Want to know how to grow a man bun successfully? While all those men effortlessly rocking the man bun may make it look like the easiest thing on earth, in reality, however, getting to where they are today was no doubt a lengthy process (pun totally intended) full of bad hair days and mun-related dramas. We’re pretty sure that even Jared Leto had to endure an awkward phase (or five) while he was growing out that perfectly dishevelled top knot. So yes, the struggle is real, guys – which is why it’s a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. But if you’re ready to embark on the most important hair journey of your life, read on to find out all you need to know about growing a man bun.
1. Be Patient as You Grow Your Hair
There’s no such thing as growing a man bun overnight, that is, without having to resort to clip-ins. We’re not gonna lie: it’ll take time, on average 6 months to get to a good man bun length. However, do bear in mind that there are plenty of hair-up styles you can experiment with as your mane begins to grow out, so at least you won’t have to wait forever to tie it back.
2. Start with a Good Base Haircut
Unless you’re currently rocking a buzz cut, we’re guessing your hair varies at least slightly in length all over. But remember: the shape you start with will determine how your hair grows out. Most cuts make a good base for growing out into a man bun, with the only exception of when the sides and back are longer than the top section, as this is likely to grow out into a mullet shape (which is, we’re guessing, exactly the opposite of what you want). For a more sculpted shape and easier maintenance, try keeping a bit more length on top and perhaps taking in the back and sides one more time before letting the growth process run its course.
3. Be Prepared for The Awkward Stage(s)
Things will get a little hairy sometimes (sorry, we couldn’t help it). There’ll be so many “awkward stages” that you’re likely to lose track of why exactly you’ve chosen to do this in the first place. From the annoying moment when that part on the top of the ear reaches optimum itchy length, to when the whole thing becomes too long to just do nothing about (but is still too short to tie up into a neat little knot), every day of your man bun-growing journey is a new adventure. But don’t be disheartened; keep your eyes on the prize and comfort yourself with the fact that once that length is in place, there are a plethora of styles just waiting to be played around with.
Editor’s tip: Not sure what product you should be using during this time? Try the VO5 Fluff Tamer, which is great for controlling short to mid-length haircuts.
4. Keep Your Hair Healthy
Keeping your hair looking and feeling healthy can help to optimise the growth process. Any unnecessary “stress” you put on your mane – be it rough towel-drying, blow-drying or use of other heated styling tools – will make it more susceptible to damage and breakage, which is exactly what you don’t want when you’ve spent the last six months trying to grow it out. So make sure to be gentle when drying and styling, and work in regular trims (approximately every 8-12 weeks) to keep split ends at bay.
5. Shampoo Less
Don’t panic, we’re not telling you to give up washing your hair completely. But it may be wise to shampoo less than you were previously used to. Just think about the fact that every time you wash your tresses with shampoo, you’re not only cleaning, but you’re also stripping away all those natural oils that are essential for keeping the scalp healthy and well-moisturised. Instead, make conditioner your new best friend and start using it regularly to keep your hair hydrated and build in strength. If you feel like your hair starts to become extra dry and brittle, consider a conditioning treatment to give those locks a boost.
Editor’s tip: When you do lather up, we suggest you use the TIGI Bed Head Wise Up Scalp Shampoo. It has charcoal and caffeine in it, which both deeply cleanse and stimulate your strands, leaving them prepped for styling.
6. Discovery and Learning is Part of the Process
Be prepared for surprises. If you’ve never had long locks before, you’ll probably discover things you never knew about your own hair – from the way it reacts to humidity to the way it curls – on a weekly (or even daily) basis throughout the entire man bun-growing process. And even once you’ve reached your destination, there’s no guarantee that any of this will stop. So ask your barber to recommend the right products, learn how to deal with it and wear that man bun proudly.