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Buzz Cut or Shaved Bald? Here's How to Choose

Whether you've decided to shave your head or you're looking for a new low-maintenance cut, the buzz cut or bald cut are two popular hairstyles you can consider.

Buzz what? Don't worry. If you don't know the difference between the two; we've got you covered.

We'll also explain the pros and cons, tell you how to choose, and share celebrity inspirations so you can decide which cut suits you.

What is a Buzz Cut?

A buzz cut is a short haircut for men and women, and it is done using hair clippers or trimmers. Buzz cuts range from 1/8 inch to half an inch long. Some would consider a zero-blade or no-guard cut a buzz cut since there's some stubble left over.

You'll see athletes and military personnel sporting this haircut. The buzz cut is neat, clean, and suitable for all hair types and face shapes.

Pros of Choosing a Buzz Cut

Here are the pros of choosing a buzz cut:

  • Convenience 

  • Low Maintenance

  • Safer (no nicks and cuts)

  • No need for styling products or frequent barber visits 

  • Saves time and money

  • Can hide thinning hair

  • Great for mild receding hairline

  • Adjustable hair length

  • Less drastic approach

  • Electric trimmers are easy to use

  • No shaving cream/blow drying/styling needed

  • Dry shave (faster)

  • One product needed for shaving (electric hair trimmer)

  • May hide gray hair

Cons of Choosing a Buzz Cut

  • Limited styling options

  • Not as close as a bald cut

  • Frequent trims

  • Prone to missed spots (newbies)

  • Exposes scars and bumps

  • Not suitable for late-stage hair loss patterns

  • Messier (hair clippings fly everywhere)

  • Higher initial cost (electric trimmer) vs. manual razor

  • Hair trimmer needs a power source/battery

Best Buzz Cut Styles

Induction Cut

Induction Buzz Cut

This is the closest buzz you can get without a razor. Clipper guards are removed while hair is cut the same length throughout the head. This is the cut that the military uses, hence the name "induction" cut.

Burr Cut

Burr Cut

The burr cut is a little bit longer all around than the induction cut (guard 1 or 2). Some variations have more length on top than the sides.

Crew Cut

crew cut

A crew cut is longer on top while fading on the back and sides. This allows for a bit of styling on top by adding hair spray or hair gel.

Buzz Cuts and Face Shapes

buzz cut male

If you're considering a buzz cut but worried if it would suit your face, the good news is buzz cuts can work well with most face shapes like:

  • Oval

  • Oblong

  • Round

  • Square

  • Diamond

The triangle face shape is the only shape that makes a buzz look bad. Triangle shapes have a narrow forehead and a wide and prominent jaw. You'll end up looking like an egg with a buzz cut.

The solution is to keep the sides longer and taper low.

What is a Bald Cut?

A bald cut means removing all hair from your scalp. According to this study, this look exudes dominance and toughness while making you appear taller.

Pros of Choosing a Bald Cut

  • Cool and comfortable in hot weather

  • Gives the smoothest shave

  • Boosts confidence

  • Enhances your facial features

  • Easier cleanup of hair clippings when using electric shavers

Cons of Choosing a Bald Cut

Buzzed or Bald: Which is Best for You?

Deciding whether to get buzzed or shaved depends on whether you're balding or just looking for a new, maintenance-free haircut that suits your style.

For Personal Style or New Look

If you're not balding and are just choosing between a buzz cut and a bald cut, there are several factors you need to consider.

A Buzz Cut is a Better Choice if You:

  • Have thinning hair or a receding hairline

  • Live in a hot climate

  • Work in the military

  • Are an athlete

  • Have a strong jawline and cheekbones

  • Want a neat and tidy appearance

  • Love experimentation and easy hair regrowth

  • Have no time styling your hair

  • Want to transition to a bald cut

  • Don't have a triangle face shape

A Bald Cut Suits You Better if You:

  • Want to make a statement

  • Want a bolder and more dramatic look

  • Enhance your facial features like your eyes, jawline and cheekbones

  • Show off accessories like hats, sunglasses, glasses, and earrings.

For Balding

If you're balding, deciding between a buzz cut or a bald cut depends on your hair loss stage on the Norwood scale of male pattern baldness.

