Lefsetz: The ‘Man Bun’ Conundrum

When did this become a thing?

I first started noticing it on hipsters. Yoga-pants wearing males sporting sandals who seemed to be saying, “I’m expending so much energy that I just cannot have my hair on my neckline preventing my sweat from escaping. Look at me – olfactory mess that I am – I’m a living, breathing human specimen you can only envy.”

But one you wouldn’t want to touch.

That’s the thing about man buns. Women make fun of them. I’ve never ever heard a guy talk about someone’s bun but women constantly confide and snicker, laughing at the wearer.

And now it’s expanded. If you’ve got enough hair it’s a reasonable choice.

However you can no longer tell the personality by the bun. I was at the hospital yesterday and a blue collar denizen escorting his mother was sporting one.

Now when I was in college, and even nerds started growing their hair long, I cut mine off. But no one wants to stand alone anymore, everybody wants to join in.

And why should the man bun be any more (or less) acceptable than the ponytail?

Maybe if you’re a movie star, or a rock star, you can get away with long locks, indicating you’re an outsider – marching to the beat of your own drummer – even though you’re usually just a slave to the financial grind.

Yet for decades we’ve seen aged men with thinning hair pulling what was left back into a wimpy ponytail that would have any horse in the barn running the other direction.

But that look has evaporated.

Now you tie it all on top of your head like a Teletubby. As if it were a hook we could swing you by. Radiating to all the message that you’re a follower, not an individual, trying to gain some cred when actually you’re losing some.

Kinda like all those bald guys who shave their heads so they think we won’t know…

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21 Responses to Lefsetz: The ‘Man Bun’ Conundrum

  1. Nick says:

    I ref for BSC; don’t see it much outside of a pitch…

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Not to mention it’s totally effeminate. I laugh at every tool that wears one.

    Tattoos now have similiar place for me. They aren’t effeminating, but they are a damned cliche. It used to be only “outsiders”, and military veterans had tattoos. Now EVERYONE does. I never got one, at first it was because my dad has one and I didn’t want to be like him. Now it’s because EVERYONE has one and I don’t want to be part of the crowd. Hell, even teenage girls have tattoos. It no longer carries the cache’ it once did. Much like long hair, it used to be a sign of an independent thinker…a rebel. Musicians, bikers, gang members, ex-cons, and military/war veterans. Not now.

    • Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

      Guy, I’m also tattoo-free. Not that I wouldn’t EVER get one, but I just can’t think of anything I would want on my body permanently. I guess the day could still come where something would seem so profound or important that I’d like to memorialize it, but that day hasn’t come yet.

      Went through the drive-thru at my local Sonic last summer and the kid who handed me my cherry limeade had an eagle on his chin and the body went clear down his neck. The wings of the eagle came up on both sides of his face and covered his cheeks clear up to his eyes. The kid couldn’t have been more than 18 or 20.

      I thought to myself, “Welcome to Sonic, kid. This is as good as it’s going to get for you.”

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Im thinking about tatooing the names of all my regular commenters on the left side of my face. Or a tear drop that represents each of you.
        I’m bun free as of last year. Took some time, grew my hair out and donated it in the name of a kid with cancer.
        Doesn’t mean I’m any less effininate now, however.

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        LOL! Sheezus what a moron. You’re exactly right, and one of my four daughters works at a Sonic…but she’s 16 and it’s a part time thing so she can pay for her car insurance and buy some clothes that she wants. That tool you saw made Sonic a career decision.

  3. Kerouac says:

    “The ‘Man Bun’ Conundrum”

    – at first glance, imagined that read ‘man bum’, and so, thought of Harley…

    “If you’ve got enough hair it’s a reasonable choice.”

    – being an sexagenarian still happy to have a full head, ‘different strokes for different folks’. Times change… as no less a hairy mess than Charles Manson said – “You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy”.

    That said/beauty being eye the beholder, Kerouac never partook ‘man bun’ nor ‘man bag’ when latter over the shoulder accessory began making popular fashion in-roads, 1970’s. Truth, came into being over 5,000 years before/called it a ‘pouch’ back in the day, but, as that’s neither hair nor there, onward & comb-over. Personally, would no more wear a ‘man bun’ than a pixie, mohawk, earring(s), tatoo(s) or my pants at half m(ass)t… call me old-fashioned, your purview/mileage may vary.

    “you can no longer tell the personality by the bun.”

    – or gender, that too an old story as plot/coiff thickens, extends. Late 1960’s, I saw an beautiful long mane attached head in the distance. Investigating further/come closer, discovered she was in fact ‘he’, eyeful become ‘ai yai yai’, about face and exit stage left.

    “nerds started growing their hair long, I cut mine off. But no one wants to stand alone anymore, everybody wants to join in.”

    – not ‘everybody’ but the majority, appears. Having had to wear short hair during my youth result expectation (make that order) a career military/police officer/polygraph examiner who answered to the name ‘father’, more so ‘Sir’ (Minister’s kid had it easy, comparison), point in time came when the villus choice became mine. Aft a couple of years sporting a ‘do’ was long on length if short on career advancement, returned my senses (people are funny that way, this case those in a position to hire you… or not.)

    Viewed in-person, one would likely describe Kerouac as a throwback in terms of looks, somewhere between beatnik and hippie – hairier than Maynard Krebs but not as hairy as say Manson ’69, a style matches a manner as sensibility preference an earlier time.

    If one cannot abide the disapproval others, when in Rome do as the Romans do… or stay home/don’t visit Rome. Ditto when uniformity requires it, military, the gridiron or in whatever venue/wherever find yourself and must comply; be a man/try to look like one according ‘he who has the gold’ and thus makes the golden rule. ‘When’ the stage is yours however, own it.

    Once avant garde, twice passe – or is it everything old becomes new again? A female acquaintance mine, a few years older even, tells me I need to update my look to ‘get with the times.’ Kerouac says: as is possible, ‘always’ be yourself whether unique or commonplace. As Elvis once said aft getting his hair shorn induction the military: ‘I don’t mind because it will grow back.’ Upshot: never let anyone steal your soul.


  4. Level Headed Guy says:


    • feto says:


    • admin says:

      Lemme see…

      So if I understand correctly, feta and Level are pro “man buns.”

      That’s cool.

      If my hair ever gets as long as Wilson’s I’ll probably saddle up, too.

      And speaking of hip haircuts, living in Lawrence there sure are a lot of aging hippies with those horse-unfriendly, limp ponytails

  5. chuck says:

    “Kinda like all those bald guys who shave their heads so they think we won’t know…”

    I hope I speak for all of us “bald guys”, here.

    You really are a lot cooler than we are because of your hair.

    • chuck says:

      You know what?

      F you Lefty.

      Bring that smarmy shit north of the Canadian River into Waldo and I guarantee you will reacquire your girlish figure drinking through a freaking straw, pussy.

      • chuck says:

        “And” screw your vacuous, inane predictable “stream of consciousness” bullshit that is too cute by half when you lead with a fuckin conjunction.

  6. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Another thing that makes me consider physical violence. “Men” wearing skinny jeans. Hell, yesterday I saw a guy wearing dress pants that were above his ankle. “Men” wearing skinny jeans or extremely short slacks deserve to be duct taped to a metal folding chair and beaten with claw hammers.

  7. Goose13 says:

    Lets have a contest to see who submits the best picture of a man-bun they see!!!

    • admin says:

      How about you submit the one of yourself to Get things rolling, Goose?

      • Goose13 says:

        No man bun for me. I’m ex military and have had a military haircut for thirty years. If my hair touches my ears, I freak out.
        Plus, I’m to lazy to have a man bun. Too much work.

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