Man Bun

Man Bun

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Updated May 10, 2021 at 08:28AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Sep 25, 2015 at 05:33PM EDT by Don.

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A Man Bun, also referred to as a "top knot," is a hairstyle featuring a ponytail or bundle of hair prominently placed high in the back-center of a man’s head. While historically associated with a range of traditional haircuts for men in East and West Asian cultures, the top-knot gained much of its popularity during the early 2010s as a fashion trend among Western men, and later, a stereotype of hipster fashion.


The topknot hairstyle may have originated in China during the 3rd century BCE. In a collection of sculptures known as the Terracotta Army, buried in approximately 210 BCE, soldiers in the collection are depicted with hair bundled in a knot placed high in the back of the head (shown below, left). During the Edo period in Japan between 1603 and 1868, a topknot hairstyle called the "chonmage" was commonly featured in portraits of men and samurai warriors (shown below, right).

In 2003, the man bun hairstyle was adopted by professional soccer player David Beckham (shown below). The earliest known use of the term online dates back to October 13th, 2010, when Urban Dictionary[4] user MelonTeets submitted an entry for the man bun as a "slighty greasy" hairstyle often work by hippies or "just general hotties."


On January 25th, 2012, The New York Times[9] published an article about man buns, noting they had begun appearing in "arty neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick" in Brooklyn, New York. On March 23rd, the "Fuck Yeah, Men With Buns" Tumblr[2] blog was launched, which highlights photographs of attractive men with man bun hairstyles. On October 19th, a similar Tumblr blog titled "The Man Bun"[3] was created. On February 20th, 2014, Urban Dictionary[1] user Ron_diggity submitted another entry for "man bun," defining it as "questionably sexy hairstyle." On May 10th, the Tumblr blog "The Real Manbuns of Vancouver"[5] was launched, featuring surreptitiously taken photographs of men in Vancouver, Canada. On February 18th, 2015, the YouTube channel Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues uploaded a prank video in which they chop off man buns with a pair of scissors (shown below). Within seven months, the video gathered more than 9.1 million views and 11,200 comments. On February 23rd, the channel published an announcement that the video had been staged (shown below, right).

On August 25th, the Instagram feed ManBunsofDisneyLand[8] was launched, which highlights photographs of men with man bun hairstyles at the Disney Land amusement park. On September 2nd, the local Seattle news site Capitol Hill Seattle[7] posted a photoshopped image of a man wearing a tiny fedora on top of his man bun (shown below).

On September 21st, BuzzFeed[6] published a compilation of man bun photographs titled "19 Pictures That Prove Man Buns Have Gone Too Far." On September 9th, the CollegeHumor YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Should You Wear a Man Bun?", in which a man has an internal crisis while debating wearing a man bun (shown below).

On September 22nd, the news site Vox[10] published an article about man buns, which contained an infographic depicting commonly-seen versions of the hairstyle (shown below).

World Leaders With Man Buns

On Friday, October 9th, after a photoshopped image of Donald Trump with a man bun had become popular on various social networks, the design crowdsource web site DesignCrowd began a contest among its users to photoshop images of world leaders and politicians with man buns. The contest gained 101 submissions and the winners were selected on October 14th; a photo of Vladimir Putin with a blonde version of the hairstyle won the first prize of $280, and images of Kim Jong Un, and Barack Obama were included among the finalists.[11]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Urban Dictionary – man bun

[2] Tumblr – Fuck Yeah Men With Buns (unavailable)

[3] Tumblr – The Man Bun

[4] Urban Dictionary – Man Bun

[5] Tumblr – The Real Manbuns of Vancouver

[6] BuzzFeed – 19 Pictures That Prove Man Buns Have Gone Too Far

[7] Capitol Hill Seattle – CHS Community Post

[8] Instagram (via Wayback Machine) – ManBunsofDisneyLand

[9] New York Times – Spare a Hair Band? A Man Bun to Go

[10] Vox – Man buns explained

[11] DesignCrowd – Politicians With Man Buns

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