Sacrificing identity for a greater cause
By VICTORIA CISNEROS, Student Writer
You may know Chris Healy (2004) of The Longhairs from his appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank” or from his viral hair whipping video during a 2018 Fresno State home football game, but Chris’ latest venture actually involves him chopping off his iconic golden locks.
Chris and his business partner Lindsay Barto started their company, The Longhairs, in 2014 as a way of creating a community among men with long hair and selling Hair Ties for Guys. Since its beginning, the company has donated one dollar from each sale to Children With Hair Loss, a charity organization that provides hair pieces to children who suffer from medically-related hair loss.
“To date we’ve donated over $25,000 to that specific organization, and they are the only organization of their kind who provides the wigs to children 100% free of cost.”
Now that The Longhairs have a steady foundation, they’ve got a bigger goal in mind — staging the Guinness World Record for most hair donated to charity in 24 hours. This March 16th event, The Great Cut, will benefit Children With Hair Loss and take place at San Diego’s Broadway Pier, where 300 hair professionals will attempt to perform 2,000 haircuts across 100 cutting stations in a span of 12 hours.
“The current record is 181 pounds that was set in 2015 by a group in the Philippines. For them, they had 1,345 people cut their hair. So, we are shooting for 2,000 people to cut their hair to ensure that we do in fact break the record.”
“Me personally, I plan to cut 18 inches of hair and donate it, but my partner Lindsay, there are rumors that he may buzz his hair all the way down and donate all of it.”
Even after an 18 inch haircut, Chris’ hair will still be long enough to test his company’s products. On the flip side, his partner, Lindsay, plans to grow his hair out again to join their customers in embracing some of the awkward stages of hair growth.
“We’re thinking big here, and if we can pull this thing off, we can show the world that it’s okay to have long hair… Now all the guys and men out there who have ever thought about growing it out, but they were told not to because it’s not professional… or it looks bad, or whatever, now all those guys will have a rock solid reason to grow their hair out.”
“Our big picture goal here is nothing short of a shift in the cultural perception of men and boys with long hair in America.”
Chris’s optimism about breaking the record stems from his belief that people are willing to sacrifice something of their own in order to help others in need.
“People care and people can be inspired. If we can create a spark, then we think that people will want to help…”
Chris understands that by cutting his hair, he’s losing a part of what makes him a longhair. Even still, his mind is made up and he’s determined to show the world the difference that can be made when we’re willing to stand together.
“I have been growing it for seven years and it’s almost down to my waist. It really has become a part of my identity, a part of my business, a part of the way I look — I’ve gotten attached to it — but just knowing that my hair is going to go to a child who would be going to school with no hair otherwise, and it’s gonna grow back, and finally we’re doing this together.”
To learn more about The Great Cut, visit https://thegreatcut.us.
Update: 2,834 donors and 339.14 pounds of hair later, Chris Healy and The Longhairs broke the Guinness World Record for the most hair donated to charity in 24 hours.
Chris is grateful for the overwhelming support they received from “hair professionals, volunteers, sponsors, family and friends [who] rallied to fill in wherever help was needed.” He was most inspired by “the guys in their 20’s or 30’s, who came alone, cross country, guys who had been following us for three or four years, grown their hair out with us, and now, when we ask them to cut it, they travel thousands of miles to come and cut it — with us.”
Following the event, The Longhairs announced that they will host The Great Cut again in 2024. Between now and then, Chris and his business partner Lindsay look forward to refocusing on their business and using the event’s momentum to drive it forward.