Are Man Braids The New Man Buns?

Man buns have been a source of flirty nights in PBR bars and hipster cafes everywhere as of late, but we might have a new hub of man-crush material: the man braid. Whether by weaving the braid in on the underside of a top knot or doing a little French braid action atop some floppy locks, men are beginning to experiment by adding some flair to their 'dos.

Mashable reported on the social media boom of deftly-twisted man braids, noting, "Whether you're into braiding or not, the trend has been popping on social media for the past few weeks with dudes being bold about their twisted manes."

And these aren't the run-of-the-mill beginner braids we used to weave in second grade, either. These guys are getting fancy with their cropped styles. I'm talking about top-notch, YouTube tutorial type of material.

Mashable reported, "Some have decided to create Heidi braids (that's braiding along the crown of the head), while others have opted for a cropped French braid." While the man bun seemed like a natural (though albeit hot) resolution of getting their long hair out of their face, the man braids are an obvious and fun foray into self-expression with hairstyles.

The braid boom sort of makes sense, what with last year's androgynous fashion trends. With designer powerhouses like Gucci and Prada coming out with men's lines that flounced sheer dresses and frilly lace blouses, they've helped blur the line between what it means to be strictly "feminine" or "masculine." Couple that with an increase of men wearing makeup — as seen at the Beautycon expo in New York City, where men admitted that they wanted to break out of the tough-guy tropes that haven't allowed them to tap into their creative sides — and we're arguably seeing more openness in experimenting with style and fashion than ever before.

Whether men are tinkering with Dutch braids and fishtails because they want to live a more expressive life, are breaking out of heteronormative tropes of what it means to be "male," or just like the addition of a plait to their style, it's all interesting to watch.

And with celebrities like Harry Styles rocking a tightly-woven Dutch braid and Jared Leto showing up to the 2015 Golden Globes with a messy plait, the idea is becoming less radical and more doable.

In tribute to this fun new trend, let's look back at the male hair trends of 2015 — some loved, some hated, and some still on the fence.

1. Clip-In Man Buns

Clip In Man Bun, $10,

Impatient to grow out your hair to chin length? Well, now you don't have to — all you need to do is pick up the male version of hair extensions and get yourself a clip-on man bun. Now guys can do the whole drying-my-extensions-on-the-shower-rod thing, too.

2. Glitter Beards

Last year allowed men to show off their excitement for the holidays with a glitter-bombed beard. I can dig it. Bonus points if you hang little ornaments in it for extra flair.

3. The Angular Fringe

Like a more intense Danny from Grease, you could find about 94 percent of the male population rocking this look in 2015. It might have been a mandated law, for all we know. (Disclaimer: I completely made up that stat, but it feels right, doesn't it?)

With hairstyles (and beard trends) becoming a little more interesting and bold, it's going to be exciting to see what guys come up with for 2016.

Images: LeviRocha/YouTube (1); Groupon (1)