The difference a haircut & shave can make.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 24, 2012
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Elegance is found in simplicity. It allows no resentment, and is a reflection of our basic goodness. And—it is free. You look great either way, I’m telling you.

Bonus: how to begin each day elegantly, as in simply:


The above gent looks awesome before (Hipster Three Musketeers) and after (GQ? Jason Staham?).

In response to 1000s of furious elephant beard appreciators: I feel your pain.

The below photos and subtext offer just one perspective, which isn’t particularly mine. I have blogged up about mustaches and beards many times, and wear them myself. We welcome many voices. Beards are awesome. I grow one every year. I think the point is, is that how we manifest outwardly has an effect on our inward health, and vice versa.

Long hair? Short hair? Beard? Clean-shaven? Neither is better than the other. But sometimes…cleaning up our act outside can air out the inside.

Cleaning up our environment. Cleaning up our room. Sitting up, and relaxing.

Cleaning up our act. It’s often simple, and powerful.

Be sure to click all the photos, below, if you like:

Relephant bonus!


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


33 Responses to “The difference a haircut & shave can make.”

  1. Aminda says:

    I don’t understand? so we are to judge people on their hair? people with long hair are not as smart? what is this saying?

    I know the top one I much prefer that beautiful hair and that epic mustache — just sayin’ 😛

  2. weird it wouldn't let me post as ME — so I suppose I could have laughed … but I have to say I'm sort of biased — I love men with long hair and even more if they have handle bar mustaches and look like they would be comfortable in pirate hats — isn't it weird that we make associations based on hair?

  3. Sara says:

    My husband is a long haired lout (too lazy to go to the hairdressers). I'll have to show him these photos lol.

  4. Katherine says:

    I think it's a commentary on just how stupid it is to judge people by their hair. We don't know anything about any of these people. They certainly didn't change their personality based on a haircut. Read between the lines! Stop judging people based on their looks. Know them by their actions alone.

  5. Ken says:

    what a degrading post -to judge people by their looks – maybe Jesus and Paramahansa Yogananda should have gotten haircuts so they would be better persons

  6. rod says:

    I have to say that I too am confused by this post. It seems to be endorsing cleaning up your act — much as Trungpa Rinpoche ultimately did — but at the same time does seem to be kind of speaking against those whose acts are *not* “cleaned up.” Which is, to me, unfortunate.

  7. poeteek says:

    in almost each instance I prefer the BEFORE pix.

  8. Geoff says:

    you mean i can't get a job on wall street unless i cut my dreadlocks? aw man what was i thinking 🙁

  9. Ash says:

    I too, am confused by the point of this article. It seems to be condemning those with long hair. But then again, it could be a post on how to not judge a book by its cover.

  10. Pat Pendleton says:

    Equally interesting transformations can be applied to women – with professional makeup and hair versus without. Society judges women on youth, beauty, and status based on such style choices. We can say "don' judge others based on superficial criteria," but as long as we have eyes and preferences, we will.

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Via Facebook:

    Pretty harsh comments about those with long hair… not funny at all some of them, just social slurs on non conformists.. Very odd stance?

    Jesselyn Dullea Ha!

    Shira Claire Karuna Charis Agreed, Christine. I did not find this funny. I know it is not trying to be serious, but still…..

    Jennifer Finney Is the post meant to be sarcastic?

    Diana Sands Call me an old hippy, but I think at least half these guys look better and more interesting with more hair. The first one looks very individual and creative with his hair and a bit scary and up tight without it!

    Pat Duffy It seems this article missed it mark. not funny or very informative
    3 hours ago · Like
    Choga Nyima I sure hope that Hippster thing, is on it's way out? I guess it's a matter of perspective. I enjoyed it and got a few smiles out of it. The intro is not meant to be sarcastic, but as a literal intro to what the pics say. I do think we have subconscious social stereotypes and judge people by their looks to a certain extent & upon a first impression. Unintentionally, of course. But all viewpoints are welcome here. ~ AB

    Daniel Brennan Clearly satire, but made me self-conscious and insecure with my long hair and beard rather than comfortable and smiling about those stereotypes.

    Andrew Kubak EJ now doing cute and funny oprah makeover style articles for guys. * vomits* Maybe something else needs to be cleaned up.

    Diana Sands We do have stereotypes and assumptions. My assumption that long haired guys are going to be creative, alternative, open to things like yoga and meditation, is a stereotype just as much as the authour's assumption that they are going to be criminal low-life. I am quite suprised that people in the supposedly open-minded, tolerant, accepting yoga community react this way to long hair or think that the general population would see it this way. This article is less about long hair vs. short hair, and more about 1) the photos and their satirical captions, which as someone who too-rarely shaves and often has had long hair I found funny and 2) about the intro, the notion of cocoon and uplifting / respecting our immediate environment.

    You can take offense if you want to, of course. ~ Waylon

  12. elephantjournal says:

    I said the same about the top photo…did you read the commentary?

    This post is less about long hair vs. short hair, and more about 1) the photos and their satirical captions, which as someone who too-rarely shaves and often has had long hair I found funny and 2) about the intro, the notion of cocoon and uplifting / respecting our immediate environment.

    You can take offense if you want to, of course. ~ Waylon

  13. elephantjournal says:

    Yawn. Clearly you didn't read the post. The photos are meant to be…you know, funny. Your spiritual idols had a sense of humor—the surest mark of a mind free of torment.

    Again: This article is less about long hair vs. short hair, and more about 1) the photos and their satirical captions, which as someone who too-rarely shaves and often has had long hair I found funny and 2) about the intro, the notion of cocoon and uplifting / respecting our immediate environment.

