Being a man means life with a quite a few advantages: Better pay, an intrinsic ability to bond with other men over professional sports, and a somewhat mystifying grasp of barbecue meats. On the other hand, there are serious downsides. We’re talking about hair, in particular.
In the world of fashionable ’dos, it’s often taken for granted that all men live like hair models. Why wouldn’t the average dude want a man braid or a dramatic pompadour? Understandably, heading into the office with a bun is a bold move for most guys.
Still, we invite you to push limits on what’s acceptable to wear. These days, we’re seeing braids pop up everywhere. While the fabled “man braid” might have had a pop culture minute a few years ago, this style is more than just a fad. It’s visually interesting and utilitarian, not to mention a callback to the days of the Vikings. Can hair even get more masculine than that?
If you’re on the fence about braiding your hair, let us persuade you. With a few tutorial videos and a little bit of luck, you’ll be plaiting like a pro.
Dutch Braid with Fade
We’ll begin with the style that lends itself the most versatility: the disconnected undercut. For this hair look, your barber or stylist will leave length at the top of the head while closely cropping the sides into a tapered fade above the ears.
Instead of applying product and leaving the top loose, you’ll add a Dutch braid (basically just an inverted French braid) from hairline to crown.
Once you’ve mastered the Dutch braid on an undercut, you’ll be ready for more advanced styles. The fishtail braid is like a French braid, but requires two strands instead of three. This can be a little tricky the first few times, so make sure you practice before planning to take your new ‘do out in public.
One note: With fishtails, smaller strands create a more intricate-looking braid.
Viking Braid with Skin Fade
The Viking braid begins as a much more dramatic version of the disconnected undercut. Instead of leaving some fuzz along the sides, your barber will crop the style so close that scalp is visible. As much length as possible will be left along the top, creating the perfect start for a dramatic braid.
Using a braiding technique of your choice, you’ll start at the hairline and braid until you run out of hair. Tie the style off with a hair elastic, and let your braid swing in the wind.
The pompadour is a classic style—some might even call it the original undercut look. However, styling all that hair can get tiresome. To mix up your look and minimize the amount of hair falling in your face, add a braid or two to your pompadour.
We like this look best when only a small section of the pompadour is braided, just alongside the part. To make your task easier, use a long-tailed comb to delineate your braid section before beginning it. Tie off the style with a no-show elastic band.
Braided Man Bun
Here’s a style that’s a little more “hero of a period romance” than “fierce warrior,” but one that’s totally wearable nonetheless. Begin with shoulder-length hair (longer is better, here), brushing from root to tip and smoothing out any tangles.
Start braiding from the crown. We like to see a French braid, but we’re not too picky about what style you choose. Continue until you’ve reached the nape, finishing the style with a small bun.
Mixed Size Cornrows
The undeniable truth of cornrows is that they’re always easier if you’re not the one trying to do them. To ensure the best-looking braids possible, we recommend booking an appointment for this one.
Whether you wear cornrows of varying sizes across your whole scalp or opt for the disconnected undercut look, we’re into your style. They’ll make maintaining long hair so much easier while simultaneously protecting your strands from environmental and styling stresses.
If you enjoy the look of man braids but can’t quite get yourself to shave off the bottom half of your hair, you’re not alone. Luckily, edgy isn’t the only direction to take the style. On very long hair, try a simple three-strand braid down the back. It’s timeless, classic, and appropriate for almost every situation.
Feeling a little more like a country singer than a dapper movie star? Take the skills you applied to creating a braided ponytail and work your magic on two strands. The key here is starting with a perfectly even part, so grab a long-tailed comb and run it down from hairline to neck. Tie the section you’re not braiding first into a bun to keep it out of the way, then get started. You can either try a classic three-strand braid, or choose something a little more complex—we like French or Dutch braids with this style.
Long Box Braids
Box braids—so named for the square or rectangular sections of hair they’re from which they’re made—are one of our favorite styles for men with textured hair. This look is all over the fashion runways and rap scene because of its versatility and ease. If you’re looking for a style that doesn’t sit directly on the scalp, give box braids a try
Pro tip: This look is an excellent solution for unruly hair or strands you’re trying to grow out. They’ll still hang down, but not enough to get in your way.
If you’ve already opted for dreadlocks, you may be at the point when hair exhaustion sets in. The style was interesting for a few days, and then it started to bore you. We have a solution for just that problem.
Separating your dreadlocks into three sections, create a thick three-strand braid down your back. The look serves the dual purposes of getting your hair away from your face (finally!) and providing visual interest. For a beach day or travel, we can’t recommend this braided look enough.