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Best Buzzcut Hairstyles for men - Harry Styles | Image: Instagram

14 Best Buzz Cut Hairstyles for Men


If you are thinking about changing things up and going for a buzz cut hairstyle, this article will provide the best types to consider. Whether you are after a classic buzz cut, a mid fade or something high and tight, we’ll unpack the key things to consider and explain why (or why not) it’s for you. To help you make sense of the wild world of haircut styles for men, we’ve put together this handy guide to the buzz cut haircut, fades and crew cuts.

Buzz Cut Hairstyles at a Glance:

Close up of John Travolta with a Triple Zero Buzz Cut
John Travolta with a Triple Zero Buzz Cut | Image: Matt Winkelmeyer

1. Triple Zero

  • Style: Natural
  • Best suited for: Round face shape

Despite what your extensive knowledge of numbers may tell you, zero is not the lowest number you can go down to, not in terms of buzz cut style anyway. Where a zero shave will take you down to near-bald, the shortest of the short is reserved for the Triple Zero buzz cut. This classic hairstyle for men is smooth all over and is often reserved for those with thinning hair. The haircut is named after the Triple Zero blade used on American clippers such as Oster, however, you may not receive the clipper treatment when you head to the barber. In recent times, there has been an influx of foil shavers on the market, meaning you are likely to get a buzz cut that is smooth all over in a short space of time.

How to achieve a Triple Zero

  • Ask to run a triple zero blade over the back, sides and top of the head
  • This will reduce the hair to skin, leaving only stubble behind
  • As this buzz cut style is very short, it will require regular cutting, usually twice per week so it’s recommend you buy clippers and do this yourself
Close up of man with a line-up buzz cut
Line-Up | Image: Trocabrahma.net

2. Line-Up

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

As any barber will tell you, a Line-Up isn’t actually a haircut, but the finishing touches that turn a good cut into a great cut. A Line-Up refers to the crispy edges, temple curve and boxed-up hairline, most commonly seen in guys with dense, curly hair that has been shaved. It definitely pays to add a taper to this one, shortening the edges and the nape.

How to achieve aLine-Up

  • Ask your barber for a natural line-up
  • Brush all the hair forward and mark the edges of the hairline
  • Drawing a straight line from corner to corner, refine the hairline using mini-trimmers
  • Define this hairline using a razor blade
Close up of Wentworth Miller with an Induction Buzz Cut
Wentworth Miller with an Induction Buzz Cut | Image: Universal Images Group

3. Induction Buzz Cut

  • Style: Natural
  • Best suited for: Oval, triangle, diamond face shapes

The traditional buzz cut, the Induction gets its name from its military background. In the more strict and traditional army circles, new recruits were often forced to shave their head upon arrival at boot camp. The Induction buzz cut is not quite as short as a zero, usually encompassing a 0.5 or 1 guard shaved all over. The hair on the sides will be the same length as the hair on top.

How to achieve an Induction Buzz Cut

  • Run a 0.5 to 1 guard over the top of the hair
  • Take a triple 0 blade to the back and sides
  • Blend the two lengths slightly above the temple point
Close up of Justin Timberlake with a Uniform Buzz Cut
Justin Timberlake with a Uniform Buzz Cut | Image: Clevver

4. Uniform Buzz Cut

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

Much like the Induction, the Uniform buzz cut has strong ties to the military, due to its close shave. This variation is slightly longer than the Induction crew cut, however. With this cut, you can expect to receive a longer guard, like a 2 or 3 all over. This haircut style for men also features hair on the back, sides and top at a uniform level, hence the name.

How to achieve a Uniform Buzz Cut

  • Take a single clipper guard and run it over the back, sides and top of the hair
  • This will create a uniform length across all sections
  • For a slightly cleaner look, you can taper the edges and nape
Close up side view of a man with a tapered buzz cut
Tapered Buzz Cut | Image: The You

5. Tapered Buzz Cut

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Circle, square, round face shapes

If you don’t know what a taper is, allow us to get you acquainted. Put simply, a taper is where the edges of your sideburns and the nape of your neck are dropped progressively shorter until they fade to nothing. Tapers can be incorporated into a range of hairstyles for men, including slick-backs, side-parts, crops and, for the purposes of this list, the humble buzz cut. A tapered buzz cut is a modern take on the classic style, which also pairs well with a line-up, particularly if you have facial hair. This buzz cut haircut is suited to guys who are into low-maintenance styles but want to stay fashionable and stylish year-round.

