Everyone has an opinion about the man bun. The style, which caught the attention of the mainstream media several years ago, sparks everything from outrage to full-on adoration.
Styling Inspiration for Men’s Hair
8 Ways To Style The Perfect Man Bun
27 November 2018
Although some would like you to believe the style is all about feminizing men, long hair has been the go-to look for males throughout history. It’s only the last few decades that have given rise to cropped, tailored-looking styles. It just goes to show how much the fashions change over time.
Still, we’d love to consider man buns and hard part haircuts part of the ongoing culture shift toward androgyny we’ve seen on runways and our TVs. It’s time for the average man to have his shot at hair equality.
If you’ve been growing your hair out in hopes of making it to the bun stage, rest assured that you haven’t reached the end of the road. There’s near endless variation when it comes to man buns. Whether you’re the lucky man who’s already mastered braiding or you’d prefer to keep most of your hair close cut, there’s a way toward your hair goals.
Knowing If The Man Bun Is For You
As with any trendy style, the man bun has been hotly debated. Is it just younger men who can wear it, or is the look open to all? Call us beauty optimists, but we think the man bun can work for any hair texture, age, or office dress code. You’ll just need to consult with a trained barber before running with the look.
Why consult a professional? Barbers are experts when it comes to flattering facial shape and making sure your facial hair works well with your overall aesthetic. A professional can help you pick a length and style that complements your personal style instead of overwhelming it.
How To Style A Man Bun
Getting started with a new style doesn’t have to be complicated. We recommend thinking of the man bun as an intentional look, not one you just leaned on instead of washing your hair. Arm yourself with an arsenal of products—we love a pomade like Baxter of California’s Clay Pomade—and set up shop in front of a mirror.
The key to the perfect man bun is having it look polished but never too perfect. Using your fingers, rake your hair straight back into a ponytail at either your crown or the back of your head. Secure the tail, then twist until it begins to wrap around itself and use another elastic to secure the style. Fluff into your desired shape.
Alternatively, you can also make a man bun on the go by creating a ponytail with a final trick that secures it into an updo. Instead of pulling your ponytail all the way through the elastic on the last loop, leave it halfway in for an easy man bun look.
Once you’ve mastered the basic man bun style, level up by incorporating braids and accessories into your ‘do. We love a man who can add a French braid or a twist to his style with confidence. We’d also recommend investing in elastics that match the color of your hair for a more sophisticated take on the style.
Man Bun Ideas
Low Man Bun
We call this first style the lazy man’s bun, and with good reason. Once you’ve figured out how to twist a ponytail holder, this style will take you approximately two minutes to complete. It’s a wash-and-go look, one that’s ideal for weekend wear.
Using your fingers, simply rake your strands back to the nape of your neck. Gather them into a bundle, then loop your hair elastic around the newly-formed ponytail. Twist the elastic, then loop it around the tail a second time. Twist your hair until it begins to curl back on itself, then pull the hair elastic over the style for the final time. With practice, that’ll get easier.
Half-Up Man Bun
Once you’ve mastered the basic bun, you’re qualified to take it up a notch. We love the half ponytail style on men because it’s the best of both worlds. You can show off your length without having your hair hang listlessly in front of your eyes all day.
Instead of pulling all your hair back, use your thumbs or a comb to trace an even line from just above one ear to the other. That top section will become your new bun. Repeating the steps you used for your low bun, create your half-up style.
Undercut Man Bun
If you’d like the versatility of long hair with all the ease of a short style, then the undercut man bun is the right choice for you. For this look, prepare for your stylist to buzz all the hair from your ears to your neck. The top section of your head, however, will retain all the edginess of long hair in a top knot.
To make sure you’re getting the best version of the look, ask your barber or stylist to let you throw up your hair into a half bun before getting started on the trim. Once he or she has evened out the resulting line, the custom buzz will be exactly the way you want it.
Taper Fade Man Bun
Once you’ve taken the undercut for a trial run, you’ll have the option to make your style even edgier with a fade. Your barber can customize where your fade begins and ends, so don’t be afraid to pipe up during your cut. After all, the best hairstyle is one that works with your day to day life.
Whether you opt for a high fade (one that happens close to your part) or a low fade (one that’s nearer to your ears), your man bun will act as the cherry on top of a very striking style.
Skin Fade Man Bun
Can’t get enough of the fade? Don’t worry, there’s a an option for you—one that’s perfect for humid summer months. Instead of leaving hair very close-cropped, the skin fade does away with any fuzz below your ears.
Sure, this look may create the illusion that you’re wearing your man bun as a decorative hat, but fashion always comes with a price tag. If you’re not quite sold on the style, we recommend trying it as a pompadour look before fully committing to the man bun.
Traditional Man Bun
Men who have taken the time to master the styling, we salute you. You belong to an elite group of hair-conscious men who are too good for the rest of the world. We recommend putting your skills to use with a simple man bun, one that’s understated but stylish.
If you already have an undercut, this style is going to take mere minutes. Starting at your hairline, pull the hair back until you reach your crown. Tie the style off with a hair elastic, creating a small bun at the high point of your head.
Working with a full head of hair, not an undercut? Start your bun at the crown of your head, pulling in all the hair from the nape. Create your bun at the base of your neck, allowing strands to fall out of the braid as they will for a messy, stylish look.
Cornrow Man Bun
If you have curly or natural hair with an undercut, wrangling it can be a challenge. Cornrows are an excellent way to protect your length while keeping your mane out of your eyes. Since these are more complex braids, we’d recommend scheduling an appointment with a professional braider.
To prep your hair for the style, apply a hair mask before your standard shampoo and conditioner routine. The extra moisture will do wonders for shine and softness.
Man Bun with Locs
Wearing locs is a real commitment. The style is timeless, sure, but it’s also weighty and challenging to pull back. Instead of developing a love-hate relationship with your locs, solve both problems by trying out a man bun.
Start by pulling your locs to the top of your head, then fold them over. Begin wrapping the remaining length around the base of your newly-formed man bun, tucking the ends in wherever possible. Secure your style with a large elastic headband, wrapping it until the look feels secure.
Interested in trying out a man bun yourself but unsure where to start? Use our salon locator to book an appointment near you.
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