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The 0.5mm Haircut: Length, Clipper, Trim Guide [With Photos]

August 2, 2023
The 0.5mm Haircut: Length, Clipper, Trim Guide [With Photos]

When you’re going this short, you want to make sure you’re doing it right. Trimming a 0.5mm haircut is a bold step to make, but it can also be an incredibly liberating one. Here’s everything you need to know. 

It’s about as short as you can go without having to shave with a razor. The hair is so short that it’s barely visible. 

That’s the beauty of it. It’s perfect for men who hate the soreness that can come with regularly shaving the head. 

It can also look very masculine and has the additional benefit of being easy to maintain as well. 

You need to know what to use to trim it, what it looks like, and how to trim it in the best way possible. You’ll be getting all of this (and more) down below. 

Before committing to the cut, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re signing up for. Let’s get to it. 

What’s The Best Clipper For A 0.5mm Haircut? 

A great hair clipper for a 0.5mm haircut is the Wahl 5-Star Balding Clipper because its ultra-close blade allows you to trim extremely short. 

Click here to check it out on Amazon.  

It’s important to note that many clippers will not allow you to trim as short as 0.5mm. 

To trim this short you’d need to use a pair of clippers with no guard attached so that the standalone blade comes in contact with the hair. 

Because of this, you can only go as short as the blade height will allow you to. Most standard Wahl clippers, for instance, will only let you trim as short as 0.8mm. 

If you don’t mind that, go for a standard Wahl clipper – you’ll probably be able to find a cheaper one. 

But the ultra-close blades of the Wahl Balding Clippers will allow you to trim as short as 0.4mm if you are to use them with no guard attached – only 0.1mm off our desired length. 

The clippers are part of the Wahl “professional” series, but there’s absolutely nothing to stop DIY trimmers from using it at home for their super-short haircuts. 

It’s a high-quality device that will give you great results. 

The Wahl Close Cut Corded Hair Clipper is a cheaper alternative that also trims this short, but it’s quite hard to find these days. 

Andis and Oster clippers with a #000 blade size will also allow you to trim down to 0.5mm in length, but these are generally on the more expensive side. 

What Does A 0.5mm Haircut Look Like? 

The 0.5mm haircut is so short that it simply looks like a subtle shadowing over the scalp. 

Although it’s obvious that the head isn’t clean-shaven, the very short stubble that’s left behind isn’t very noticeable. 

Here’s what it looks like: 

The Tapered Buzz Cut example
From 123RF

That’s what a 0.5mm haircut all over, or a “0.5mm buzz cut” would look like. 

It has a very clean-cut and masculine aesthetic while looking sophisticated and stylish as well. 

In terms of styling, there isn’t much you can do with hair this short. Its simplicity is a big part of its appeal, but some men may find this limiting. 

If you aren’t keen on a 0.5mm length all over, you could spice things up by going for a “high and tight” instead. 

With these haircuts, you want to shave the sides and back down to the skin using an electric shaver, while leaving the top at a 0.5mm length. 

buzz cut with beard and glasses deposit photos
From DepositPhotos

The transition from shaved skin at the sides and back to the short stubble on top will produce a “strip of hair” appearance at the top. 

The sides and back are shaved “high” up the head, often reaching the level of the temples. 

Having said this, most DIY trimmers aren’t too keen on doing anything other than trimming down to the same length all over. 

This is absolutely fine and often works very well. 

Benefits Of The 0.5mm Haircut

If you’re on the fence about trimming down to this length, here are a few fantastic benefits you should be aware of. 

1. It’s Easy To Maintain 

This is especially true if all you’re doing is buzzing down to this length all over your head. It doesn’t really get much simpler. 

All you need is a mirror and a pair of clippers with ultra-close blades. The rest of it is just about having a proper technique (which I’ll be going through shortly). 

But this doesn’t mean that there’s no maintenance. 

In fact, trimming a 0.5mm haircut will require more maintenance than longer buzz cuts, simply because you’ll need to trim down more regularly. 

When you’re trimming down to longer lengths such as the number 3, number 4, or an even longer buzz cut length, letting the length grow a couple of millimeters isn’t going to be that noticeable. 

You could go for longer periods between haircuts and it wouldn’t be a problem. 

But when you’re trimming down as short as 0.4 – 0.5mm, even a couple of millimeters’ growth would be noticeable. 

This is absolutely fine. But if you want to maintain a 0.5mm haircut, you’ll really need to trim at least every couple of days. 

2. It’s Great For Men Who Hate Shaving

It’s no secret that there are plenty of men who hate the feel of a razor against their skin. They hate the nicks and cuts, and they hate the soreness afterward. 

It’s an unfortunate outcome of cutting so close to the skin. 

