|Two man buns, posing for you|
Last week, the New York Times published an analysis of man bun hairstyles in the United States. The verdict? The state of the man bun is strong.
So what are man buns, and what do they mean? Where did they come from? And most importantly, why, just...why? Though it's impossible to exhaust the limits of 2015's most luscious and enigmatic hairstyle, we can catch you up on the man bun basics.
|A few of the most common man buns|
What is a man bun?
This question is harder to answer than you might think.
That's because the man bun is a surprisingly versatile hairstyle that incorporates many different elements. It's easiest to say what a man bun must include: hair from the top of the head, tied, and not hanging freely down (as it might in a ponytail).
But after that, just about anything goes. As the graphic below shows, dramatically different looks are still, technically, all man buns:
Lots of variables can affect a man bun's appearance, including:
The size of the bun. This depends on raw materials. If a man has a lot of hair to work with, he's likely to have a large bun that includes a lot of hair. If not, he's more likely to have a "nubbin" of hair that will stick up or out and not appear as a full bun (this style is occasionally called a "top knot").
The position of the knot. The bun or nubbin can appear on top of the head or toward the back, greatly affecting the look of the bun. If a man bun travels too far back on the head, it is called a "pony bun."
The hair on the side of the head. A full man bun uses the same base materials as a pony tail — a large amount of hair, on all sides, pulled back and put into a bun. However, just as particularly long hair isn't required for a man bun, side hair isn't required. Often, man bun wearers will shave the sides of their heads or closely clip the sides (a style called an "undercut").