man with his hand in his hair

Man Bun Styles & Advice

The man bun is one of the most popular alternative hairstyles for men. But where did it come from? And how can you rock it?

the man bun

All about the man bun

Although it may seem like one of the latest hairstyle trends, the man bun has been around for thousands of years in a variety of styles. When thinking of the man bun many images spring to mind: David Beckham in the Real Madrid years, historic Japanese Samurai warriors or long haired surfers.

Whatever your stance on the man bun, or if you would like to grow one, there's no denying its popularity as an alternative male hairstyle throughout history.

 

the man bun

The history of the man bun

The origins run far deeper than you may think. Looking at the ancient Chinese Terracotta Army you will notice that many of them exhibit a style of man bun - dating all the way back to 210 BC and the first Emperor of China. Further styles of man bun have been popularised throughout history by the likes of Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Japanese Samurai's from the 12th - 19th century right up to modern day styles of man bun as showcased by celebrities such as Jared Leto and Jason Momoa.

Similar to body hair, many hairstyles fall in and out of fashion, with pop culture undoubtedly playing a pivotal role in what comes back and when. Longer hair on men has been showcased in a stylish and masculine way recently by popular shows such as Game of Thrones and Vikings, which are inspiring more men to grow out their locks and strive for the man bun.

man bun styles

What makes a great man bun?

Much like growing a majestic mane, there are a few elements that make a great man bun that you should consider. It takes more than just the patience to grow your hair to the required length to make a man bun look good. Here are a few characteristics of a great man bun:

  • The hair is well looked after and in good condition
  • The hair is adequate length for the chosen style of man bun
  • It compliments the face shape
  • It is tied and styled well
  • Complimented by facial hair
  • The hair is neither too thin or too thick

man bun styles

Popular man bun styles

On the surface you would be forgiven for thinking that the man bun is simply long hair on men tied up, however a little more goes into the styling process than you might think - just like that of manscaping. From tied up on top to low down the bottom, to scraped back to loosely tied, there are various ways in which a man bun can be worn. Here is a run down on the most popular man bun styles:

  • Full man bun: probably the most popular and commonly thought of style of man bun where all the hair on the head is tied into a single bun on the crown area
  • Top knot: perhaps not really a man bun at all as is considerably smaller. The top knot is where just the hair on the top of the head is tied into a knot, leaving the back and sides alone. This can be achieved in a relatively short growth time as the hair does not need to be as long as the full man bun
  • Low man bun: similar the the full man bun but is tied lower down on the head toward the top of the neck. The hair needs to be slightly longer for this and can be tied more loosely than the full man bun without falling out of position, which is more comfortable on the scalp
  • High man bun: aptly nicknamed the pineapple due to how it makes you look. The high man bun is tying all your hair on the top of your head, generally this is useful to either keep hair dry in the shower or prevent it from becoming knotted overnight
  • Man bun +undercut: essentially this is tying a full man bun and then having a buzz cut around the back and sides of the head, this makes the man bun appear more prominent and is perhaps the most hipster man bun style
  • Man bun +ponytail: this style involves tying the man bun as normal but leaving the ends of the hair to dangle out in a ponytail

Once your hair is at an adequate length to be able to start tying it up in a man bun you can begin to experiment with these styles to work out which looks best on you. Each style will suit different face shapes and hair types in a variety of ways.

man bun tips

How to tie a man bun

Each style of man bun has a slightly different way of being tied up to achieve the desired look. The mechanics of how to tie a man bun though remain very similar no matter which style you are going for. We suggest your tie your man bun in the following steps:

1) Make sure that your hair is brushed and free of any knots

2) Put a hair band on one wrist, then seize the hair on the back of your head you would like to tie and hold this in the position where you would like to tie the bun (do this with the hand that has the band on)

3) Use your spare hand to scrape the rest of your hair you wish to tie up back to your other hand and hold it all together

4) Once you are holding all the hair you wish to tie, slide the hair band off your wrist and over the hair, twist the hair tie and pull your hair back through half way (for a tighter bun you may wish to pull your hair fully back through the band a second time then pull it half way through and leave it the third time)

man bun advice

Further things to consider for your man bun style

When creating your man bun style you will also want to consider the tightness of your bun. Do you want to have all of your hair held neatly in the bun? Or would you rather tie it loosely and have more strands of hair hanging free for a more scruffy look?