A Bald Cut is Good for Late-Stage Pattern Baldness

A bald cut will look better if you're a stage 6 in the Norwood scale like me (thick sides, horseshoe pattern). It hides the visible horseshoe pattern at the back of my head.

Norwood Scale

When I started shaving my head almost a decade ago, I buzzed for a long time. When I got to stage 6 a few years back, I began to shave my head. The horseshoe was untidy, even with minimal buzz-cut growth. A bald cut gives a clean and tidy look in this instance.

A Buzz Cut is Good for Early Stages of Pattern Baldness

A buzz cut is still a good option if you are in the early stages (up to Norwood Stage 3) of male pattern baldness. For stage 4 and above, shaving your head is your best option.

You can always start with a buzz if a bald cut is too drastic for you. Once you feel confident, you can eventually move on to a bald cut.

Oh, for those who prefer the bald cut, you'll need to buzz it first since you can't just shave long hair. Whether using a manual or electric shaver, you must trim your hair (the shortest is best) before shaving to make it easier to shave and prevent irritation. 

Celebrity Inspirations

Jason Statham - Most Popular Buzz Cut Celebrity

Jason Statham Buzz Cut

photo via productplacementblog

Jason Statham owns the buzz-cut look. It's part of his signature style

Statham chooses the buzz over the bald cut, which works well for him. He has a receding hairline, which works with a buzz cut. Jason also has a strong jawline, and the buzz only helps define his prominent features.

Vin Diesel - Most Popular Bald Cut Celebrity

Vin Diesel Bald Cut

photo via femalefirst

Ever imagined Vin Diesel with hair? It's not a pretty sight.

Similar to Statham, Diesel's bald cut is his signature style. The bald cut enhances his intense eyes and strong jawline.

Remember the study that shows bald men are perceived as tougher, taller, and more dominant?

Vin Diesel personifies how bald men are seen today.

For more inspiration, read our article on the sexiest bald men or best bald guys on screen. If you want to play the bad guy, check our bald bad guys article.

The Best Tools to Use for Buzz Cut

Beard Series Trimmer Kit - Best Trimmer for Buzz Cut

Freebird Beard Series Trimmer Kit

A high-quality beard trimmer like the Beard Series from Freebird is a must-have if you prefer a buzz cut.

It has adjustable settings and sharp, long-lasting blades that ensure a precise cut.

Buy from the Freebird website.

Remington Shortcut Pro - 2nd Best Trimmer for Buzz Cut

Remington Shortcut Pro

Do you want to buzz faster than usual? Yup, you heard that correctly.

With the Remington Shortcut Pro, you can buzz faster. It's 57% wider than your standard clippers. How's that for maximum coverage and efficiency?

The Shortcut Pro also features sharp stainless-steel blades that can plow through the thickest hair.

Get the Shortcut Pro at $59.99. 

Buy from their website or on Amazon.

The Best Tools to Use for Bald Cut

A reliable shaver is one of the first tools you should have on your list. For a more comprehensive guide, check out our beginner's guide for baldies.

FlexSeries - Best Shaver for Bald Cut

Freebird FlexSeries Shaving Kit

Choosing the best rotary shaver makes all the difference if you feel like a bald cut suits your style.

The Freebird FlexSeries is one of the best on the market and has tons of freebies.

It has a powerful motor and sharp blades that work even on sensitive scalps. You can get a bald cut in 90 seconds—talk about efficiency and convenience.

Get one now.

Buy from the Freebird website or on Amazon.

Freebird FlexSeries Shaving Kit


The buzz and bald cut exude confidence, simplicity, and a rugged appeal.

Either can look good if you're balding or want to try a new hairstyle.

Whether you choose a buzz or bald cut, what's important is to rock it with confidence.


Who Should Avoid a Buzz Cut?

While a buzz cut is a versatile and stylish haircut, it doesn't suit everyone. You should avoid a buzz cut if:

  • You have prominent scars, bumps, or irregularities on your head

  • Have a triangle or very round face shape

  • You have late-stage male pattern baldness (Stage 4 and above)

  • You love styling your hair

  • Use hair products frequently

  • You have scalp conditions like dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis.

Should I Get a Buzz Cut if I'm Balding?

It depends on the stage of your male pattern hair loss. A buzz cut suits balding from Stage 1 to 3 on the Norwood scale. A bald cut is a better option if you're a Stage 4 and above.

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