The Number 2 buzz cut oozes masculinity while retaining a quiet sense of subtlety. For men about to embark upon their first buzz cut, this length may seem a little daunting at first.
But once you’ve jumped over this hurdle and taken the initial leap of faith, it’s hard to go back to any other style. Grabbing that clipper and having at it will become second nature and a normal part of your routine.
Of course, one of its main appeals is just how easy this style is to DIY. Although getting an impeccably smooth, even trim isn’t as easy as it may initially seem, you’ll very quickly get the hang of it.
The level of convenience this ease-of-maintenance brings shouldn’t be taken for granted. But there’s so much more to this style.
Consider this the essential guide to this length of buzz cut. Everything you could possibly want to know laid out in just the right amount of detail.
Let’s get to it.
What Length Is The Number 2 Buzz Cut?
It’s 6mm (¼ inch) in length. Having the buzz cut this short comes with many benefits, but also a couple of downsides.
As I mentioned, it’s incredibly easy to DIY, to maintain, to wash and to dry. But it’s also a great choice for men who are inclined toward a military aesthetic without wanting to go for a full zero-grade.
A potential downside of this style for some men would be a lack of versatility. The hair is simply too short to style. Although this may be a drawback for some men, others may gravitate towards this clinical simplicity.
You get up, you wash, you dry, you’re done. Simple.
What Does The Number 2 Buzz Cut Look Like?
As you can see, the length is short. Very short.
It’s quite impossible for a Number 2 to look untidy because there simply isn’t enough hair there to become untidy.
Adopting the style is a great way to frame the face. The hair on the top and sides gently adds shadowing to the borders of the face to great effect.
Trying to determine whether a Number 2 would suit you before committing to the trim can be tricky. It’s just quite difficult to try and visualize what you might look like with a buzz cut. It’s quite often the case that what you visualize isn’t very accurate.
The main reason for this is that men who may have had longer hair for the majority of their life don’t really know what the true shape of their bald head is. With a Number 2 buzz cut, the shape of your head is fully on display.
Having longer hair does give you the benefit of being able to style it and change the overall shape of your face. For example, a larger or more pointed hairstyle could make a face look less round and more oval-shaped.
You wouldn’t have the benefit of doing this with a Number 2 haircut.
Although you shouldn’t obsess over it, it’s worth taking your face shape into consideration before buzzing down to a Number 2.
There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules. However, if your face is more round than oval-shaped or pointed, you may want to consider a length of hair that will at least allow you to adjust for this if you wanted to.
How To Trim A Number 2 Buzz Cut In 6 Steps
It’s worth stating from the outset that you’ll need a pair of electric clippers to do this properly. There is a huge range of them available – just make sure the one you get comes with a Number 2 grade (6mm or ¼ inch).
Other than a trusted pair of clippers, a bathroom mirror and ideally a handheld mirror to tackle the back would come in very handy.
It’s a pretty minimalist setup, to be honest. The style is so easy to DIY. Let’s get to work.
1. Wash your hair
No matter how long your hair may be, before you buzz it down it’s always a good idea to give it a rinse first.
You can choose to simply rinse it with water only, or use a mild, gentle shampoo. What this does is remove dirt, oil, and grime that may be clogging the base of the hairs.
This layer of filth can actually lead to the clipper blades being slightly obstructed. Cumulatively, this can lead to tugging, pulling, irritation, and an uneven trim.
A clean scalp is much easier to trim than an unclean one.
2. Get prepared
The two main things you’ll need to prepare before you start trimming are your surroundings, as well as the clipper itself.
It makes the most sense to trim in front of your bathroom mirror. The main hazard here is your hair clogging up the sink and littering the bathroom floor (much to the despair of your housemates).
Lay down some newspaper on the floor to allow for an easy clean-up afterward. While trimming, try and shake off clipper hair onto the newspaper as opposed to the sink.
