3 on the sides Haircut – Everything You Need To Know

If you are looking for a new haircut that is stylish but understated, that will make you look sharp and sophisticated without being too over the top, then 3 on sides haircut is a great option for you.

It is one of the most popular haircuts; it is extremely stylish and versatile and can be styled in multiple different ways. 

In this article, we will tell you everything that you need to know about this haircut, along with pictures and guides.

So let’s get started!

What is A 3 On The Sides Haircut?

3 on the sides haircut is basically a type of haircut in which the hair on the sides and the back are cut using a number 3 clipper guard.

The number 3 clipper cuts your hair down to about 9 mm or 3/8 of an inch in length.

Number 3 on the sides is the perfect length for most people; it’s neither too short nor too long and falls right in the middle.

So your hair is not so short that your skin is visible, but at the same time, it’s short enough to give you a clean and sharp look.

3 on the sides haircut can be styled in multiple different ways, and you can customize it according to your preference and style.

If you are a fan of classic styles, then you can keep the hair on top a little longer and go for hairstyles like pompadour or slicked-back hair.

Or if you want something more modern and trendy, then you can shorten the length on top and go what a quiff or a buzz cut.

The 3 on sides haircut is so versatile that it works with pretty much any hairstyle you can think of. No matter what style you are going for, you can pull it off with this haircut. 

3 On The Sides Haircut Styles

Now that we know what a 3 on sides haircut is let’s have a look at the different types or variations we can have in this haircut.

4 On Top 3 On The Sides

4 on top 3 on the sides is a haircut in which the hair on top is trimmed down to 13mm (or 1/2 an inch) using a #4 clipper guard, and the hair on the sides and the back are cut down to 10mm (3/8 of an inch) using a #3 clipper guard.

It is a butch cut which is essentially a type of buzz cut in which the hair is cut so short that it doesn’t require any styling.

If you’ve been thinking of getting a buzz cut for some time but don’t want to go too short, then number 4 is a good option for you.

Usually, in buzz cuts, the length is kept uniform all around your head, which works well when you are going for a number 1 or number 2 buzz.

But when you are going for a longer length buzz cut like in this case number 4, if you keep the length uniform all around, the initial results will be okay, but within a week or so, the sides will outgrow, giving you a sleazy appearance which defeats the whole point of a buzz cut.

So if when you are going for a buzz cut of a longer length like #4, then you should keep the sides a number or two shorter, so #3 on the side will work great.

Also, the slight difference in length between the top and the side creates a nice contrast which gives a slimmer appearance to your face.

So if you have a broad face and want to make it appear slimmer, then this could be a good option for you.

5 on Top 3 on the sides

5 on top 3 on the sides is a haircut in which the hair on top is cut down to 16mm(5/8 of an inch) using a #5 clipper, and the sides are cut down to a length of 10mm (3/8 of an inch) using #3 clipper guard.

It is also quite similar to the previous haircut; it is also a buzz cut or a butch cut, to be more specific.

The contrast between the 5 and 3 is quite noticeable, which provides a slimming effect on your face, so if you have a broad or round face, you might want to consider this haircut.

The 5 length is quite long, and it’s good for those who want a low-maintenance haircut but don’t want to trim it too short.

This length is short enough to provide you with the benefits of a buzz cut, but it is long enough to not expose too much of your scalp. 

So if you are looking for a low-maintenance haircut but don’t want to trim your hair too short, then 5 on top 3 on the side is a great option for you.

Long/Scissors On Top 3 On The Sides

Long or Scissors on top 3 on the sides is a haircut in which the sides are cut down to a length of 10mm(3/8 of an inch), and the hair on top is left long or trimmed a little using scissors.

If you prefer long hair but still want to look sharp and clean, then you should get the sides trimmed down to a number 3.

It doesn’t matter what hairstyle you prefer, be it a pompadour, quiff, slicked back, or any other hairstyle. If you want to make your haircut look fresh and clean, then you should trim down the sides to a number 3.

That way, you can get the best of both worlds; you can have pretty much any long hair hairstyle and can make it look fresh and clean by just trimming your sides down to #3 length.

These hairstyles also work really well with stubble or beard, so if you have a good beard, you can go for this hairstyle.

7 On Top 3 On The Sides

7 on top 3 on the sides is a haircut in which the hair on top is trimmed down to the length of 22mm(7/8 of an inch) using a #7 clipper guard, and the sides are trimmed down to 10mm(3/8 of an inch) using #3 clipper guard.

If you want to have a hairstyle with small to medium hair but still want a clean and sharp look, then this is the option for you.

This is a crew cut in which the hair on top is a bit longer than the hair on the sides, and it gives you a nice clean look.

#7 clippers don’t make your hair too short, so you would be able to style it a little, but it would still be quite low maintenance.

The contrast between #7 and #3 is quite significant, which gives you a slimming effect that makes your face appear slimmer and more structured.

This is a hairstyle that gives you the best of both worlds, it is short enough to give you the clean and sharp look of a crew cut, but the long length at the top also provides you with multiple styling options.

So if you want a short to a medium-length haircut that is easy to style but also provides you flexibility in styling, then this is the perfect option for you.

3 On The Sides Taper Fade

3 on the sides taper/fade is a haircut in which the sides are not of a uniform length thought. Rather the length increases gradually as we move towards the top. In #3 fade, fade starts from a #3 and gradually increases as we go up.

It is a good option for you if you’ve been wanting to try out fade but don’t want to trim your hair too short.

This is a stylish haircut that is also quite subtle, so if you have never tried a fade and want to give it a shot, this can be a great starting point for you.

Also, this is a brilliant choice for those who are into classic hairstyles, like the pompadour or slicked back.

3 on the sides undercut

3 on the sides undercut is a haircut in which the sides are cut down to the length of 10mm(3/8 of an inch) using a #3 clipper guard, and the length of the hair is uniform through the sides and back.

an undercut is different from fades as there is no gradient here, and the length on the sides is uniform all around.

It is again a very stylish haircut that has been around for ages. 

Fade is more trendy these days, and some may consider undercut a bit outdated, but it is one of those few haircuts that will never really go out of style.

If you want a stylish haircut that is clean and sharp but that is not too attention-grabbing, then a #3 undercut is the perfect option for you.

It creates a contrast in the length on top and on the sides, which gives you a slimming effect.

And number 3 is long enough to not expose your scalp or skin, which appeals to a lot of people.

How To Ask For A 3 On The Sides Haircut

It is quite simple to ask for a 3 on the sides haircut; you can just tell your barber that you want your sides to be trimmed down to a number 3, and he’ll do it for you.

You will also have to describe the type of haircut you are looking for, whether you want a fade or an undercut and how long you want the hair on top to be.

The best way to do it would be to show your barber a picture of the hairstyle that you are going for, or if you can find a video of the hairstyle you want to get, that would be even better.

That way, your barber will know exactly what you want, and there will be no confusion.

Although this is a quite simple haircut but there could be a lot of nuances to it.

Like if you want a fade, then you will also have to specify whether you want a high fade or low fade, or a medium fade.

So it’s best that you show a clear picture of the exact hairstyle you are trying to achieve; else, your barber might make some mistake.

The Bottom Line:

number 3 on the side is a great haircut in which the sides are trimmed down using a number 3 clipper guard. It gives you a fresh, clean look without being too attention-grabbing. 

The #3 length is short enough to give a structured look to your face and make you look sharp, but it is not too short and doesn’t expose too much of your scalp.

This haircut can be styled in a variety of different ways, and it works with pretty much any hairstyle.

You can customize this haircut based on your preference; you can change the length on top according to your liking and style your hair the way you want.


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About the author

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.