“It takes a few years to grow it out,” Chris Healy tells me on a call. “Once you have long hair, it’s a part of your identity.”
The Longhairs cofounders Lindsay Barto (El Moreno) and Chris Healy (El Rubio).
Photo: The Longhairs As the longtime owner of a gorgeous mane, Healy has navigated the pitfalls of that identity. “Up ‘til now you’d have to go to the women’s haircare aisle to find hair ties and other products,” he explains. “It’s a little bit embarrassing. You’re trying to hide the hair ties in the shopping basket with an oil can and a football. It’s an awkward, uncomfortable experience because they’re all really made for women. So we set out to create not just a product, but a community.”
That community is The Longhairs, which Healy, 35, and cofounder Lindsay Barto, 31, started in December 2014. The two have their own digital marketing agency called Round Two Creative Group. A few years ago, they hit on the idea for a new business, which they would call Hair Ties for Guys. Both were in the process of growing out their hair at the time and realizing the trials and tribulations that went along with that. They conceived of and wrote up a commercial before they even had any products to sell.
Since they had no product for which they needed a commercial, they decided to launch a website first, with four blog posts and an inaugural holiday party called “Long Manes and Candy Canes” to celebrate. “Our audience has grown considerably. It started with two, which is both of our moms,” Healy says. The Longhairs now gets more than 22,000 unique visitors per month, and it has a robust email list and a YouTube channel with almost 12,000 subscribers. On the site, Healy and Barto go by the handles El Rubio (the blonde) and El Moreno (the brunette).