Best Metal Hairstyles for Long-Haired Dads

I don’t look very metal. My long hair is my one vanity, my only outward sign that I’m even remotely metal. Sure, we all know looks don’t define how metal you are, but my hair’s been part of my identity for ten years. That’s longer than most members last in Megadeth.

But there’s little more frustrating than handing off the tyke and finding she’s got a fistful of my flowing mane. I hold my kid primarily on my shoulder, and it’s been enough to make me want to tear the damn stuff out myself. Babies, man! It’s bad enough I’m turning into a total softie by accident. How do I keep my metallic edginess? HOW DO I KEEP MY HAIR??

The answer is style. Metal hairstyles. Seven of them, in fact. They’re metal as fuck, but now have a more functional use. Namely, helping me not lose my damn mind.

1. The Ponytail

Hair pulled back in a ponytail.

The all-purpose appeal of the Ponytail is hard to beat. It’s classic, simple, and takes like five seconds to do. Whether you’re setting up your guitar rig or playing “keep away” with grabby tots, the Ponytail’s no-nonsense approach lets you focus on the task at hand.

Common applications: Burping, changing diapers, setting up, tearing down, audio engineering

2. The Bun

Hair wrapped in a bun.

A good Bun is almost as easy to put together as the Ponytail (unless you’re me; see #6). Used correctly, the Bun lets you pull off an artsy, almost pretentious look that says, “Yeah, I’ve got long hair, but I don’t know you well enough to show it.”

Preferred genres: Progressive metal, Avant Garde, virtuoso gigs at Guitar Center w/ less than 50 people

3. The Pagan Braid

Hair tied in a long braid.

The Braid is your first-class ticket to Valhalla. Both neat and stylish, the Braid lets everyone know you like your mead thick and your metal loud. The added weight of the Braid lets you flip it easily to either side of your shoulder – perfect for scoring some Scandinavian style points while keeping baby’s hands off.

Best bands to listen to while Braided: Amon Amarth, Enslaved, Tyr, Ensiferum, Eluveitie

4. The Legolas

Small ponytail pulled back over long hair, like Legolas from Lord of the Rings.

Unleash your inner elf with the Legolas! This elven metal hairstyle won’t give you dead-eye aim, far sight, or the ability to grind down staircases on a trashcan lid, but you will be able to say you now share at least one thing with Orlando Bloom. The Legolas leaves the majority of your hair down, but pulls the most kid-appealing strands located at the front of your scalp to the back – and away from your kid’s fingers.

Your Legolas-wearing playlist: Blind Guardian, Blind Guardian, Blind Guardian

5. The Topknot

Hair wrapped on top of head in a topknot.

The Topknot is the Bun’s distant cousin. How distant? About two inches (laugh track). This one takes a bit of concentration to center correctly, but with a little practice in front of the mirror, you should master it in no time. This style also helps you avoid bashing your baby in the face when you turn your head. How considerate!

Number of YouTube tutorials watched before realizing you’ve been doing the topknot all wrong: 1

6. The Lazy Bun AKA the Dangling Head Turd

Hair wrapped lazily in a bun. It looks like a turd hanging off a scalp.

For dads who just can’t be bothered to tie a real Bun, here’s the Lazy version. One part Ponytail, one part Bun, all parts Lazy As Fuck, the LB is a fully functional choice for the dad on the go. When no spouse is around to get it right and you’re left to do your best, it usually ends up looking like your worst. Which is just fine with Baby.

Days of the week I wear a Lazy Bun: 7

7. The Skullet

My daughter, sleeping, showing off her "skullet": no hair on top, long hair in back.

Nothing says “fuck it” more than the Skullet. Pioneered by Devin Townsend in the mid-2000s, this unarguably metal hairstyle is edgy to the point of frightening. Like, it isn’t enough you’re playing devil music; now you can look like him too. No need for any advanced grooming, just let nature take its course.

Your baby may already be rocking a pretty brutal Skullet. If you follow her lead, your Christmas photos will look like you had planned it all along.

