If you asked me to describe the buzz cut in a few words, I’d say:
“It’s simple, functional, and stylish.”
When it comes to low maintenance hairstyles, the buzz cut sits at the top of the list.
In this post, I will discuss everything you need to know about the buzz cut as well as some of its most popular variations.
So, what are you waiting for??
Let’s dive in…
What is a Buzz Cut?
First things first:
You have to know what a buzzcut is, so, let me whip out my history books.
The buzz cut traces its origins back to the Second World War.
Funny enough, back then it was mainly a technique to get lice infestations under control. Lol!
Nowadays, it is not only ideal for hygienic reasons but to makes life a tad bit easier for those who love low-maintenance haircuts.
Anyway, that’s not a proper definition, is it?
If not, here’s the deal:
The term “buzz cut” refers to hairstyles that are often cut too short (but not bald) and uniformly all around.
The name, itself, comes from the buzzing sound we get from hair clippers.
Yes, you read that right!
Horses neigh… Cats meow… Cows moo… And hair clippers buzz like bees.
You might be wondering:
“Does this mean that a crew cut is a buzz cut?”
Well, technically no, but more on that in a bit.
The basic idea behind the buzz cut (the classic version) is this: you have the same length (usually short) of hair all around your head, i.e. sides, back, and top.
Buzz Cut vs. Crew Cut
If you’ve always wondered if these two are different or the same, here’s what you need to know…
A buzz cut features short (#0 to #2) hair all around the head – too short to style – while the crew cut features relatively long hair.
Now, here’s where the confusion comes in.
When you combine a buzzcut with a fade, the end result will look more like a crew cut. That’s because both hairstyles (the crew cut and buzz cut fade) create some contrast with the top.
This can make the two hairstyles appear wildly similar.
To differentiate the two, remember that:
The buzz cut features short hair while the crew cut has longer hair – especially at the top – and is easy to style further.
Anyway, that’s that…
So, aside from the traditional buzzcut, are there any other variations or style combos to try?
Find out next…
My Top Eight Best Buzz Cut Haircut Styles
#1 The Buzz Cut Fade
For a clean-cut and modern take on the classic haircut, the buzz cut fade will work perfectly.
This hairstyle features faded or tapered sides and back with relatively short hair on top.
How to get a buzz cut fade?
For starters, you’ll need to determine where the tapering or fading will begin.
It can start high, low, or in the middle.
If you choose a high fade, your cut will effectively become a high and tight buzz cut.
Adding a fade to your buzz cut can improve your look and give you some dimension.
#2 The Burr Buzz Cut
With the burr buzz cut, you get a very simple yet stylish look that is also very practical.
To get this haircut:
- You’ll want to use a clipper with guard #1 or #2 fitted.
- Then, get a good even shave all around.
The burr buzz cut is extremely low-maintenance; meaning you can spend all day without worrying about your hair.
#3 The Butch Buzz Cut
While it may not be as short as the traditional buzz cut, the butch cut can be every bit as functional.
It’s a haircut for any occasion and looks great on just about anyone.
To get this hairstyle:
- You’ll want to use a #2 or #3 guide comb.
- Also, make sure you get a clean and even cut all around your head.
You can also add a fade if you want.
#4 Induction Buzz Cut
The induction cut is, by far, the shortest buzz cut you can ever get without shaving your head bald.
As you probably know, this cut is usually common with our highly-appreciated military men (and women).
How to get it?
Simply use your clipper without a guard comb and make sure you get a clean and even cut all around.
You have the option of going with a skin fade on the sides.
#5 The High and Tight Buzz Cut
A high and tight buzz cut always looks neat, stylish, and is also very easy to maintain.
Some often confuse it with a crew cut – mainly due to how similar the two look – but it’s not.
To get this hairstyle:
- Have the sides and back shaved short and notably high or close to the top of your head.
Essentially, this is a very high fade on the sides and back.
#6 Ivy League Buzz Cut
This hairstyle is a combination of the Ivy League haircut with a nice buzz cut on the sides.
Basically, the length of this hairstyle can be up to 1 inch long on the sides with an Ivy League style on top.
The thing that makes this hairstyle a buzz cut is the fact that it features evenly-sized and short hairs on the sides and back.
Despite not being popular, this Ivy League variation is a sure way of keeping up with recent trends.
#7 Buzz Cut Skin Fade
If you are looking for something more stylish and contrasting, the buzzcut skin fade might just be it.
Much like its other variations, the skin fade is not only neat, low-maintenance, versatile, and in-style but also very easy to achieve.
This hairstyle works great due to the sharp contrast provided by the fade between the top and the sides/back.
#8 Buzz Cut Skin Fade with Beard
Want to add more balance and taste to your buzz cut skin fade?
Then you should consider keeping/growing your beard.
Now, here’s the thing:
Because of the short hair on your head and a nice skin fade on your sides and back, a lot of focus will go to your beard; making it one of your biggest highlights.
There is one problem with this hairstyle though. Which one?
Despite your beard complimenting your look and adding a little bit of style to it, your new hairstyle will lose its low-maintenance quality.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that beards need a lot of TLC (tender love and care).
If you can pull this off, you’ll be very proud of the way it all turns out.
Enough of the buzzcut hairstyles, here are a few awesome life skills you can use to ensure you get the right buzz cut.
