What would you say if we told you you could enjoy an extra 10-15 minutes in bed every morning? How about if we said you could also save upwards of £20 a month? And what if we added that you could crank the badass-o-meter up a notch or two in the process? Chances are you’d be pretty keen to know what we were talking about. Well, allow us to introduce the buzz cut.
Okay, so this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard of this low-maintenance hairstyle, but it might be the first time you’ve seriously considered it as an option for yourself.
Perhaps you’re too busy to manage the upkeep of your current hairstyle. Or maybe you’re coming to grips with a rapidly receding hairline or thinning hair. Whatever the reason behind your decision to lose the locks, here’s everything you need to know before embarking on your journey into the great bristly yonder.
Who Does It Suit?
The first thing to consider in your quest for a simpler hairstyle is: “Is this actually going to suit me?” The good news is that in the vast majority of cases, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
The buzz cut’s low profile and simplicity make it a great fit for a wide variety of face shapes. Those with very round faces may want to steer clear of variations that are the same length all over, but styles that retain a little bit of length on top can still work well on even the most spherical of heads.
It’s not just about how it looks though. You may also want to consider whether or not a buzz cut is going to suit your lifestyle.
As mentioned, buzz cuts require little to no styling in the morning, making them perfect for those with hectic schedules. Yet while styling is straightforward, maintenance is still needed in order to keep them looking short and sharp. So, if you don’t trust yourself to carry out regular touch ups with a pair of clippers you may want to consider something else. Sure, you can get it done in the barbershop, but you won’t get to appreciate the financial benefit.
Of course, there’s another reason you might be considering a buzz cut: male pattern baldness.
Coming to terms with losing your hair can be a long, drawn-out process; a process that tends to involve much denial, awkward styling attempts and mirror dodging. But doing these things only prolongs the misery and for every balding man there comes a time when he must acquaint himself with a set of hair clippers.
If you’re wondering when to take the plunge, the best time is right now. As hard as it may be to hear, your hair isn’t going to magically grow back, and a shaved head is always going to look better than a wispy combover.
As a man with thinning or receding hair, grabbing the problem by the horns and getting a buzz cut will likely be one of the most liberating adjustments you’ll ever make to your appearance. It’s a way of regaining some control over an issue you probably felt like was out of your hands and giving yourself some tonsorial closure. Plus, you’ll be more aerodynamic, which is never a bad thing, right?
Types Of Buzz Cut
Also known as an “induction” cut, due to the fact that it was routinely dished out to new army recruits, this classic military haircut is as short as it gets without using a wet razor. Generally somewhere between a grade 0 and a grade 2, it requires zero styling but will need a touch up at least twice a week. The good news is that’s very easy to do, given that the style is the same length all over.
The burr is the slightly fuzzier cousin of the military buzz. Hovering somewhere around the grade 2/grade 3 mark, it’s a good option for anyone who finds the down-to-the-bone look of the induction cut a little too aggressive. The slightly longer length means touch ups are required less frequently, too. Around once a week should be enough to keep it in check.
Again, the butch cut is simply another step up from the burr. The length tends to be a grade 4 or above, but no longer than a grade 6. Traditionally, the style is worn the same length all over the head. However, the extra length means that this variation on the buzz cut can also be worn with a fade to the back and sides.
High & Tight
A buzz cut can be loosely defined as any hair style which can be performed with only the use of clippers and no scissors. Therefore, the high and tight also falls under the umbrella. This is another traditional military style that features a closely shaven back and sides with a longer patch of hair left on the top.
This is where the lines begin to blur, but provided it’s cut short enough, the crew cut can still be considered a type of buzz cut. It features a short back and sides with more length left on top which is styled up and to the side at the front.
It’s a slightly smarter option than the others listed here but if male pattern baldness is the reason you’re considering a buzz cut this may not be the best option for you.
How To Get A Buzz Cut At Home
One of the best things about a buzz cut is that it doesn’t require a trip to the barbers. Armed with the right tools and a bit of practise, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself from the comfort of your own bathroom.
What You Need
A good set of clippers is the most important tool when it comes to performing a buzz cut at home. It’s worth spending a bit of money here to ensure quality and always buy from a reputable brand. Phillips and Wahl make some of the best in our experience, or if you’re after something premium check out Oster.
Most clippers will come with either an adjustable blade, detachable combs or both. Either way, make sure you have a good range of grades that can cut both shorter and longer lengths.
How To Do It
If it’s your first time buzzing your own hair, make sure to test the length first. Start cutting with a long comb and work your way down until you’re happy with the length. Remember, you can always make the hair shorter but you can’t make it longer.
Once you’ve settled on the grade, work in straight, singular motions against the grain of the hair. You can use your free hand to follow the clippers, checking for any spots you’ve missed, and go over them again if necessary.
Pay extra attention to the back of the head and the areas behind the ears. When cutting your own hair, these are the spots that are most likely to end up with stray hairs left behind.
If you’ve opted for a style with two different lengths, such as a crew cut or a high and tight, it’s probably best to let the barber handle it to make sure the transition is perfectly executed. If you’re experienced using clippers and feeling particularly brave, though, use a couple of different comb lengths to blend the short hair at the sides and back with the longer hair on top.