The Definite Guide To Hair Clipper Sizes

The Definite Guide To Hair Clipper Sizes: Perfecting Haircutting Skills

Irrespective of whether you are a professional barber or just want to make your haircut at home, knowing haircut numbers and clipper sizes helps to perfect haircutting and hair styling. Without the right hair clipper size, it’s practically impossible to do your glooming as you desire as far as hair styling is concerned.

The focus of this article is to explain what clipper size means and then inform about different hair clipper sizes and the haircuts and styles that can be achieved through them. In other words, it’s a simple, definite guide to hair clipper sizes for anyone who performs haircutting regularly.

Understanding hair clipper sizes

Barbering clippers have adjustable length settings. They have removable guards of varying lengths that allow the barber to cut the hair uniformly easily and quickly. The length of the guard used is what is referred to as clipper size.

Often, even the most informed customers know little about hair clipper sizes. They know about haircut numbers and it’s the responsibility of the barber to know which clipper size to use to achieve the desired haircut number.

Let’s assume a man wants a “number 2 haircut”. The term “number 2 haircut” refers to the cut given when the #2 length guard is attached to the clipper. Using this length guard, the hair is cut very short – just a quarter of an inch, as will be explained below.

Haircut numbers range from number 0 to number 8.

Here are the different haircut numbers & their specified length guards:

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Number 0 haircut (no length guard attached)

This is the shortest haircut that can be achieved. To make this haircut number, no clipper guard is attached. It’s basically a bald fade.

Number 1 haircut – attained using #1 length guard

Slightly longer than the number 0 haircut, the Number 1 haircut leaves 1/8-inch long hair. The length guard is, therefore, used to cut very short buzz cuts or faded sides and leaves the scalp bare.

Number 2 haircut – cut using #2 length guard

The #2 length guard is used for buzz cuts and fade sides. It is among the most popular clipper size for making the majority of hairstyles. The hair left is a quarter of an inch in length. The clipper guard #2 doesn’t expose the scalp. So, if the hair is thin or there’s balding, this hair clipper size could the best choice.

Number 3 haircut – achieved using #3 length guard

This clipper guard cuts hair to a length of 3/8 of an inch. It is mostly used by barbers to cut a fade. Many men also prefer Number 3 haircut as it is short and requires low maintenance. No scalp shows so whether the hair is thin or thick, the #3 clipper guard will serve you just fine.

Number 4 haircut – cut using #4 length guard

This clipper guard produces a half-inch hair length – the hair is neither too short nor too long. Providing the middle haircut length, #4 length guard gives a desirable length of hair for guys who prefer more conservative haircuts and hair styles.

Number 5 haircut – attained using #5 length guard

If someone desires to achieve hair that can be brushed and styled, the #5 length guard can be a good clipper size. This haircut leaves 5/8 of an inch of hair. Using this haircut setting, you can taper the sides without creating a striking difference between parts of the head with longer hair and the tapered parts. It’s usually the right clipper size for the more classic, bolder gentleman.

Number 6 haircut - #6 length guard

Like the #5 length guard, this clipper size is normally used for tapered sides. It is for hair styles that require three quarters of an inch of hair to be left. You can achieve a cut close to a crew cut using the #6 length guard but you cannot get a buzz cut.

The #5 length guard and the #6 length guard are considered as special tapered guards that are designed for tapering hair. For both length guards, one end is shorter than the other and the length increases gradually from one end to the other.

Number 7 haircut – cut using the #7 length guard

If you want to buzz your hair on top or make a crew cut without a pair of scissors, #7 length guard should be your length guard of choice. It produces an absolutely impressive haircut and lifts off the hassle of using scissors. You can use a smaller clipper size to do the sides into a clean fade.

Number 8 haircut – achieved using the #8 length guard

The #8 length guard is the longest clipper size most hair clipper brands will provide. Leaving an inch of hair, the #8 guard is normally used to trim longer hair on the top of the head. To balance it out, you can fade the sides using a shorter setting like the #4 or #3 length guard to get the desired haircut shape and contrast.


There are many hair clippers that come with a lever that extends the cutting blades a bit. Even without guards, the clipper can be used to do a variety of buzz cuts. This can be great for cutting fades. However, guards can also be attached to such a clipper but it’s important to know how they work together.

When you move the lever to the higher size, it adds a half of the length indicated on the clipper guard attached. For instance, if a #3 length guard is attached to a clipper with a lever, the clipper size yielded is three and a half inches in length.

If you have already purchased a clipper but you need to buy comb attachments separately, you can get quality length guards manufactured by the brand of clipper that you use. There are also universal clipper guards that are compatible with the majority of major hair clipper brands. Universal length guards are very popular among professional barbers not only because of their compatibility with many clippers but also due to their high durability.

Knowing haircut numbers and their respective hair clipper sizes is critical to achieving the desired haircut shape and style. If you do your hair at home, you are now more confident about making it to the best look as you know how to combine your tools to achieve the best results.

If you own a barber shop, this knowledge helps to you to give your customers their desired haircuts. And there’s always the business side of giving a customer what he wants – increased satisfaction and loyalty to your service.

Thomas Nora

It's Thomas, who is always concerned about men's fashion. He loves to write fashion blogs along with his deep personal experience in fashion designing. He contributes and hosts a good notable number in the men's fashion industry. Currently he writes in Men Fashion Host to help readers to choose the best products for them.

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