The 20 biggest men’s grooming trends this year, from man buns (duh) to Drake’s beard

I could write about glitter nails and green lipstick ‘til the cows come home, or we could all get a little more serious about the biggest beauty trends of 2015 and applaud the gender norms we saw obliterated.

This year, dudes got just as into pastel dye, sparkles, and nail polish as the rest of us, and with each and every daring beauty move they made, the Internet wrapped its enormous arms around them and said, “Well done, good sirs.”

From Jared Leto’s dramatic transformation to Harry Styles’ long hair (that he’s growing for charity), this year was a beauty for, well, male beauty trends. And because we applaud risks and effort, here are some of our favourites of the last 52 weeks.

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

1. Bieber (really, really) bleached hair

Justin Bieber went for it this year. All of it, all the time, and most of “it” included weird shout-outs to Selena Gomez, selfies, and a number one spot he just snagged from Adele. But I digress: perhaps in an attempt to capture the spirit of Zack Morris circa 1991, J-Biebs’ bleached his hair shamelessly, evoking the majesty of boy bands of yesteryear. And whether you like it or not, it’s too late now to say sorry.

2. Harry Styles’ grows his hair out (for charity)

We don’t talk enough about what a true saint Harry Styles is, so allow me to use this space to throw my Emoji hands in the air and sing the praises of a certain 21-year-old One Direction member who’s growing his hair for charity. Add to this his penchant for Gucci’s entire Spring 2015 collection and the rejection of the myth of male masculinity, and we can finally appreciate the equivalent of Jared Leto’s long locks minus the pretentiousness. Harry Styles, don’t you dare change.

And speaking of which . . .

3. Jared Leto cut hair hair

It’s true. Jared Leto cut off his hair this year to play the Joker, which is a role I am almost positive he is taking too seriously because he is an actor and/or artist. In short, Leto’s reveal was less about a necessary transformation to play a part, and more of an excuse that led to more selfies than even Bieber could imagine. But hey, at least he’s obviously owning his need for validation via Instagram likes. That’s because stars, you guys — they’re just like us.

4. Leonardo DiCaprio returned from The Revenant

After embodying the aesthetic of a man who’d been forced to survive the wilderness and/or win an Oscar for what felt like six years, Leonardo DiCaprio returned to “regular man living among us” later in 2015, officially answering the question we’ve all been asking: is a goatee just a thing Leo has now? (Yes.) Does he know it can be a different way? (Probably not.) And Leo, can you read this? (He’s obsessed with me, so of course.)

A photo posted by The Gay Beards (@thegaybeards) on

5. Glitter beards

It was a big year for glitter, so it would be foolish to think the trend wouldn’t apply to men and their facial hair. Thus enter: The Gay Beards, two best friends from Portland whose Instagram showcases all the ways to decorate one’s beard for the holidays or nights on the town or whatever you’re looking for. And sure, it might be a pain to remove said glitter from one’s face, but nothing creates a talking point over the holidays than tinsel worn unconventionally.

6. Merman hair
We covered this back in June (how dare you forget), so let’s take a minute to appreciate the longevity of this trend since pastel coloured hair is still on the radar, though admittedly a little less in-demand. Though may the spirit of The Grateful Dead live on forever.

7. Dudes paint their nails for Bruce Jenner

Back in April, Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer and announced that he was transgender. As a result, he earned a slew of support in the process — including armies of men who painted their nails along with the hashtag, #PaintYourNailsForBruce. Even cooler was that the support came from Jenner’s revelation that he wanted to “be able to have [his] nail polish on long enough that it actually chips off.” No, I’m not crying. You’re crying.

8. Drake shaved his head, grew and beard and won our hearts

2015 was a big year for Drake’s aesthetic transformation. This autumn, he had a beard. This summer, he started working out and began posting his workout photos to Instagram. Earlier, he looked like the Drake we first met and began to treasure a few years ago. And now, his beard puts many others to shame. Whether he eventually puts glitter in it is none of my business, but yes, I do think it’d work spectacularly with his turtlenecks.

A photo posted by @manbunmonday on

9. Man buns. Obviously.

Yes, we touched on it when mentioning Harry Styles’ locks, and I hope everyone understood that Leo’s Revenant look relied on him sporting a man bun from roughly 1989 until two months ago. But for the record, “man buns,” on their own accord, became a 2015 thing. Ponytails were garbage, pigtails were rarely on the scene, but dudes of the world gathered their hair into top knots, making some of us jealous of our own hair’s inability to stay both voluminous and top-of-head buoyant. Haters, however, just got mad. Where do you stand on the most important debate in modern history?

10. Josh Donaldson existed (and now looks like a viking)

…And that’s how the 2015 World Series ended. After his Samurai-style ponytail (sported during his Roots spread, thank you very much) and short-lived chin-beard (which we absolutely do not need to relive via photos), Josh Donaldson aka Toronto’s Dirtbag Boyfriend cemented himself as an athlete unlike all others. Yes, he’s the current MVP, and yes, he endeared himself to all of us like that one guy in high school you were psyched to see at the party, regardless of the fact you had nothing in common. But Josh Donaldson also seemed to care just as much about his hair as he did about the game, thus rejecting the gender norms that tend to define professional sports and the overt masculinity that accompanies them. Also, he tweeted about getting a pedicure once, so there’s that.