Top Buns, Man Buns, and Hot Buns

back view of man with beard and bun in black leather jacket

There are some things we need to talk about of a serious nature. Just some things we need to discuss that are pressing on my heart right now. Three things, actually, and they all have one common theme. Buns. They are all bun-related subjects.

Top Buns, Man Buns, and Hot Buns. After much prayer and thoughtfulness, I feel led to speak into these topics in what I can only assume will be my most earth-shattering and poignant post to date.

Top Buns

For the last couple of years, I’ve taken to pulling my hair in a top bun almost daily. In fact, it’s become so regular for me to do this that sometimes I can’t remember the last time I actually brushed my hair. I often sleep in the bun.

And now I have the mother of all ponytail headaches that won’t go away, with flyaways all around my face from where the hair has up and broken right off out of defeat. I pretty much look like Medusa with my hair down.


When I did the cover shoot for Fayette Woman Magazine (I’m sorry. I promise not to start my sentences with this very often. Maybe two more times.), we did four different looks, ending with me at my computer (not in my office, because HAVE YOU SEEN THAT HOT MESS?!) typing while eating a Nerds Rope, because REAL LIFE (I actually did return emails while shooting. Hey, if I’m at my laptop, I’m working…unless I’m on Facebook with you guys.). Anyway, they wanted me to look natural like my real self, which means Top Bun.

Her: For this shot, I want you to put your hair up like you’re a busy mom, so just fix it like you normally do.

Me: (assembling my normal top bun) Okay, this is how I wear it every day.


Photographer walking in the room: No. You look like Bamm-Bamm.

They made me a nice ponytail and every day when I do my hair I think BAMM-BAMM STYLE. Next time I buy a rotisserie chicken I need to save a femur. (Note: I’m not sure if chickens have femurs. But I’m not really comfortable scavenging a bone from something large enough to have a well-developed femur. Does Tofurky have a femur?)


Man Buns

I feel like Man Bun used to be an anomaly, and now I’m seeing it constantly. I got off the plane in Denver and saw three man buns before I left the airport, and it’s sweeping the nation gathering steam like a hairy tornado virus.

The first time I saw it, I guffawed. You know that laugh that’s like when you combine a grunt with that nose-puffy thing a horse does when it’s frustrated? That was my initial reaction when confronted with my first Man Bun. Now when I see one, I feel this odd combination of admiration and inexplicable need to chop it off with a scythe while screaming, “No! You don’t get to have this!”

I have to admit I almost like Man Bun at this point. Bless their hearts. Men have so few creative options with their appearance, and Man Bun has opened up a whole line of clip-on accessories.

Blond Man Bun:


Brunette Man Bun:


Does anyone else think this is the same guy in an argyle shirt who’s been photoshopped to have different hair? It’s nice to see the photoshoppers working on the men now, too. Next photoshoppy trend for men: thigh gap. BECAUSE IT’S ONLY FAIR.

When my friend Megan took me on a boat tour of San Francisco, a young guy who I dubbed “Man Bun” kept getting in the way of my photos. I began making up a story line about him in my head and finally gave up and just photographed him with the San Francisco scenery.  Look, Man Bun found love:


He and Lady Man Bun Lover enjoyed the scenery with minimal pelvic thrusting. They could’ve just been cold. Love and buns.

Hot Buns

Leggings make me nervous. I’m not sure if this is latent Child of the ’80s damage from wonky stirrup pants or if I have some kind of deep-ingrained fear of camels and their various extremities.


Whatever the reason, leggings make me very nervous. I love yoga pants, but for some reason, leggings make me feel like I forgot to put on pants and am walking outside pants-less.

However, I try to be brave, and one day my legs and butt were cold and so my defenses were down when I saw fleece-lined leggings. They looked like a form-fitting fuzzy blanket that you could walk around in, and I just needed my lower half to be warm and cozy.

So I bought them to wear with the longest shirts and thickest granny panties I could find. I looked at my butt in the mirror, and decided that while I didn’t have hot buns as in HAWT DANG, I did have hot buns as in a warm and cozy tush. A tush with a long-ass shirt covering it.

