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Patrick Melville, owner of Patrick Melville Salon in Rockefeller Center, sports a ‘man bun.’
This hair style is giving new meaning to the phrase “man up.”
The man bun, an updo for dudes, has turned Hollywood on its head — but male top knots aren’t always topnotch.
Once reserved for samurais and men working in kitchens, the man bun is now the hair style de rigeur for a cadre of high-profile hunks: Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio and the aptly named One Direction front man Harry Styles, among them.
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Body, and hair style, by Jake ,,, Gyllenhaal, that is.
Gyllenhaal regularly sweeps his chin-length locks up into a bun, while working out at SoulCycle. DiCaprio tucks his updo into his signature baseball cap while partying with models. Styles decks his man bun out with a thin black headband.
But just because celebrities are doing it doesn’t mean any man overdue for a trim should grab a scrunchie.
Not all guys have the locks — or the looks — to put their hair up and let it down with grace.
Leonardo DiCaprio has it together with beach look.
“It’s almost as if dudes think, ‘Imagine what it’s like if I’m with my lady and I take it down’ — like it’s sexy,” says Nicholas Armas, a barber at Williamsburg salon Persons of Interest. “That’s what people contemplating the man bun must think.”
Sure, a bun-clad DiCaprio has no trouble collecting stunners from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue on his arm, but it’s not his ’do that’s doing most of the work.
Regular guys might want to think about who exactly loves a man bun and the man under it, says salon owner Patrick Melville.
JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
“Thor” star Chris Hemsworth takes heroic measures to keep his long hair tidy.
“The man bun attracts a certain type of girl — a little bit more crazy,” says Melville, who has been wearing his own long hair in a low bun for two years. “I like those crazy girls. You tend to attract funky, rock ’n’ roll chicks, as opposed to more corporate women.”
Long hair can make guys look like rebels, but pulling it up can seem a little feminine.
“If it looks like you checked yourself out in the mirror while putting your hair up, it can easily look like you’re considering a gender change,” warns stylist Louis Licari, who keeps his hair short.
One Direction’s Harry Styles shows his hairy style.
The trick is to keep it feeling rough, like you just grabbed an old shoelace to tie back your hair while tinkering with a grimy carburetor.
“I would not advise guys to do a really tight bun,” says Armas. “Otherwise, they’re going to look like Natalie Portman in ‘Black Swan.’”
As is so often the case, doing it right often means doing it like DiCaprio.
Phil Cole/Getty Images
David Beckham’s bun served a practical purpose on the soccer field.
“Sometimes if [DiCaprio’s] hair is long, he’ll pull it back to get it out of his way,” says long-haired salon owner Edward Tricomi. “If it’s loose and has a rough look to it, it looks good.”
Believe it or not, this hairstyle isn’t just about esthetics. In fact, there’s an element of practicality in the man bun.
It is, after all, a way to keep hair out of your face.
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That makes man buns perfect for David Beckham-type soccer players, bros from Miami’s beach volleyball scene or biker dudes who have to keep their eyes on the road.
But in New York, those guys are few and far between.
“You gotta be a tall, thin athletic guy who plays a professional sport,” says short-cropped Manhattan bond trader Russell Baker, 48.
Or, apparently, a Hollywood hearthrob.
It’s been a look in entertainment circles for ages: Tom Cruise wore it in the ’90s, George Harrison decades as a devotee of Hare Krishna. Chris Hemsworth, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt and Russell Brand have all followed suit.
Stylists say the key to perfecting the man bun is to make sure it doesn’t appear as though you’re trying to perfect anything at all.
“I like the more worn, more natural look,” says Armas. “Not too groomed. You don’t want to look like a chick.”