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The Man Bun Is Back

Brad Pitt at the Oscars


The hairdo is back in the spotlight thanks to Hollywood heartthrob, Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt the movie star, only keeps getting more attractive with age. The 57-year-old actor caused quite the stir at the recently concluded 93rd Annual Academy Awards/Oscars—when he showed up in a classic black tuxedo, a mask, and wait for it—a tiny low bun at the nape of his neck! Ovaries and Twitter exploded in no time. “I literally stood up and clapped for Brad Pitt’s man bun,” tweeted one person. “Inject Brad Pitt and his lil man bun into my veins #Oscars,” posted another. Other tweets bordered around the inappropriate (in a good way)…. So, what makes this style tick? 

Contrary to popular belief, the man bun wasn’t invented by a hipster in New York or Pitt for that matter. It has been around for centuries especially in Asia. Man buns were the go-to hairstyles for the Japanese samurai warriors in the Edo period. It gained popularity in the late 2000s, when footballer David Beckham sported his own take on the man bun. Actors and style icons in their own right—Jared Leto, Chris Hemsworth, Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar and Hrithik Roshan—have all worn their own version of this hairdo.
Most people are sceptics, when it comes to tying their hair into a knot. Yet guys are now willing to try it out because of Pitt’s recent public appearance. Why you ask? Most men consider him to have a functional sartorial taste, as he’s someone who hasn’t really taken any outrageous fashion  risks unlike some of the other contemporary stars.

A few basics first. A man bun will only work on those with at least shoulder-length hair. Healthy hair grows quicker, so make sure to use a good conditioner after each wash, and also give yourself regular trims to avoid split ends. Plus, get yourself a hair band or borrow from your significant other or sister. Here are a few ways to make this hairstyle your own….

1. A Full Bun: The OG in the man bun repertoire,  this style is the best way to keep your hair off your face and neck. Brush out your hair, and smoothen the frizz and knots. Make sure to brush the hair back to the point where you want to tie it into a bun. With a full man bun, make sure to tie it on the crown—any higher you’ll end up looking like you GF while she’s working out. The best thing about this style is that you can either keep it formal—slick back and tight with no loose ends, styled with a pomade and set with a spray—OR—casual with a few loose strands.

2. Low Bun: I think we can safely christen it as the Brad Pitt low bun! His hairdo looked like it was hardly styled—with a side-part in the front—and a few hair strands casually tucked behind the ears. Less stylised than the topknot, the low man bun/chignon is an effortless hairdo that is all about beach-bum vibes. Loosely pull the hair back, tie it with a band at the nape of your neck and forget about it to channel Mr Pitt.

3. Half up, Half down:  The lockdown has been hard on grooming routines, with your favourite salon being shut. Farhan Akhtar has been seen in an easier version—a half up, half down, do—where he sections off the top half and pulls it into an easy man bun, and leaves the bottom half loose. If you have frizzy hair use a few drops of serum to tame.

Yes, the man bun will always be a hard sell, and admittedly, difficult to pull off. That doesn’t mean you can’t give it a go, especially now with most people continuing to WFH.


[Image Credit: Chris Gardner]