    You can take offense if you want to, of course. ~ Waylon

  14. elephantjournal says:

    For me, it was more personal. When I don't bother to slow down respect my immediate environment—clothes on the floor, not shaving, not showering, not doing laundry, not doing dishing—it effects my internal happiness and clarity.

    And, I personally found the photos funny…and as I've said elsewhere I've had long hair and don't shave many times.

  15. elephantjournal says:

    Good for you, having an opinion. Say why?

  16. elephantjournal says:

    Hah. Point taken. We could do a post of the reverse, showing how happy and relaxed folks are who don't "conform."

  17. elephantjournal says:

    The point for me was 1) the photos were funny, to me, and 2) cocoon, which I talked about in the intro.

  18. elephantjournal says:

    This is not about judging, but rather more personal…see the discussion of cocoon (not that anyone else has done so)…at least, for me.

  19. elephantjournal says:

    Here's the link in the intro, which few seemed to have clicked:

  20. Sarah says:

    I think the fact that so few people understood this example means that it should be clarified upon further in the article.

    Granted, I don't feel that these men aren't shaving or getting haircuts out of laziness. I feel that many of them probably put great effort into their outward appearance and are likely internally content. The upkeep of long hair takes effort. If you don't exert that effort then you will perhaps not be respecting the immediate environment. I don't know. I appreciated the satire, but not the presentation. It was confusing.

  21. Karen A says:

    That was FUNNY! AND it motivated me to pick up the towels on ther floor ! … 🙂

  22. John Stewart says:

    These pictures are fucking hilarious! I love the captions and the contrasts between photos. I thoroughly enjoy how seemingly neutral, innocent pictures are condensed into a hilarious stereotype via the witty captions. If these pictures were to support anything, I think they'd be supporting hilarity and the power of humour to dig deep into the Collective Judgement to help release such stereotypes of the mental/emotional hold they may have over some individuals; at least lighten them up a little. Ain't nuttin like a bit of light to brighten up the dark of the forgotten and unknown.

  23. rtata says:

    “Long hair? Short hair? Beard? Clean-shaven? Neither is better than the other. But sometimes…cleaning up our act outside can air out the inside.”

    Through the fog I *think* I get what you’re alluding to.

    Although you make a hedge first, are you suggesting that cleaning up is part of stepping out of the cocoon much like good posture is?

    As for the funnies, all I saw were boring, reoccurring, stereotype tropes.

  24. Carli Susu says:

    Without a doubt, I found every single guy sexier with long hair and/or a beard. Take heed men! xXx

  25. Lorraine says:

    Excellent article Waylon, thank you. And yes, I was one of those who didn't click either, but makes total sense now. Thank you for all you do. Blessings ~ Lorraine

  26. Steven B. Fuson says:

    Not to mention just plain incorrect. If hair is a meter of "clean" women should also shave their heads, no?

  27. Carlos says:

    I´m about to stop Following Elephant hournal about this. WTF!!! So you are OK about people judging other about their looks???
    Shame on you!

  28. Man Bun Nation says:

    Wrong on so many levels, EJ. To imply that men with long hair and beards have issues with their inward health or to associate them with murderers and criminals based on how they choose to express themselves is messed up. There is a nation of ambitious man buns and bearded brethren out there that are self-aware and complete inwardly as well as being accomplished outwardly.

  29. Ana says:

    You are right – he looks a ton different in the second photo. In the first photo he looks like a genuinely likable, down to earth sort of guy. In the second photo, he looks like a slimy used car salesman or member of the Russian mafia. I’d much rather meet the “before” guy in a dark alley than the “after” guy. You can’t seriously think he looks better and he’d NEVER be considered GQ unless GQ stands for gruesomely questionable.

  30. Tiffany says:

    In your effort to criticize any judgement towards the picture with long hair you harshly judged the picture with short hair. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

    The point of the article is to poke fun at the assumptions we often make based on the outward appearances of others, whether those assumptions are postive or negative…they’re still just baseless assumptions. Long hair or short hair, it doesn’t really matter.

  31. Eva says:

    My external life is a mess, and I have lost clarity. Needed this, today. Thanks

  32. lars says:

    Satire on the internet had become very gray.Many people are getting their Hard news from the web. Not giving an early hint of satire to the reader creates misleading conjecture from an innocent. The idea of stereotyping and its failures and trying to correct that is admirable.. My observation is that many take what is presented as littoral and the truth.

  33. Matty says:

    I thought the article was exactly what any of us wanted it to be. Our own personal views are the determining factor as to how we see the article. For those that see long hair and beards as a symbol of non-conformity I would have to strongly disagree as anymore it is just as trendy as mariner star tattoos were in the early 2000's (my personal POV). Trendy does not equal non-conformity, and just because someone has a long hair, beards, tattoos, doesn't all of the sudden make them edgy or artsy, neither does it make them unmotivated, lazy, or uneducated. I once wrote a paper on what my 16 year old self would think of my 40 year old self, my response is that my sixteen year old punk rock skater kid self would label my 40 yr. old self as a conformist sell out. Why? because my 16 year old self was so concerned with being different and being a non conformist that he never stopped to realize that appearance does not make us who we are. Today, I keep my hair short, facial hair trimmed and wear a shirt and tie to work. Am I a sell out? no. Am I less artsy? No. The way I see it is that there are certain societal norms that exist, like it or not. There is no shame in tailoring ones outer appearance in order to better fit in to a work place or provide for and support their families. What gets me is how many of the people with non-conforming outward appearances are judgmental and exclusionary towards those whom are clean cut. At the end of the day it should be about who we are not what we look like, hypocrisy is an ugly friend to kick it with.