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Buzz Cuts And Curly Hair: A Complete Men’s Guide

July 31, 2023
Buzz Cuts And Curly Hair: A Complete Men’s Guide

Although a man’s curly hair may be a source of envy for those around him, he knows full well how unpredictable and difficult to manage those spirals can be. 

A simple solution is often to trim it short. Very short. I’m about to give you the low-down on buzz cuts for curly hair. 

They can take a variety of different forms; from Crew Cuts to Ivy Leagues. Fades, Flat Tops, etc. The options really are endless. The bottom line is that trimming curly hair down to a buzz cut isn’t just more manageable. It’s also incredibly stylish. 

Time is an asset when it comes to men’s grooming. A lot of men do value efficiency and speed when it comes to their grooming habits. Taming curls can often be time-intensive unless you’re willing to just let it be and let it grow wild. 

Buzzing it down may be the answer. 

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the topic. In usual fashion, you’ll see some pictures and examples and learn some of the lingo. I’ll also touch upon curly buzz cuts with fades, as well as some tips on how you might grow it out if you wish to. 

Let’s get to it. 

Types Of Buzz Cuts With Curly Hair

I always like to break things down to their core components when explaining a style. In this style, the two components are curly hair and buzz cuts. Each of them can come in different forms. 

Although different types of curly hair may look very similar to casual observers, curly-haired men may well know that there are several different types. 

It can be wavy, tight, coiled, kinky, and so on. 

Knowing exactly what the different types look like isn’t very important when trimming a buzz cut. Ultimately, the type of curly hair you have shouldn’t play a very significant role in determining the type of buzz cut you trim. 

Knowing and being able to identify the main different types of buzz cut is more important. There are many different variations of what is ultimately a very simple style. 

It’s an umbrella term that encompasses several different styles. The main ones to know about are as follows: 

  • The Induction Cut – What a lot of people initially think of when they hear the term “buzz cut”. It’s trimmed to the same, short length in all directions. A distinctly military aesthetic when very short. 
  • The Burr Cut  – The curly hair on top is slightly longer than the hair on the sides. Not by much – a few millimeters at most. 
  • The Crew Cut – The hair on top is significantly longer than the sides. The hair on the top often graduates into a pompadour at the front. Variations include the Ivy League (a long Crew Cut) and a Butch (the top hair is cut a uniform length).

You’ll be seeing pictures of each further below. It’s just important to know the basics of the underlying theory beforehand. 

I’ll also be talking about fades a little bit later. But it’s important to note early on that any of these styles can be faded at the sides and back. Faded sides are incredibly popular these days, especially with curly haired buzz cuts. Fades can be low, mid, or high. 

The type of buzz cut you choose for your curly hair depends on a couple of different factors. 

Personal preference needs to take priority. If you happen to love the look and feel of a Crew Cut, you should at least try it out. 

However, take maintenance requirements into consideration as well. You could quite confidently manage and trim an Induction Cut DIY because it’s so easy. A Crew Cut, however, will most likely need some professional assistance for upkeep. 

Crew Cuts are often long enough on top to give you some capacity for styling. An Induction Cut often wouldn’t. If this is important to you, bear it in mind when making your decision. 

Let’s take a look at some great examples of this glorious style. 

6 Great Buzz Cuts With Curly Hair

You’ll start to identify the look and feel of curly hair that’s been trimmed down to a buzz cut. It does have a distinct appearance and is actually a very popular style at the moment. 

1. A Simple Induction Cut

Buzz cut partnered with a pencil mustache

Remember, an Induction Cut is trimmed down to the same, equal, short length in all directions and dimensions. 

This certainly does have its benefits. The main one is that it’s incredibly easy to DIY. You could potentially save huge amounts of money and time in trips to the barber if you did choose to do it yourself. 

Its simplicity is coupled with subtle masculinity. Although it’s incredibly straightforward, it does tend to look stylish in almost any context. With wavy or coiled curls, the distinct appearance of a buzz cut can often look very impressive. 

I often recommend this style to men with fairly advanced receding hairlines. It doesn’t hide or camouflage receding temples in the way that a Crew Cut may be able to do. However, it’s a graceful and stylish way to embrace balding in with a subtle air of defiance. 

Much like the high-and-tight Crew Cut, an Induction Cut does carry with it quite a distinct military aesthetic that a lot of men are drawn toward. 

It’s simple, it’s sleek, it’s stylish, it’s efficient. If any of this resonates with you, it may well be one to try out on those curls. 

2. An Induction Cut

A low fade ends just above the sideburn – a little higher than a gentle taper. As you can see, it’s a pretty simple way to add some flavor to a fairly straightforward buzz cut. 

buzz cut no guard (shutterstock)

It’s great because it adds a modern twist to a fairly traditional style while maintaining a sense of subtlety. 

The low fade is becoming increasingly versatile over time. They’re becoming so popular that you’re quite likely to see one in just about any context, profession, and situation. 

They’ve managed to crossover into older demographics. It’s not uncommon to see a middle-aged man rocking a low fade these days, whereas it used to just be the style of choice for the young, urban, and trendy. 

3. Buzzed And Bearded

Buzz cuts and beards do compliment each other very well indeed. Although this is partly because growing a beard is a pretty painless way to up the masculinity level, there are other factors at play. 

