Buzz Cut vs. Bald: How to Choose? (2024)

two men with buzz vs bald cut

Choosing between a buzz cut vs. bald comes down to the type and severity of your hair loss situation.

You probably can get away with a buzz cut if you have a mild receding hairline and or a small balding pattern in the back of your head.

Definitely go with a bald cut if you have a visible horseshoe balding pattern like I do.

Buzz Cut vs. Bald Cut

The buzz cut is a short hairstyle achieved with hair clippers, usually anywhere from a quarter inch to half an inch. You still have hair, but it’s very short. 

The bald cut is exactly what it sounds like; no hair at all, just a smooth, shaved head. 

If you are wondering which one you should choose because you are balding, then know that buzz cut works only to a certain level. 

Once your horseshoe shadow is visible, it’s time to go with the bald cut.

Buzz Cut

A buzz cut is a clipped hairstyle where hair is cut very short, typically 1/8 inches or less. It’s also a popular choice among men experiencing hair loss since it gives a uniform, clean look. 

There are three main buzz cut styles – the induction cut, burr cut, and crew cut, each having a bit longer hair than the previous one. 

The biggest challenge with a buzz shave, however, is getting close enough to the skin. Most clippers can only get you so far, about 1/8 inches at best. 

Here are the most common length sizes most clippers can cut.

Size in in.1/8’’1/4’’3/8’’1/2’’5/8’’
Size in mm.36101316

But hey, that’s what gives the buzz cut its fashion-forward, low-maintenance appeal. There are some zero buzz cut clippers, but the result is not comparable with a razor shave.

Pros of Buzz Cut

  • Beginner friendly
  • Hair length is adjustable
  • Fast and easy to do
  • Works well with a mild receding hairline
  • Higher initial price but cheaper in the long term compared to razors

Cons of Buzz Cut

  • Cleanup takes time, clippers require oiling
  • Difficult to do detailing and get even transitions in the back of the head
  • Requires a power source like batteries or electricity
  • Doesn’t look good with severe hair loss

Bald Cut

The bald cut is a bald hairstyle where all of the hair has been shaved off, resulting in a clean, smooth scalp.

It’s a deliberate choice for men who are balding because it offers a clean and professional appearance over thinning and receding hairline.

The bald cut is also a statement of confidence and self-acceptance. A smooth shave will bring out your facial contours and improve your image perception over compared to balding.

The biggest problem with constant head shaving is the sheer effort it takes to maintain a smooth scalp. 

Pros of Bald Cut

  • Offers the smoothes shave
  • Cleanup is way simpler and faster
  • Works well with severe hair loss (incl. balding crown)
  • Bald looks professional and boosts confidence

Cons of Bald Cut

  • With a smooth shave also comes the bald head shine
  • Head shaving side effects like nicks, cuts, and irritation
  • Doesn’t work well with a sensitive scalp
  • Maintaining the bald look requires a lot of effort
  • Replacing cartridge razors gets expensive relatively fast

How to Choose Between Buzz vs. Shaved Head?

To choose between the buzz cut vs. bald cut, analyze the type and severity of your hair loss situation. A buzz cut works for you if you have a mild receding hairline and or a small balding pattern in the back of your head. The bald cut is the way to go if you have a visible horseshoe balding pattern.

Severity of Hair Loss

The first and main thing that affects how you look with a buzz or shaved head is the type and severity of the balding pattern you are blessed with.

In the initial stages of most balding patterns, buzz cut works well and looks good. This varies a lot, but you can rock the buzz shave up to Norwood scale 3.

Once your crown starts thinning visibly and your hairline has an obvious M shape, it’s time to consider shaving.

Once you have a visible horseshoe balding pattern, then you want to pick up a razor to shave it off. There’s no going back from here in terms of hairstyles.

Color of Your Hair

Now, something that no one is talking about is how the color of your hair affects your balding look. 

The darker your hair, the more contrast there is and the more obvious even a bit of thinning hair will be.

Lighter hair, again, is way more forgiving in terms of balding and will definitely give you more options to hide your hair loss, and you can wear the buzz-cut aesthetics longer.

I have very dark brown hair, and this makes my horseshoe shadow extremely dominant. Thus, I need to shave it at least every 2-3 days to maintain a clean, professional look. 

Shaving Frequency

Maintaining a buzz cut requires a lot less effort than a bald shave. Shaving your head requires a grooming routine and a lot of effort.

Most bald men shave their heads about 2-3 times per week. This might not sound a lot, but when you need to do it all the time, it may get tedious for some.

Running clippers once per week or however often you like is easy and doesn’t take much time. Perhaps the biggest problem here is the detailing and the fades (if that’s what you are into).

Scalp Sensitivity

Buzz cut style also works perfectly if you have a sensitive scalp. You can do a dry shave and the cut is so far away from the scalp that it isn’t going to irritate it.

Bald shave, on the other hand, will definitely require more skill, care, and routine. When first starting out, you will definitely experience nicks, cuts, and irritation. 

Another part is to use the right shaving techniques and constantly care for your scalp.

All of this, if done wrong, can and most likely will result in a highly sensitive scalp. 

Of course, some of us already have extremely sensitive skin then ANY kind of shaving will be bad and painful.

Should I go bald or buzz cut?

To go bald or buzz cut depends on the severity and type of your hair loss. A buzz cut is the way to go if you have a mild receding hairline and or a small balding pattern in the back of your head. The bald cut is the way to go if you have a visible horseshoe balding pattern.

But understand that the maintenance of a bald cut requires a lot of effort and time. On average, most bald guys shave their heads about 2-3 times per week. Buzzing your hair short usually takes a lot less time and effort but doesn’t provide that clean and confident look.

Does a buzz cut hide baldness?

Yes, a buzz cut can effectively hide the appearance of baldness in the early stages of hair loss. By trimming the hair short with a buzz cut, you create a uniform length that minimizes the contrast between areas with thinning hair and those with more density. This can create the illusion of a fuller head of hair and help to camouflage the signs of baldness. 

But understand that a buzz cut is not effective in hiding your hair loss in the later stages of balding. For example, a visible bald crown or horseshoe shadow. Then, it’s time to shave your head bald.

Does a buzz cut look good with a receding hairline?

Yes, a buzz cut looks especially good in the initial stages of receding hairline. In fact, it’s a popular option for men with receding hairlines as it can create a balanced and clean appearance. For example, Jason Statham is probably the most well-known star who is successfully rocking the buzz cut with a receding hairline.

Is a bald cut attractive?

Yes, a bald cut can be very attractive to many people. Confidence, self-assuredness, and embracing one’s natural features are qualities that often shine through with a bald cut. This style exudes a strong and bold image, and many find it appealing due to its clean and distinctive look. Attractiveness is subjective, but the self-confidence that often accompanies a bald cut can be a significant factor in its appeal.

Similar Posts