Yesterday in Walmart I saw a guy with a mullet that went half way down his back.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    I've bike toured through the south with long hair. Honestly I've caught more crap in the northeast than the southeast about it. Out west it seems almost as many guys have long hair as short. I wouldn't worry about it.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    If it were me I would just cut it. Short as possible. Male or female. Just makes things a lot easier. I do see why a woman would want to keep their hair long but there should be less issues for a guy to cut their hair.

    As others have said for sure there are lots of men in the south with long hair. But those are locals and you are traveling on a bicycle. You might already be considered a vagrant in some parts of the country just from being on a bicycle alone. You don't need anything else to attract unwarranted attention.

    I say cut it. Easier and safer. You can always regrow it later if you want.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    washing my hair in a sink at a cafe in the morning, with the Cups of coffee and breakfast, is easier if its not long .

  13. #13
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    And being cooler. I don't think that was mentioned. I imagine short hair would be a lot cooler and less hair to catch sweat.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Don't listen to them, keep it long for as long as you can. Sooner or later it will all fall out on it's own. It's beginning to seem like if you have any hair anywhere on your body, you must be some sort of weirdo. Look at todays action stars, most of them are bald as a bat, and they get all the chicks....what's going on in the world? Keep it long.

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I doubt you will have a problem because of your hair. As was said already, it is the south not the 50's.

    OTOH, I do find that it is easier that I buzz my hair really short before most tours or backpacking trips, but I do that only for convenience. Hair long enough to tie back might actually be easier to deal with than medium length hair, but you are used to wearing it long so that probably isn't an issue for you any way.

  16. #16
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    washing my hair in a sink at a cafe in the morning, with the Cups of coffee and breakfast, is easier if its not long .
    Me too, I find it much easier getting the bits of pancake or grits out of my hair when its short, although the coffee smell lingering tended to be about the same whether long or short.

  17. #17
    elcraft
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    Let your "Freak Flag fly"...... I have seen plenty of Southern men with long hair.

  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elcraft View Post
    Let your "Freak Flag fly"...... I have seen plenty of Southern men with long hair.







    Just sayin.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwpshaw View Post
    Guy. Prejudices in the south is my concern.
    I'd think some one living in "Gainesville, FL".... could trust their own feelings/instincts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I doubt you will have a problem because of your hair. As was said already, it is the south not the 50's.
    When I briefly moved to Lubbock, TX in the '90s, I had a conversation with a salesman from whom I was purchasing a couple hundred grand of equipment regarding the local housing market. I was astonished at the level of segregation. He explained that if a black family purchased a house on the white side of town, they would face unending hostility and likely violence because all the houses for a couple of blocks would lose a substantial fraction of their value. Then he looked at me with my hair down to my waist and my wife with her two-inch long hair and said, "You're going to have the same problem because your hair is too long, her hair is too short and you're not from around here."

    Okay, it's not the '90s any longer and maybe things have gotten better. But let's not pretend that these sort of issues in the south (and other places) ended in the '50s.

    Other than reducing the potential for unnecessary harassment, I tend to keep my hair (what's left of it) short for tours just to make it easier to keep clean.

  21. #21
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    Ha, ha, ha, ha. I love the responses. I'll keep it long. I work construction so keeping it clean is regular thing as it gets dirty all the time. No problem.


    And thank to all of you. For your responses to several of my posts and waylaying my concerns. I'm off Tuesday on my ride. I hope to see one or two of you along the way.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Good luck, ride safe, and have fun.

    I'm jealous. I'm one of those lucky guys that couldn't grow hair on my head since my early 30's. However, I probably get more kisses on the top of my head than you hairy guys

    On the other hand, I sure do get some strange looking suntan patterns up there.

    It was getting a little long here! And no, we are not having a garage sale.
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-13-14 at 11:59 PM.

  23. #23
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    I thought the south was the bastion of long hair, but then it depends how you use it. Does it look sensitive hippy, metro ponytail dude, or like you can only use the sink when the cat is done with her litter. The latter being the key to the south.

  24. #24
    Senior Member clayton c's Avatar
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    Not too much flack except in Florida and Texas. It seems they tend to be a little more confrontational as in vocal than the other Southern states I encountered. I suspect homeless and political stereotyping was the issue. No violence, just rude comments or a dumb remark sometimes.

    I had a 10 liter water bladder with a shower nozzle attachment and it worked well for washing long hair. I think there are some solar heated bladders that would be nice to use.

  25. #25
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    I think I would be more worried about bubba the redneck and his reaction to wearing Lycra!

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