How to achieve a Tapered Buzz Cut

  • Run a clipper over the back, top and sides of the hair
  • Focusing on the nape and edges, start around two fingers from the bottom of the hairline and gradually reduce the length of the clipper until it reaches triple 0
  • The graduation between the longest part of the hair and the skin should be smooth and consistent
  • This type of cut will grow out cleanest
Close up side view of a man with Low Skin Fade buzz cut
Low Skin Fade | Image: Andy Mendoza

6. Low Skin Fade

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Circle, square, round face shapes

Formerly reserved for military folk, the Skin Fade has had a major resurgence in recent years, becoming the most sought-after men’s hairstyle in streetwear and pop culture. The haircut involves shaving the back and sides down to triple zero while maintaining a slight amount of length on top, usually two or three guard’s worth. In this instance, the Low Skin Fade refers to how high up the head the blend occurs. For a Low Fade buzz cut, the shortest section will begin just above the ears, dropping down on the nape of the neck, before graduating smoothly to the longest section.

How to achieve a Low Skin Fade

  • Run a clipper guard over the back, top and sides of the head
  • Starting just in line with the top of the ears, run a triple 0 guard around the head and remove the bulky hair below
  • Gradually fade from this point by increasing the clipper guard and moving up the hair in 5mm sections
  • Eventually, you should be able to blend the clipper guards into the uniform length, however, it is imperative that you keep this ‘blend point’ at least an inch below the temple
Close up of Colton Haynes with a Mid Fade Buzz Cut
Colton Haynes with a Mid Fade Buzz Cut | Image: Huff Post

7. Mid Fade

  • Style: Clean
  • Best suited for: All face shapes

The Mid Fade buzz cut is almost exactly the same as the Low Skin Fade, with one slight difference; the position on the head where the blend occurs. For a Mid Fade buzz cut, the blend will begin approximately two fingers width higher than the Low Skin Fade and will still maintain a smooth, gradual fade. As a general rule, the Mid Fade buzz cut is the most versatile of all styles and seems to suit every face shape. The only exception to the rule would be for those who are thinning on top, as the shape will not be entirely flattering.

How to achieve a Mid Fade

  • Similar to the low skin fade, start by running a clipper guard over the back, top and sides of the head
  • Starting just in line with the top of the ears, run a triple 0 guard around the head and remove the bulky hair below
  • Gradually fade from this point by increasing the clipper guard and moving up the hair in 5mm sections
  • Eventually, you should be able to blend the clipper guards into the uniform length, with the ‘blend point’ sitting just below the temple
Close up side view of a man with a High and Tight buzz cut
High and Tight | Image: Men’s Metro Hairstyles

8. High and Tight

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Diamond, Round face shapes

In this variation of the Skin Fade buzz cut, the blend is taken to a higher point again, occurring around temple height. This buzz cut hairstyle allows you enough hair on top to play with, elongating your face and helping to slim your cheeks. This High and Tight cut can help to add height to your face and make it appear more angular, should you naturally have a rounder face shape.

How to achieve a High and Tight buzz cut

  • Again, take a clipper to the top, back and sides of the hair
  • Starting one finger width above the ears, run the triple 0 guard around the entirety of the hair and remove the bulk
  • Gradually fade up using different clipper guards to achieve a smooth graduation
  • The point of blend should occur right on or slightly above the temple
Close up side view of Jake Gyllenhaal with a Jarhead Buzz Cut
Jake Gyllenhaal with a Jarhead Buzz Cut | Image: Maximum Film

9. Jarhead Buzz Cut

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Circle, square, round face shapes

Our journey for the highest fade continues upwards, this time with the Jarhead cut. This short hair style, most famously worn by US soldiers in the Middle East takes the triple zero section all the way up to the temple. Instead of a smooth blend we’ve seen in previous variations, the Jarhead has an abrupt contrast between skin and hair, commonly referred to as a ‘quick fade’. The hair on top of the head is generally shaved to a guard 2 or 3.