In addition to the feeling like I forgot my pants, I discovered one other dark side to the leggings phenomenon. Yes, the fleecy leggings keep my legs warm, but that’s in large part due to the extreme chafliness happening on account of Winter Legs.

Winter Legs are the gift we give ourselves when it’s cold and we no longer have to shave constantly. We need the extra warmth, so we let our razors take long breaks between use. This is a survival skill and works just fine when alternating between jeans and yoga pants.

But dude. When you try to slide fleece-lined leggings over woolly mammoth legs, the fleece gets caught, much like if you try to drive a rental car backwards over the spike strip.

So I’m thinking the leggings register neutral on the cozy scale. They add warmth, but in order to wear them without causing a friction buildup, you have to shave first. Only you can prevent forest fires.


Let’s see, so in conclusion…

Top Bun

pro: don’t have to brush hair ever

con: permanent headache and Medusa effect

Man Bun

pro: more options for bored males

con: everything else

Hot Bun

pro: toasty comfy butt

con: Excessive Winter Shaving

While weighing the pros and cons, please enjoy these:


And these:



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  • Katie

    Man Buns: No.
    Top Buns: Eh. I’m not a fan? But in my opinion, as long as nobody tells me what to do with MY hair, I’m not going to tell them what to do with theirs. We’re all moms trying like hell to cover up the part where we haven’t showered. Do what you gotta do.
    Hot Buns: I can’t pull off leggings. But I often admire my friends’ fleece-lined leggings. From afar.

    • Melanie Dale

      I was the same about the leggings. And now that I’ve bought a pair, I don’t really want to take them off…except to shave cuz yowch. I hear you about the Top Bun. My Top Bun salutes you and waves in a friendly, non-threatened way, fully respecting your own hair choices.

  • Hannah

    I almost wet myself laughing reading this. Especially the photoshopped man bun.

    • Melanie Dale

      It cracks me up. I’d seen the clip on bun before, but when I realized they had a blond and brunette version of the same guy…I died. The internet is so good to us.

  • Leah Heffner

    If you embrace top bun for too long, you’ll have to also embrace extra wide headbands, to help with the crazy fly aways brought on my said bun and excessive southern humidity.
    Also, I want you to know that I felt the same way about yoga pants, then started wearing them. “Where do I hide my thighs? O I don’t? I just embrace it? Ok….” Now, I love them. Had the same thoughts with leggings, including the “I’m not wearing pants” but do you know what? WHO WANTS TO WEAR PANTS?!? When I read For the Love, I was like Jen Hatmaker I love you, but you’re wrong about leggings because they’re the exact same as yoga pants. Let’s just all agree to keep the tooshies covered.

    • Melanie Dale

      Leah Heffner: WHO WANTS TO WEAR PANTS?!?
      Me: Not me, that’s for sure. Pants are bindy.

  • Jill B.

    HA! HA! This reminds me of the King of Queens episode where Carrie keeps wearing a bun and Doug hates it. It’s pretty darn funny! Man buns are gross but not as gross as psuedo wrestler buns.

  • Jill B.

    HA! HA! This reminds me of the King of Queens episode where Carrie keeps wearing a bun and Doug hates it. It’s pretty darn funny! Man buns are gross but not as gross as sumo wrestler buns.

  • Krystale Bithoney

    Is it bad that I wear a top bun to work like, every day? In an office.. I can’t help it. Who has time to brush their hair? I do that for special occasions only, people. Also, I totally agree with you on the man bun. I just can’t. Please men, keep your hair bunless. Leggings are my lifesavers, though. I have 5 pairs of leggings that I alternate during the winter.. usually though, I keep the bum covered, but they are an excellent alternative to tights when I have to wear dresses and be professional (kind of). I’m pretty sure I scared small children when I wore leggings when I was pregnant with my son, but whatevs.

  • Charlsey

    Love your sense of humor and real-ness. Just so good! ❤️

  • Paula Claunch

    The check out guy at Wal-Mart had a man bun today. So, apparently the style really is everywhere.





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