For California entrepreneurs and Shark Tank contestants Lindsay Barto and Chris Healy, a digital marketing agency wasn’t enough.
“We started out as a digital marketing agency and we realized at the end of the day, we were still working for someone else.”
The pair continued to try to “find their thing,” when it hit them out of the blue.
“Hair ties for guys,” co-founder of The Longhairs, Lindsay “El Moreno” Barto says. “We were pumped on this idea and it was essentially, the birth of what became The Longhairs.”
While Healy and Barto began with a simple product idea, they quickly realized that their concept was much larger than a single product.
“What we found during our research was that guys with long hair had no idea about which shampoo or conditioners to use, or various brushing techniques and how to maintain their long hair,” Barto says.
According to Barto, as it turns out, most guys grow their hair out when they are the mid-20s or early 30’s and learning how to maintain it is a mystery to them.
“We found a need. We both had long hair and we were constantly searching for things like, how do I tie it up, how do I shampoo and condition properly,” he says. “We found that there wasn’t any content specific to being a guy with long hair.
Although there are vast numbers of hair and beauty tutorials on the interweb, unsurprisingly, they’re mostly geared toward women with long hair.
“I want to do my hair like a guy does hair. We mixed in some ‘bro attitude’ so that our brand will resonate with guys,” he says.
The Longhairs’ “Why?”
To serve the guys who are searching for a community or place to purchase or learn about products for men, which is what the brand exemplifies.
“Before we sold products, we produced content on our website. The second year is when we launched hair ties,” Barto says.
The Great Cut – 2,000 Hair Cuts for Kids Who Can’t Grow Hair
“As business owners, we wanted to incorporate a charity aspect in everything we do; so we donate $1 from every sale we make,” he says.
The Longhairs work closely with a non-profit called Children with Hair Loss who provides real hair replacement wigs, at no charge, for children who are affected by hair loss due to cancer treatments or other medical related hair loss.
“This is our third year of working with Children with Hairloss, it’s something that we love and are passionate about,” he says. “In the last three years, we’ve raised over 30 thousand dollars on their behalf. We’ve met the staff and even the kids. What the contributions do for these kids and their families means a lot.”
Barto recalls meeting girls and boys ranging from 8-years-old to high school-aged kids.
“We’ve met young girls and boys and they’re at the ages where appearance starts to mean a lot and if they’re battling a tough disease or alopecia they’re likely to get teased,” he says. “When they get the wigs, the kids become empowered and get their confidence back–it’s unbelievable. They’re so excited—it’s powerful stuff.”
Barto claims that this was The Longhairs’ inspiration for creating this event.
“We’re going to donate 200 lbs of hair from 2,000 donors and raise $200K for Children With Hair Loss—helping provide a hair replacement for 200 kids.”
“Last year, Children With Hair Loss served 569 kids; our goal is to help them reach one thousand because there are more kids out there who need their help,” he says. “This event is more than the cut-a-thon, we’re creating a full experience for everyone involved”
The upcoming event includes:
- 14 total acts
- 12 bands including rock-and-roll, indie, hip hop, reggae
- “The Shocker” a magician/comedian
- Performances by local kids including dances and a karate demo
- Craft beer and cocktails
- Game room and lounge
- Business vendors and sponsors
The event will be located right on San Diego’s Port Pavilion on the water hosted in an indoor/outdoor venue.
The doors are open from 8am –10pm PST with music and entertainment going from 9am–10pm. Craft beer, cocktails, and food will be available to purchase at an extra cost. Also, your ticket gives you full in and out privileges all day long. The cutting floor will have 24 stations with four stylists at each station for a duration of four hours each.
The donors will have their “before” photo taken, get their haircut from the stylist, and have their “after” photo taken.
Guinness world records will be at the San Diego cut-a-thon as well.
“We’re trying to break the record of the most hair cut and donated in a 24-hour period,” he says. “We need 300 hair cutters to show up in San Diego on March 16.”
The entire event is family friendly. Barto has committed to cutting and donating 32 inches of his own hair and he hopes to continue to work with this charity because he’s passionate about helping.
The Great Cut – 2,000 Donors to help 200 Kids
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier
1000 N Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
$60 for guests/stylist/donors in February, goes up to $70 in March.
$25 for kids ages 6-12, kids 5 and under are free.
All proceeds benefiting Children With Hair Loss.
Use code CUT4KIDS for 25% off
Beauty and Bodywork Insurance offers hair stylist insurance for only $96 a year and the application can be filled out online in ten minutes or less. Visit the website to see more information on the insurance policies offered.
Ashley Baker writes about marketing, business, and insurance for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Ashley is a former Licensed Massage Therapist. She has a background in writing for state political offices, newspapers and was the web editor for two regional magazine publications. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, attending college football games or kayaking. Find Ashley on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.