Getting a Buzz Cut as a South Asian Woman

south asian woman buzz cut

I’ve always admired women with buzz cuts – I think it’s a very striking and powerful look that exudes confidence and beauty.

If you’re a South Asian woman or non-binary person with a buzz cut reading this and interested in sharing your story on this blog, please email me or DM me on Instagram

I have toyed with the idea of getting a buzz cut since Agyness Deyn debuted her buzz cut back in 2010. She was one of my style icons growing up, who I frequently drew inspiration from.

south asian woman with a buzz cut

But, I definitely was not brave or “edgy” enough to pull off a buzz cut when I was 16. Besides, my parents, while very supportive of my “alternative” fashion choices, would never have allowed it. It took them a while to get used to my asymmetrical pixie cut highlighted various colours over the years, which they eventually grew to love.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally plucked up the courage to hack off my hair. Even though I had kept my hair short for years, it still felt like a big deal.

south asian woman with a buzz cut

I had so many worries before going through with it. But, reading women’s blogs and watching their vlogs on their experiences of getting a buzz cut helped me make my mind up.

I particularly wanted to learn about the experiences and find images of South Asian women with a buzz cut. However, this was notably difficult to find. I longed to find women who looked like me to a) judge whether I could pull off this bold look and b) to learn about how buzz cuts are received by the South Asian community.

I thought it would be as easy as googling phrases like “South Asian woman buzz cut” or “Indian girl buzz cut” and, hey presto, loads of images and blogs of brown women with buzz cuts would come up. On the contrary! I had to dig deep to find what I was looking for.

I eventually found a couple of women – by chance – to reference.

  • Toshada Uma – petite model and blogger. Discovered via an article shared on Facebook, this alternative model is making waves in fashion in India.
  • Maryam Sofia – makeup artist and blogger. Check out her Instagram for fun and colourful takes on the buzz cut, as well as makeup inspo.

In my experience, short hair is frowned upon within South Asian communities – of course, this doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions! However, it does partially explain why my search returned few results.

south asian woman with a buzz cut

There isn’t a visit where my dadima and dada (paternal grandma and granddad) tell me it’s time to let my hair grow. So, when I asked my dadima what her reaction would be if I shaved off all my hair, I wasn’t surprised when she said “Ayo! Kan sa piti-la mort li pou rente dans l’enfer”. This translates to “Oh no! When that child dies, she will go to hell”, and to my dadima’s dismay, what she said had me in hysterics.

Similarly, my nanima (maternal grandma) and my mum both told me I looked ugly and like a boy. Comments like this don’t upset me though because a) I think I look beautiful and b) I’m not bothered by “looking like a boy”. Besides, hair does not dictate gender, nanima!

I have, on the other hand, received nothing but positive feedback from my extended family – presumably because I’m not their daughter and they’re used to my quirks. Whatever their opinion is, I think secretly, the haters think it’s pretty bad ass.

My mum has since warmed to my – almost – bald head and helps me shave it.

south asian woman with a buzz cut

I suppose, it’s also important to consider that not every “alternative” South Asian woman is going to write a blog, and a blog you’ll actually be able to find in the sea of blogs. Similarly, not all alternative South Asian bloggers are going to have a huge Instagram or YouTube following that allows you to find them with ease.

Nevertheless, it’s up to us to carve out a space in the online/real world and make our existence known. As I grow this blog and discover other “quirky” brown girls, I’ll link them somewhere on my blog.

In the meantime, since hashtags have been an amazing way to build communities, I’d love to see hashtags like #alternativebrowngirl or #quirkybrowngirl become a thing. Think about using one of these hashtags next time you post on Instagram, as I love to find new people to follow.

south asian woman with a buzz cut

If you’re a South Asian woman thinking about getting a buzz cut, don’t let your aunties hold you back! And if you end up hating it, you can grow it out and/or experiment with wigs. But either way, seeing images and reading the stories of other brown girls with buzz cuts helped make my mind up, so I hope you find this useful.

Even if you’re reading this in 2025, let me know your thoughts, experiences, or concerns on this topic.

Thanks for reading!

For more buzz cut content, see my post on the Pros and Cons of Having a Buzz Cut.

Photos by Elishama Udorok

Outfit Details

Clothes:

Black Corduroy Dungarees by Lucy and Yak

Mustard polo-neck jumper by Zara

Teddy Faux Fur Coat by Warehouse

Shoes:

Original triple-sole Wulfrun Creeper in black suede by Underground

Accessories:

Big Box Suitcase by Dr Martens

Makeup:

Skin Base Foundation in shade 13 by Illamasqua

Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Hawkwind by Kat Von D

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6 Replies to “Getting a Buzz Cut as a South Asian Woman”

  1. Naz – I have Sri Lankan heritage and I buzzed my hair off last week. I got a #6 on top and #2 on the sides. I really love it and will buzz shorter soon. Friends and colleagues really love it. I have had the same comments as you, plus chemo patient, ‘you look black’ and ‘we can’t introduce you to any boys’ from my parents.
    I can’t wait to do new style/makeup looks.
    Thank you for introducing me to Maryam and Toorama? They are real style inspirations and I was looking for someone who did natural looking micro-bladed brows locally so that is fortuitous. Do you ever get bored of your haircut? I’m finding that the reduced styling options are frustrating and I will eventually grow this out.

    1. naztoorabally says: Reply

      Sajini, thanks a lot for your comment. Sounds like a cool cut! I’m glad you love it. I found doing it gradually helped me get used to it 🙂 I cannot believe some of the things people say!! It’s ridiculous. As for the boys part, I’ve had that from my grandparents… They don’t know I have a girlfriend though haha.

      It’s fun to play with new makeup looks when you have a buzz cut! Difficult at first but I prefer it now – would love to see photos of new makeup looks you try. If you use Instagram, you can follow me @naztoorabally and I’ll follow you back 🙂

      Maryam and Toshada have really cool styles. And bonus on the microblading 😀

      Sometimes I get bored so I grow it out a bit and keep it slightly long on top and shorter on the sides, but usually I end up missing a full buzz soon after. I also like not having to style my hair anymore (I used to have a green pixie cut – so a lot of wax and hair spray) because I wear makeup a lot and now I don’t need to worry about my hair. Also, you can play with wigs too! This is something I want to try for fun.

  2. Wow so interesting I’m just now seeing this as I’m beginning to grow mine back out. Bengali woman here, spent all of last year with a buzz cut and its been my favorite! Only growing it out now because I’m so used to changing my hair always 😂😂 we don’t look too different actually haha I’m @pyrodactyl on ig if you want to check out photos. You look amazing xoxo

    1. naztoorabally says: Reply

      Hey! Ahh love my buzz cut, but I totally get the feeling of wanting to change your hair all the time 😅haha I’ll check you out on IG. And thank you xx

  3. Hi! I`m bengali and I recently buzzed my hair and the first thing I searched up when i was considering buzzing my hair `was south asian woman shaved head` on google and this popped up and I`m so grateful to have found you, your instagram, and blog in general.

    1. naztoorabally says: Reply

      Hi! I’m so glad you were able to find my blog and found it useful 🙂 hope you’re loving your buzzed hair!

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