The last thing to consider when choosing your style of man bun is how your facial hair can compliment what is up top. The current trend is to have a well groomed thick beard with your man bun to achieve that very Viking man look (think Jason Momoa or Leonardo DiCaprio). Long head hair and facial hair naturally compliment each other as they are similarly hairy themed. However if you aren't blessed with strong beard growing genes there is no need to worry, man buns still work well with a cleanly shaven face.


bald man smiling

is a man bun bad for your hair?

Beware the man bun!

So you've learnt about the different man bun styles and how to tie a man bun, but there is one very important message you need to hear with regard to wearing your man bun on a regular basis.

Tying your man bun too tightly can lead to permanent hair loss

You heard it. Known as traction alopecia, this loss of hair is caused when hair is pulled too tightly for prolonged periods of time. Tying a man bun too tightly and leaving it as so for long periods of time puts the hair roots and follicles under continuous stress causing them to weaken over time. This leads to follicles producing smaller and finer hairs until eventually they don't produce any at all, leaving bald patches.

man bun advice

How long does it take to grow a man bun?

There is no definitive answer to this as all hair grows at different rates, as well as your starting length playing a vital role. You will need shoulder length hair before you can rock an impressively full man bun. Although the real answer is once your hair is long enough to tie up, you can start wearing a style of man bun. If you are impatient in waiting for your hair to grow there are several things you can do to make your hair grow faster such as eating certain foods, taking care of your hair properly and reducing stress.

how to look after your man bun

Maintaining your man bun

Now that you are wearing a man bun, you need to know how to care for it. Having longer hair unfortunately means more maintenance but as long as you know what to do, it will be easy for your to keep your hair happy and healthy. Here are a few tips to help maintain your man bun:

  • Untie your man bun regularly, shake your hair an re-tie it in different, loose styles. Your hair roots will appreciate the variety and it will relieve your scalp from tension caused by all the hairs being tugged in one direction
  • When shampooing, don't vigorously rub your scalp, massage it gently, use a deep cleaning shampoo such as NIVEA MEN Active Clean Shampoo
  • When showering, apply warm and cold water to your scalp in turns. This stimulates the blood circulation which strengthens the hair roots
  • Condition your hair from the mid to ends, conditioning near the scalp will actually cause your hair to become greasy faster
  • Comb or brush your hair, starting from the ends and working your way toward to roots. Longer hair gets matted easier and if you don't look out for it dreadlocks can quickly form which are a nightmare to remove
  • Use a spiral hair band to tie your man bun instead of a traditional one. These cause much less stress for your hair and are easier to remove

is a man bun bad for your hair?

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH LOSING HAIR

To get the facts straight: Hair loss is nothing to worry about per se. On average, we all have around 100,000 single hairs. Losing 70 to 100 of them per day to your pillow, your comb or your partner’s fingers certainly won’t hurt your man bun. Because that hair will re-grow. In fact, that hair falling out just keeps you from looking like Chewbacca.
MORE THAN JUST GENETICS
The problem is, not all lost hair grows back again. This might be for genetic reasons: Statistically, 40 per cent of all men are genetically prone to hair loss. So, if you’re one of them, enjoy your man bun as long as you have it.
But even if you’re part of the lucky 60 per cent, you should take good care of your mane. That includes washing it on a regular basis with the right product, not wearing headgear day-in and day-out (difficult with a man bun, we know) and not exerting too much stress on it. Otherwise you might compromise both your genetic advantage and your trendy hairstyle.