Men have had long hair since practically the beginning of time, but, if you believe the New York Times, guys have only just figured out that you can put your hair up in a bun. Cue the simultaneous "duhs" from ladies across the planet, for whom buns are a way of life. Of course, now that young, hip men have latched on to this hairstyle, it's being declared the new "it" thing.
In certain arty neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, some men are twisting their long hair into a form more famously worn by librarians, schoolmarms and Katharine Hepburn. But don't call the male version an up-do or a chignon. Call it a man bun.
Yes, the man bun. Let it wash over your brain cells for a minute. What is so magnificent about the man bun—and they are magnificent—is that they are both useful AND a fashion statement. Have you ever heard of anything so wonderful? While it may look exactly like the bun seen the world over on the backs of ladies heads, be assured it is different, special:
The man bun is similar in form to the topknot worn by many women - which is going through its own fashion resurgence - but it is often worn slightly lower on the head.
Oh, so the man bun is lower. Cool. Very cool. It sounds complicated. Maybe there is some pretentious fellow with zero self-awareness who can clue us in on how, exactly, one achieves this look? Yep, we're in luck:
Alexander Kellum, 31, a fine-arts painter and yoga teacher who lives in Williamsburg, bends forward and pulls his long chestnut hair in front of him; then he performs a twisting and wrapping motion until his hair is firmly tucked into a knot at the back of his head. Sometimes he'll let a little hair poke out for an "abstract expressionist" flourish, he said. A rubber band, a hair band or even a piece of string holds his bun in place.
That is some revolutionary shit right there, but just in case you still don't get it. The Times helpfully points you to this very mesmerizing instructional video. Of course, not everyone achieves the ideal man bun on the first try. Sam Anderson, a bartender at a speakeasy in Williamsburg (obviously), said he first tried "one of those scrunchy things" but then switched to plain rubber bands. Pro tip for the bros of the world: go to a drugstore and buy some hair elastics! There's a reason they're scattered all over women's purses, desk drawers, and living room floors.
Some of you may be thinking by now that, yes, the man bun is new to Williamsburg, but it is not new to the rest of the world. And you would be right. See: Samurais, and the Sikh men who wear their hair in a bun under their turbans. While we should probably admit, though grudgingly, that there are a few guys who can rock a very hot man bun (I'm looking at you Olivier Theyskens), it's not the most flattering ‘do for most. Which brings us to the only tolerable person that was interviewed in this piece, Chris Jones. He's on Top Chef, and he knows some people hate his bun, but he doesn't care. Plus, he gets a free pass because he's growing his hair out to donate to Locks of Love. That's how the man bun is done, son!
But seriously, may this "trend" die a quick and painless death, and let's keep our fingers crossed that men don't progress to the next step in hairstyle evolution: the man french braid.
Spare a Hair Band? A Man Bun to Go [New York Times]
Image via CREATISTA/Shutterstock.