Man Bun with Beard
Vladimir Gjorgiev /

40 Types of Man Bun Hairstyles | Gallery + How To

Best guide on taming your gorgeous mane of hair with a bun

written by Danny Puopolo

Throughout the seasons, we’ve seen several hairstyles come into fashion that reflect the retro trends of yesteryear. The undercut, side part, and comb over hairstyles are all inspired by the dapper, vintage look of men from the 50s. But there’s one hairstyle that defiantly breaks all of these rules and stands on its own –– the man bun.

This man bun trend is either loved or hated with some people going around cutting off man buns). But despite all of the glamor surrounding it, the man bun has stayed around, and it doesn’t show any sign of going away anytime soon.

The man bun can be confusing to some. What exactly is a man bun? Is it different from the “top knot” hairstyle that everyone’s talking about? Simply put, a man bun is the gathering of one’s hair into a bun. Seems straightforward, right? Well, not really.

Its simple appearance is deceiving; there are specific techniques for tidying up the hair into different sorts of buns, and that’s where the confusion lay. For example, the phrase “man bun” generally refers to a more rounded knot of hair. By contrast, the phrase “top knot” refers to a small knot of hair that usually rests at the crown of the head. Still with us? Great. Let’s dive into the types of man buns (because of course there are categories).

What Do I Need To Create A Man Bun

If you’re going after this look, you’ll need two things: hair ties and patience. If you don’t already have long hair, we recommend growing out your locks so they’re at least 6 inches long. That’s the minimum amount needed for a good man bun, otherwise, you won’t be able to tie up all your hair.

For medium-sized man buns, you’ll want somewhere between 10 and 16 inches. You can go longer if you wish, but keep in mind that the more hair you have, the more difficult it will be to organize. At 14-16 inches, your hair will be past your shoulders and could be difficult to handle.

How To Get The Man Bun

Got those hair ties? The first step is to identify the spot where you’re going to form the man bun. For most man bun hairstyles, this is the crown of the head. Most guys have a cowlick in this spot. Avoid forming the bun too high on the head. The top area of the back of your head is a good spot for the man bun.

Start by gathering all of your hair up into one ponytail-like fistful. Make sure to get any stray hairs that may be sticking out the sides or bottom. While holding this hair together, pass the hair through the hair tie once with your free hand. On the second pass, stop halfway through to get a bun. This is because the hair doubles up inside the tie or band, creating the man bun. (Alternatively, you can pass the hair through the band twice and make the bun on the third pass if the hair tie is extra stretchy.)

You might have to experiment with the bun formation, especially if you’re new to tying up your hair. This is a technique where watching someone else do it will help, and YouTube is clutch here.

How To Style & Maintain The Man Bun

The man bun is a simple hairstyle to get, but it requires regular maintenance to make sure it doesn’t get too greasy or unhealthy. Most hair experts recommend washing your hair a maximum of two or three times a week because shampoos strip your hair of its natural oils. To have the healthiest hair possible, only shampoo your hair every few days.

So what do you do on the other days, you ask? Two words: dry shampoo. This stuff will be your new best friend…literally. For those of you new to hair products, dry shampoo is a powder – usually in the form of a spray – that works as a “shampoo” but preserves your hair’s oils. Basically, the powder sucks the grease from your roots leaving the natural oils in the rest of your locks while simultaneously giving you volume and making you look like you just washed your hair. Mind-blowing, we know.

Danny Puopolo is an expert that works at Rakis, a professional hairdressing salon in Melbourne. His work has been featured in a variety of publications such as OK Magazine, Vogue, and INSTYLE. He has also managed classes for Shu Uemura Australia and Loreal Professional.