2 on the sides haircut

2 on the sides haircut – everything you need to know

by Dylan Baker
Updated on

2 on the sides is one of the most popular haircut styles among men, which gives a sharp and sophisticated look. but there is a lot of confusion around this haircut as there are a lot of variations of this haircut and not all of them work for everyone.

In this article, we will tell you everything that you need to know about 2 on the sides haircut.

You will learn about all of its different variations, how to achieve them, what to ask your barber, and who is it best suited for. along with pictures that you can use as inspiration.

So let’s get started.

What is a 2 on the side haircut?

First things first, what exactly is a 2 on the side haircut, simply put, it is a type of haircut in which the sides are trimmed using a number 2 guard. 

There could be multiple different variations to this haircut based on the length on top and the style(fade or no-fade) used on the side.

What measurement is a number 2 haircut?

Number 2 haircut translates to about 1/4 of an inch in terms of length. The number 2 guard leaves 6mm or 0.25 inches in length which is the sweet spot as it is not too short and not too long either, it makes you look sharp without showing too much skin.

2 on the sides haircuts:

This haircut can have multiple different variations; here are some of the most common variations that you should know about:

3 on top 2 on the sides

3 on top 2 on the sides haircut

3 on top, 2 on the sides is a haircut in which the hair on top is trimmed to 3/8 inches of length using a 3 number guard and the sides are trimmed to 1/4 inches length using the 2 number guard. 

This is essentially a butch cut which is a type of buzz cut where you have trimmed your hair short enough that it doesn’t require any styling.

In butch cut, the hair on top is of a uniform length which in our case is 3/8 inches or number 3 

Buzz cuts have their own sets of advantages, but they are not for everyone. If you are someone who hates styling your hair every day then this is a great option for you.

This is also a good option for men with a receding hairline, once your hairline is receded beyond a point then it’s best that you stick to short hairstyles like this.

The Number 3 and number 2 clipper lengths are not too different so there isn’t much of a contrast between the top and the sides but the slight difference in length have a slimming effect on your face so if you have a broad face then this could be a good option for you.

4 on top 2 on the sides

4 on top 2 on the side haircut

4 on top 2 on the sides is a type of haircut in which the hair on the top is trimmed using a clipper guard number 4(1/2 inch length)  and the hair on the sides are trimmed using number 2 clipper guard (1/4 inches length)

This one is again a buzz cut or a butch cut to be specific. Here the length on top is a bit longer which makes it a better option for men who have never tried a buzz cut before.

The contrast between the lengths on top and on the sides gives your face a slim appearance so if you have a broad face then again this could be a good option for you.

Number 4 clipper guard is perfect for a medium-length buzz cut where you get most of the benefits of a buzz cut without exposing too much of your scalp.

When you are going for a buzz cut of longer lengths ( anything above number 4 guard) its always a good idea to keep the sides shorter, if you use a number 4 clipper guard or above for the whole head then the sides will grow out quickly and will make you look sleazy.

5 on top 2 on sides 

5 on top  2 on the sides haircut

5 on top 2 on the sides is a type of haircut in which the top is trimmed to a length of 5/8 of an inch using a number 5 clipper guard and the sides are trimmed down to 1/4 inch length using the number 2 clipper guard.

5 on top 2 on the sides, is a perfect haircut for those who are used to medium to long length haircuts and want to try out buzz cut but are afraid of cutting their hair too short.

Using a number 5 clipper guard all over your head is not the best idea, as the hair on the sides will grow much quicker which will make you look sleazy, instead, you should keep the sides shorter which will make you look sharp.

The number 5 clipper guard cuts down your hair to 5/8 of an inch in length which is not too short and it gives you more styling options as opposed to a short buzz cut.

There is a stark contrast between number 5 and number 2 lengths which is what makes this haircut even more interesting.

It looks like an undercut and makes you look extremely sharp and stylish. Since the top is a number 5 that means your hair is long enough to be styled in multiple different ways, as a side part or textured messy hairstyle, you can personalize this haircut according to your style.

