The Time Has Come To Praise The Man Bun
The current season of 'The Bachelorette' brings the usual assembly of toned tanned torsos for us to admire.
And if the gratuitous topless shots (poor Angie having to apply sunscreen to Carlin) don’t distract you, there's also the full gamut of male hairstyles to take in: from the impenetrable fortress that is Osher Günsberg's quaff (which perhaps receives more media coverage than that of any of the contestants) to beards, shaved heads, long flowing locks and the ever-divisive man bun.
For some reason the man bun is one hairstyle that always elicits strong opinions -- people either love it or hate it. I, for one, am totally here for it and I think Ciarran’s impeccably styled version has the power to bring even the strongest detractors around to the beauty of this hairstyle. The love for Ciarran online has been so strong since he left The Bachelorette that there is already a movement to make him the next Bachelor.
So fellow man bun appreciators rejoice -- our first top knotted candidate may be on the horizon.
While Ciarran’s glorious platinum mane has been the highlight of the season so far (obviously Timm, who rocks his own version of the man bun, in full lobster regalia isn’t far behind), he certainly isn’t the first man to style long hair.
Chinese men were wearing the man bun as far back as 200 BC, as evidenced by the top knots on the statue soldiers of the Terracotta Army in Shaanxi.
In ancient Greece long hair was a symbol of wealth and power, while shaved heads were for the slaves. In ancient China and Korea, cutting off someone’s long tresses was often a penalty for minor crimes (the horror!!). In Gaelic Ireland (before the early 1600s), long hair was so prized that you could even be fined for shaving a man's head against his will.
More recently, the man bun has experienced a resurgence, perhaps thanks to David Beckham, who brought the look into a new era when he was spotted sporting a top knot in 2003. Jared Leto eventually followed suit. As did Leonardo DiCaprio and our very own Chris Hemsworth, along with almost all of One Direction.
Jason Momoa had one. Even Matt Damon tried his hand (head?) at the man bun for The Great Wall (and was promptly christened ‘Good Will Bun-ting’).
Then the hipsters caught onto the joy of styling long hair and by 2015 the dapper up do was trending hard. You couldn’t go past a GQ magazine or a billboard that didn’t feature a man bun attached to some sharp cheekbones and neck tattoos.
But in 2017, Mattel got involved, releasing a Ken doll with a man bun. The tide had turned and suddenly we were besieged by predictions of the fall of the man bun (my heart!).
Thankfully, the prognosticators were wrong.
The heavenly man bun persists to this day. (As they say… the higher the hair the closer to God.). But now that the look has become ubiquitous you really have to make that extra effort to stand out. There’s the classic, the topknot, the pineapple, the low bun, the undercut... all beautiful and unique in their own special way.
That’s where Ciarran comes in. His man bun features intricate braids paired with a moustache and he obviously spends a lot of time on it. The elaborate weaving alongside his man bun (very Viking chic) is, quite frankly, jealousy inducing for someone like me. I can barely produce a basic plait, and my crimes against hair are many and varied (luckily all photographic evidence of my teeny fringe has been scrubbed from the Internet). My hairdresser dies a little inside every time I come in.
But Ciarran’s hair makes me think that I am just one YouTube tutorial away from something magical.
People need to realise that the reign of the man bun isn’t over. It’s only just beginning. Men are experiencing the joy of long hair -- the fresh spring breeze flowing through, the mosh pit head banging -- and they don't want it to end.
So I invite all those men who have never gotten past a short-back-and-sides to unfurl those follicles. Grow your hair like you just don’t care. Because I don’t want none unless you got a bun, hun.