Asking your barber for a haircut can be a challenge. However, unless you want to wear a hat for the next few months while your locks grow back, it’s best to avoid any major haircut mishaps. The best way to ensure you leave the barbers happy is to know what you want in advance and communicate closely with your hairdresser.
Sounds simple, right? However, with so many intimidating hair terms and numbers, it can be difficult even to know what you’re looking for, let alone how to ask for it.
Never fear the barbers again! Here is the ultimate haircut low-down, including everything you need to know about haircut numbers, terminology and that ever-elusive “barber speak.”
No need to thank us. Your stylish new ‘do is thanks enough.
Haircut numbers, also known as guard sizes, represent the different lengths of hair when clippers cut it. Hair clipper sizes range from a number 1 to a number 8 – shortest to longest and knowing what they mean will come in handy when requesting a fade or buzz cut. Common haircut lengths are as follows:
- Number 1: One-eighth of an inch
- Number 2: One-quarter of an inch
- Number 3: Three-eighths of an inch
- Number 4: Half an inch
- Number 5: Five-eighths of an inch
- Number 6: Three-quarters of an inch
- Number 7: Seven-eighths of an inch
- Number 8: An inch
Knowing your terms
If you want a super stylish cut, you need to know how to ask for one. Here are some common haircut terms your barber might use:
Taper VS Fade
Most people get these terms mixed up, but the two cuts are different. A fade haircut blends down to the skin, while a taper doesn’t end as short. The taper leaves a little hair and doesn’t expose the head.
The crew cut is universally flattering, with short back and sides and a bit of length on top. This style is great for those who don’t have much time to look after their hair, but still want a fringe to style or a bit of weight on top.
The French crop is similar to the crew cut, but with a more defined fringe. This cut is perfect for guys with thick or high-maintenance hair, as it’s so easy to style.
This one means exactly what it says on the tin. The neckline of your haircut is pivotal to your overall hairstyle but is often overlooked. The three main neckline choices are: blocked or square, rounded, tapered or faded. For a gradual transition, men usually opt for rounded or tapered.
Not all faded cuts are made equal; this style is all about personal taste. For instance, a low fade starts just above the ear, whereas high fades offer a lot more contrast, beginning near the top of the head and blending downwards. The mid fade provides a balance between the two and is the most versatile look, so it suits most styles. Bald fades, on the other hand, expose the scalp and offer a much sharper contrast.
Photo courtesy of @robbie.rg from Instagram.
Of course, getting a super stylish haircut is just the beginning. To keep your hair looking fly, you also need the right styling products. Shop our line of waxes and stronghold sprays for men, and don’t forget to join our VIP club for product discounts and free stuff. What’s not to love?
Check out this 5 cool tips to get Better Haircut From Your Barber by Ben Arthur.