Hate them or love them, man buns are the number one quintessential hairstyle for guys with long locks to master. They’re convenient, they look great, and they are super easy to create!
But you don’t have to take our word for it. This article will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do a man bun step-by-step with short or long hair.
We’ll also take some time out to answer all of your other man bun-related questions, so make sure you scroll down to the end!
Here’s How to Do a Man Bun
The good news is that man buns are a relatively simple style to pull off. But there are a few things you should be aware of. Ready to find out more?
Here’s a quick rundown on how to get a man bun.
Wash and Dry Your Hair
Although this step isn’t essential, man buns look best on freshly washed hair. So, to start, shampoo and condition your hair using your usual method.
After applying the conditioner, use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair. Rinse out the conditioner with cool water and towel dry your hair until it’s no longer dripping wet.
Apply Your Styling Products
Smooth a dollop of product onto your hair while your hair is still damp. That will help lock in moisture and keep your man bun smooth and frizz-free. Focus the product on your ends, as they’re the most likely to develop frizz.
Depending on your hair texture, you can use hair cream, gel, or mousse. Comb the product through your strands to ensure there aren’t any knots or tangles.
Gather Your Hair Into a Ponytail
Plan out where you want your man bun to sit. You can create a top knot or keep your bun towards the middle or bottom of your head. Once you decide, brush or comb your hair back in the direction of the bun.
Run your hands over the sides of your hair and use a hair tie to create a ponytail.
Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may have to loop the hair tie two or three times. Just be careful not to make the ponytail too tight. It should be sleek but not so tight that it’s causing you discomfort.
Create Your Bun
Take the length of your hair and wrap it around the base of the ponytail. Then, pull on your hair tie to create an opening and tuck the ends of your hair underneath the tie.
You can also fold your hair in half to create a top knot rather than a bun.
Once you’ve secured your bun, gently tug it from both sides. That will help loosen your bun, so it doesn’t look too rigid.
Do the Finishing Touches
Now that you have a basic bun, feel free to add some finishing touches. You can wrap a few pieces of loose hair around the hair tie to hide it or add another hair tie to make it even more secure.
You can also pull out a few pieces to soften your bun and give it a messy look. Or, you can apply gel or pomade to slick everything back. Keep tweaking your bun until you’re satisfied with the look.
How Long Does Your Hair Have to Be for a Man Bun?
Many may want to do a man bun but quickly become disappointed because their hair is too short for one. In order to gather your into a man bun, it should be at least six inches long.
Keep in mind that this is considered the bare minimum. The ideal hair length for a man’s bun is around ten to fifteen inches long.
Human hair grows at a rate of about half an inch every month. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll take about a year to grow your hair out to a length that’s long enough to pull into a bun.
How to Do a Man Bun on Short Hair
If you want to create a man bun, your hair will have to be on the longer side. But that doesn’t mean that creating a man bun on shorter hair is impossible.
There are a few different ways you can do so on shorter hair, which we’ll look at below.
- Throw in a few hair clips – When pulling short hair into a man bun, you’ll probably find that the strands around your hairline aren’t quite long enough to reach. These stray hairs can leave your bun looking undone and messy, and not in a good way. You can use a few bobby pins or hair clips to secure them against your head. For a more subtle look, try using hair clips that match your hair color.
- Straighten your hair beforehand – The curlier or wavier your hair is, the more your strands shrink. But if you straighten your hair beforehand, you can unlock all of your hair’s length. Even if your hair is already mostly straight, a straightener will help you get an extra centimeter or two out of your strands. And when you’re trying to craft a man bun, every inch counts.
- Make multiple mini buns instead – Hair not long enough to pull into a bun? Instead of wearing one mini bun, try throwing your hair into two or three smaller buns. It’s a much more accessible style and adds an extra twist to the classic man bun.
- Get an undercut – Who knew that cutting your hair shorter might be just what you need to create a bun? When you have an undercut, only the hair on the very top of your head has to be long enough to pull into a bun. So instead of waiting until your hair is six inches long, you can create a man bun on three to four-inch strands.
- Enlist the aid of styling products – Like straightening your hair, styling products can help you achieve a man bun on shorter locks. A lightweight gel or pomade will slick down your hair so the pieces that are too short lie flat against your scalp. You’ll also have fewer flyaways and a healthy-looking sheen.
- Use a rubber band instead of a hair tie – After you pull your hair back into a ponytail, use a rubber band to secure it rather than a hair tie. Rubber bands give you a better grip and are less likely to fall off.
Does a Man Bun Pull Your Hairline Back?
There’s no question that man buns are an excellent style. They’re casual enough to wear as an everyday look but polished enough to wear in an office.
But unfortunately, man buns aren’t entirely without risk.
Pulling your hair into a bun or ponytail puts a lot of tension on your hairline. That can lead to traction alopecia or a general thinning of your hair.
To avoid this, make sure that you don’t pull your hair back too tightly. Keep your man bun loose so it doesn’t put too much tension on your hairline.
You should also avoid wearing a man bun multiple days in a row, as repeated brushing can lead to hair loss. Instead, try alternating between a man bun and loose hair. That way, your hair gets a break, and you don’t have to worry about a receding hairline.
It might take a few tries before you get your man bun perfectly right. But once you do, you’ll be tempted to make it your everyday style. We recommend practicing a few times when you have a few minutes to spare.
Try experimenting with different bun placements and techniques until you find the one that suits you perfectly. And we hope that the information we’ve covered today helps you do just that!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care.