Your manbraid styling tutorial to rocking a new bun or knot!
Gentlemen, a new 2015 hairstyle trend has emerged as we get closer to 2016, and it’s one trend that is a direct spin-off of our much-beloved man bun hairstyle itself; for those of you unaware of this new trend, I’m talking of the man braid.
No, I’m not joking, and even those of us hardcore man-bun connoisseurs will readily admit that the man braid can look pretty good if you do it right, which includes having a decent barber (ahem… yours truly… ahem) doing the braiding and hair-cutting for you since it’s very easy to get the hairstyle wrong or looking awkward.
You see, with the ponybun hairstyle trend not really picking itself up in 2015 and with the man bun undershave also not gaining a lot of followers (after all, it’s an extreme hairstyle), there was room for a new long-hair trend to crop up and thus we now have the currently-trending manbraid taking over as the hairstyle that is sure to continue shaping in 2016 the manbuns and topknots of many of you fellas. Ergo, and per our previous man bun guides, I’m here to publish our official man braid hairstyle guide.
What is a man braid hairstyle?
A man braid (also known as a “manbraid” or “bro braid”) is nothing more than a braided man bun, so, instead of simply going ahead and tying your long mane into a single bun atop your head at the vertex, you first braid the hair on the top of the head and then tie the bun.
The man braid takes inspiration from the hairstyle of Ragnar Lothbrok in the 2013 TV series Vikings, who is played by Travis Fimmel. Such trend pattern is common in the men’s hairstyles world in that a single celebrity’s hairstyle is enough to spark a whole hairstyle movement worldwide; a classic example of this was the slicked back undercut of Jimmy Darmody in Boardwalk Empire (played by Michael Pitt). It should be duly noted, however, that the braided hairstyle of Ragnar Lothbrok is not a man braid but a textbook French plait with an undercut haircut. Still, his braided long hair was enough to spark the man braid spin-off.
The man braid hairstyle is best suited for semi-bun hairstyles like the top knot hairstyle or the man bun undercut hairstyle. What this means is that you want to have the hair on the sides and back of your head very short, leaving the hair on the top of the head to be braided and put into a bun or a knot.
As you will know by now from reading this site, the haircuts for the topknot include the undercut haircut, the taper haircut and the executive contour haircut. Choose any of these haircuts for the hair on the sides and back of your head and leave the hair on the top of your head as long as you want it to be. But, as I always remind you, do remember that the hair length (on the top of the head) for a top knot is between 6 and 8 inches, while the minimum hair length for a man bun is 8 inches.
With the above said, you can get a man braid for your full manbun hairstyle. Technically speaking, the hair on the sides and back of the head can also be braided into a manbraid so long as the hair is at least 10 inches in length.
In reality, all that you need for the hair length of your man braid hairstyle is at least 6 inches of hair on the top of the head. If all that you want is only the hair on the top of the head to be braided, then keep your sides and back short. However, if you want all of your scalp hair (including sides and back) to be styled into a manbraid, then you must at least have 10 inches of hair length all across you head.
How to braid a man braid hairstyle?
As far as braiding your manbraid goes, you have 3 options:
- Braid the hair on the top as a single braid, also known as a French plait.
- Braid your hair into as many braided locks as you want to.
- Braid the hair on the top as cornrows.
With a French-plaited man braid, all of the hair on the top of the head is used to leave a single braid across the center of the head. However, the hair that is to be placed into the knot or bun is not braided. A benefit of this type of man-braid style is that you can easily undo the French plait and return to your natural hair in minutes. Another benefit from my point of view is that the French-plaited man braid looks better than a man braid consisting of braided locks.
This is how the hair on the top of the head is braided across the length of the head’s top.
As mentioned earlier, you can also braid your hair into as many braided locks as you want to and then you tie your hair as a man bun or as a top knot. Only do this if you plan on wearing you long hair as braids whether you have it tied into a bun or knot or whether you have it untied and hanging down. The disadvantage to this hairstyle is that undoing the dozens of braided locks in this type of man braid will take much longer than undoing the single French plait of the other type of manbraid.
A third type of man braid is its cornrows version. With a corn-rowed manbraid, the hair on the top of the head is braided into cornrows and then tied into a bun or knot. The cornrow-ed tracks are braided into the skin, meaning that the hair in the cornrows doesn’t dangle and is instead fixed on the scalp.
Because, of this, I recommend that you have at least 8 inches of hair length if you want to have your manbraid with cornrows.
What is NOT a man braid
As long hair has become so popular since 2013 and as many urban males prefer to keep their long hair still in 2015 instead of chopping it off, other braided styles for long hair have appeared. However, these other styles are not manbraids, and, since this is a man braid guide, I thought that this deserves the mention.
A braided ponytail is not a man braid. A ponytail is a hairstyle that leaves a “tail” (i.e. not a bun) hanging from its very end. The hair is braided in the ponytail, giving rise to the textbook French plait.
A braided Samurai hairstyle is not a man braid. A Samurai hairstyle is a very-short ponytail. In a braided Samurai hairstyle, the hair on the top of the head is braided but a short tail of hair is left popping out from the vertex. Again, this is a (hair) tail and not a (hair) bun.
A braided rat tail hairstyle is not a man braid. This can also include locks of hair hanging off the back of the head and braided as a thin (and sometimes gross) lock of hair. That is not in no way a manbraid and I don’t care what your hairstylist may say.
Man braid pictures and inspiration
Here at ManBunHairstyle.net I take pride in not just helping you folks achieve your man-bun goals but also in providing as much inspiration and motivation for those of you seeking to be part of our man-bun brethren. Thus, I will now finish this man braid guide by leaving you with a long set of pictures of the man braid hairstyle.
If you have any questions about this particular hairstyle, then please post them below or go to our Man Bun and Top Knot FAQ to read the answers to the most common questions concerning the man bun and the top knot hairstyles.
Guide last updated: 29th November 2015