While our current times might not reflect the serious honor codes of ancient Japanese culture, the Samurai haircut is a popular trend. So if you’re considering trying out this hairstyle, keep reading to learn everything about it, along with some great styling ideas!
What Is a Samurai Haircut?
A Samurai haircut covers a range of hairstyles involving a top knot, man bun, or ponytail. The name comes from the ancient Samurai warriors and how they would wear their hair—the ponytail high on the head, called a chonmage, is said to have helped keep the warrior’s helmet in place.
But hairstyles in ancient Japan were not just about something functional—hairstyles in Japan also signaled a person’s age and social status. And the Samurai haircut was a symbol of status and honor, only to be worn by accomplished warriors.
But today, the Samurai haircut is less about status as a warrior and more about sporting your long hair with style. And there are countless ways to personalize the style, including how you tie the top knot to how you cut the sides of your head. Overall, it’s a fun haircut with benefits such as:
- It’s a flexible hairstyle with lots of variety.
- It keeps your long hair out of the way
- Easy to maintain
Samurai Haircut Inspiration: 30 Ways to Rock the Trend
Especially in modern times, there’s no one way to rock the Samurai look. So if you’re considering a Samurai haircut, make sure you first check out the variety of ways that this style works!
1. Samurai Knot With Fade
A great look for the Samurai knot is to fade the long hair on the top into a short cut on the sides. While traditional Samurai shaved the sides, fading is a less direct way to bring attention to the knot on top.
2. Ponytail Style With Buzzed Sides
There are tons of ways to tie a top knot in the Samurai hairstyle, but the easiest would be this classic ponytail. The buzzed sides serve as a nice contrast to the flowing hair on top.
3. Medium Ponytail
Unlike the short ponytail in the previous example, this warrior is sporting a much longer ponytail. This look differs from a more traditional Samurai top knot in that it is more towards the back of the head instead of the top.
4. Shaved Sides
If you want the style of a more legit Samurai haircut, consider shaving the sides like this example. The long hair on top particularly stands out when the sides are shaved!
5. Small Top Knot
Not all Samurai styles require super long hair, as this man manages to get the classic Samurai top knot with short hair on the top. The short facial hair also helps to bring this look together.
6. Messy Top Knot
While some looks neatly tie the top knot, it’s also popular to sport a more messy look with the Samurai style. The messy top knot works best with longer hair.
7. Fade With Ponytail
Surprisingly, you don’t necessarily need to have long flowing hair on the top to make a ponytail work. This example shows a cool ponytail style on an otherwise normal faded haircut.
8. Man Bun With Hair Sticks
There are several ways to tie your man bun, and this example shows the clever trick of using sticks. Especially if you want a more complicated knot, sticks can be both functional and stylish.
9. Samurai Man Bun
This example showcases the classic Samurai style of placing your man bun high up on the head. The distinct part between the sides and the top also looks great!
10. Messy Man Bun
This man bun resembles the Samurai style in how it is placed more on top rather than in the back. But the messy style gives it casual energy that is more stylish than warrior-like.
11. Tight Man Bun
This haircut lacks the traditional short hair on the sides, but the neatness of the top knot gives it a slick look. The sideburns are also a unique addition!
12. Messy Man Bun With Beard
If you don’t like the look of a neatly tied top knot, consider letting the edges fray out if your hair is long enough. This look also works great with a short beard.
13. Puffy Man Bun
Some people prefer a man bun that is contrasted with the neatness of a perfectly combed top. But this example shows that you can also let your longer hair on top stay puffy and loose.
14. Long Samurai Hair With Top Knot
If you want to keep your super long hair and need a fun way to style it, you can still tie a Samurai knot on the top while letting the longer hair flow down the back.
15. Folded Ponytail
This example showcases another way to tie a Samurai knot with longer hair. The ponytail is folded once, allowing the rest of it to blend into the longer hair flowing down.
16. Redhead Top Knot With Long Beard
When you think of a Samurai haircut, the first thing to come to mind might not be a redhead. But this example shows that red hair can work equally well with this hairstyle!
