The Evolution of Man Bun: Men’s Hairstyling Through The Centuries

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Men, let’s face it–we have all recreationally tried the man bun. There is no shame in hiding it or denying it. The trends that men love come once in a blue moon and once they’re here, they’re here to stay. But fundamentally, didn’t we just borrow that foreshadowing hairstyle? How did the man bun revolutionize into a worldwide epidemic? Was the Bay Area to blame? We needed to know.

If you avoid social media at all costs, you may not know the extent that some man bun’s lead you to believe. Everywhere from incredible styles to hair-razing pranks, and Instagrammable feats — this, possibly, revolutionary men’s hair style has swept the Bay and the nation in one fatal swoop. Some sport it as a fading trend but others who rock it often refer to the extensive history behind the fold in the follicles.

It’s time for a brief history lesson on this phase of manhood.

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Sikha // चोटी 

Cascading from the crown of the head and down to the shoulders, the act of bunning your hair in most Hindu cultures often refers to being one and closer to the all-knowing “God.” Whether it’s in a meditative state or the heaps of celebration, the art of bunning your hair reigns true to most men of the Hindu religion. In a sense, this bun acts as your pull to God if he were to ascend you to heaven.

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Chonmage // ちょんまげ

As honorable as defending the homestead, sporting this back knot was a symbol of honor towards the battle. More commonly associated with the Edo period in Japan’s rural history, this hairstyle was often referred to women before the samurai and sumo personalities became more and more applicable. Oiled, pulled, and folded many times into itself — this war-ready look could fall to as easily as the wear’s behind.

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Man Bun // Man Bun

What is talked about over and over again as the style of the century, news outlets such as Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and others over use the look to define a man’s ability to “look good.” In 2016, the man bun was crowned the style of the season and is now a style only a select number of men can easily pull off without succumbing to the internet buzz of attractiveness. But in actuality, was meant to keep the hair out of your eyes.


Written by Anthony Rogers, Illustrated by Hunter Hess. What does your brunch look say about you? Here’s an illustrative guide.