Hair Cutting Lengths – Guide to Haircut Numbers

Hair Cutting Lengths – a guide to haircut numbers


Like many things in life, having a definitive guide is extremely helpful to ensure accuracy. Sizing charts for clothing ensure the proper fit, nutritional facts on food packaging gives you every detail about the food you eat, etc. Accuracy when it comes to a haircut is just as important. You may have heard your barber talk about using a number one or three guard on their trimmer. This is referring to how short or long your hair will be cut depending on the number guard they use. Understanding the different hair cutting lengths will give you the confidence you need to tell your barber exactly what length you want and the ability to recreate a haircut you love.

For more information about the different clipper guides click here.


How does hair cutting lengths work


Basically the different numbers represent the different guards attached to the clipper or trimmer. The guard is attached and acts like a stencil or a safety to ensure the hair is cut at whatever length guard is being used. These different guards have numbers associated with a certain length.


Quick guide to the different lengths of guards and haircuts


The length of hair you want is proportional to a certain guard. All clipper guards are designed to cut your hair in intervals of ⅛ in.

#1 clipper length – ⅛ in
#2 clipper length -¼ in
#3 clipper length -⅜ in
#4 clipper length -½ in
#5 clipper length -⅝ in
#6 clipper length -¾ in
#7 clipper length -⅞ in
#8 clipper length -1 in

For a better understanding of the different hair cutting lengths, here is a visual representation.



Number 0 Haircut



A number 0 haircut is done without any guard and is known as a bald fade or a shaved head.


Number 1 Haircut


This guard is most suitable for the use of cutting a fade as a whole head cut with a number 1 guard is basically a buzz cut.


Number 2 Haircut



This is also used for cutting a fade but is a great option for those with thin hair as it will give you a buzz cut without your scalp being exposed.


Number 3 Haircut



Getting a number 3 haircut is incredibly easy to maintain as it is pretty short and doesn’t require much styling. This is the longest fade haircut that barbers use.


Number 4 Haircut



Hair is cut one half of an inch long and is a perfect professional look. This photo features and #4 on the sides.


Number 5 Haircut



This cut is five eighths of an inch long and allows for some more styling than the cuts above. A good choice for an elegant and classy look.


Number 6 Haircut



This is typically the guard number barbers use to achieve a crew cut. The hair measures three quarters of an inch.


Number 7 Haircut



Hair is cut to seven eighths of an inch and is the other ideal length for cutting a crew cut.


Number 8 Haircut



The number eight is usually the longest that hair can be cut with a guard and is a helpful base for cutting other hairstyles. Styling your hair can be quick and affordable with a quality pomade or gel regardless of hairstyle.

If you aren’t a hair stylist, trying to understand different barber lingo can feel a bit intimidating. Not to worry, this is the perfect starting guide to feel confident about hair cutting lengths and how to explain the exact hair length you want on your next trip to your barber!

For more blogs on men’s hairstyles, click here.