Your Ultimate Guide to the Man Bun

by Updated on May 17, 2018

Ah, the man bun. Haven’t we had a love and hate relationship with the man bun for the past 5 years? Maybe even longer? Who knows.

Footballers wear it, hipsters wear it – even your uncle seems to want to pull his hair into a bun because it’s “what the kids do these days” (he says) – and it can either go down very well or be a painful experience you’ll never want to relive.

But if you’ve decided that you’ve got no fear – and you’re going to attempt to twist your hair into a man bun anyway – well, then you are our kind of guy.

To help you shape your man bun into one you’re proud of, we have gathered the best tips and tricks from people who know what they are talking about.

They’ll help you achieve a bun of greatness – not one that needs hiding under a beanie.

Man Bun
Man Bun

What is a Man Bun?

There’s no mystery in the man bun, and it is pretty much exactly how it sounds: a bun that’s on a man’s head. It’s a hairstyle that’s exclusively for long-haired dudes out there, and it involves a ponytail, or a good bunch of hair bundled and tied together somewhere on the crown of your head. Beware – there’s a difference between a man bun and a topknot (which is essentially a man bun, but high on the head).

There isn’t just one kind of man bun out there – because that would be plain boring. There’s tons. A shaggy “full” bun, for example – gets inspiration from your lady friend’s look when she decides to hit a yoga class. It is essentially long hair tied back into a loose bun.

Some men get an undercut to accompany their man bun, which obviously creates a much bigger contrast than simply hair that’s long. Shaved sides and back, then long hair on top is a brave hairstyle – but it does look pretty damn good.

If you wonder how the man bun came about – listen up. It isn’t as recent as you may expect – in fact, man buns have existed for nearly 2,000 years. Check out the Terracotta Army and you’ll see what we mean. Or have a look at old drawings of Japanese samurai (on the online) – and you’ll get a good illustration of how it looked back then.

Is a Man Bun For You?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 20 years or so, you’ll know that David Beckham, Leo di Caprio and Chris Hemsworth are among the list of celebs that have sported the man bun (erm, some looking better than others, we think).

That said, the man bun isn’t exclusively for the rich and famous. Before you decide that you’ll be growing your hair for a year now to get to the man bun stage, how about we tell you a little bit about who should avoid the man bun?

  • A top knot will make your face seem longer, so if you’re a man with a defined bone structure, you may want to skip it. It slims down your features – and achieves the best look when combined with a beard.
  • If your hair is thin – a man bun is a no. Generally, long hair is a no for those with thin hair – no matter how much you hope that the length will compensate for the lack. It will not look good – sorry.
  • If you have incredibly thick hair – the story is very different. The man bun might look cool – but thick hair can be a pain to control and keep in place. You may curse the day you decided to tie it up into a bun – and we wouldn’t like that to happen. Plus, really thick hair can make your face look more rounded – making your head look huge. Just something to bear in mind.

How to Get a Man Bun

If there’s no talking you out of getting a man bun, then we salute you! Now, here’s how to actually get the hairstyle.

Firstly, you’ll need hair that’s quite a bit longer, obviously. We’re taking longer than a few months – possibly 6 months to a year. That obviously depends on how quickly your hair grows plus the hair length you’re at now. Remember, there are ways to speed up hair growth – such as regular trims and the right products to keep your locks healthy.

The biggest enemy to a man bun – and long hair in general – is split ends. Avoid split ends by using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, not over-washing your hair (every two days is enough) and using serums that protect your ends from environmental damage, heat, chlorine and other bad things. Ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil are golden when it comes to looking after hair and keeping it healthy.

How to Style a Man Bun

Now that you’ve achieved awesome-looking long hair – it’s time.

  • Start at the temple and brush the top section of your hair back to where you want your man bun to sit – whether it’s higher up or lower down.
  • Hold the bun with your free hand in place – then repeat with the other sections of your hair until they’re all in your hand.
  • Grab a hair band – ideally one that won’t pull your hair – and tie it all together. Remember that the last time pull it through, do so only half-way. And – you’ve got a man bun!

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