The Essentials of a Samurai Haircut

The samurai haircut also known as ‘chonmage’ is a traditional Japanese haircut worn by men. Samurai haircut is mostly associated with sumo wrestlers but nowadays it’s been more of a fashion that has been transformed into a famous hairstyle for men. The traditional samurai hairstyle has been modified into a new style known as ‘man bun’ or ‘top knot man’. It is gradually becoming an increasingly famous style especially among the youth. Unlike the traditional samurai haircut, the sides and back of the head are shaved with long hairs left on top. It is worn by a small majority of men mostly residing in Europe and USA.

top knot men
Bradley Cooper with Samurai hair

Brief History of Samurai Haircut

The history of samurai haircut dates back to 1300 CE when Maori people migrated to New Zealand. They would use different types of oil to style their hair but only the men of the high rank would wear tikitiki that is now called man bun.

Maori people were the first known people to have the samurai haircut.
During the Joseon Dynasty period in Korea, men would style their hair in a knot at the top of the head. They would use a pin or a headband to support the knot and stopping it from falling. They would even wear hats with space in between for their hair buns.

During the Edo period in Japan, this hairstyle was named as ‘chonmage’. In chonmage, almost all of the head was shaven except for a bunch of hairs which was tied up into a knot. Mostly samurai used this hairstyle in the battlefield and hence got the name of samurai haircut.

Moving forward to the 20th century, topknot was actually the signature style of actress Audrey Hepburn in Paris. Styling the top knot first time with long hair, the actress introduced a new version of topknot or bun for the women.

The famous singer Gwen Stefani wore a similar top knot hairstyle in 1998, modifying the hairstyle a bit with 6 little knots on top of the head.

Talking about the ‘top knot men’ in modern time, celebs like Jared Leto, Leonardo Dicaprio and Ariana Grande have all worn this hairstyle with a magic touch of their own style.

Top knot men
Top knot men

Modern Day Man Bun Hairstyle

The Man Bun Unveiled: A Guide To Different Types of Man Bun Hairstyle

The traditionalist samurai hairstyle has been evolving since a long time and has been known as the top knot or man bun. Samurai hairstyle would perfectly suit people with medium or long hair curls. One thing to note is that the samurai hairstyle is different from ponytail hairstyle. The only difference among both the hairstyles is the knot. In samurai hairstyle, the knot is basically tied up on the top of head while in ponytail the knot lies at the back of head. The samurai hairstyle is perfect for those who are involved in physical activities like going to gym. The hairs won’t bug the person while weightlifting or any kind of similar activity.

The samurai hairstyle is based on traditional Japanese chonmage where hairs are styled on top of the head whilst shaving the remaining hairs to indicate the Japanese status of samurais. Unlike chonmage, modern day samurai hairstyle only has top knot with no further cutting or shaving. However, sometimes the sides and back of head are shaved to give a more personalized look.

top knot men
Orlando Bloom with Samurai hair

Celebrities with Samurai Hairstyle

David Beckham – The lady-killing bun man

This soccer star is unarguably a fashion icon. Beckham has actually swapped a lot of hairstyles and carried each one of them perfectly, just like his game. The kind of attention he gets from media, there’s no doubt his every hairstyle turns into a trend for men. One of his iconic hairstyle includes the samurai hairstyle or modern day hair bun. With his blonde bun, Beckham took the modern day samurai hairstyle to a whole new level. Beckham got the look in 2003 when he played for a new team, Real Madrid. As expected, his bun quickly started to become popular among men. Beckham squeezed his hair and tied a knot on the middle back of the head. Often in the middle of the game his bun would eventually fall into a pony tail because of the frequent running. You can’t complain much on that, can you?

top knot men
Here’s a photo of Beckham spotting a samurai haircut to a whole new level

Leonardo Dicaprio – The mysterious bun man

He might not have won an Oscar yet but he surely has won the award for one of the best modern day samurai hairstyle for men. Dicaprio rocked the samurai hairstyle back in 2012, reportedly for his role in the upcoming movie ‘Revenant’ in which he is playing the role of a mountain man. Dicaprio’s new hairstyle quickly got the attention of media but didn’t get much appreciation though! He was first seen with the look when he received the Clinton Global Citizen Award. He rocked his popular hairstyle short topknot with the busty beard. After that, he could be seen everywhere with his dope hairstyle, from being spotted on beaches to casually walking on the streets, from going to an award show to be seen celebrating on his luxurious yacht. It seems like he is in total love with his hairstyle.

Chris Hemsworth – The manly top bun man

The superhero ‘Thor’ can be seen with big hairs not only in the movie but also in real life. Except in real life; he styles his hair perfectly into a fashionable newer version of samurai hairstyle. It seems like he is really obsessed with his hairstyle and could be seen everywhere rocking his bun of blonde hair. There’s no doubt that he looks perfect even with short hair but with a blonde bun, he turns into a Greek God. One can only admire the small bun sitting on the top of head questioning the whole world wide men why they haven’t sported this hairstyle yet? But for a man who’s ranked as the sexiest man alive is rocking the bun that’s always cleanly tied up whether he arrives on a date with his wife or attending the premier of Avengers, everybody goes gaga over this hunk’s ‘flawless’ bun.

top knot men
Here’s a prime example of samurai haircut adding perfection to an already perfect man.

