Culture

7 Bartenders with Majestic Man Buns

Bartender with a man bun, making a drink
Andy Maurer's mane in all its glory.

Some love them. Some hate them. Some threaten to run amok around Williamsburg with a pair of scissors in order to get rid of them. Whatever your opinion on the seemingly ubiquitous man bun may be, there's one thing we can all agree on: they are everywhere. And as the service industry is often at the forefront of certain cultural zeitgeists (as many a vest-clad, mustache-sporting bartender has proven), man buns are especially prevalent behind the bar. But for people working marathon shifts at a physically demanding pace, is the man bun's pervasiveness due more to function than form? We chatted up a handful of the industry's topknot-sporting drink-slingers for their take on the trend.

Bartender with a man bunTrevor Schneider's secret to a secured coiffe? Plenty of hair ties — but only in odd numbers.

1. Trevor Schneider, National Ambassador for Reyka Vodka

How long have you been rocking a man bun?
I used to be a starving actor and bartender in NYC. I didn't have a lot of money to get my haircut all the time. It was right around the time The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise came out. My coworkers at the time named me the Cocktail Ninja. That name stuck and so did the hair style. I've been rocking the top knot since that time which was 2003/2004.

How do you make sure your man bun stays in top condition? Any tips for maintaining?
Rinse it every day. Shampoo and condition once a week. My secret is multiple hair ties but always odd. For example 3 or 5.

Is the man bun the new mustache?
I won't go that far, but I would say over the years it has become much more socially acceptable for people working in hospitality to sport them.

Do you ever let your hair down? What's that like?
Rarely, in most cases it means "I'm over it" whatever it is at that moment.

Man with hair in a bun speaking into a microphoneAaron's been sporting a man bun since 2007—long before "man bun" had made it into the English language.

2. Aaron Polsky, Bar Lead at Shadowbox Bar at Clifton's Cafeteria (Los Angeles)

How long have you been rocking a man bun?
My first man bun was tied in the snowy December of 2007

How do you make sure your man bun stays in top condition? Any tips for maintaining?
My secrets are too great—or too few—to reveal.

Is the man bun the new mustache?
Is your mouth on the back of your head? If yes, yes. If no...no.

Do you ever let your hair down? What's that like?
It's my mane squeeze these days.

Two men with hair in a bun, having a drinkDon't get too close to Borden (right) at a metal show: his hair has serious range.

3. Borden Ornelaz, Bartender at Black Sands and Whitechapel (San Francisco)

How long have you had the man bun?
I've had long hair and the "man bun" for at least ten years now, before this became this celebrated and hilarious 'trend'. -

How do you make sure your hair stays in top condition?
This hair has its own mind, so i try to keep it manageable with a good wash every other day, but it's thick so i get lazy and brush it well maybe twice a week.

Is the man bun the new mustache?
The man bun is certainly not as polarizing as the "Prohibition-style" mustache has been. I'm not sure why it's become such a thing right now, but I find it hilarious and I'm all for jokes.

Do you ever let your hair down?
I don't let my hair down that often, especially while I'm behind the bar as it usually gets too hot, but when it is you know we're about to have a lot of fun. Be careful if you're near me at a metal show; you might get whipped and my hair has range.

Bartender with hair in a bun stirring a drinkAs a Texan, Andy's hair style is more a survival mechanism for dealing with the heat. (He also gets lots of Thor comparisons.)

4. Andy Maurer, Craft Specialist/Mixologist for Glazer’s Distributors (Houston, Texas)

How long have you been rocking a man bun?
As soon as I could keep my hair out of my face, about 5 or 6 years now.

How do you make sure your man bun stays in top condition? Any tips for maintaining?
I spend way too much money on hair products, there’s always someone at the bar with a spare hair tie though so that’s pretty rad.

In the spirits/bartending world, is the man bun the new mustache?
I think ‘beards and buns’ is kind of a the calling right now. Apparently the Vikings were really good at drinking so it makes sense.

Do you ever let your hair down? What's that like?
It’s usually like a Mexican stand off, a "so how long is it, mine’s this long" kind of thing. Texas is super hot all the time but when I let the locks flow, the Thor jokes begin instantly.

Man with hair in a bun and a woman with short hairJohn Cicero doesn't always let his hair down... but when he does, he makes certain to whip it back and forth.

5. John Cicero, National Advocacy Advocate for Bacardi USA & TEAM Enterprises

How long have you been rocking a man bun?
When my hair started getting in my face during my glory days.

How do you make sure your man bun stays in top condition? Any tips for maintaining?
Limited shampoo usage.

In the spirits/bartending world, is the man bun the new mustache?
I don’t know…I would say it is more of the new banana hammock.

Do you ever let your hair down? What's that like?
Only when I whip my hair back and forth, but that is a rare occasion.

Man in a tropical shirt with dreadlocksWilliam Pineapple and his dreadlocks take the man bun to new heights.

6. William Pineapple, Master of Beverages at Lorenzo's (Brooklyn)

How long have you had your man bun?
5.5 years of man bun goodness.

What's the maintenance like?
I have a vigorous cleaning schedule and I pay someone a lot of money twice a year to help me keep my locks in top notch condition.

Is the man bun the new mustache?
Not the new mustache. It's totally way cooler than that!

What happens when you let your hair down?
I let my hair down once a day, at which point I'm too awesome and people can't handle it so I put it back up.

Man with hair in a tiny bunBerto finds inspiration in samurai movies and lots of conditioner.

7. Berto Santoro, Bar Manager at Extra Virgin (Kansas City) and President, USBG Kansas City

How long have you been sporting the man bun?
A little over 2 years.

How do you make sure your man bun stays in top condition? Any tips for maintaining?
Gotta condition that top knot, and watch a lot of samurai movies.

In the spirits/bartending world, is the man bun the new mustache?
It seemed like it was definitely trending at Tales this year. I kinda wish everyone would stop with the man buns so mine would look cooler.

Do you ever let your hair down?
At home I usually let it down for a little bit, but it gets annoying quick.

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