8 on top 2 on sides

8 on top 2 on the sides haircut

8 on top 2 on the sides is a haircut in which the number 8 clipper guard is used to trim the hair on top of your head to 1-inch length and a number 2 clipper guard is used to trim the hair on the sides.

This is technically considered a buzz cut but because we have used a number 8 clipper guard on the top it leaves about an inch of hair which is too long and most people will think of it as just a normal short to medium length haircut.

Since the length of the hair is a bit longer in this haircut it gives you more potion of hairstyles to play around with. You can style it in multiple different ways, from spikes to quiff to the side part.

The difference between the lengths on the top and on the side is quite big which has a slimming effect on your face and will make your face look slim and more structured.

This haircut provides the best of both worlds, it makes you look sharp similar to a buzz cut but also provides you with a lot of different styling options. 

2 on sides long on top/ scissors on top

2 on sides scissors on top is a haircut in which the hair on the sides is trimmed using a number 2 clipper guard and the hair on the top is cut using scissors and it can be of any length. 

This is one of the most popular haircuts among men, as it gives you a lot more flexibility and styling options.

Here the length on the side is 1/4 of an inch and the hair on top can be of medium to long length depending on your preference.

you can make any hairstyle with this haircut, the top hair can be styled in whatever way you want, and even on the sides, you can either go for a regular number 2 undercut or you also have an option of getting a number 2 fade.

If you want to get this haircut, then you can ask simply just ask your barber to trim the sides using a number 2 guard and you can tell him what style you prefer undercut or fade.

You can keep the hair on top short or medium length if you want more volume on top or you can keep them longer if you want if you prefer that style.

If you are someone who prefers classic hairstyles then perhaps a 3 on sides would work better for you but if you want something more modern and stylish then 2 on sides is perfect.

Number 2 fade

Number 2 fade is a type of haircut in which the sides and the back hair don’t have a uniform length throughout, instead, the length of hair gradually increases up to number 2(1/4 inch)  as we move up. It can further be divided into three types( based on the point at which the transition starts) low fade, medium fade, and high fade.

2 on the side haircut can be divided into two types fade or undercut, in fade the length increase gradually up to a number 2 as we move up. 

If the transition starts from about an inch above the ear then it is called the low fade, if the transition point is high near the temples then it is called high fade and if it is somewhere between the two then it is called a medium fade.

The fade can start from any length and go up to any length if the fade starts at a really low length which almost looks like a shaved head then it is called skin fade which has been in trend for quite some time now.

If you are looking for a hairstyle that will not only make you look sharp and clean but also makes you look stylish then you should definitely consider going with fade instead of the regular undercut.

Number 2 undercut

Number 2 undercut is a haircut in which the hair on the sides and the back are trimmed to a length of 1/4 inch using a number 2 clipper guard and the length in uniform throughout. 

As mentioned above, 2 on the sides haircut can be divided into two categories, one is fade and the other one is undercut.

The undercut is a simpler haircut out of the two, in this, the hair on the sides and the back are trimmed using a number 2 guard and the length is kept uniform throughout.

If you are a fan of classic hairstyles then undercut is the better option for you but if you like following the latest trends and style then you should go with fade.

In undercut you can have a few variations, if the top hair is completed disconnected from the sides then that is called a disconnected undercut on the other hand if the transition between the top and the side is smoother then that is a connected undercut.

An undercut is a great haircut for those who have a round face or broad face it makes your face appear slimmer and more structured, and the short length on the sides makes you look sharp and clean. 

the bottom line:

 2 on the sides is one of the most popular haircut styles among men and it can have multiple different variations to it. In this article, we have shared some of the most common haircut variations of it and we have explained what these variations are and how you can achieve them. We hope this article helped you understand the different variations of this haircut and pick the right one for yourself.

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About the author

Dylan Baker

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.