How to do a man bun 3 ways: Your ultimate guide

Want the perfect mun that even Jared Leto would approve of? Here's how...

Thanks to A-listers, new-wave models and Instagram stars, the man bun has come a long way since its hipster heyday. Once regarded as the hairstyle of choice for free-spirited creatives, the ‘mun’, as we know it today, is now widely accepted, and very much coveted, among all men. Whether it be on the street, the runway, the red carpet or Tumblr, you’re sure to spot the bro bun alongside some of the most popular haircuts today. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have hair that rivals Lord of the Rings‘ Legolas. And the best part? They’re not complicated to do at all. Whatever your hair length, find out how to do a man bun with our detailed step-by-step guides below.

How to do a man bun: 3 Ways


how to do a man bun: classic
The classic man bun.

1. The simple man bun

Inspired by: Zayn Malik, Kit Harrington, Leonardo DiCaprio

Perfect for: shorter to medium length hair

This easy man bun is perfect if you have chin-length hair, which is just long enough to pull into a ponytail. Have an undercut, but your hair is a little longer on top like Zayn Malik? The man bun is still achievable. Find out how to make it work for you below.

Step 1: Begin by choosing a styling cream to help keep your hair in place. Opt for a flexible formula like the VO5 Texture Rework Putty (£3.99*). Try to avoid firm hold styling products as they’ll look too heavy and unnatural.

Step 2: Take a small amount of product, roughly the size of a 10-pence piece, and work it evenly through your hair, going from root to tip.

Step 3: Use a wide-tooth comb to sweep hair back. Then smooth it backwards with your hands, pulling the hair into a ponytail. Tip: finding out the right ‘degree’ for your man bun will make things easier. So, if you have medium hair, the bun should sit around the midpoint of your crown, rather than at the top.

Step 4: Wrap your hairband around the ponytail a couple of times, then on the final wrap, pull only half of the ponytail through to create a small loop. Note: don’t worry if some hairs are too short to be looped into the hairband, strayed strands add to the casual overall look.

how to do a low messy man bun
The messy bun.

2. The messy bun

Inspired by: Brock O’Hurn, Chris Hemsworth, Jared Leto

Perfect for: medium to long hair

Want that casual, cool look with a touch of boho charm, championed by the likes of Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix? The messy bun is the epitome of effortlessness. Note that for this type of bun you’ll need a little more hair (at least shoulder-length or longer).

Step 1: Brush your hair to remove any small knots or tangles.

Step 2: Lightly mist your hair at the roots using Toni&Guy Casual Flexible Hold Hairspray (£7.49*). Its lightweight formula is ideal for holding understated styles like the man bun, while still allowing some movement.

Step 3: Roughly smooth the hair back with your hands, pulling the hair into a ponytail at the midpoint of your head.

Step 4: Twist the whole ponytail in your hand and loosely wrap it around itself to create your bun. Once you’ve twisted and wrapped all of the hair, secure with a hairband.

Step 5: Finish by using your fingers to comb through your hair to tidy. Again, don’t worry if your hair has a few bumps and lumps, a little mess is part of the charm.

how to do a man bun half up
The half-up man bun.

3. The half-up bun

Inspired by: Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal

Perfect for: on-the-fence guys with medium to long hair

Not sure if you want to put your hair up or down? Good news: now you can do both. The half-up bun is the best of both worlds and works well on medium-length to long hair.

Step 1: Divide your hair into two parts. Lightly finger comb and smooth the top section, pulling the hair towards the midpoint of the head to form a ponytail.

Step 2: Wrap your hairband around the ponytail a couple of times. On the final wrap, pull half the ponytail through the hairband to create a small loop.

Step 3: Mist the bottom half of your hair with the Toni&Guy Mens Messy Salt Spray (£7.49*), aiming the spray towards the ends of the strands, and scrunch the product into the hair for a textured look.
*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.