While it’s usually a cut reserved for the warmer months of the year, it can also be considered a new start: Shaving your hair for 2016 is a pretty great idea, especially if the style suits your dome and face shape. Before you go all in and make an appointment to see your barber, know what you’re getting yourself into. While the buzz cut is the easiest hairstyle to maintain, there are few things to consider before taking the leap.
The big commitment
For all intents and purposes, it’s a pretty carefree style; however, it’s one that you need to commit to fully. While some hair cuts look good on certain face shapes, just about any guy can pull off this ‘do. However, before you put your dome in your barber’s hands, consider these factors so that you can get the length right and know for sure whether it’s right for you.
Bet you didn’t think too much about this one. You’ve probably always rocked a full head of hair, or as much hair as you can possibly rock, but once you go very short you may notice you have some lumps and bumps on your dome. Sure, no one has a perfectly smooth head, but, “you might still have lumps on your head from when you were a kid [that you don’t know about],” says Ruben Aronov, the Manhattan-based barber at F.S.C. Barber to Men’s Fitness. Aronov suggests feeling your head out and thoroughly around your scalp before you buzz.
If you have very big ears, then you may want to reconsider buzzing it very close to your scalp because it can only exacerbate their size — unless you have no problem with that, then by all means, more power to you. If you’re set on buzzing it anyway, Aronov recommends not going too short on the sides.
Something to consider when going short: Scars. You may have scars on your head from a childhood injury or you’re just that kind of guy that maintains scars. If you have several scars that are noticeable, think twice about buzzing your hair short and consider leaving it a bit longer.
Consider your scalp health
When your hair is cropped within an inch of your scalp, there are two important things to know so you can prepare yourself: First, if you have dandruff, there’s no longer any hair for it to hide in. This means that you’re going to have to nip it in the bud so you see no signs of it atop your head. GQ recommends trying Malin + Goetz because not only will it soothe your scalp but it will get rid of flakes fast.
Second, the sun and the wind. Now that you’re without the usual protection that your hair provides, you’re now vulnerable to the elements. Your pale scalp is not used to seeing daylight and although you can rub SPF on your head, a great option is to wear a cap or beanie when the sun is shining. This brings us to the fact that you’re now going to have to make sure your dome is properly protected from any windburn and frostbite that winter is oh-so-capable of inflicting on you.
Keep those appointments with your barber steady
In the general sense, especially when it comes to haircuts, it’s always advised to have a professional do the job so you get what you want and avoid mistakes. The biggest commitment you’re making to your buzzcut is being diligent in scheduling your barber visits. Depending upon how fast your hair grows and the type of hair you have will determine how often you’re going to need to re-buzz it. For instance, if you have thinner, straighter hair it can start to grow back just after a week.
“As men’s hair tends to grow about half an inch every month, I would suggest you book in a re-cut every four to 5 weeks. As I say, it’s all about the millimeters with a style like this,”says John Vial, creative director of international salon Fudge to British GQ. But again, if you prefer your buzz to look fresh, book an appointment to buzz it every one to two weeks, or if you prefer a lower-maintenance buzz, let your hair grow and have it cut every three weeks. As always, the best part about the buzz is that you won’t ever have a bad hair day.