Hair Clipper Guards

Haircut numbers refer to the guard size on hair clippers. The size of the clipper represents the size of the hair that remains after trimming. Ideally, the value of the number is directly proportional to the size of the hair. The greater the number, the more hair will be left after cutting.

Different brands of clippers have specific number kits with haircut clipper sizes varying by 1/8 of an inch. So, a number 3 haircut means 3/8 inches of hair, while a number 4 haircut means ½ an inch long.

Haircut Numbers

Number 0 Haircut

The number 0 haircut uses attachment-less clippers. As a result, you end up with a bald fade, burst fade, or the shortest version of the buzz cut. 

Number 1 Haircut

The number 1 haircut is 1/8 inch long. It is slightly longer than a bald fade. A majority of military haircuts fall in this category. If you get the number 1 haircut, you should know that the buzz cut will expose your scalp. The number 1 haircut is usually suitable when you want faded sides.

Number 2 Haircut

The clipper size increases, which translates to longer hair. Most barbers use guard two clippers to give the number 2 haircut. Hair is not cut too long or too short; ¼ inch hair length is what you get when you need this haircut.

If you have thicker hair, the barber will use guard two but will look for another guard if your hair is thin.

Number 3 Haircut

Number 3 haircut is achieved using a guard three clipper resulting in 3/8-inch length. Guard 3 clipper is the longest length used for fades and sides. Never use guard 3 for shorter sides.

Number 3 haircut is an option to shave the top of the head when you want extremely short hairstyles that don’t show your scalp. The short length is easy to manage since you won’t need a comb or brush when styling your hair.

Number 4 Haircut

Number 4 haircut is versatile since it suits thick and thin hair. Also known as the medium-length hair clipper, it gives you ½ inch of length and is perfect for flat-top hairstyles. Use guard four clippers at the top of the head and then add fades on the sides.

The longer hair on the top is the whole point of using the guard four clippers.

Number 5 Haircut

The size five clipper is used for longer hairstyles and taper styling. The guard five clippers are used to achieve many hairstyles, including faux hawk hairstyles. The clippers leave a 5/8 inch length that isn’t as blunt as the transition fades commonly with taper styling.

Curly Haired Guy Waving While Barber Cuts His Hair

Number 6 Haircut

The number 6 haircut features ¾ inches of length and can be used for tapering. It will also work at the neckline when you want a rounded and squared style.

Number 7 haircut

The number 7 haircut helps achieve sexy whiteboy haircuts like a crew cut or short Edgar haircuts. It’s perfect for men with thick hair.  However, you will still need to use a smaller number of clippers for the side fades.

Number 8 Haircut

The number 8 haircut is an inch long and uses number 8 clippers. The barber trims the longer hair and uses clippers to cut the hair on top. Most haircuts that leave longer hair at the top or buzz cut at the sides use the number 8 clipper.

When using number 8 clippers, you can always apply hair relaxers to the top hair to finish off the look.


What size haircut should I get?

The size of the haircut you get depends on your preferences. If you want a skin fade, go for the number 0 haircut and number 8 haircut for longer hairstyles.

What do numbers mean for a haircut?

Number help measures the length of the hair that remains after cutting.

Why is it important to understand the haircut numbers?

Understanding haircut numbers helps avoid confusion and misunderstandings when explaining how long you want your hair to be to your barber.

Trimming Man's Hair

What is the best haircut number to use for taper fade?

The number 4 haircut is the best when you want a taper fade since it guarantees a medium-length cut.

What is the best clipper number for Fohawk or Faux hawk?

Clipper number 8 gives the best Fohawk and faux hawk haircuts.