If you’ve known your barber for a long time, particularly from childhood, then going to get a new haircut feels like a breeze. You just sit and let the magic happen. But, what to do in the situation if you moved to another neighborhood or city and need to look for a new barber? You find a new barber, either on the street or by checking reviews on Google, make an appointment, visit them, get in the chair, but instead of magic happening, they ask you what haircut are you getting?
Many people think that getting a haircut as a male is as easy as it gets, but only if you know your haircut number or other haircut numbers in case you want to change your style. If you don’t then you’re in trouble, as your hairdresser is likely not to know them either, especially if this is the first-time visit or they don’t have a habit of memorizing the haircut numbers of all their customers.
But, don’t worry. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about different haircut numbers and the haircut number system in general. That way, you’ll be able to go to any barber or all-purpose hairdresser and ask for the haircut that you need, without getting confused looks or feeling embarrassed for not knowing what your haircut number is.
Continue reading through our guide that will help you learn about the haircut clipper numbers and how different sizes decide what your hair will look like. Knowing the numbers will also help you to not get a bad haircut by mistakenly saying a number that is too high or too low as opposed to the haircut you are boasting.
Haircut Numbers Explained
We know that visualizing your hair length can be difficult, especially if you have short hair. To many people, short hair is just that – short hair and numbers don’t make sense. However, numbers, indeed, do make sense, and those who misunderstand them may have to deal with mildly short hair and nearly bald short hair when their barbers are finished with working on their hair.
In reality, a haircut number refers to the guard size of the clipper your barber will use. Hair clippers can adjust the size of the blame to customize how your hair will look like. Each guard has a number on it, so hairdressers don’t get different sizes confused and can easily navigate between different sizes if your hair is not evenly trimmed on all sides.
Universally, hair clippers boast 8 guards. Some models may have fewer sizes, but those that are the most modern consist of 8 guards. Some hair trimmers can also consist of 12 clippers for those who want modern-looking hair that is not even everywhere, which is why we’ll include those numbers too.
But what do these numbers mean? Simply put, a size guard decides how much hair will still sit on your scalp once it’s trimmed by your barber.
If you get a number 1 haircut, that means that the length of your hair left on the scalp will be 1/8 of an inch. If you use the number 5 clipper, there’ll be 5/8 of an inch left on your head. If you noticed the pattern, the higher the haircut number the longer your hair will be.
Finally, if you want to cut your hair on size 0, your hair will have a nearly completely shaved look as a result.
Hair Clipper Sizes In Inches And Millimeters
If you’re still confused, let’s take a look at the haircut numbers what do they mean for the hair on your head. We put both inch and millimeter sizes for you to have an easier understanding of how the numbers work.
- Size 1 clipper – Consists of one-eighth of an inch (3 millimeters)
- Size 2 clipper – Consists of one-quarter of an inch (6 millimeters)
- Size 3 clipper – Consists of three-eights of an inch (10 millimeters/1 centimeters)
- Size 4 clipper – One-half of an inch (13 millimeters/1.3 centimeters)
- Size 5 clipper – Five-eighths of an inch (16 millimeters/ 1.3 centimeters)
- Size 6 clipper – Three-quarters of an inch (19 millimeters/ 1.9 centimeters)
- Size 7 clipper – Seven-eighths of an inch (22 millimeters/2.2 centimeters)
- Size 8 clipper- One inch (25 millimeters/ 2.5 centimeters)
- Size 10 clipper – 1.25 inches (32 millimeters / 3.2 centimeters)
- Size 12 clipper -1.5 inches (37.5 millimeters/ 3.75 centimeters)
As we mentioned above, sizes #1 to #8 are the most common haircut numbers and guard combs found on the market. Sometimes, there are sizes 10 and 12, but they are not commonly used, and even when they are, they’re usually designed for styling when someone has a layered haircut or wants some part to be trimmed, while another part would appear longer than the rest.
That’s why further in the article, we’ll focus only on sizes from #0 to #8. Continue reading through the article to learn more about each clipper guard individually and find what length is the best one for you. We also included pictures with each clipper size, so you’ll be able to visualize how that hairstyle would look on you.
8 + 1 Haircut Numbers Ranked
Without further ado, let’s check all the haircut numbers out and compare them. We hope that you’ll be able to visualize these numbers better and make an informed decision on what you want your haircut to look like next time you visit your barber.
Number #0 Haircut
Some people prefer having really short hair, to the point it shades over a bald head. Such is the 0 haircut.
If you’re getting this haircut, your stylist or barber will remove the clipper and use the base blades of the hair trimmer to trim your hair off.
