If there ever was the haircut equivalent of keeping things simple and not being bothered by styling or hair care, the buzz cut would be it. There is no denying that the buzz cut is everyone’s favorite. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the military, if you’re a teacher, a lawyer or a famous actor. If someone suggests buzzing your head, you’ll go for it. Because it’s such a low maintenance, care-free, and classically masculine hairstyle that it’s simply irresistible.
Yes, let’s talk in as much depth as we can about this all-time men’s favorite – the buzz cut. Where it originated from, how you can wear it, what different styles are there, and how to maintain it. Plus, we’ve also gathered a long list of your favorite celebrities wearing the buzz cut, for a boost of inspiration!
What Is the Buzz Cut?
For everyone out there who might have lived under a rock, is a teenager only now starting on his way to hairstyling or manscaping or for anyone who just isn’t familiar with hairstyling lingo, let’s define what a buzz cut is.
The buzz cut can be easily explained as any short cropped hairstyle in which you or your barber uses a set of electric clippers to cut your hair as close to the scalp as possible. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t just one type of buzz cut out there. In fact, there are many variations to this super popular hairstyle, that we will detail for you below.
Also contrary to what a lot of people might think, a buzz cut does not have to be the same length on all sides, on the top and in the back. Depending on the type of buzz cut you choose, the length can vary.
The Origins and History of the Buzz Cut
As you might have already expected, the buzz cut, along with its brother, the crew cut, originated in the military. Although its exact origins cannot be traced specifically, it is believed it appeared for a very practical reason. Prior to the First World War, the main trend in men’s hairstyles in both Europe and America called for medium hair, mutton chops, and bushy beards.
However, these hairstyles became highly impractical once men had to wear helmets and gas masks during the war. They soon found out that the gear simply didn’t fit! Therefore, they had to crop their hair as short as possible and get rid of all the facial hair.
But a clean shave and a buzz cut had more practical reasons. They also warded off lice and promoted better hygiene. Apart from that, a buzz cut was super simple to execute. This meant that soldiers could cut their own hair if needed or give each other this low maintenance hairstyle.
When the war was over, many soldiers who returned home decided to keep the super short crops they had worn all throughout the war. Soon enough, the hairstyles became a part of popular culture and we still wear them today.
Can I Wear a Buzz Cut?
This is a very good question. The buzz cut is a super versatile haircut. However, that doesn’t mean it can fit absolutely everyone. Therefore, before getting a buzz cut, you need to take into account your facial and skull features. For more personal details, talk to your barber or stylist. He or she will be able to offer personalized advice on this matter.
As a rule of thumb, start by feeling the bones in your scalp. If the bone at the back of your skull, called the occipital bone, is protruding, don’t go for a buzz cut that is the same length all over. Have your barber blend the sides. This will hide the shape of your skull. But this is just an example.
The same goes for any other protuberances or irregularities you might have. If you can try to hide them with a bit more length on top or on the side, go for it. If not, then maybe the buzz cut is not for you.
Celebrities Wearing the Buzz Cut
Over the years, many Hollywood celebrities have turned to the buzz cut either for a role in a movie or in their personal lives. Whatever the reason, we can look to them for inspiration and choose them as a model in case we need some guidance for our own buzz cuts.
Tom Hardy Buzz Cut
Actor Tom Hardy’s buzz cut is, probably, the most famous one of all. In fact, if you google buzz cut you’ll invariably get a picture of Tom Hardy wearing it, that’s how famous it is. It has become synonymous with the style. The reason is that it simply suits him so well. The actor is classically handsome with a rugged, manly face that is balanced perfectly by the simplicity of the buzz cut. Tom paired it off with a shaggy beard that, instead of overpowering the buzz, as one might believe, it actually draws attention to it.
Zayn Malik Blonde Buzz Cut
Is there anything Zayn Malik can’t pull off? The former One Direction member has a perfect face. And we’re not the ones saying it, it’s science. Researchers have studies his face against the classic proportions of the golden ratio and have found that it is extremely close to perfection. Which means he can wear any hairstyle he wants, including a lemon blonde buzz cut and get away with it!
Chris Evans Buzz Cut
America’s buzz cut has served as an inspiration to many. And why shouldn’t it? Chris Evans will forever be remembered as Captain America, a classically handsome man with a perfectly tailored beard and a buzz cut. The picture of the good guy. The hairstyle looks wonderful on Evans, as it clears up his wide forehead and allows the onlooker to see more of his fantastic blue eyes.
David Beckham Buzz Cut
Soccer superstar David Beckham was getting buzz cuts before anyone else was even dreaming about them. But then again he’s always been a trend setter and a pioneer when it comes to hairstyles for men. David also sported the man bun back in the 2000s, way before it became a thing in 2015. However, was his buzz cut a good choice given his features? He has a triangular face with a widow’s peak and a 2000s goatee, so we’ll let you decide!
Brad Pitt Buzz Cut
Without a doubt one of the most handsome men to have ever graced the silver screen, Brad Pitt could probably wear a hairstyle he got in the dark and still look good. When it comes to face shapes, Brad has a classic square face that benefits from a buzz cut. His broad forehead is on display and in perfect balance with his square, masculine jawline. The actor has also paired his buzz cut with a five o’clock shadow, enough to make him look casual and rugged, but not unkempt. A perfect example of how the buzz cut should be worn!
