In January 2014, Jared Leto showed up at the Golden Globes and thrust the man bun into the mainstream. The trend has continued to grow since that point, but some people throw more shade at the style than they do at Nickelback. What’s a guy to do when they want to rock a man bun but worry about social implications?
First off, you’re a man. Stop worrying about what other people think. It’s your hair, so do what you enjoy. Secondly, making a man bun look awesome is pretty simple if you know what you’re doing. It’s time to pull up your bootstraps, grab that hair tie and utilize this guide to create the perfect style that even naysayers will have to applaud.
What’s with All the Hate?
Even with superstars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio sporting man buns, there’s still a prominent idea that man buns are somehow feminine. Even Chris Hemsworth has been seen rocking the style. That’s right… FREAKING THOR can walk the streets with a man bun, and some people still want to talk trash.
So, what’s with all the hate? To start, some people are a little upset that the man bun still exists. Even our 2018 article on the best men’s hairstyle trends quoted an expert as saying the man bun would quickly be considered “out of date.” This prediction obviously hasn’t come to pass, so there are likely many people upset that such a rebellious trend has persevered.
When we delve really deep into what could cause such distaste for a personal hairstyle choice, though, it might all come down to gender stereotypes. One writer even stated that man buns are dangerous due to their challenging of masculinity norms. After all, the hairstyle was mostly seen on women prior to Leto taking the stage in 2014.
Of course, the ‘man buns are dangerous’ article was published back in 2016. And even at that time, the author seemed to decry the fragile cultural norms that caused complete strangers to be threatened by a hairstyle. The fact is that the taboo nature of man buns is all but gone. No one cares about outdated social mores at this point.
Moral of the story? If you want a man bun, rock a freaking man bun.
Can You Pull Off a Man Bun?
Taking a second to ignore the fragility necessary to be offended at a hairdo, we often see people who dislike the man bun simply because they don’t think everyone can pull it off. To be honest, this is a legitimate concern. After all, not every lady can looks great in bright read lipstick and not every guy can pull off a shaved head. This may leave you questioning whether you can pull off a man bun yourself.
Many of us have probably seen a guy walking around with a man bun that looked terrible on him. This shouldn’t serve as evidence, though, that he can’t pull the style off. In most cases, it’s a matter of execution. There are a variety of man bun styles, and if you choose the wrong one relative to your overall appearance, there’s a good chance you’ll be alone in bed tonight.
Before jumping into how to pull off the perfect man bun, though, we should probably acknowledge that there are a few situations in which this hairstyle might not be advisable. If you have naturally super curly hair that doesn’t loosen as it grows, it could be hard to pull off the man bun without grabbing a straightener. We’ll leave the decision on whether this constitutes ‘femininity’ in your capable hands.
If your hair is super thin up top, you might also draw attention to this fact by growing your hair long enough for a man bun. Of course, many guys opt for scalp camo that covers up these thinning spots and provides the appearance of fuller hair. For hairlines that are receding and close to Stage 4 on the Norwood Scale, a man bun could also look out of place.
Of course, issues of hair thinning can be medically or aesthetically corrected. This means whether you can pull off a man bun comes down to your overall style. Fortunately, everyone from beach bums to hipsters have learned to make this hairdo work. As long as you pick the appropriate type for your appearance – which we’ll discuss in-depth below – you can definitely pull off a man bun.
Getting Your Hair Ready for a Man Bun
If you’ve already been growing out your hair, you might be fully prepared to transition your style to a man bun. If you’re just starting out, though, there’s a bit more work involved than simply waiting for growth. Your eventual man bun will only look as good as your hair does in general. This makes proper care one of the most important steps in how to grow out your hair.
Your first step should be to pinpoint the exact look you’re going for. The ‘Business Bun’ and ‘Ninja Knot,’ for instance, have different requirements in the hair department. By coming up with a general idea of the man bun you want to sport, you’ll be able to more properly control the growth. You’ll see plenty of blogs suggesting you avoid the barber for a few months, but this isn’t advisable.
Of course, many would see getting a haircut while trying to achieve length as counterintuitive. This raises one important question, though: do you really want to look homeless? Uncontrolled hair growth is a quick way to get the left swipe on Tinder. Your barber will not only be able to make your hair presentable during the growth phase, but they can also shape it to ensure your eventual man bun looks great.
Additionally, a periodic trim can knock out those split ends that could cause long-term damage to your style. You’ll also want to use conditioner religiously while growing out your hair. After all, even Jared Leto would look like trash if his man bun was dried out and looked unhealthy. Keeping a proper hair care routine will ensure you look awesome when the time comes to pull back your mane.
Finally, there’s no shame in utilizing products to survive the awkward phases of growth. Invest in a good pomade to ensure your hair doesn’t look unwieldy while growing. It’s also okay to use hair ties during this process. Finally, no one will bat an eye if you just wear a baseball cap while grabbing a burger at McDonald’s.
Simple Man Bun Tutorial
Achieving a specific man bun style requires maintenance and appropriate trimming during the growth phase. Once your mane is long enough to pull off a bun, though, getting it right is pretty simple. We would’ve made a video to showcase the process of pulling back your hair, but that just seemed like overkill for something this simple.