Another benefit that growing a beard could bring to a man with a curly-haired buzz cut is the ability to alter the shape of the face and head. 

buzz cut with beard and glasses deposit photos
Deposit Photos

Buzz cuts are great in many different ways, but they often deny you a crucial advantage that longer hair gives you. If you left your curly hair longer, you’d be able to style it to your whim. In doing so, you’d be able to use it to adjust and alter the shape of your overall head and face. For example, making it look less round, or square, and so on. 

Other than with longer Crew Cuts, this isn’t really possible with buzz cuts where the shape of your head is very much exposed with no way of adjusting it. 

But a beard can do this for you. Beards have been used to transform facial shape since they ever became a thing (whenever that was). 

They can be used to elongate the chin, broaden the jawline, soften the cheekbones, etc. 

This is the main reason why they may be a perfect complement to a man with a curly buzz cut. 

4. The Curled Crew Cut

Crew Cuts look fantastic on men with curly hair. It just works. 

As I mentioned earlier, a Crew Cut is defined by the hair on top being significantly longer than the short, buzzed sides. 

The nature of the hair on top further defines the typeof Crew Cut. The picture above is of a traditional Crew Cut where the hair graduates into a neat pompadour at the front. 

High fade crew cut with a receding hairline

An Ivy League Crew Cut is particularly long, and a Butch Cut is trimmed to the same length from back to front. A Flat Top is characterized by the same long top and short sides combination, but the hair on top is carved into a flat, “deck” like appearance. 

A traditional Crew Cut like the one above looks very stylish on a man with curly hair. It’s very attention-grabbing and oozes sophistication. 

As you’d expect, however, the maintenance requirements are higher than that of a simple Induction Cut. You’ll almost certainly need some professional help from a barber to trim it, and most likely some relatively high grooming necessities. 

Curls can be difficult to manage, as you probably already know full well. If you were hoping to make your life easier, then trimming a short Induction Cut may be a better option than a Crew Cut. 

If you wanted to retain some capacity for styling while still keeping it easier to maintain, an Induction Cut or a short Crew Cut (such as a Butch Cut) may be good options. 

5. Crew Cut With A Skin Fade

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this style that hasn’t been written above. I only mention it because it’s important to know that it isn’t just the hair on top that can be varied with a Crew Cut. 

The sides and back can also be used to add interest and uniqueness. A fade can look fantastic as it graduates upwards into the locks of curled hair on top. 

I’ll be discussing fades in a little bit more detail later on. But the picture above was so good that I just needed to share it. 

A “skin fade” starts from zero and gradually increases in length as you go upward. It’s called a “skin fade” because you’re literally shaving down to the level of the skin to start the fade. 

It’s not easy to get it right, so you’ll definitely need a good barber to sort this one out for you. But if you were looking for a more eye-catching curled buzz cut, adding a skin fade may be a phenomenal option for you. 

6. A Simple Curl Burr Cut

The Burr Cut differs from a Crew Cut in that the top is only very slightly longer than the hair on the sides and back. 

Number 3 buzz cut profile

This fantastic tapered effect often grows out very nicely and naturally. Buzz cuts can sometimes grow out more like a ball of fuzz if the sides and back aren’t kept tight. Trimming a Burr Cut with the sides and back a bit tighter than the top safeguards you against this.

The Curly Hair Buzz Cut With A Fade

You’ve seen a couple of pictures of it already. Yes, a fade can be added to a variety of different curly buzz cuts with great effect. 

A fade refers to the gradual increase in length from bottom to top, often being added to the sides and back. 

A low fade ends just above the level of the sideburn, a high fade at the level of the temples, and a mid-fade in between the two. 

A taper can be considered a very low buzz cut, lower than a low fade. 

One thing you should prioritize with a fade is proper communication with your barber. When it comes to fades, what clients have in mind can sometimes be very different to what a barber thinks they want. 

This is usually due to the client having a poor understanding of the terminology, or simply finding it difficult to convey what type of fade they actually want for their curly buzz cut. 

Be extra-clear about the level at which you want the fade to end, as well as what length you want the fade to start from. If you want a skin fade, tell your barber right from the outset. 

A simple solution to this frustration would be to show your barber a photo of the style you’re hoping to emulate. This can potentially save you a lot of grief, and also help you maintain a solid relationship with your barber. 

Tips For Growing Out A Buzz Cut With Curly Hair

Although buzz cuts tend to keep curly haired men satisfied for a long, long time, there may come a point where you want to return to longer locks. 

This may seem simple enough, and in general, it is. But there are a few tips you should bear in mind to make the process as painless as possible. 

  1. Visit your barber regularly. As I mentioned earlier, buzz cuts tend to grow outwards and can quickly resemble a ball of fuzz or a bonnet. The sides and back should be tapered to make it look more natural. 
  2. Proper night-time curl care. As your curls grow longer, nurture it. Curls can be delicate and very prone to tangle. Prevent tangling by tying it into a bun or ponytail if you have to. Satin pillowcases also help to prevent breakage.
  3. Ignore the myths. No, trimming a buzz cut doesn’t mean you’ll lose your curls when growing it back out. Be patient, give it time, and look after those curls. 


Although the increased maintenance requirements of curls can frustrate some men, a lot of others would absolutely love to have them. 

If you’re looking for a way to keep those curls stylish while considerably cutting down on maintenance requirements and cost, a buzz cut may well be for you. 

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful. I often end these articles with the following piece of advice. If you’re on the fence, there’s really no harm in trying it out. Those curls will grow back – trust me. 

But either way, I hope you enjoyed reading. Thanks for sticking around until the end.