The man bun—a look we sort of never thought would last, something reserved for guys who also never leave home without a leather jacket, a motorcycle, and lots of rings. But it only seems to be getting more widespread. It’s true that the “ungroomed” look for men’s grooming has been in for a while, but when even Groupon rolls out a $10 clip-in bun for men, is it safe to say that this trend has come undone? Have we reached a saturation point as a culture or will it not be long until dudes start going full ? Listen here, Wilson.
Are they still cool?
Since David Beckham debuted the look that brought ’em mainstream back in 2003, we’ve since seen man buns crop up on a slew of Hollywood stars, athletes, cool bros, new dads, et al—Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper—the list goes on. A few of these high-profile man bunners have since snipped their top knots, some are just beginning their journey. El Segundo, California-based toymaker Mattel recently announced they’re releasing a version of Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend, for those unfamiliar) with—you guessed it—a man bun. It’s safe to say that these buns ain’t going nowhere. At least for now.
Trends aside, what really matters is what works best for you. If you’ve got medium-length to long hair—whether you’re trying to grow it out, or life got in the way and you skipped a few haircuts—you know that hair, too, can sometimes get in the way. Even if you’re feeling the longer, shaggier new you—your neck gets hot, your hair flies in your face, or maybe you just want to mix up your look once in a while. We say, if you’re going to take a dip in these murky man bun waters, do it right, and keep it low-maintenance. It’s actually pretty simple, so long as you’re not stealing all your girlfriend’s hair ties. A few things to keep in mind, bun brethren:
What About Washing?
It really comes down to personal preference—some bunners swear by once daily routine, while others will tell you they’ll go upwards of 2 weeks at a time without washing their hair (gross). We don’t advise this, particularly if you’re a gym-goer (if you use the gym for more than just a social activity, chances are you’re going to sweat… and if you sweat, you’re going to want to wash your hair, trust us). Whatever your preference, you’re going to want use a 1-2 shampoo + conditioner regimen.
A good, nutrient-enriched shampoo will repair and cleanse without drying, while a coconut-infused conditioner will help deliver natural nutrients essential for healthy hair growth and act as a remedy for dry already hair and scalp.
Do You Need Any Product?
Something everyone deals with after washing their hair is frizz. If you have thick, wavy or curly hair and want a natural-feeling man bun, a little grooming cream with light hold is your best bet—throw it in while your hair’s still damp and it’ll take care of the frizz no problem. For a more gritty, lived-in look (regardless of hair type), you’ll want to opt for a texturizing spray, which can be used pre- or post-blow drying.
Don’t Pull Too Tight
Ideally the man bun is more about function than fashion, so it should definitely be comfortable and easy to wear. Gather the hair tightly enough to stay secured in a bun, but don’t pull it so tight that your sore scalp will be paying for it later.
Find a Midpoint
Placement is important. The eventual bun should sit somewhere on the back-center of your head. Make sure to get any stray hairs at the bottom that can tend to fall out and grab them into your hand. You can also tame the strays with a finishing spray
To actually complete your man bun, pull your hair back into a mid-high ponytail, wrap the hair tie around twice, then on the third pass simply tuck the end into the band. All there is to it! Now get out there—you’re ready for a full man bun day.