By Catie Santos
Sign in to social media on any Monday morning, and you’re likely to see a new hashtag that has been catching like wildfire: #ManBunMonday. This stereotypically feminine hairstyle, the bun, has found new life and popularity lately with a surprising demographic – guys.
So why, exactly, is the man bun so popular now?
After all, the bun hairstyle is nothing new and has been around for decades. Celebrities can be thanked for the recent emergence of the bun into popular culture. In the past year, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Chris Hemsworth, David Beckham, and Leonardo DiCaprio have sported the hairstyles everywhere from the red carpet to vacations at the beach, bringing the man bun into the spotlight. Perhaps most influentially of all, the wildly popular member of One Direction, Harry Styles, started sporting the hairdo.
“I didn’t know the man bun was cool until I moved to L.A. I considered it the male version of a ‘white girl bun’ minus the leggings, Uggs, Starbucks, and female genitalia. Here, people are obsessed with it. It’s a thing. My laziness is seen as trendy. God bless West Coast hipsters.”
Jenny Moore, an elementary education major, can pinpoint the exact moment she fell in love with man buns. “I didn’t realize I had a thing for man buns until I took my sister to see the One Direction concert and saw Harry Styles walk out in a man bun,” said Moore, 21.
College-aged women everywhere had similar sentiments concerning the man bun. Tory Newchurch, an interdisciplinary studies major, is a fan of the man bun. “I think I like the hairstyle because it shows me that they don’t care whether people think it’s ‘feminine’ or not,” said Newchurch, 21. “They are secure in who they are and don’t need others to tell them otherwise.”
When asked which celebrity wore the bun best, Newchurch quickly answered with Harry Styles, adding the comment that “the man knows how to work it better than I can work a bun of my own.”
LSU student and active member of Greek life Ceallaigh Montgomery believes that the rise of the man bun trend on campus is directly related to the colder weather.
“Instead of the preppiness usually preferred by LSU Greek women, we want something a little more rugged-looking to keep us warm,” said Montgomery, 20, who hasn’t always been a fan of the hair style. “I personally am a man bun convert. I was skeptical until I saw the perfect man bun at practice the other day – they really are the perfect addition to the wintery styles we already love.”
To get further to the root of the man bun situation, I decided to interview three different guys who proudly sported the style.
Tulane University student Colin Burns, a business management major, told me of the origin of his man bun. This past summer, he was hanging out with a group of friends who were admiring his long hair. “This quickly escalated to playing with my hair, and not long after, somebody put it into a bun,” said Burns, 21, “And so the man bun was born! I decided to sport it that Friday night and picked up a girl faster than you can say, ‘Do you have an extra hair tie?’”
Soon, the bun became a part of Burns’ every-day style. “When you have long hair, a bun is just so damn practical – especially in the New Orleans heat,” Burns explained, “It’s an added perk that they’re in style, too.” The bun style is practical and perfect for Louisiana residents who are looking to beat the heat without sacrificing their locks, and to look good while doing so. When asked to give tips to others looking to form the perfect man bun, Burns answered that “the trick to a good man bun is that there’s no trick at all. The less effort, the better the bun.”
The man bun is not a new idea for Los Angeles based recording artist, Rilan, who grew up in New Orleans. “I started wearing a bun a few years ago during dance classes,” said Rilan, 19. “I started to grow out my hair, and it was getting out of control when I moved. Hence the bun.” For Rilan, the man bun was a simple solution to a problem, nothing more. “I didn’t know the man bun was cool until I moved to L.A. I considered it the male version of a ‘white girl bun’ minus the leggings, Uggs, Starbucks, and female genitalia,” he explained. “Here, people are obsessed with it. It’s a thing. My laziness is seen as trendy. God bless West Coast hipsters.”
The hairstyle is both effortless and stylish, which is a factor into its recent popularity. Rilan has dealt with a few downsides to his man bun as well. “I have been mistaken for a girl a few times, and when I hardcore shave the sides of my head I tend to look like Pepper the Pinhead from American Horror Story.”
Ian Miller, another New Orleans native and LSU graduate, also started wearing a man bun out of practicality. Miller is a mobile and web application developer and also an avid runner. “I decided to start growing my hair out. I’d always hear people criticize a man’s ponytail. But it got to the point where I needed to put it up for running,” said Miller, 24. “So I tied it up and took the remainder of the pony and tied it again the most efficient way I thought doable.” Miller says he receives lots of positive comments about his man bun, and he enjoys having fun with his hair. “I like pretending I’m a samurai when I put the bun higher up on my head,” he added.
Miller’s younger sister, Brooke, 21, has a love-hate relationship with her brother’s hair. “I hated his long hair at first but now I like it a lot,” said Miller, a criminology student at LSU. “It makes me kind of mad that his hair looks better than mine.”
Whether you like it or not, the man bun is one trend that may have found a permanent home in the hearts of people across the country. Effortless, easy, and ruggedly sexy, the man bun is here to stay.