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The 'Man Braid' Is the New Men's Hair Trend We Have to Deal With

Do you have an opinion about Instagram bros embracing braids? Soon you will, trust us.
Photo via lukasrobinhood

Hi everyone, and a little 'men's hair news' housekeeping to deal with: there is a new trend in men's hair, and also it turns out beards—O, so beloved of the hipster! O, how the beards shimmer and undulate under the weight of their craft beard old! O, how the beards dip into and swiftly out of pints of craft ale, how they collect pulled pork like a magnet! O, how the bristles shall grow! Beards! Beards, beards, beards!—turns out beards are possibly antibacterial and can fight infection. So, to recap: beards do not, as previously suggested, "contain as much feces as a toilet"; and there is a new haircut we are all going to have to deal with. Come on. Together—if we process this news as one—together we will find the strength to deal with this.


First I am going to have to tell you about the haircut, because it is January, and there is always a new hair trend among men, every year, year after year, men tired now of going to a barber called "Dads 'N' Lads" and asking for the "$8 special," and the haircut is always announced in the same ominous tone you might expect from an exhausted 19th-century colonel, his horse flagging, his army depleted, and he sees high above a distant cliff a rumbling and a shaking of sand, and suddenly look: a whole squadron of enemy soldiers, in strong armor and with reinforcements, pincering in on him from all sides, and he knows that no matter how bravely he will fight, it is futile and for naught. "Men," the colonel pants, a tear streaming out of his remaining eye. "Gentlemen, my gentlemen: there is a new trend in men's hairstyling."

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Anyway sit down for this: The trend is a "man braid." Yes: the spiritual brother to the man bun. Yes: not just a braid but a man braid, a strong and manly braid, a braid that drinks lager and has a favorite car, a braid that has opinions about Harry Kane and the quiet respect of a loyal dog, a braid that has a favorite film and that film is Fight Club. Yes: braiding, an Afro-Caribbean hair technique going back generations, now transplanted onto the top of the heads of white Instagram bros with short back and sides, and that is considered new. Can your mind even deal with this new revolution in men's hairstyling? Can you fucking even cope with this?


Photo via barbara_hairarts

There are two appropriate reactions to the man braid:

1. "Eh."

2. "Well, you know. You know. I mean: it's not for me. But it exists and I guess I am fine with that. Hey: It exists. I am willing to admit that, at least."

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And so onto beards: BBC Magazine today has a bit about a study in the Journal of Hospital Infection found that—by swabbing the faces of 408 hospital staff, with and without facial hair—those with beards were less likely to be carrying around bacteria-ry stuff on them. The initial thought was that regular shaving might cause microabrasions that harbored more germs and MRSA-causing stuff, but further study found that it's possible the beards themselves were fighting the germs, with a sort of mystery beard microbe going around shutting things down. Tests showed the beard microbe—part of the staphylococcus epidermidis species—were effective at killing even the most drug-resistant E. coli. So in short: Next time you eat some bad chicken at a wedding and get the E. Coli shits, rub your face on ZZ Top.

I think together we did it. I think together we processed all the men's hair news that today can throw at us. Maybe tomorrow there will be more men's hair news—"Boys Can Curl Too! The Wacky New Trend Dubbed The 'Instagram Perm,'" that sort of thing; "Rubbing Your Dick On A Beard Can Cure Sexually Transmitted Infection!"—but for now, for today, we are all coping with the idea of the man braid and the magic doctor beard. Together we did it. Together we are strong.

Follow Joel on Twitter.