A buzz haircut, also known as a buzz cut, is a hairstyle in which hair is all but completely shaved off. Most buzz haircuts are performed with electric razors or clippers. The buzzing sound that these devices make as hair is shorn is what gives the cut its name. Buzz haircuts are predominantly associated with men, but are occasionally seen on women, as well.
In its most traditional form, a buzz haircut leaves but uniform stubble of hair across the entire skull. This variety of buzz haircut is typically associated with the military. Armed forces of countries all over the world typically require male recruits to buzz cut their hair. Women soldiers are usually required to wear their hair tied back when in service, but are usually exempt from the buzz haircut requirement.
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Requiring a buzz cut for the majority of active duty troops carries several advantages. It reduces chance of lice and scalp infection, and also promotes quick preparation in the mornings. The traditional buzz haircut is almost entirely maintenance-free, as hair requires no combing or styling. It can also keep soldiers’ heads cool, particularly when wearing helmets in warm climates.
Convenience and temperature control are also assets for athletes. Many sportsmen choose buzz cuts to minimize the time they need to spend fixing their hair, as well as to help keep them cool on the field or fast in the water. Shorter hair often leads to better ease of moment and less distraction.
Buzz cuts have evolved beyond what was once a necessity to become a style choice. The haircuts come in a variety of forms beyond a uniform clipping. A buzz haircut can involve some longer hairs, for instance, particularly on the top of the head. These hairs can be styled, spiked, or smoothed. A buzz haircut can also preserve bangs, or sideburns.
The gist of what makes a buzz haircut is the use of the electric razor to keep hair clipped short. Hair can typically be left longer than stubble, but still qualify as a buzz haircut. Any hair length from an ⅛ inch (about 3 millimeters) to a full ½ inch (about 12 millimeters) generally qualifies as a buzz haircut, so long as it covers the majority of the head.
Men are usually the main wearers of the buzz cut, but women may also be seen sporting the style. Buzz cuts are more prevalent in some ethnic cultures than others, but are routinely worn by people of all backgrounds, in all countries of the world. Celebrities who have buzz cuts often spawn trends among fan groups, and friends and family of chemotherapy patients will sometimes elect buzz haircuts as a sign of solidarity.