17. Messy Samurai Style
This haircut is another example of sporting the Samurai hairstyle with more of a messy approach. The top bun is tied loosely and the hair around the sides is free to look messy.
18. Slicked Back Samurai Knot
If the messy style is not for you, consider a more professional approach to the Samurai knot. With neatly combed hair and a tight bun, this hairstyle looks clean and professional.
19. Man Bun and Short Buzz
The short buzz cut on the sides of this example is more true to the original Samurai look. And the thick beard somehow brings this look together really well.
20. Backside Samurai Knot
While it is more traditional to wear a Samurai knot on the top, this example shows that you can also pull off the look on the back of the head. And with short hair, the bun stays up!
21. Big and Messy Bun
Some people prefer a small and neat-looking bun, but feel free to make it big and messy if you have enough hair. This look is a great way to sport the Samurai style more casually.
22. Folded Bun
If you have the right length of hair, consider folding your bun. Folding is a great way to make the bun look neat, and it helps it stay up as well.
23. Twisted Samurai Knot
There are many ways to tie a Samurai knot, but this example shows that twisting your long hair into a knot looks great. Combined with the beard this look is casual and neat.
24. Curly Hair Man Bun
If you have curly hair, don’t rule out the possibility of a Samurai style. While curly hair isn’t traditional, it is a unique way to sport this look!
25. Mohawk Style
This example showcases a blend of the Samurai and Mohawk styles. Consider this look if you want an eye-catching take on the Samurai haircut.
26. Curly Hair With Beard
Here is another example of how curly hair can work with the Samurai hairstyle. The sideburns and beard help to bring the look together.
27. Braided Samurai Style
If you have braids, you don’t have to rule out the possibility of sporting the Samurai haircut. This example shows that even with braids you can still style your hair like a Samurai.
28. Balding Samurai Style
If you are beginning to lose your hair, consider the Samurai haircut as a way to incorporate that reality into a cool style. Along with the beard, it helps give the appearance of a lot more hair!
29. Frayed Ponytail
This example shows a great blend of the neatness of combed hair with a bit of fraying coming out of the bun. It’s a great way to incorporate just a bit of the messy style.
30. Samurai Knot With Bangs
This man has the standard Samurai knot on the top, but with the unique addition of some bangs hanging over the front. The buzz cut on the back helps him to pull off this look.
Frequently Asked Questions
As these examples show, there is a lot more variety to the Samurai haircut than you might think. But before you settle on a specific style, let’s round off our knowledge of this hairstyle by answering some of the most common questions.
What is the Samurai hairstyle called?
The style of men tying a knot of hair on the top of their heads came from the Edo period of Japan and was a popular hairstyle of the Samurai. The name of this hairstyle is “chonmage.”
Why do Samurai have that haircut?
Some sources say that the function of the chonmage knot was to help keep the Samurai’s helmet in place while fighting, but however it started, the Samurai haircut became a symbol of status. And in Japanese culture, only Samurai who completed a special ceremony could legally wear this hairstyle.
What is a man’s ponytail called?
There’s no specific name for the male version of the ponytail, but sometimes people call it a male pony or a man bun. It is not until the man bun is tied a specific way on the top of the head that it becomes the Samurai style.
How do you get a Samurai hairstyle?
Assuming you already have long enough hair, you should gather up your hair with a hair tie and make a ponytail high up on your head to get the Samurai style. The traditional style is to leave the ponytail loose, but other styles neatly pack the ponytail into a bun.
Are male ponytails professional?
A ponytail can be professional, but you want to make sure you don’t look messy with it as you would with any hairstyle. If you have an extremely long ponytail, you might consider neatly packing it up into a bun before your next important job interview!
Is the Samurai Haircut for You?
Now that you’ve seen many examples of the Samurai hairstyle, you should have at least a few ideas for how to make the style look great. And if you do go with the Samurai haircut, just be sure to rock it with confidence!