Before preparing the clipper, ensure that it’s fully charged. A clipper on low battery tugs, pulls, and even stalls. It never leads to an effective trim.
Also, ensure that the blades are clean – most clippers do come with a tiny little brush for clearing out excess hair. If the clipper also comes with lubricating oil, apply it to the blades.
Trust me, it makes a huge difference and also ensures the longevity of your clipper.
Once you’ve sorted out your surroundings and your clipper, it’s time to move on to the main event.
3. Trim the top and sides
Although this is recommended, there isn’t really a “correct” place to start when trimming a buzz cut. Starting with the top and sides just seems like a logical way to ease into the trim, as the back can be a little bit trickier as you’ll soon see.
Let’s assume you’ll start with the sides here.
It’s time to adjust your clipper to the correct length. Clip on the Number 2 guard ensuring that it’s fixed securely in place.
A potential hazard here is the guard detaching mid-trim and exposing your hair to the naked blade. This is potentially disastrous, for obvious reasons.
At this point you’ll also want to decide whether to keep the lever open (pushed back) or closed (pushed forward). Leaving it closed will cut slightly shorter than leaving it open.
If you aren’t sure, leave it open for now and assess whether it’s short enough for you. If you think you could go a little shorter simply close the lever and have at it again.
Turn on the clipper, and start trimming the sides. Much like the top, the sides are pretty straightforward.
All you’ll be doing is trimming against the grain – in other words, against the direction of growth. This is the quickest and most efficient way to get an even cut. With the sides, this is most likely upward. With the top, this is most likely backward.
Trimming against the grain is perfect for a buzz cut where short, even, and clinical is what we’re aiming for.
The areas behind the ears can be tricky, so gently pull the ears backward and forward to reach the more difficult areas.
When doing the top, the same principle applies. Trim against the grain. Go slow, and try to ensure you’re paying the entire area the same attention. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect to begin with, as you’ll be applying the finishing touches a bit later on.
4. Trim the back
The reason the back is trickier is that there are just more grooves and dips. It’s also harder because, well, you can’t really see it in the bathroom mirror.
To actually see the back of your head, you’ll need a small handheld mirror. Turn around with your back facing the bathroom mirror, and hold the small, handheld mirror in front of your face.
You should be able to see the back of your head in the handheld mirror as it reflects the bathroom mirror. You’re probably aware of this ancient trick already – be sure to practice it for the best results.
Feel across the back of your head to judge the general direction of hair growth. You’ll usually be trimming upward to trim against the grain.
Having said this, the crown area can be troublesome, simply because hair tends to grow in odd directions here. Have a feel of it and use your judgment to try and trim against the grain here as best as you can. To be honest, as long as you get the hair off here, it doesn’t really matter what direction you trim in.
5. Look for uneven patches
Although you may initially think you’ve managed to trim everything down evenly, you’d be surprised by how easy it is to miss spots and patches.
It’s important to review your work from different angles and proper lighting to make sure you’ve trimmed everything down.
Tilt your head forward and backward, and use the handheld mirror to review your head from as many different angles as possible. You will most likely find that certain bits look a little darker or more uneven. It’s important not to miss these patches you’ve missed.
Run your fingers across your top, sides and back to feel for any uneven areas. You’d also be surprised by how you might be able to feel uneven patches you weren’t actually able to see.
6. Brush or wash your scalp
You’re done. Before reviewing your work, you’ll want to remove any excess hair to get a proper idea of what it looks like.
Hop into the shower and give it another rinse. Or, if you don’t feel like this second rinse of the day, simply brushing it with a boar bristle brush would do the trick as well.
When reviewing your work, it’s quite natural to not feel thrilled about it immediately, particularly if it’s your first time.
One reason for this is that it may be quite a big contrast from your previous length or style. This takes some getting used to.
Also, buzz cuts usually look their best a couple of days after the initial trim. Bear this all in mind before you judge everything too harshly.
