Buzz Cut or Crew Cut? Both hairstyles are very similar, but there are many differences that most people don’t know. In fact, even some of the barbers don’t know the REAL difference, and they just cut your head into the completely different haircut you asked for. So, to solve this problem for our readers and the barbers, the buzz cut is trimmed with a clipper on every side of the head with a minimal contrast for a hair on the top and sides, while a crew cut has a higher contrast because the top of the hair is longer and cut with scissors.
To make it easier to understand the difference between a Buzz Cut vs Crew Cut, let’s move on to the pictures below.
Buzz Cut vs Crew Cut: Real Difference With Pictures
As you can see in the picture, the buzz cut has minimal contrast on the top and the sides of the head, while the crew cut has a longer length on the top.
When it comes to cutting the hair, a buzz cut is achieved with a hair clipper on the top, sides, and back of the head, while a crew cut is always cut with scissors on the top.
Don’t get confused here; a crew cut also needs a clipper cut to the sides and the back of the head, and in most cases, a crew cut is combined with a zero fade or a skin fade for younger folks. And for men in their 40s or above, the regular trim or a mid fade is the best looking option if you’re looking for a classic cut.
In this picture, the difference is much clearer to understand. Both hairstyles don’t have any fades on the sides and the back, and a buzz cut is cut to a minimal length, while a crew cut has a much clearer notice that it is cut with scissors. In this example, we used the shortest buzz cut length you can get, but what about longer buzz cuts? Is there any difference at all?
The Long Buzz Cut is cut with the longest clipper length, and that is the number 8 clipper with a length of 1.25 inches (32 mm). Now, if you decide to go with a long buzz cut, you have many versatile styling options to choose from when your hair grows after 2–4 weeks. If you read our Buzz Cut Lengths article, you can see that we mentioned a crew cut into styling options.
This is why we advise you to always go for a long buzz cut if you have never had a short hairstyle. If you don’t look good with a short hairstyle, over a short period of time your hair will grow so you can style it into many options like an Ivy League, Side-Part, French Crop, etc.
Now let’s move on to styling and how to know which one of these hairstyles will look best on you.
Buzz Cut vs Crew Cut: Which one should I choose?
Everyone says that if you want a hairstyle that doesn’t require any maintenance, then go for a buzz cut. This is true, but what about your hair type and face shape? Most of the guys choose a buzz cut based on the advice above, so they cut themselves thinking they would look great, and voila, their face shape doesn’t match a haircut, and now they need to wait for months before their hair grows. So to save you time and money, here are the most important factors you need to know before trying any of these hairstyles.
Buzz cuts work for every hair type. The only tricky part is a buzz cut for curly hair if you want to go for a longer length. Overall, short buzz cuts look the same on every hair type.
But when it comes to crew cuts, wavy and thick hair are the best options. If you want to have a crew cut with straight hair, you will need to combine styling products (more on this below).
Round Face: Works great for both hairstyles. For crew cuts, choose the higher fades to create an oval look, which will make your face look attractive and noticeable, especially if you have a strong beard.
Diamond Face: Shorter buzz cuts look great. If you want to go for a Crew Cut, opt for an extra length on top and a mid-fade on the sides.
Square Face: Buzz and crew cuts are suitable. Higher fades on crew cuts are recommended.
Triangle Face: Buzz cuts will look better, but if you want to go for a crew cut, you will need longer sides. And if you want a fade, mid fade or a high fade are the best options.
Oblong/Rectangle Face: Only longer buzz cuts work well. Crew cuts are good, but avoid high and tight styles. Add a beard to balance a narrow jaw.
Oval Face: Any length of buzz, burr, butch, or crew cut looks great.
A buzz cut requires minimal maintenance; all you need is regular visits to a barber every 3-5 weeks (or regular cuts by yourself if you’re a DIY guy).
For crew cuts, in most cases, you will need to apply some products in the morning because your hair is much longer on top and there is a high chance the hair will get frizzy when you wake up. Our advice for products is to use pomade or hair gel. You can also get hair cream, but this really depends on what hairstyle you want to style. If you want your hair to be messy, like a Charlie Hunnam hairstyle, then a hair gel is an option to consider. But if you want to slick-back your hair or do a side-swept fringe, then choose a pomade. Styling crew cuts is a wide topic, you can do any hairstyle you want. You can even create curly hair with sea salt spray, the options are limitless.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which hairstyle is better for covering hair loss?
If you’re experiencing hair loss or your hairline is maturing, crew cuts are the best option, because the length on top can easily cover thinning areas and give a fuller appearance to your hair.
How hard is it to achieve a crew cut by myself?
Crew cuts require scissors, so you’ll need to learn to cut yourself with scissors. But like cutting yourself with clippers, it can be mastered after 4-6 times of trying.
Crew Cut vs Buzz Cut can sound confusing, but the only difference is that crew cut has a contrast on the top of the head that is cutted with scissors, while buzz cut has a very short difference on the top and the sides of the head.
Now you know how to choose the right haircut based on your face shape and hair type, but you also know what to expect if you opt for a crew cut. Overall, both hairstyles require minimal maintenance and are one of the best short and classic hairstyles you can go for.