Welcome to another HairStyle Lab tutorial, this time we’re taking a look at the Crew Cut. We cover everything you need for a brief insight into the history, styles, techniques, instructions and tools needed to cut your own crew cut at home.
The Crew Cut
The name “crew” originates from rowing teams at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton in particular who wore short hair so as to avoid having hair blowing across their faces as they rowed. The cut has been popular for most of it’s lifespan of around 120 years, with athletes, the army, and eventually in the mainstream.
The Crew cut differs from other variations of buzz cut in that the hair line is left longest at the front, and gradually shortens toward the back of the crown. The sides and back are tapered and will need a lot of fading, so you’ll need to use a variety of blade guides to get the job done. The crew cut can also be referred to as a short ivy league cut.
The main features of the crew cut are:
The sides and back are tapered very close to the skin from the bottom up to a straight line half an inch or so (depending on head size) above the top of the ear, you’ll usually use a number 0 for this part.
Next you will have a graduated taper. From where your number 0 finished you’ll use a number 2, or a number 4 depending on preference up to the top of the sides and back.
For the top you’ll choose a length from 6 up to maybe a 12 faded from the front to the back.
Tools You’ll Need
You don’t need to build you own salon to do some home-grooming, here is what you need to cut your own crew cut.
- 1 x Fixed mirror – to stare at
- 1 x handheld mirror – for back of head
- 1 x good quality hair clipper
- 2 x blade guides – for your chosen length on the side and the top
You might also want to cover yourself with a robe depending on where you’re cutting your hair, and have a broom at the ready for afterwards. Plus it’s good to moisturize your head if you take your hair particularly close to the skin.
Step by Step
There are different guides out there, and some sound far more complicated than others, this is our recommended technique though. You will require a hair clippers first! Check our top rated list.
- Take your number 2 (or 4) guide comb, and clipper the sides and back of your head, from the very bottom right up to the top of the head.
- Switch your number 2 (or 4) comb out for a number 6 (up to a 12) and continue from the back of the top of your head to the front in straight lines. repeat until even all over.
- Take the guide comb off completely, and starting at the sides run from the bottom up to your chosen point above the ear, in a straight line from front to back, making sure that both sides run along the same height, otherwise they won’t be able to match up, and the back will look wonky.
It’s not a bad idea until you get your confidence to place a headband / tie / swimming cap (or anything else and drawing the straight line all the way around the head to use as a guide.
- Finally, complete the back, if both sides match up, it shouldn’t be difficult to run up one side of the back until you meet the line, then switch to the other side, and back until complete.
The crew cut isn’t the most basic cut, and mistakes can be made. Don’t be too intimidated though, if you do make a mistake you can always even it out, and if while you’re learning you always start one length up from where you want to finish, you’ll be able to fix any slip ups. Plus if you’re really worried you don’t need to buzz the bottom of the hair with a number 0 on the back and sides if you don’t feel comfortable.