The number in a haircut refers to the hair clipper size used to achieve the hairstyle and, consequently, the amount of hair left after the haircut. The number of a haircut is a straightforward way of explaining to your barber the amount of hair you want to be left after a haircut.
Generally, there are 8 hair clipper sizes, and each hair length increases by intervals of 1/8 of an inch as the haircut numbers increase. The higher the number, the more hair is left out. For instance, in a number 4 on the sides haircut, you will be left with 1/2 an inch of hair on the sides of your head, while a number 2 on the sides haircut will leave 6mm.
Number 4 on the Sides Haircuts
A number 4 clipper is ideal for medium-length haircuts. As mentioned before, it usually measures 1/2 an inch or 13mm. However, if you want 13mm of hair left on the sides, your ideal haircut is a taper. Read on to learn more about the number 4 on the sides haircut.
1. Number 4 Haircut
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Number 4 haircut is the most basic hairstyle on our list, whereby your barber cuts your hair to a 13mm length. This is the ideal hairstyle for professionals and conservatives who prefer a low-key, reserved appearance. In addition, number 4 is the medium-length hair clipper ideal for thick and thin hair types.
2. Fade Haircut
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I used to confuse a faded haircut with a tapered haircut for a long time. They are two different haircuts; their only similarity is that the hair gradually decreases in length from top to bottom. No clippers are used in a tapered haircut. Instead, most professional barbers use scissors.
On the other hand, clipper guards are utilized in a faded haircut. Your preference determines the size of the fade. It could either be a low or a high fade. In this case, number 4 guard clippers are used to achieve a faded crew cut. This is the go-to hairstyle for thick hair types.
3. Buzz Haircut
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The military love short haircuts like the buzz cut because of the low maintenance required. This is a short haircut with thin sideburns and faded sides. Smaller clipper guard sizes are used on the sides to achieve the fade.
For instance, you could request your barber to use number 4 and 3 guard clippers on the sides and sideburns for the perfect short haircut fade. We recommend this haircut for professionals and conservatives with square or oval-shaped faces who prefer to maintain a low profile.
4. Crew Cut
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A crew cut is a common haircut among men who prefer a short back and sides haircut. Your barber achieves this by giving you an even haircut at the top of your head using number 7 clippers and clipper tapers like number 4 to achieve a defined tapered effect on the sideburns and sides of your head.
This is the typical everyday haircut for most men who like low maintenance medium to short haircut lengths. The crew cut is a versatile hairstyle that any barber can adapt to your hair and face type to achieve a timeless look.
5. Ivy League Haircut
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Harvard, Brown, Princeton clip, or Ivy league haircut is a low-maintenance hairstyle popular among sophisticated gentlemen everywhere. It is a versatile taper fade hairstyle that suits all hair types and lengths. The hair on top is typically medium to long.
Most barbers use scissors to maintain the hair length, while the sideburns and sides of the head feature medium to short hair lengths achieved using number 4 to 2 clipper guards, depending on your preference.
6. Caesar Cut
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A barber typically leaves 1 inch of hair at the top of the head using a number 8 clipper guard. Then the sides are tapered to a short hair length using number 7-4 clippers. Of course, you can always request fringes at the top of your hair if you fancy them.
The caesar cut is a low maintenance youthful and modern look that most men with thick hair prefer. It is a versatile haircut because you can rock this look with curly or straight hair.
7. Pompadour Hairstyle
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The pompadour hairstyle is a voluminous men’s hairstyle that works on weekends and weekdays. I think every man should try this hairstyle at some point. David Beckham is known for rocking this hairstyle.
It is the perfect hairstyle for a short back and sides haircut. The hair at the top is rather long, while the hair on the sideburns and sides is tapered to a medium to short hair length, depending on your preference.
In this case, you could utilize scissors for the top hair and number 4-3 clipper guards to taper the sides of the hair. This is a rather high-maintenance hairstyle preferred by fewer men.
8. Short and Messy Hairstyle
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A short and messy hairstyle works for all hair and face types, including a round face. It is a unique way of showcasing your personality. This haircut is custom-made for your facial features and hair type.
A short and messy hairstyle is characterized by long, messy, textured hair at the crown of your head, while the sides are tapered short to medium hair length. It allows you to experiment with several hair products to achieve the texture look at the crown of your head.
9. Asymmetrical Hairstyle
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The men’s asymmetrical haircut is very sophisticated and can only be achieved by a skilled expert barber. This bold look features uneven lengths on both sides of the head. You can choose haircut numbers 1-4 for the sideburns and side of the head, whereas the top of the head has long hair achieved using clippers.
This is the haircut you see celebrities or models rocking on runways or in movies. It is a statement haircut that is high maintenance. But dont let this deter you from rocking this bold look. If you are willing to commit to the hairstyle, do it.
How to DIY a Number 4 haircut
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For the perfect DIY number 4 haircut, you will need a good set of clippers and different size clipper guards. The first step is to attach your number 4 clipper guard to your clippers and start trimming your hair from the hairline towards the crown of your head.
Once you are done, switch to a number 3 clipper guard and trim the sides of the head. When you approach the crown, indent 1 inch from it.
You may stop here. However, if you want a more defined tapered look, switch to a number 2 clipper guard and repeat the previous step. Once you are done, outline the edges with a trimmer or razor for a more defined, clean look, and viola, you are done.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the longest and shortest haircut numbers?
Number 8 is the longest haircut name and leaves a 1 inch or 25mm of hair, while number 0 is the shortest haircut number that achieves 1/16 inch or 1.5mm hair length. It is the ideal hair guard clipper size for that bald or skin fade haircut.
2. Scissors vs. Clippers
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Clippers and scissors are the main deciding factors in men’s hairstyles. Clippers are electric styling tools ideal for a uniform hair trim and a well-defined finish on the edges of the hairline. Moreover, guards protect the cutting blades on the clippers and your scalp.
You can adjust the blades for a longer or close cut, depending on your preference. Clipper cuts are referred to in numbers. For example, number 0-1.5mm, 1-3mm, 2-6mm, 3-10mm, 4-13mm, 5-16mm, 6-19mm, 7-22mm and 8-25mm. The size increase is 1/8 of an inch from one size to the next.
On the other hand, stylists use scissors to manually and precisely trim hair. They come in different blade types used to trim the hair in various lengths. Scissors are the ideal tool to deliver textured haircuts.
3. How can I ask My Stylist for a Short Back and Sides Haircut?
A short back and sides haircut is a universal term most barbers use. So if your stylist is qualified, they will understand what you are asking for. The hair on the crown is usually longer than that on the sides.
You could go for a faded, tapered, or undercut look. The options are endless. However, it would be best if you described to the stylist what you would prefer the top of the hair to look like.