How to achieve a Jarhead Buzz Cut

  • Run a very short clipper guard over the top of the head, generally a 1, 2 or 3
  • Take the triple 0 very high up the head and remove the bulk underneath
  • Create a blend point that is above the temple
Close up of Drake with a Buzz Cut and Beard
Drake with a Buzz Cut and Beard | Image: John Salangsang

10. Buzz Cut with a Beard

Style: Sharp
Best suited for: Diamond, Round face shapes

There aren’t many grooming and style combinations more compatible than a buzz cut with a beard. The sharp lines and edges of the shaved head pair well with closely buzzed facial hair. If you choose to go down this path, it is highly recommended that you taper the nape and sideburns. In this instance, you can fade the sideburns out before fading them back, giving you the illusion of angles and high cheekbones.

How to achieve a Buzz Cut with a Beard

  • Following the steps outlined in the previous buzz cut styles, slightly taper the edges down to around a 2 guard
  • You may choose to completely skin taper the edges and then have your barber fade the bear back in
  • Ask to have the sideburns and initial cheek hair trimmed to create a slimmer face shape
Close up side view of a man with Disconnected Buzz Cut
Disconnected Buzz Cut | Image: MHT

11. Disconnected Buzz Cut

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

One major style trend that has been making a serious comeback over the past few years has been the Disconnected cut. The phrase ‘disconnected’ refers to the complete lack of blend, meaning that is a defined contrast between the short sections and the longer sections. You may also know this as an ‘undercut’. This style is not exactly ideal for the boardroom, however, it is a definite head-turner. If you aren’t afraid to be a trendsetter, the Disconnected buzz cut can be a great way to gain some new-found attention.

How to achieve a Disconnected Buzz Cut

  • Start by running a clipper guard over the top back and sides of the head
  • Next, take a short clipper guard and run it all the head up to the temple
  • Following a straight line around the head, repeat this process until there is a distinct line between long and short sections of the head
  • Taper the edges and nape
Close up of a man with Classic Crew Cut
Classic Crew Cut | Image: Mensandbeauty

12. Classic Crew Cut

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

Much like the famed Yale rowing team themselves, you too can sport the Classic Crew Cut. The Crew Cut refers to a hairstyle where the back, sides and top are all cut to the same uniform length, however, in today’s world it is usually a little longer than in previous generations. This gives the hair a more rounded cut, compared to the harsh, square shapes seen in the fade-styles. If you head to a barber and ask for a Classic Crew Cut, you will likely get a 3 or 4 guard all over. While a classic cut, this style should be avoided if you have a rounded face shape, as the rounded edges will not suit.

How to achieve a Classic Crew Cut

  • Take a longer clipper guard over the top of the hair
  • Using a shorter guard, trim the back and sides of the hair
  • Blend these two sections together, keeping the blend point on or slightly below the temple
Close up of Jeremy Renner with a Brush Cut
Jeremy Renner with a Brush Cut | Image: Getty Images

13. Brush Cut

  • Style: Natural
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

Another longer buzz cut style, the Brush Cut is an example of how you can style shaved hair without going bald. The cut involves shaving the hair on the back and sides to a guard 3 or 4 and leaving the top slightly longer, so as to brush it to one side.

How to achieve a Brush Cut

  • Using a very long clipper guard (5-6) trim the top of the hair
  • Cut the sides and back using a shorter guard
  • Gradually blend these two sections together, keeping the blend point below the temple
  • Style the hair up and to the side using a matte product or powder
Close up side view of a man with Textured Crop Buzz
Textured Crop Buzz | Image: MHT

14. Textured Crop Buzz

  • Style: Sharp
  • Best suited for: Oval, Diamond face shapes

The biggest style of the last three years, the Textured Crop generally involves very short sides and back, with enough hair on top to spike up and forward. A contemporary hair style for men, the Textured Crop buzz cut is best achieved with a mid skin fade on the sides and back, paired with a 5 or 6 guard on the top. This hair style should be worn down and forward.