For them, doing this on the face is bad enough. The thought of doing it on the entire scalp (a much larger area) might be unthinkable. 

Using a pair of clippers with ultra-close blades will allow you to trim very short without needing to shave using an electric shaver or manual razor. 

Sure, it won’t give you a clean shave. You’ll still be left with very short stubble and a gentle shadowing effect. 

But it does the job; it gives you a neat, even finish that looks great and won’t give you the post-shave frustrations. 

Choosing between a buzz cut and a shaved head is a personal decision you’ll need to make after considering your preferences. 

3. It’s Great For Balding Men

Balding gracefully isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s often unexpected; out of the blue and pretty quick. 

One of the key aspects of balding gracefully is to shift focus from trying to hide it to embracing it

Trimming your hair down to 0.5mm (or around that mark) is a great way of embracing baldness. That’s why it’s such a freeing and liberating experience. 

No more comb-overs or other desperate attempts at hiding it. 

Having said that, trimming this short does actually make thinning hair and receding hairlines less noticeable. 

Buzz cuts are great for receding hairlines in general, but the shorter it is the more effective the result. 

Trimming this short makes the transition from the forehead to the hair less noticeable, and so it’s less obvious the front hairline is further back. 

Thin patches on top are also less noticeable. 

When all of the hair is trimmed down to a super-short and even length, the difference in length between hairy patches and bare patches is less. This makes the bare patches less obvious. 

How To Trim A 0.5mm Haircut All Over

Remember, in order to do this you’ll need a pair of clippers capable of trimming ultra-short like the Wahl 5-Star Balding Clippers (Amazon Link). 

Other than that, all you’ll really need is a bathroom mirror and a bit of time. If you’re trimming DIY, a handheld mirror would be very useful for when you’re trimming the back. 

This is a step-by-step routine to help you trim a 0.5mm haircut “all over” (buzz cut). Nothing fancy, but still impressive. 

1. Prep The Clipper 

You’ll want to make sure your clipper is charged, cleaned, and oiled before starting. 

As you’re trimming so close to the skin with the naked blade of a clipper, the risk of soreness is more than what you’d expect if you were trimming using a guard. 

So, ensure it’s fully charged. An efficient motor will trim quickly, with less tugging and pulling. 

Clean the clipper by using the little brush it came with (or a toothbrush) to remove any old hair that’s clogging the blade. 

Oil the blades with the lubricating oil it came with to make sure the comb-like teeth of the blade are able to slide easily past each other. 

All of this will lead to a quicker and more even trim. 

2. Clip The Top And Sides 

Wash and dry your hair first. It’s easier to trim down clean hair than it is to trim down greasy hair. 

If you’re trimming down from a long length, you may not want to jump straight to trimming with no guard. 

For instance, it may be better to trim down to a number 4 length first, before trimming with no guard. It’ll be easier and more comfortable. 

Once you’re ready to trim down to our ultra-short length, turn on the clipper with no guard attached and start trimming the top and sides. 

It doesn’t matter which you start with, as long as you trim against the grain (i.e against the direction of hair growth). 

Ensure you have good lighting so you don’t miss any patches. Feel over your scalp with your fingers now and again – it’s a good way to pick up on any uneven or rough patches. 

3. Trim Down The Back

It’s usually best to leave the back until last. The back is trickier to trim because it’s harder to see and there are also a lot of natural grooves and dips you’ll need to trim over. 

Use a handheld mirror if you’re trimming DIY. Turn around so your back is facing the bathroom mirror and the handheld mirror is held right in front of you. 

You should be able to see the back of your head in the handheld mirror. 

Start trimming down with no guard attached – against the grain. 

Once again, run your fingers through your scalp to feel for any uneven patches. 

4. Fine-Tune The Neckline

Another great thing about trimming a 0.5mm haircut is that the neckline doesn’t need to be so precise. When you’re doing trimming by yourself, this is ideal. 

With longer haircuts, it’s noticeable when the neckline is long, scraggly, and untidy. 

You’ll want to ensure it’s either tapered or neatly rounded/squared off. 

But when you’re trimming down as short as we are, it really isn’t that noticeable if your neckline is a little untidy. 

If you’re aiming for perfection, however, it’s usually best to ask someone else to do the neckline for you. 

Use the edge of the clipper blade to outline the neckline before shaving beneath it to make it look extra-crisp. 

At this point, another way of perfecting the cut is to line up the hairline with a razor. Again, not essential, but does add a professional look to the trim. 

Once you’re done, rinse off and enjoy your new look. 


That’s all folks. 

What it looks like, what you need to use to achieve it, and how to do it in the simplest and most effective way possible. 

It’s a great option for balding men or men just looking for a bold statement to make. 

Have fun with it.