With a buzzcut comes a lot of responsibility – both for the stylist and the client. There are several things clients should consider before taking the plunge, from head shape to upkeep, so we got in touch with a few experts to make this straightforward guide to the perfect buzzcut consultation.
For context, buzzcuts are on HJ’s mind right now for one reason, and that reason is Harry Styles. Last week, a grainy video of the singer’s new look surfaced, capturing him and actress Taylor Russell at a U2 concert. Styles has never strayed far from his trademark curls, only wearing them in various lengths and styles over the years, so this news was met with much fanfare. He put all speculation to rest with an Instagram post last night, as he toasted “the launch of Pleasing Fragrance with friends in London”.
"I didn’t see it coming at all but for someone who is a style icon, I think it’s great for them to shock the masses and do something outside of their norm. I’m kind of hoping this does spark a trend," Pete Cranfield, BaByliss Pro ambassador comments.
The Buzzcut Consultation
Back to the consultation. “Let’s be transparent, buzzcuts are all about confidence. Your client needs to sure about stepping in to such a drastic look. Let’s make sure our client is doing this for the right reasons and understands the aftermath,” begins Sara Mann, owner of Sara Mann salons.
So, here are all the things you should cover...
Clients should be prepared for what this cut can uncover and carrying out an in-depth consultation prior to cutting is key. There are ways to adapt this style based on their unique head shape, and these should be discussed beforehand.
Ryan Lewis, owner of Club13, Hull, gives a good example: “If you have a round face shape, I would suggest taking the fade a little higher giving an almost military style than the average buzz… we would be using this as a way to create a more oval looking shape!”
Pete echoes this: “You can complement somebody’s face/head shape by taking the back and sides shorter than the top and selecting the right point to fade the hair can really alter somebody’s face shape.”
Growth Patterns, Hair Texture and Maintenance
Factors like growth patterns and hair texture can impact the way your clients buzzcut grows out. For example, “Buzzcuts work absolutely amazing with a strong hair line, but can also work well on clientele who have thinning hair and want to disguise the process,” Sara tells us.
Talking these through with your client can help to prepare them for the rigorous upkeep that a buzzcut demands. “Are they prepared for regular appointments to maintain their look? Discussing the grow-out phase helps your clients understand the transition,” Marina adds.
Don’t Try This at Home
Some clients may think this cut can be done at home; that it looks ‘easy’. But, you should emphasise the need to have it done by a professional – there’s more to the buzzcut than meets the eye. “Choosing a professional stylist for a buzzcut is essential because they possess the expertise to create a precise personal style by blending, tapering, and achieving a balanced cut, ensuring a polished outcome that might be challenging to achieve at home,” Marina Hodgins, owner of Fringe Benefits & Labella Beauty Gloucester, says.
“A buzz cut isn’t always as simple as shaving the head (which isn’t as easy to perfect as people think anyway), each face and head shape is unique. And the buzz cut varies depending on this to give each client the very best look to suit them!” Ryan adds.
“We know about hair, hair patterns and head shapes… and will know how to manipulate this cut so it works best for you. A buzz cut is very rarely one clipper grade all over - there’s still a level of skill needed to create the perfect fade, balance and graduation. And done right, this is a cut that suits EVERYONE,” Sara explains.
“It might be that you can't go shorter than a #4, or you may need something more tapered or even faded on the sides. Some may be lucky enough to look like '99 Beckham, but going to a pro will prevent you from looking like Uncle Fester!” Ben Vowles, Murdock London master barber commented.
“The last thing we want is our clients picking up clippers and butchering their own barnets,” Pete agrees.
It's Not All Bad
While there are important things to consider, encouraging your client to rock a buzzcut with confidence is equally important. As Sara says: “There’s something incredibly liberating about cutting off your hair - some people hide behind a style, and can adopt a completely new persona once they get rid of their hair and I’m here for it! I feel like this hair cut is a perfect representation of what Harry Styles personifies - embracing your own authentic self, whatever that may be.”