Seriously, there's science behind why we think man buns are SO. FREAKING. HOT.
The man bun has experienced a major resurgence in popularity in the past year and women are loving it. Lady-killers Leonardo Dicaprio, Bradley Cooper and Jared Leto have all sported man buns, as well as People's sexiest man alive Chris Hemsworth, and they all looked hot as hell doing it. (Even Leo!)
There is something about a man with a rugged man bun that is just unnervingly sexy, even primal in a way. Some women suspect that their fascination with the man bun stems from a learned appreciation for their moms' romance novel icon Fabio, but I am happy to report, women's fascination with the man bun came long before a chiseled man cradling a single red rose in his teeth graced the cover of 80s erotica novels. Let's rewind a few thousand years to our earliest days as cave people:
1. Survival of the hairiest!
Evolutionarily speaking, the man bun was boss. Back in the cave man times, a woman was only as strong as her selected sperm donor, or boyfriend as they are called nowadays. A majority of evolution was occurring during a pretty rough time for early humans. This meant that a woman's choice of mate dictated whether or not she would survive in the dangerous terrain, and whether her children would be provided with enough food and reliable shelter in order to continue the gene pool.
When choosing a mate, women would naturally select a man who displayed physical signs of health, prosperity, and agility: these physical signs would tip her off as to how strong her future cave-children would be. Her brain was programmed to pick up on a variety of physical clues from said cave man. In addition to being programmed to be attracted to broad shoulders, a narrow waist, a symmetrical, square face, all of which are signs of high testosterone levels, they were also programmed to be attracted a full, luscious head of hair.
2. They always had protection.
Men had head hair to protect their most important organ, their brain (well, debatably their second most important organ), from the sun and other elements. A man with hair equated to a man with a functioning, non-damaged brain.
3. All about that length.
Get your heads out of the gutter, we're talking the length of his lock. Men's long head hair may have helped them while they were hunting, because long locks served as camouflage from their predators. Imagine two men hiding in the bushes stalking their prey, one bald and another with hair long and thick enough to sport the most epic of man bun.
The bald man is pretty easy to spot, but a man whose hair covers his head and even parts of his neck blends in much better with the shrubbery, making him more likely to return to his cave-lady after his hunt. The less likely a man was to be killed in the wild, the more attractive he was to the bachelorettes of the bush.
4. Young, wild, and fertile.
Hair loss is a natural sign of aging for the modern man, so a man with a long head of hair is most likely, biologically young enough to sport such a look. Youth is universally attractive in males because a younger man has more sperm, is more agile (in hunting and play-time), and can therefore make more babies.
5. The longer the hair, the longer the life!
Man bun hair is attractive to the modern woman because men with a full head of hair were viewed as being more healthy than their balding counterparts. Back then, women saw thin hair as a sign of malnutrition and even impending death. If a man had long hair, it was a clear, quantifiable sign that he had been healthy for the last 365 days.
But bald men, do not fear, you were sexually selected too! When a man matures, testosterone is dispensed within various parts of the body and 50 percent of the time, male pattern baldness will occur. But the same hormone that causes lower voices, "large testicles, and virile insemination practices" is the same hormone that causes baldness. Clearly, the Real Housewives of the Stone Age had our backs (or our buns). So there's that.
Evolutionary principles show us that the man bun is here to stay, so get ready to share your deepest, darkest conditioning secrets with your newly bunned-up boyfriends.
h/t Tonya Reiman's The Body Language of Dating