Your cart is empty


The buzz cut styles you need to know before taking the clippers to your hair

From its origins in East Europe, to its resurgence as the style du jour we trace the history of the buzz cut…

  • Find your style4 MIN LONG
  • Find your styleMEDIUM EFFORT
  • Find your style3 PRODUCTS

March 10 2018

By Robert Young





Allow us to take you back in time to 19th century Serbia, of all places. It was here in a barbershop owned by Nikola Bizumic that buzzcut was born. Why? Well, Mr Bizumic invented hair clippers, which meant for the first time hair could be cut very close to the scalp, and fast.


Clippers were soon adopted by barbers around the world. And so it was that the buzz cut - one of men’s hairstyle du jour - was born, though the term first came about in the United States military. New recruits were given a close cut to prevent lice taking hold, and to keep soldiers cool in high temperatures or on marches.



" Bizumic invented - in Serbia - hair clippers, which meant for the first time hair could be cut very close to the scalp "



By the 1970s however, it was a style declaration. For punks, a shaved head became a sign of non-conformity, of rock and roll. It was cool. By the mid-to-late 80s a reworked version of the buzz became the hip-hop haircut (see Tupac in his pomp for details). By the 90s, everyone from pop stars to politicians were sporting it, with, it must be said, varying degrees of success.


But now? The noughties and tens have seen everyone from David Beckham (2000), Brad Pitt (2005), Justin Timberlake (2011), and Kanye West (2016) and more recently, Jeremy Meeks (2017) sport the buzz. And why not? It’s a versatile cut that suits oval and rectangular structured faces, and it’s an easy style to wear. Here are our top 5 buzz cut, and how to style them at home.


First, the different sorts:



With a burr, the hair is cut short with scissors rather than a buzzer. It’s a floppier, softer look, that’s easier on the eyes than the harsher cuts below.


The Burr Cut


The Crew Cut stems from the Ivy League universities, where competitive rowers had this short-on-the-sides, long-on-the-top look so that their hair didn’t get in the way of the competition. Although there’s not much you can do with this one-size-fits-all cut, you can spike it up with Going Strong Styling Gel or rough it up with Change It Up Texturising Clay for a more textured look.


The Crew Cut


The Flat Top really rose to prominence in 1950s America, as post-war patriotism swept the nation. This buzz is kept short on the sides but shorn into a flat, boxier top. Style it with simple Change It Up Texturising Clay or some wax.


The Flat Top


The fade originated in the US military in the 40s and 50s with new cadets given a one-size-fits-all haircut, but it’s grown and changed since then. The main aim of this haircut is to fade the hair right down to skin level, but leaving the hair on top as long as you want. The result is a gradation in thicknesses. Think Drake when he’s got his hair cut short.


The Fade


So-called because of its military connotations, this is one of the most extreme buzz cut styles. It’s David Beckham’s go-to haircut when he wants to go back to his roots, Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, and Colton Haynes have also sported this literal ‘zero’. It’s one of the most severe, but really shows off those cheekbones.


The Induction Cut




Before we get onto the 3-step plan to achieving the perfect buzz cut, first a hair commandment. Whatever your cut, bouffant or buzzcut, if you don’t look after it, you ain’t ever going to be able to style it.



" Whatever your cut, if you don’t look after it, you ain’t ever going to be able to style it. "



That means regular cuts (we suggest booking them every 4 weeks, in advance). Do that and you will be in hair nirvana… or at least on your way. And so to the steps:


  1. The first thing to do is brush out the hair, to get rid of any tangles and to establish the basic form which you are going to build out from.

  2. Once you have this, take a little Going Strong Styling Gel, Texturising Clay or wax of your choice and, warming the clay or wax in your hands, work into the hair in a way that works with your face shape. For example, if you have a long face, don’t push the hair up from the scalp, smooth down a little.


Quick to achieve, easy on your cheek bones, and easy to maintain - what’s not to like about the buzzcut ?



Associated products

You may also like


Styling and care tips for men with short hair

Whether your hair is curly, coarse or thin – our stylist has the advice to make sure you always look tiptop


How to achieve a contemporary Pompadour haircut

From buzzcut fades to textured curls, we show you the hottest new trends for the modern pompadour man…

Community at work


Please enter your email address below and we will send you a notification when this item becomes available.

This item will automatically be removed from your cart after you submit your email.