While this haircut looks cool and stylish for summer hot temperatures it may feel uncomfortable for people who don’t want their scars or other imperfections to show.
Number #1 Haircut
Although it’s not the shortest haircut there is, with only one-eighth of an inch it’s among the shortest ones.
There will be denser coverage over your scalp, with your head still feeling cool and breezy. However, your scalp will still be genuinely visible which may discourage some people from getting this style.
If you’re a fan of buzz cuts, this one is the way to go. It’s also a good option for people who are physically active and don’t want their hair to get wet. It’s low maintenance so it’s comfortable to use by the most.
A lot of people use it as a fade transition from longer haircut numbers into the lower ones, although other numbers are used for this option too.
Number #2 Haircut
With the Number 2 haircut, we can spot a noticeable difference in length compared to the zero haircuts. Still, the length is enough for fans of short hair to have a breezy cut without exposing their scalp too much.
Because of that, it’s among the most demanded haircuts there are. It’s stylish, refreshing, convenient and it will allow you to boast short hair without exposing your scalp and potential imperfections that come with it.
Whether you have thin or thick hair, this option will work great for you. Additionally, if you keep thin hair short, you’ll be able to restore some of its thickness.
Number #3 Haircut
The number three haircut is the longest clipper size used for cutting your hair short. Of course, you can use a higher number, but it won’t be the same as creating a buzz haircut that is the most popular option during the summer months.
Additionally, this option is good for making a little higher and longer fades on longer haircuts. Anything else would be difficult to maintain and sustained. If you want to keep short fades on the side, keep in mind that this is the longest option to do so.
This clipper size measures three-eights of an inch, so it’s significantly longer compared to the size on number 1 or number 2 haircuts. If you’re a fan of the so-called burr cut, this clipper size is the best for this purpose.
Number #4 Haircut
This haircut number is ideal for people who want to maintain a short haircut, but don’t want to go far to get a buzz haircut done. Instead, this is the most elegant short haircut, that can easily be tidied up and maintained. It’s also good for people with square, oval, and round faces because it improves the complexion of the face and makes it relatively easy to maintain.
If you want to part this hairstyle and combine it with shorter fade lengths, this haircut is perfect. It’s low maintenance, so you won’t have to go for another cut if you’re a fan of a bit longer hair than when it is initially cut.
Number #5 Haircut
If you don’t want buzzy hair or faded hairstyles, but a normal haircut that you can style relatively easily, number #5 haircut is the ideal length for everyone. With five-eighths of an inch, there is a lot of space to get creative and style your hair differently.
Of course, you may not be able to try out all the styles, but you can part this type of hair with ease, or even make some short bangs for a more daring and bold look.
Number #6 Haircut
If the length of the number #5 haircut is not enough for you, you can keep it even longer with the number #6. However, many people play around and make different fading variants between #5 and #6.
Nevertheless, styling gets significantly easier with Number #6. You can try out different haircuts, or even keep it as the longer part on the top, while other hair will be trimmed into the fades. You can also achieve a longer bang style if you’re looking to add more spice to your haircut.
Also, you can keep one-half of the hair longer, while the other ones will be trimmed shorter, although this type of hairstyle appears to be more popular among the younger population, as opposed to the older population.
Number #7 Haircut
If you’re asking for this haircut, keep in mind that not a lot will be cut off. It’s nearly an inch long so there’ll be a lot of hair at your disposal to play with and style.
When it comes to this hairstyle, you’ll rather see it as a combination with side and back fades, as well as blended hair length where some parts of the hair are shorter while other ones reach up to seven-eights of an inch, which is how long this haircut guard is.
Regardless, it’s a great haircut if you like to play with different styles, part it, use some gel and try out different hairstyle combinations.
Number #8 Haircut
Finally, we reach the Number #8 haircut, which is exactly an inch long. If you’ve never been getting this haircut before, and if you don’t keep your hair long, your barber will likely laugh it off and say you’re good.
Conventionally, not many people boast of this haircut. Instead, they use it as the uppercut of fade hair, while the rest of the head is cut into Number #1 or #2 hairstyle.
That being said, it’s likely that you won’t see this style as the sole hairstyle, but rather a blend. However, some people got quite skillful at trimming and parting this hair on their own, so they’ve come up with various combinations to keep the hair clean and tidy.
Whatever you may decide before getting this haircut, keep in mind that you’ll need to maintain it frequently, as hair grows out fast, and may appear quite messy if you leave it out for two months or more. Also, make sure to talk to your barber about what’s the best way to style Number #8 haircut if you want to get it.