Overall, buzz cuts have so much going for them that it’s hard to switch back to any other style afterward. The Number 2 buzz cut is definitely no different.
Is The Number 2 Buzz Cut Good For Balding Men?
The Number 2 buzz cut is a fantastic choice for balding and receding men.
In fact, buzz cuts have always been considered a trusted friend of the man with thinning hair. One that can be relied upon when other styles slowly but surely start to abandon them.
One reason for this is that thinning hair and thin patches look less obvious the shorter and more even the hair is. A buzz cut is ideal in this sense.
Buzz cuts are also short enough to mask a receding hairline, as there is simply a less sharp transition between the hair and the forehead. Particularly when coupled with a high fade, a Number 2 buzz cut can absorb receding temples and make them look less obvious.
Finally, the Number 2 buzz cut brings with it a sense of convenience and ease for a balding man who may have previously tried to use increasingly complex styles to cover up his thinning hair.
There’s a sense of acceptance and even defiance when a balding or receding man dons a buzz cut. It doesn’t get more masculine than embracing what you’ve got and making the most of it.
Can You Fade A Number 2 Buzz Cut?
Yes, you definitely can. A Number 2 buzz cut can be coupled with a low, mid, or high fade. The sides and neckline can instead simply be tapered – in other words, given a very low fade going no further than the top of the sideburns.
The fade is becoming hugely popular around the world, mainly because it adds a unique and decorative touch to an otherwise simple style.
If this is something you want, a fade would definitely be worth considering. However, many men are drawn to the simplicity of the buzz cut, in which case a fade may not be worth pursuing.
It’s a personal decision and does require some extra trimming skills if you’re looking to DIY. However, a barber would be able to do it for you with no problem whatsoever.
The Number 2 Buzz Cut With A Beard
This is a phenomenal combination. Coupling a Number 2 buzz cut with a beard is a surefire way to up the masculinity levels.
Take a look at the last picture for an example.
One reason you may want to consider growing a beard with this length of hair has already been touched upon in this article. I’m referring to what it can do for your face shape.
As I mentioned earlier, having such short hair means you can’t style it to adjust your face shape at all.
You may have read other articles explaining what specific hairstyles suit particular face shapes. When you’ve got a Number 2 buzz cut, there just isn’t much you can do with it in this respect.
One solution to this is to grow a beard. Going back to the example of a round-shaped face, a simple solution would be to grow a pointed goatee or some other pointed beard.
This would elongate the chin and subsequently the face, and lead to a more oval-shaped appearance overall.
Traditionally, oval shapes are considered more appealing when it comes to aesthetics, although this is, of course, up for debate and quite subjective at the same time.
But my point is that growing a beard can counteract the main disadvantage of having a short buzz cut. This is something definitely worth considering if you envision it being a problem.
Do Number 2 Buzz Cuts Work Well For Women?
Number 2 buzz cuts have been worn by women the world over to great effect. This includes supermodels and actresses who have chosen this non-traditional style to stand out from the crowd.
It can look quite remarkable, particularly when done well. It can be quite a huge decision to make, particularly when trimming down long locks of hair.
But as with men, it’s difficult not to look stylish when adopting the style.
It’s one of the most popular buzz cut lengths out there at the moment. It manages to combine style, elegance, efficiency, and masculinity in a way that very few other styles can.
The style is very easy to achieve by doing it yourself. That isn’t the hard part, as you probably gathered from the tutorial above.
The hard part is actually taking the leap. Making the decision can be a painstaking process for men doing it for the first time. To put your mind at rest, just know that hair will grow back.
There’s a great chance that you’ll absolutely love it. But even if you don’t, try not to stress about it. It’ll grow back and you’ll be able to carry out a different style experiment soon enough.
After all, one of the beauties of men’s grooming is the endless number of style experiments at your disposal. What’s the point of having hair if you can’t even have fun with it, right?