How to Buzz Your Own Head (Shave Off Your Shaggy Locks!)
Table of Contents
From military recruits to sub-cultures—season to season—the buzz cut is a steadfast style for men. Everyone (from celebrities to monks) wears this style, the essence of ease. And in the summer, men take an ax to flow locks and break out the clippers.
This is a low-effort cut which requires no styling. You do not even have to visit a barber; you can achieve this style on your own and at home by learning how to buzz your own head.
In this post, we cover the essential supplies and three steps that make for a successful buzz cut: preparation, the actual cutting, and eventual maintenance.
Supplies for Buzzing
You may already have what you need for a sharp buzz cut. Here are some products that can help with the experience and results of buzzing your own head.
- Quality clippers: You only have to buy clippers once with proper maintenance. Considering you are not paying for a professional to cut your hair, you may still end up in the black even if you choose the best pair you can afford.
- Assorted guards: At the very least you want your clippers to come with guards #4, #3, and #2. Some clippers you can find online come with ear guards as well which is really useful for that difficult area.
- Trash bag, vacuum, and mirrors: You can place a trash bag under you to catch most of the falling hair, but the vacuum is useful for those that inevitably escape. Finally, the mirrors are for checking your work.
Steps in How to Buzz Your Own Head
Hairstyles for men come and go, but the buzz always stays. In fact, once your winter mane is gone, it takes a long time to grow back your locks. Before you go wild with the Clippers, there are a few things to consider about how you will look with the style.
Hair hides many features of our scalps and skulls. One of these features is bumps that have been with you since childhood. They remain hidden beneath your hair. No one really can boast a cue-ball smooth head, but it is something to feel for before you start buzzing.
Chopping it all off will bring out some features, such as large ears and scars. If you have large ears and scars, you will want to be careful not to go too short before you compromise your profile. A #3 clipper will show your skin and potential scars as well as exaggerate your ears.
“So what?!” you say. If none of these features bother you, it is time to unearth the clippers and head for the bathroom with your trash bag, vacuum, and mirrors.
Before you start hacking away, make sure to oil the head of your clippers well. You will want to do this every time you choose to maintain your buzz cut. Otherwise, the Clippers could break down, cut you, or pull out your hair rather than strictly cutting it.
Now, you are ready to start cutting. Depending on the length you want, you will choose an attachment guard. Here is a breakdown on what kind of results they give:
- The #4 attachment gives an office-ready, longer cut that does not show any skin, scars, or bumps.
- The #3 attachment shows some skin but remains understated about bumps and scars.
- The #2 attachment creates a shorter buzz with not a hint of self-consciousness.
Turn on the clippers with your guard of choice. Moving in a backward motion against the natural grain of your hair, place the clippers on top. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until there are no patches of hair in different lengths.
Now, moving to the sides, select one guard lower than your first round. As the hair on the side grows, it will look like it has more volume than the top. Using a lower guard makes your cut friendly to the natural hair growth process. If you chose to use a #4 attachment, introduce a #3 attachment for the sides. The same goes for a #3 and a #2.
Turn on the clippers again, and place them near your temples. You will move the clippers up and down until you pass behind your ears—all the way to the back of your head. There is no attachment switch when dealing with the back, but you can use a mirror to get a better idea of what needs work.
If you cannot find anyone to help with the back, leave it natural. Trying to create a manicured back as you stretch behind your head can be tricky even with a mirror and strong light.
The last part of having a successful and smooth buzz cut is to maintain it on a schedule.
If your hair grows really fast, if you have thick hair, and if you prefer it, you can maintain your buzz with weekly cuts. If your hair does not grow as fast or as thick, you can keep a barber-fresh appearance with cuts every few weeks.
A laundry list of hair products and pomades, a longer list of possible stylings, and awkward encounters with strangers touching your hair—these inconveniences never have to bother you again.
Cutting your own hair into a masculine buzz cut will help you save money, free up your time, and send a message that you do not have time for nonsense. In the morning, you simply shower, dry, and go.
Using these steps, it is all that easy. But, do not forget to invest in quality clippers to get the job done right.