In Defense of Man Buns

By Mariah Metzger

When my boyfriend decided to grow his hair out, I didn’t exactly know what to say. We just started dating, and I honestly didn’t really care how his hair looked. I liked him, regardless of his hair length.

Now a year and a half later, I wake up and find more of my hair bands missing and my favorite clips gone. My boyfriend’s hair has slowly taken on a transformation most would recognize as “The Man Bun.”

“I like to keep my bun tight,” my boyfriend, Joe Gambino said. “My bun sits on the back of my head. I started putting my hair into a man bun because it is an easy way to upkeep long hair.”

He admitted to admiring the boho style that the man bun has grown to represent. Joe’s goals were to look like the shaggy-bearded guys you’d see walking around Williamsburg. And Joe wasn’t the only person admiring this trend.

“The Man Bun” frequented google searches in November of last year and has remained a popular search topic since. As per what started it, my guess is the celebrities who rock it. Some actors with notable buns are Jake Gyllenhall, Jason Momoa, Leonardo DiCaprio, and for sports fans, soccer star David Beckham.

Another theory behind the man bun phenomenon, stated by Phil Edwards in an article on the website Vox, is that this particular style is the evolution of the high and tight cut. The high and tight cut was a popular style before the man bun. Most people who styled their hair in this manner and were able to put their hair up once it grew long enough on the top. That’s when the nubbins popped up and men started growing out their hair again.

There are a few notable styles of man bun. It depends on the amount of hair and position of the bun. There are the “full man bun” or “top knot” variations, which is for guys with more hair; it’s a bun that pulls all the hair to the top of the head in a messy style. Then there is the low man bun, where the bun is smaller, but the hair is pulled to the back of the head.

Lastly, there is the undercut/nubbin styles, reserved for guys whose hair is shorter on the sides and longer on the top.

My boyfriend keeps a steady supply of argan shampoo and conditioner to maintain a smooth, but shiny look. It doesn’t need much else, besides a hair tie to keep it all back.

There are many other long-haired men who can get behind Joe’s hair style. However, there are people who aren’t in favor of it. It’s deemed a feminine hairstyle from some points of view.

Some women don’t find it attractive either. I have to admit it took a while for me to get warm up to it, especially during the awkward “Sean-Hunter-from-Boy-Meets-World” stage.

In defense of the man bun, it allows men with long hair to pull their hair back to avoid oily or greasy skin, which helps prevent acne breakouts. It’s versatile for a number of different types of hair. It brings something fresh to the table, and breaks free of the neat, short and tight look that was popular for a long time.

And, as someone affected by this style, it does have its ups and downs. I may wake up with no hair ties, but I can always rely on Joe later in the day to give me one.


Categories: Lifestyles

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