Hot hair trend the man bun (mun) breaks all the rules of how men should dare to wear their hair. Are you mun enough?
Not since David Beckham’s notorious cornrows has a hairstyle so verily split the nation. The man bun, or mun – the loose, not-quite-a-top-knot bun of hair worn high at the back of the head – is sharply dividing opinion in pubs, clubs and barbershops across the land. One thing is certain: man buns are firmly on the rise.
Like most male hair trends, it is – in part – celebrity driven. Jared Leto, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth and Jake Gyllenhaal are all man bun culprits, along with One Direction’s Harry Styles, Colin Farrell (whose half-hearted take on the trend is less bun, more mini muffin) and Bradley Cooper who has been snapped storming through airports with not one, but two man buns: a mun platter, if you will. Buns have also popped up at men’s fashion shows and, more influentially, on the front row. British model Jack Guinness is arguably the UK’s foremost man bun fancier (not least because it looks pretty darn good on him).
With so many devotees, it’s no surprise that the man bun has a strong digital fanbase with entire blogs and Tumblrs dedicated to it, including themanbun.tumblr.com and our personal favourite fuckyeahmenwithbuns.tumblr.com. But for every bun-lover, there’s a hater. In the style press, its detractors – usually the gruff, bald-headed variety – express concerns about its manliness (or lack of), including the use of bands and clips to keep it in place. Meanwhile, others try to unpick the bun’s hipster origins, pointing out that – when worn with a beard – a man bun instantly transforms its wearer into an artisan goats’ milk ice-cream peddler from Hackney.
For all this feverish outrage, the man bun’s main crime seems to be something so controversial it is completely at odds with society’s perception of how men should wear their hair: buns are fun. They are the diametric opposite of a short-back-and-sides or super-sharp fades. Instead buns perch on your head like a wonky, hairy birds’ nest. There’s something wonderfully unkempt and rebellious about the man bun that makes it seem like you could ping off your elasticated band at any moment and let your hair spring out like Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses.
To some, the man bun is the best men’s hair trend ever to grace the head, and to others it’s a slippery slope that ends with braided beards, crimped bangs and bubble perms. Whatever you think of the man bun, it’s probably not something to get hot and cross over.
ASK THE EXPERT
Scott Jordan, Educator and art director at Toni&Guy’s London academy and south Kensington salon… and unofficial man bun expert
Guys are definitely asking a lot about the look. I have lots of clients growing their hair to wear it up. A bun on a guy makes the hair look short in a way that has a masculine feel to it.
For me, the trend comes from East London hipsters. They have gone against the grain of skin fades and want a more unpolished, raw look.
The original bun comes from Japan and Samurai culture. It was originally a method of using hair to hold a samurai helmet steady in battle and became a sort of status symbol among Japanese society.
A bad bun is when it’s not long enough to put up. You see these really small buns that just stick up on top of a guy’s head. A good bun is full and textured and looks completely effortless.
Scrunchies are a big NO! Just use a hair elastic that matches the colour of your hair. A good shampoo and conditioner will help keep hair healthy. I’d recommend label.m̓s Honey & Oat range, from £12.75. For styling, opt for a multi-tasking comb and the UK’s number one bestseller label.m Matt Paste for controlled texture.