As the riotous tonsorial shifts of a handful of guys in Brooklyn are worthy of serious news coverage, The New York Times today brings us a story about men with very long hair and what they’re doing to keep it out of their faces. Specifically, these guys are wrapping their follicles into balls that they secure on top of their heads with elastic bands. But don’t you dare call them buns. They’re man buns.
Yes. Man buns — because unlike when women create purely aesthetic chignons or crown buns, men do it almost entirely for function. Emphasis on the almost part.
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.
Once you’ve committed to a man bun, how do you create one? 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.
Rubber bands? Sounds like they’d be pretty damaging to your man bun, but you probably couldn’t achieve any kind of abstract expressionist flourish with those snag-free hair things you find at most every beauty supply store. So. There’s that.
One of the men the Times mentions is growing out his hair for Locks of Love, which is a worthy cause and a laudable ambition. But for the most part, the few men who wear buns these days seem to be doing it just because they can. Which is fine — who are we to say what men should and shouldn’t do? We just wish the guys who wear their hair this way would sack up and admit it: They’re wearing buns.