How to achieve a Textured Crop Buzz

  • Run a longer clipper guard over the top of the hair
  • Using a shorter clipper guard, trim the back and sides of the hair
  • Blend these two sections together
  • Using scissors, point cut the top of the hair to add texture
  • Trim the fringe and line it up so as to produce a blunt, straight hairline
  • Style the hair forward and messy

Your Buzz Cut Questions Answered

From David Beckham to Adam Levine, the world of style elites is fraught with close shaves and fresh cuts, but what is a buzz cut really? As the years have passed, different elements were added to the mix, giving subtle changes in aesthetics and structure. Here is everything you need to know about the buzz cut hairstyle.

What is a Buzz Cut?

A buzz cut is a type of hairstyle where the sides, top and back are cut extremely short. Often, this includes running a clipper over the whole head area to create a uniform length. It was popularised for its efficient and clean-cut look by the American military during the mid-20th century.

A favoured cut amongst military personnel and police officers, the buzz cut slowly transformed into a style that could be easily replicated for any occasion. Most notably in the 1980s, streetwear fans began to incorporate the buzz cut fade into their aesthetic. The harsh lines commonly associated with strict discipline were contrasted with colourful clothing and attire, turning the humble buzz cut hairstyle into an act of rebellion and individuality.

The buzz cut is a fairly universal approach to short hair and one that blurs the line between militant cut and stylish fashion blogger. Over the years, we’ve seen trends evolve and styles change, however, the buzz cut, or crew cut as it is commonly known now has remained a staple in high-fashion circles.

Buzz Cut vs Crew Cut: What is the Difference?

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if there is any difference between a buzz cut and a crew cut, and in today’s world, the answer is; no. Strictly speaking, there is no difference between a buzz cut and a crew cut.

But that wasn’t always the case. Historically, the buzz cut referred to a hairstyle for men that involved shaving the sides, back and top of your head to a uniform length. However, the crew cut generally involved shaving the back and sides to one uniform length, while the hair on top of your head was shaved to a slightly longer length. In essence, this formed the basis of a ‘fade’ as the shaved sides were blended to the top of the hair.

How To Maintain a Buzz Cut

If you’ve already taken the plunge and decided to shave your head, then you know that your hair, regardless of how full or sparse it may be, grows back surprisingly fast. While the head shave certainly streamlines your morning routine, buzz cut maintenance is a real thing and something you are going to have to get used to.

In order to keep your buzz cut fade on point, you are going to need to shave it at least once a fortnight. If you wait any longer between cuts, you’ll start getting the dreaded regrowth barbers commonly refer to as ‘tennis ball’ fuzz. If you are someone who likes to take the crew cut fade to the extreme with a skin fade line-up, you’re better off making friends with the barber. Chances are, you’ll be heading back weekly for a freshen-up.

For those of you interested in trying something different with a new hairstyle, or you’re having hair issues and looking for the best hair loss treatments, check out the following posts.

What are the Origins of the Crew Cut?

To really delve deep into the history books, you can trace the lineage of the crew cut back to 1927, when Yale rowing team member Jock Whitney opted for the shaved look. His short hair was a hit, prompting the rest of his rowing ‘crew’ to adopt the look, signifying the first recorded use of the term. Of course, people have been cutting their hair short since the cavemen first found out that sharp rocks could get the scraggly bits out of their eyes, but the terminology has changed in the past century and a bit.

Nowadays, the terms buzz cut and crew cut are essentially interchangeable. If you ask your barber for a buzz cut, they will likely ask you what length you want the sides and back, along with how long you want the top.

What are the Best Clippers for a Buzz Cut?

The best rated clippers for a buzz cut are the Wahl Magic Clips. The cordless clippers are super light, versatile and used by barbers around the globe.

Close up side view of Zayn Malik with a buzz cut
How To Maintain a Buzz Cut | Image: Getty Images

Alternative Hairstyles