All Of The Hair Length Categories (And What To Tell Your Barber)

All Of The Hair Length Categories (And What To Tell Your Barber)


You’re sitting in your barber’s chair, and you’re not sure what exactly to say to make them understand what you want: We’ve all been there at least once. If possible, it’s something you’d like to avoid – and that’s why knowing what to say in the case of lengths and cuts is invaluable when sitting in your barber’s chair. Thankfully, you have this article! After reading this, you should be well equipped with all of the relevant knowledge needed to confidently tell your barber exactly what you need!


When it comes to knowledge on hair lengths, the most important metric is called extended length. Extended length is the total length of your hair from the root of your scalp to the very tip, when your hair is flattened and lengthened as much as it can be. There are four categories that your own extended length could fall into: near-bald, short, medium and long. You’ll want to designate which one of the four categories your extended length falls under to know all you can about your hair length, potential styles, treatments and what you should say to your barber.

Near-Bald Length

This length of hair is no longer than 0.125 inches and is one of the easiest lengths to manage as it doesn’t require any styling or hair product to look great. Near-bald lengthed hair is perfect for athletes and during summer as it helps you stay cool and so that your hair doesn’t fall in your face. Simply ask your barber for a burr cut which is the entirety of the scalp clipped using a #1 guard. This look is also extremely easy to obtain at home with either a hair clipper or electric razor. If you’re feeling adventurous you could go for some fun color or bleach/ toner; the cool thing about this length is that it grows back incredibly quick! 

Short Length

The short length group is defined by hair between 0.125 and 2 inches in length. It’s noteworthy that the two most worn lengths of hair by men are the short length & near-bald length as both are easily manageable regardless of hair type, color, or style. Whether you have thick curly hair, straight & thin, or something in the middle, you will find yourself able to rock these lengths with ease. A popular cut for men within this length is the Crew cut. Add some hair products like sea salt texture spray, pomade, hair wax to achieve more texture with this look. Adding natural highlights also achieves a more textured look. Ask your barber for their opinion about the style of cut they think would look best on you. It also never hurts to have a few reference photos handy.  

Medium Length

Medium length is characterized by 2 to 6 inches and is the essential length for styles like the bro flow and curtain bangs. You can really play around with this length by using your natural waves/curls, heat tools, and hair products. Some popular medium length cuts include the pompadour, blowout, tousled, combover, blowout, etc.. It’s important to understand some terminology when sitting in your barber’s chair:  Choppy means more texture and is usually cut at a 45 degree angle. Straight means a blunt cut throughout and is usually advised for wavy/ curly hair that already has texture.  Knowing your face shape is also a foolproof way to determine what cuts would suit you best. 


Long Length

Long length hair is 6 inches or longer and is typically referred to where it lies on your body such as shoulder length rather than 10 inches. This look will require more care and styling for every inch it grows which may be why it isn’t seen being worn by the majority of men. With long hair the possibilities are huge in terms of style. Some popular styles are beach waves, braids, buns or ponytails, long with curtain bangs, etc.. It is important to take proper care of your hair at this stage with frequent brushing, hair masks, and healthy oils such as argan or jojoba to ensure that there is no matting and so that the ends are healthy. If you go for a ponytail or bun, consider using non breakage ponytails such as the scrunchie, try to avoid elastic hair ties as they can cause split ends. To maintain frequent growth it is advised to keep up with regular trims which can be done quickly with your barber or at home with quality hair scissors. 

Whether you are seeking a cut or to grow your hair out, this article is your go to guide to determining what length is appropriate for your hair style, color, and face shape. If you’re unsure, your barber will be able to help determine what look would go best with you. Something to consider while seeking your style is the amount of care you are wanting to put into your hair daily. 

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