Jared Leto – They sexy bun man

It is true that even the mighty has to fall and it is supposed to be true in the case of Napoleon, Caesar and recently Jared Leto. He gave up his signature ombre long waves and transformed them into a bun. Maybe the thought hit him that the modern day samurai hairstyle can make him look like a God instantly and it proved to be true in his case too. He was first seen with the look when he won the award for best supporting role at Golden Globes award. From that day people are more prone to carry this style and how it adds the dash of perfection to one’s persona. He totally rocks this man bun with a messy beard and his fans are in total awe of it. It seems like he has given this haircut a whole new look.

Top knot men
Here’s a photo of Jared Leto absolutely killing it in samurai haircut.

Colin Farrell – The impressive top knot men

Colin Farrell was one step ahead of the man bun trend. He first sported this look in 2005 for the promotion of his film Alexander. At that time, man bun wasn’t even in fashion but it went so well with his personality and he looked a complete dapper. He again sported this look in 2014 but this time his look was enticing than ever. He shaved his head sides and styled his short hairs on the top of the head into a knot, truly like a handsome samurai with a perfect samurai hairstyle. It was like that he redefined the traditional samurai hairstyle and he absolutely mastered it, no doubt!

top knot men
Here is the picture of a samurai of 21st century.

Face Features Suitable for Samurai Haircut

Basically samurai haircut goes well with any kind of face shape but like every hairstyle looks best on a desired face shape similarly there is a face for samurai haircut. To master the samurai haircut, one needs a desirable face shape. The perfect face feature for samurai haircut is the oval shape or slightly round shape face. Looking at the pictures of Leonardo Dicaprio and Jared Leto and one can follow this point well since samurai haircut will complement both the faces. Comparing to tall faces, samurai haircut won’t be able to deliver the same style as it will do on a round or oval faced shape. However it necessarily doesn’t mean that it won’t look great on any other face shape except round or oval face. It might look good but to master the samurai haircut one need to have the ideal face shape.

There’s a reason why they both are looking absolutely perfect in samurai haircut and that’s because of their face feature.

top knot men
Top knot men

How to have stunning Samurai Hair

The most important thing for having samurai hairstyle is to grow hairs. If someone have medium length hairs before so it will probably take 6 to 8 months at maximum to get a knot which can then be easily transformed into a samurai hairstyle (not very difficult, right?) One just needs to let their hairs grow and meanwhile can always wear hats or caps in this uncomfortable period before getting a top knot. Also try to use coconut oil. It will soften hairs and is also good for scalp. And also will flatten the bulky hairs too.

Fashion Style for Samurai Hair

Samurai hairstyle is one of the trendiest haircuts as of late. From celebrities to athletes, everyone has tried it and they have actually looked great. A large chunk of youth in Europe, USA and Australia can be seen wearing this style. While not many numbers with this haircut can be found in Asia, the trend is still slowly gaining speed. Also an important question is how to style the samurai haircut that’s apparently many are asking. Let’s take a look at that. As discussed earlier, the primary condition of achieving samurai haircut is to grow hairs till the time when they are six inches long at least.

Top knot men in style
Top knot men in style

Another thing one must do is to take care of long hairs. Massage them at least two times a week with coconut or almond oil. The reason why one should oil hairs is because oil strengthens the hairs and their grip too so when being tied in a knot they won’t break down. So having long hairs, one doesn’t have to make that boring typical pulled down pony tail that’s more like ‘peace out’. So anything that being pulled back at this point will look good because of the hair length. So just pull back hairs, squeeze them with hands, hold them up and tie it in a ponytail and again pulling it down second time in a ponytail again. Another thing that most people don’t do is to pin hairs down so they can have a strong grip and won’t lose down quickly. Also by pinning hairs up, the hairstyle would look less than a pompadour or undercut and more like a proper samurai hairstyle.

top lot men
A picture showing how you can style your samurai haircut and look like a true samurai!
The top knot groom
The top knot groom
Top knot hair with manly beard
Top knot hair with manly beard

Products for Man Bun Hairstyle

Basically, for wearing a samurai haircut an elastic hair band is all one need. But obviously to make it look perfect, one needs a few good ranges of products to style the samurai haircut as good as that of Jared Leto. The first thing to be needed is the hair band. Obviously without hair band there is no samurai haircut. But there’s one thing that must be kept in mind that hair bands should be metal free so that the metal won’t break the hairs down or weakens the scalp.

Top knot men
Top knot men in suit!

Next in line is the shampoo and a good conditioner since long hairs need more protection. Use each of them twice a week.

Last thing on the list is the styling cream for the hairs to set in a samurai haircut. Forget about waxes, gels or pomades. Buy hair creams that are specifically made for long hairs and they are easily available in market. Just style the hairs in the same way one would do with other styling products such as gel. After giving it a perfect shape, one’s ready to go with a samurai haircut that won’t let anyone down. Ever!


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