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…
- 4 MIN LONG
- MEDIUM EFFORT
- 3 PRODUCTS
March 10 2018
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:
1. THE BURR CUT
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.
2. THE CREW 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.
3. THE FLAT TOP
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.
4. THE FADE
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.
5. THE INDUCTION CUT
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.
HOW TO STYLE A BUZZ 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:
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.
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 ?
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