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What do Haircut numbers at a Barbershop mean?

Essential pre-haircut info.

While perfecting your hair care routine takes time, patience and all the products, the right haircut is also key.

Things to consider when getting a haircut:

Regardless if you’re cutting at-home or going to a barbershop, there are a couple of factors to consider when cutting your hair: Will the haircut complement your hair texture? Will you go long or short? What haircut is the best for your face shape? And most importantly, what clipper length should you adhere to? To help you out, we put together a guide on clipper lengths for those looking to test out a new look, or define a current one.

If you are trying out a new barber or just new to understanding barbershop culture, we are here for you. Typically, when you sit down in a chair you will be asked what haircut numbers you want or how long you want your hair. We get it, it can be confusing and intimidating if you don’t know what the haircut numbers mean. That’s why it will make all the difference in your hair length and overall appearance to read the information below. The only way to walk out with a good haircut (apart from a good barber, of course) is to have a good understanding of hair numbers and clipper lengths.

So, what are haircut numbers?

In short, haircut numbers are the clipper guard (attachment combs) sizes — aka those numbers etched onto the guard used to help measure the length of hair you’re cutting. Traditionally, clipper sizes have at least eight guards, with each clipper size depicting how much hair will be left on your head after using.

  • Number 1 clipper: 1/8 inch
  • Number 2 clipper: 1/4 inch
  • Number 3 clipper: 3/8 inch
  • Number 4 clipper: 1/2 inch
  • Number 5 clipper: 5/8 inch
  • Number 6 clipper: 3/4 inch
  • Number 7 clipper: 7/8 inch
  • Number 8 clipper: 1 inch

Basically, the larger the number, the longer your haircut will be. If you walk into a barbershop and ask for a number 6, you will receive a six guard and walk out with 3/4 of an inch of hair left. On the flipside, if you ask for a 1, you will receive a nearly-shaved head. Here, 0 is no guard attached, so it’s the shortest haircut possible. Think of a 0 as a fade/skin, and a number 8 as a light trim to the hair.

As some of the country is still sheltering-in-place, why not cut hair for the homies as a side hustle?