Now that the weather is warming up and studying for midterms helps keep showers few and far between, many students have begun pulling up that pesky long hair into a bun.
Typically, buns – a coiled-up hairdo at the back of the head – are associated with women boasting longer locks that are easier to pull back. But during the past few months a new wave of male bun-wearers has begun to gain prominence over social media and around campus, a trend colloquially referred to as top knots and, most often, man buns.
Even before garnering national attention with Jared Leto’s Golden Globe hairstyle, man buns have gradually been gaining influence online, with tutorials by Zayn Malik from One Direction, Tumblrs, Instagram accounts and Twitter handles dedicated solely to the posterity of #ManBunMondays.
“It makes me feel very grateful to be living in 2015 with that hashtag,” said Dava Ray, a licensed cosmetologist and employee of the Aveda Institute Los Angeles in Westwood.
Ray said she didn’t notice the man bun trend until recently, less than six months ago, but said she celebrates the hair fad. Last year, Ray shaved off her own hair into an undercut – buzzed on the sides and longer on top. Ray compares her short hairstyle to men with long hair, both showing the recent break from expected hair length gendering.
“It’s great for people to be able to express themselves through hair, long or short, male or female,” Ray said.
Unlike more recent bun-wearers, third-year art student Cosmas Brown said he’s been wearing his hair long on and off since age 12. Brown identifies his hair as a natural part of himself.
“I think it’s an important part of my body that I like to let grow,” Brown said.
Brown said he often wears his hair down, but lately he has been wearing it up more and is realizing other men are doing the same.
“I think it’s funny talking about this because I’ve been noticing it myself,” Brown said. “I was like, ‘Oh, am I part of something right now?’”
Third-year computer science student Brett Chalabian is a relative newcomer to long hair and has been neglecting to get a haircut since last January, encouraged by his girlfriend.
“I think it’s liberating,” Chalabian said.
While Chalabian, like Brown, alternates between wearing his hair down and up, there’s one thing he never does: wear a ponytail.
“You don’t male pony,” Chalabian said. “It’s just something you don’t do.”
Ponytails aside, fourth-year history student Miles Stanley said he is all for the recent upswing of man buns. Stanley said one of his interests lies in facial hair and hair trends historically coming in waves, looking back and seeing the repetition between more recent decades and centuries before.
“Think of civil war veterans with beards and mutton chops and those were big in the ’70s,” Stanley said. “It’s all pretty cyclical.”
Stanley said, personally, long hair was an appearance-driven decision – he feels the shape of his head doesn’t look very good with short hair.
Stanley’s decision to wear his hair up is driven by practicality. Stanley said he rides his bicycle to school, and because long hair gets so hot, he wears it in a bun and normally lets it down later in the day. However, Stanley said, akin to Leto, for attending any “swanky” events, he’ll put his hair up.
“I’m all for the (man bun) trend,” Stanley said.