Plus, there are already nearly 4.5 million video results when you type how to do a man bun into Google. If these basic steps aren’t enough for you, feel free to find a video to help out. Although, if this five-step process is too difficult, we recommend not making your bun super tight. Your brain needs all the blood flow it can get!
- Step 1: Put a hair tie around your wrist and pull all your hair together at the top of your head.
- Step 2: Pull the hair tie off your wrist and down around your hair. You’ll essentially have a ponytail at this point.
- Step 3: Grab the ponytail near its center and fold it over itself.
- Step 4: Twist the hair tie once and then wrap it around the folded ponytail.
- Step 5: Adjust the tightness of your man bun. Headaches and hindered blood flow could occur otherwise.
If this is the first time you’ve pulled your hair up into a man bun, stand in front of the mirror for a few minutes and adjust the style. It may take some trial and error when you first get started, but once you get it right, you’ll be sporting a man bun that other guys will be envious of.
Take a moment to peruse the BSG Dispatch for more tips on getting your hair and style just right.
Man Bun Styles
If you’ve been paying attention throughout this guide, you know that an awesome man bun is contingent on your specific style. What looks great on Brad Pitt, for instance, might look terrible on Jason Momoa. If we’re being honest, though, the ladies are going to love Aquaman regardless of his hairstyle. Let’s accept that we’ll never be him and just move on.
So, it all comes down to this: choose your man bun style wisely. You can always change things up later, but getting it right the first time around will maximize your ‘turning on the chicks’ potential.
The Ninja Knot
This is a pretty basic man bun, and it’s probably the most common that you’ll run into. The style embodies that of the committed Samurai – which makes it strange that it wasn’t named the ‘Samurai Knot.’ Either way, you’ll notice that the Ninja Knot doesn’t utilize the sides of your head. All attention is focused on the mane atop your dome.
An undercut is necessary to pull off this style. The back of your head and the sides should be very short. This makes your man bun ‘pop.’ This style utilizes a single bun, and you can easily sport this hairdo while waiting for additional length.
The Beach Bun
You’ll utilize a full bun to accomplish this style. It’s geared towards giving the appearance that you’re just coming out of the ocean. Heck, that might actually be the case if your home away from home is the California coast. The Beach Bun needs to be loose and should be at the back of your head at either a mid or high level.
To make things simple, aim for a Ninja Knot without any shaving around your head. This means you’ll have longer hair in the back with a bun tied nicely up top. This along with a few rebel hairs escaping the bun will easily give off the ‘I don’t care, I just came in from the beach’ look that some guys pay hundreds to accomplish.
Going Full Hipster
Some people consider ‘man bun’ and ‘hipster’ to be synonymous. Of course, we welcome you to call Tom Brady a hipster to his face. If you’re not interested in having the New England Patriots coming for you, though, you can get your own Hipster Bun in just a few steps.
First off, many guys who want this style have a beard to go along with it. This makes learning to how to grow a manly beard a priority. You’ll also need a lot of hair to pull this off – somewhere around 10 inches. This allows you to pull up a full bun but keep it loose and leave a bit of slack in your hair shaft.
Doing this will provide the appearance that your man bun wasn’t fully planned out. Because everyone knows that we just rolled out of bed looking like this.
The Business Bun
Looking at guys with different sized beards has shown us that not every style can work in every situation. This is especially the case when you’re employed in the business world. Fortunately, you can still make your desired style work with the Business Bun.
Don’t shave any part of your head like you would with a Ninja Knot. Just pull your hair back and make the bun inconspicuous. Placing it midway at the back will keep your hair looking professional even though you can see the bun from the side. You should also use pomade or another hair product to keep rogue strands in place.
Man Buns and Receding Hairlines
Choosing the right style, finding the best shampoo, knowing what to wear and a variety of other concerns will come up when you’re considering a man bun. If you’re among the nearly one-third of men who experience some form of hair loss by the age of 30, though, you’re probably wondering if you should even make the effort at all.
We’ve already discussed the fact that there are options for guys losing their hair, but you may have come across information claiming that the man bun is a bad idea for these fellas. Some researchers believe that man buns could be contributing to premature baldness due to the pressure put on your hair follicles.
It’s worth noting, though, that women sport similar hairstyles constantly. If you’re worried about a man bun possibly causing thinning hair, just keep your style loose so there’s not much tension up front. For those already experiencing some form of hair loss but still want to sport an awesome bun, check out the clinical grooming services at Barber Surgeons Guild.
Man Buns are Here to Stay
People expected the man bun trend to die off as quickly as the Harlem Shake or Kony 2012. Against all odds, though, the trend has persisted and even grown. Rocking a man bun doesn’t magically make a guy less masculine, and this popular hairstyle can actually be pulled off by anyone with the proper commitment.
Man buns aren’t going anywhere. Fortunately, you can make this hairstyle look great with appropriate care and the right wardrobe choice. And when you run into guys who hate on your new ‘do,’ just remember that you’ll likely be occupying real estate in their girlfriends’ minds later!
If you need help pulling off the perfect man bun or improving your overall look and appearance, visit us at Barber Surgeons Guild to nail down your perfect style.