Ryan Reynolds Buzz Cut
Actor Ryan Reynolds has sported yet another one of the most famous buzz cuts in the world. The only difference is that he strayed away from the classic type and went for what we call a high and tight. Even though men with such a prominent widow’s peak are not usually advised to get a super short crop like a buzz, Ryan Reynolds is handsome enough to pull it off!
What Types of Buzz Cuts Are There?
As mentioned previously, a buzz cut is a lot more than just taking an electric razor to your head and shaving away. In fact, there are several types to choose from. As a rule of thumb, we advise you to go for the one that matches your face and skull shape the best. If you have doubts as to what that might be, talk to your stylist about it. He or she will be able to give you the best personalized advice.
· The Induction Buzz Cut
We’ll start with this one because it’s the most common and well known. You get an induction cut when you shave the entirety of your head with a set of clippers using the same size all over. The induction cut comes from the military, as does its name. All the new recruits have to be shaved when they are first inducted into the military service. And that’s how the hairstyle got its name.
If you want, you can definitely do this one at home. All you need is a set of clippers. Take the guard off and shave all your hair using the one or 0.5 setting all over. It could be a fantastic way to give your hair and scalp a little ‘resting’ time, for example. If you had colored hair, dreads or if you’ve been using a lot of hair products, an induction cut could serve as a great way to start over.
· The Burr Buzz Cut
You can think of the burr buzz cut as a step above the induction cut. In the sense that you can do it yourself as well and it works in the exact same way. Take a set of clippers to your hair and cut away. The only difference is that the burr has to be a little longer than the induction. To achieve the necessary length, use the clippers on the one or two.
Here’s a tip – when you’re done, your scalp should feel rough, almost like sand paper. Trust us. It’s the type of haircut that will make your friends want to touch your head all the time just for that prickly feel!
· The Butch Buzz
Let’s take it one step further. This means using the clippers on three or even four. When you do that, you will get a butch buzz cut. The hair should be sitting at a comfortable quarter of an inch away from your scalp, which means it can even move a little bit.
However, if you have highly textured hair, meaning that if your hair is curly or kinky, than the butch buzz cut will result in a volumised look. Kind of like a mini afro. Therefore, try putting some putty or fiber in it to make it easier to work with. Pomade works as well if what you’re looking for is a shinier finish.
· The Fade Buzz
The following types of buzz cuts are centered more on execution and style rather than length. Let’s start with the fade buzz cut. As you might have already guessed this is a mix between a buzz and a fade. Therefore, you can choose whichever type of buzz cut you want and pair it with a fade.
You can do this one at home as well. But be aware of the fact that the fade is quite a complicated thing to achieve. Barbers and stylists usually spend a lot of time practicing and learning how to execute beautiful fades. Therefore, you might be better off just going to a salon.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a fade buzz cut is a high maintenance hairstyle that will have to be touched up once every two weeks. Which is quite a paradox since the buzz cut was supposed to be the lowest maintenance style of all, isn’t it?
· The Crew Cut
Things might get a little tricky or blurry here. A lot of fade cuts actually are crew cuts to begin with. The typical crew cut is supposed to be blended on the sides and have a longer top. Therefore, you will be able to use your favorite styling and hair care products with this one.
Not to mention that this haircut will allow your barber the chance to cut with a pair of scissors rather than the clippers. This, in turn, will give you a casual and carefree appearance. Or what we would call the ‘I woke up like this’ look that girls simply go nuts for!
· The High and Tight
Here’s another fade hairstyle for you, in the shape of the high and tight. Of course, this is just another variation of the crew cut, which means you can start with that and grow it out. With the high and tight, you will have to keep the sides as short as possible, maybe even have them shaved down. Which we call a bald fade, by the way. When it comes to the dome, all the blending has to be as smooth as possible.
Therefore, the fading will be as high and as tight as they come. And that’s where the haircut gets its name from. Now you know! If you want to turn this back into a crew cut, all you have to do is grow out your bangs a little more. But remember. If the fade is not high up, this is not a high and tight haircut!
· The Ivy League
Yes, such a thing exists. And lots of guys are big fans of it! However, we should actually put some air quotes around the word ‘buzz’ because it should be taken lightly. Or with a pinch of salt. First of all because the Ivy League is done using a pair of scissors. Which negates the very idea of a buzzzzz cut.
Still, since the edges on the lower side get short enough for you or your stylist to have to go in with a clipper, we can count it as a loose type of a buzz cut. Think of it as more like a cousin of the buzz.
However, the sides are very rarely tight like with a real buzz. They are, in fact, just low, because the stylist has to go in with the scissors around the temple area. Even so, you can totally go for this haircut because it’s super reliable and very low maintenance. Plus it looks gorgeous!
· The Flat Top
If you haven’t heard of the flat top, even though we doubt that’s possible, then you’ve surely seen one. Think about Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and you will immediately know what a flat top haircut is.
Of course, men don’t wear it as much today. It was popular back in the 70s and a little in the 90s. Today you can still see it on the odd hipster and mainly on the runway. If we were to define the flat top for you, we could say this. It’s a very striking haircut with a high fade on the bottom and medium hair on top that has to be styled into a flat surface with the help of pomade or gel. Fancy, isn’t it?
What about you?
If you haven’t already had at least one buzz cut in your entire life, then it’s definitely something you should try. Buzz cuts are enormously freeing thanks to their low maintenance. Plus, the fact that you can give yourself one at home means they are also very friendly on the wallet! Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comment section down below!