How to Give Yourself a Buzz Cut Haircut at Home
The buzz cut is a pretty straight forward hairstyle that you can do in front of your mirror at home.
It tends to get complicated if you decide to combine it with other kinds of haircuts for a better look and improved style.
Now, with that said:
Here are some nice tips to set you on the path of getting a professional-grade buzz cut at home.
1. Analyze Your Head and Face
In this first step, you want to figure out which kind of buzzcut looks good on you.
So, get in front of a mirror and analyze your head and face.
But, here’s the thing:
Although the buzz cut is a pretty versatile hairstyle, it might not always be the best style for everyone.
There are several ways you can check to see whether it will bring out your handsome self.
With that in mind:
Here is a short guide to help you determine if the buzz cut will suit your face shape.
A buzz cut will pair perfectly with:
- Square faces
- Diamond faces
- Oblong faces
Some other acceptable matches are:
- Oval faces: With a buzz cut, men with oval faces will experience softened features and the face might become round. However, a bit of stubble can improve this.
- Triangle faces: Although a buzz cut can bring out the strong jawline it can also disrupt the forehead’s proportions. To overcome this, try a longer buzz cut with a heavier coat of stubble.
- Heart-shaped faces: A buzz cut on this face shape might reveal a bigger forehead. So, you might want to be careful.
Incompatible matches are:
- Round faces: Due to the buzz cut’s inability to render round faces more angular, those with this face shape will find it difficult to wear this haircut. Basically, it won’t look great.
Face and head shapes matter.
And now that you know this, let’s move on.
2. Gather the Right Tools for the Job
Before we get on with the cutting, here are the tools you’ll need for the job:
- A high-quality hair clipper: You’ll need a good haircutter set that will remove hair by the bulk without pulling it or stalling.
- Preferably two mirrors: One of the mirrors should be handheld. This will help you see how you buzz the back of your head.
- A comb or brush.
Do you have everything in place?
If so, let’s get down to the actual work…
3. Start Clipping
Assuming you have everything you need, here’s what you should do:
Start by combing your hair to lift the strands off your scalp; plus, this will make it easier for you to cut it.
Next, decide on the length you want and adjust your hair clipper accordingly and start clipping.
While trimming, start with one side and work your way around the back to the other side.
If you are planning to use a #2 clipper guard then it would be a good idea to start with a #4 and see how it looks; remember, you can always reduce it as you go along.
Also, don’t forget to gently fold the ear and trim behind it.
And once you’re done with the sides, you can move over to the top.
Since your hair pattern can get complicated around the crown area, make multiple passes by moving the clipper back and forth in different directions.
Quick DIY Buzz Cut Clipping Tips for You
- Always cut hair against the grain, that is up and out if your hair grows downward. Going with the grain will lead to an uneven cut/result.
- Brush your hair with the grain to see if you have missed any patches. Don’t be afraid to do a few passes until you get a nice, consistent haircut.
- You can always shorten your hair if the need arises, but you can never make it long once it’s been cut. Therefore, start with a longer size and work your way down until you achieve your desired length.
And that’s just about everything you need to do when clipping.
It’s easy, right?
For those who prefer taking their buzz cut to the next level, things don’t stop here.
If you are doing a Buzz Cut Skin Fade, here’s what you need to do next…
4. Start the Fading Process
Fades aren’t easy DIYs, but they are also not impossible.
If you are determined on doing your own fade, here’s how you go about it:
So, start by deciding what type of fade you want; high, low, or mid.
Next, you’ll want to skip one clipper size down from the one you used to trim your final buzz in step 3.
If you used a number 3 for the buzz cut, you’ll want to skip number 2 and use a number 1 for the fade.
Depending on the type of fade you want, create horizontal layers of different-sized hair along your sides and back.
That means using different guard and blade sizes in descending order as you move away from the borderline between the top part of your head and the beginning of your fade.
A while back, I wrote a post on how to do a proper fade. I think it might come in handy for any novice barbers reading this.
Once you have all the fading layers ready, the last thing to do is to blend them.
Learn how to do that, next.
5. Blending and Finishing Touches
You’ll want to make the fade line completely disappear and the transition from longer to shorter hair seamless.
This is where that clipper guard and blade size you skipped comes in handy.
Use them to trim on the fade line.
You will probably have to do multiple passes to get that fade line down.
You can remove the guard (if you have one) and adjust the clipper blade to a long or short position for an even closer trim.
If you make an error, visit your local barbershop to get it fixed.
How to Ask for a Buzz Cut Haircut
You might also be wondering:
“How should I ask for a buzz cut in a barbershop?”
Well, for starters, if you use the name buzz cut, almost every barber will know what you are talking about.
If they don’t, just tell them you want an even cut all around your head.
Remember to specify the necessary clipper sizes, the type of fades, and any outlining and finishing works.
And that’s that.
Basically, the key here is effective communication.
I think this post covers just about everything you need to know about buzz cuts and the various styling options available.
This haircut has withstood the test of time making it a classic and one of the most popular hairstyles today.
Its low-maintenance nature makes it convenient for everyone – even the busiest people.
If what you are after is a stylish, functional, tried-and-tested hairstyle, then the buzz cut haircut is for you.
As always, I hope this post has been useful to you.
Please, let me know what you think of the buzz cut hairstyle – along with any questions you might have – in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
Till next time… #StaySafe