Optimum age range for the Skullet: 0-100

Never Leave Home Without a Hair Tie

Being metal is a mindset, not a fashion statement. You don’t need long hair to prove your metalness to anyone, least of all me. Even so. I’ve been trained to associate long hair and metal like they had some kind of mutual symbiosis. I can see some dude wearing a Bun at Costco and wonder if he’s into Opeth. It’s a bias, yet one I can’t quite shake.

Maybe I’m just going through some growing pains. Like how learning the drums gradually morphed me from metal fan to metal musician, the transition from Mostly Metal Dad to Remotely Metal Dad is a transition I may not realize has happened until much later. Both will surely result in my daughter finding me just about the most uncool person on the planet.

Thing is, I’ve already given up on trying to be cool. That’s like a symptom of fatherhood, isn’t it? I won’t be cool if I have long hair now or fifteen years from now, when she’s complaining about how awful my taste in music is. So I guess I’ll stick around with it for a little while longer.

And if the time comes to make that final donation, well. Father knows best, right?

Did I miss one? Is there a totally metal hairstyle I’ve missed? Good god, let me know. My sanity depends on it.

The Mostly Metal Things About Babies

Somewhere between my fifth and sixth diaper change, I realize that raising a kid isn’t the most metal pastime. Other than the birth, which I admit was pretty goddamn metal, my daughter hasn’t done much to get my goat going. Pooping like 50 times a day isn’t really high on my list of Metal’s Greatest Hits.

But I’m not very metal myself; one look at the top of my internet browser proves that particular sentiment. And a closer look at my daughter reveals that although the act of raising a kid might not be very metal, the babies themselves are. And metal stuff, well; I kinda know how to deal with that.

Chances are your kid probably is too. So if you need a reminder of that, here you go – these are the Mostly Metal Things About Babies.

Babies can really wail.

Straight from the womb, your kid’s got a set of pipes as powerful as Bruce Dickinson’s. Indoors, outside, at three in the morning, any time is prime for warming up the ‘ol vocal cords.

Just like a really impressive vocal performance demands your attention, so too do your kid’s cries. Make sure you give him the response he deserves and repay him for such a killer, ear-splitting performance. No need to ask him for an encore; some soothing words or pats on the bottom should be more than enough thanks.

Babies are natural-born headbangers.

Sure, it may seem like that side-to-side motion means she’s looking for Mom’s boob, but you know better. Your baby’s actually performing an infantile form of headbanging. Next time you notice her moving around, put on something midtempo with a lot of groove (Pantera’s “Walk” is a great choice) and watch Baby rock out.

Just as with adult headbanging, maintaining good posture is important. Make sure you support your baby’s head to avoid whiplash and teach her proper technique.

A long-haired metalhead headbanging. His baby tries her hardest from the ground.
She’s got a lot to learn, but I think she’ll make it.

Babies are gas-powered.

Seriously. Babies emit more fumes than Rob Halford’s motorcycle. For as little as they are, they sure know how to blast ass in a way that makes even Daddy self-conscious. All that noise isn’t just for show, either; gaseous babies are prone to following up their act with a “solid encore.” So make sure she doesn’t stew in it for long.

While peeing and pooping yourself don’t seem all that metal, but it brings us to the final part…

Babies just don’t give a fuck.

In my opinion, nothing is more metal than staying true to yourself and your convictions. Babies understand this right out of the womb. No matter how much they scream, squirm, and defecate in public, babies could not care less what others think of them. And that’s metal as hell.

Be sure to praise your youngin’ when she gets really riled up. Although she’s pissed off at the world, your closeness will be a good reminder that some things are worth calming down for.

Building Toward a More Metal Future

While I’ve been learning the ropes about being a dad, my daughter’s been displaying all these metal traits under my very nose. It’s embarrassing how obvious it seems now. I guess I’m learning, but I should have seen the signs!

So the next time you’re lamenting over how un-metal your pitiful life has become, just remember: your kid is being way more metal than you all the time. So suck it up, get your pointer and pinky fingers erect, and be a good role model for her.

That’s what dads are for, right?