As Seen At The Gym: Man Braids

The latest over-the-top trend in men’s grooming works surprisingly well for workouts.

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The men’s long-hair trend is far from over. At the end of 2015, Google reported that men are outpacing women in searching for hairstyle tutorials, and that man buns were largely responsible for the shift. So, it’s only natural that the top women’s hairstyle term in 2015—braidsis making its way into neutral territory, and quickly gaining steam with those long-haired fellas.   

Yes, man braids are now a thing. The #manbraid hashtag is dense with Instagram posts from adventurous guys, and showcases variety in styles and lengths. The trend is especially picking up traction with guys who first embraced the now-ubiquitous “samurai” top-knots

New York City-based hair stylist Mallory Pace is in favor of the look, highlighting the many benefits of braids: “Braiding hair—when wet—the night before can give you wavy bed head texture the next day, which looks super sexy,” she says. “Braids are also great for exercising and keeping hair out of your face.”

As a hat or headband alternative while working out, Pace suggests one particular style: the French braid. It’s also one of the simplest braids to learn, and can be worn tightly to your head. 

Pace says any braid style will be best worn with long, shoulder-length hair, and recommends texturizing spray in dry hair if you’re aiming for an effortless look. These styles will have to be worn very tightly to the head, so be warned: You could easily get a headache if it’s pulled too taut.

Some more advice for beginners: Be patient. It can take some time to master the handiwork, and to get the style looking somewhat intentional. (This video will help you master the braid.) And, if you’re against the trend altogether, patience is your best weapon, too: These various bold men’s grooming styles aren’t disappearing any time soon.