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You might think that the different haircut numbers stand for the different types of haircuts you can get at a salon but that is not the case.

Haircut numbers denote the different hair clipper guard sizes.

These clipper sizes determine how long or short your clipper guards are. 

This will help you select the exact length you want instead of describing the cut in terms of length.

Related: How to sharpen hair clipper blades

Related: Best clipper for fades

It is important to know exactly what you want when you decide to get a haircut otherwise you could be taking a chance with the barber. 

This is where haircut numbers come in handy. 

These can be really helpful in avoiding any misunderstanding or miscommunication you might have with your barber or hairdresser while conveying the desired style and length to them. 

Some of you might be cutting your hair by yourself at your home using a hair clipper. 

Knowing your haircut numbers can help you select the right clipper that will cater to your specific needs.

Read along with this article if you would like to know more about the different haircut numbers and how to choose the right one for you.  

Haircut Numbers And Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

hair clipper sizes

Haircut numbers and clipper guard sizes are the same things. 

So if you take a closer look at your clipper guard, you will probably find a number etched on it. 

Hair clippers usually come with at least 8 guards. 

And each of these guards represents the different lengths of hair that will be left after cutting using that specific guard size.

Some of the popular hair clipper brands like Andis, Oster, Wahl etc increase their guard sizes by 1/8th an inch. If you want longer hair, you should choose a larger guard size. 

When you go to a salon or a barbershop, simply ask for the specific clipper guard side. 

The barber will attach the guard on the hair clipper and trim your hair. This will give you the same hair length you are looking for. 

If you are looking for a short haircut, you can opt for a “Number 1 haircut,” which is approximately 1/8th an inch. 

If you don’t want to use any clipper guard for a clean-shaven look, you can ask for a “Number 0 haircut”

Similarly, the consecutive haircut numbers will give you the specified hair length. You can select from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 0 haircut numbers to get your desired hair length. 

Understanding these haircut numbers can help in simplifying the process for you and the hairdresser. 

Hair clippers will also give you a neat and crisp look irrespective of the clipper guard size. 

It obviously helps prevent mistakes when you are cutting your hair at home and is also useful for professional barbers and hairdressers. 

They help in quickly cutting the hair, creating smooth fades and keep cuts in even length. 

Clipper Guard Numbers

Guard numbers01/211 1/22345678
Size (inches)1/16”3/32”⅛”3/16”¼”⅜”½”⅝”¾”⅞”1”
Size (mm)1.5mm2.4mm3mm5mm6mm10mm13mm16mm18mm22mm25mm

Although these are the standard measurements for most of the hair clipper brands, there could be differences in certain clipper brands. 

So make sure to check the user manual before using the guides to make sure that there is no room for errors. 

Are you looking forward to getting a haircut? If you would like to know more about the different haircut numbers, follow this guide. 

What are the different haircut numbers?

Number 0 Haircut

The number zero haircut does not use any clippers. 

The permanent guard attached to the clipper comes into direct contact with your scalp to trim your hair from the surface. 

This leaves your scalp completely exposed.

Number 1 Haircut

If you are looking forward to having short hair, this would be a great option. It gives you a cool stubble look. 

When you get this haircut, you will have ⅛” of an inch of your hair left on your head. 

This clipper guard size will also help in getting smooth fades on your sides and getting short buzzcuts. 

If you are someone with thin and light hair, you should expect some amount of skin to be visible after getting the Number 1 haircut.  

Number 1.5 Haircut

The 1.5 haircut is only slightly longer than the Number 1 haircut. 

Although it only leaves 1/16 inch of your hair, it can make all the difference when your hair is that short. 

If you feel that the Number 1 haircut is too plain, the Number 1.5 haircut will give great texture to a similar hair length. 

This is also a great haircut if you are looking forward to developing waves. 

Number 2 Haircut

Number 2 is a commonly used clipper guide size. It not only helps in cutting your hair but also gives you smooth and neat side fades. 

This is a good option if you are looking to get short hair without exposing your scalp. It is only slightly longer than a Number 1 haircut. 

This is also a great option for people experiencing balding or hair thinning. It also gives a contrasting effect to your hair and helps in creating bold shapes and cuts. 

Number 3 Haircut

The Number 3 haircut helps in giving good definition and shape to your hair as compared to the previous haircuts. 

This helps in defining the hairline on your forehead to give a good shape to your face.

This haircut will work well on both thick and thin hair. It is usually accompanied by a high fade and full coverage at the top. It leaves around 3/8th of an inch of your hair after cutting. 

Although it leaves a comparatively longer length of hair behind, this clipper guide number can also help in achieving fades and have been commonly used by barbers for the same. 

This is also a great option for all the lazy bums out there since is it a low maintenance haircut. 

It provides a lot of coverage to your scalp despite keeping your hair short. 

Number 4 Haircut

The number 4 haircut leaves about half an inch of your hair on your head after trimming. 

If you are looking for a buzzcut, this clipper is not the one for you. 

The haircut could be compared to a brush cut or a crew cut and leaves quite a bit of hair after trimming. 

This is also known as the medium length of clipper guards because the hair length is neither too short nor too long. 

People usually sport this haircut with a fade on the sides and longer hair on top to get a more conservative look. 

Number 5 Haircut

The number 5 haircut is one of the most commonly preferred haircuts by men because it helps you get longer hair. 

It leaves 5/8th of an inch of your hair. This haircut can be styled easily. 

This has cut leaves enough hair on your head which enables you to style it in different ways like fades, fringe and side-parted hair. 

This clipper guard side is also popularly used by barbers and hairdressers to taper hair without keeping a strong contrast. 

Number 6 Haircut

This is another haircut that helps in tapering your hair without a lot of contrast. It is similar to the number 5 haircut in a lot of ways. 

The length of this haircut is 3/4th inches long. 

This haircut is similar to the popular crew cut or army cut. You will notice that your hair has started laying flat after getting this haircut.

It gives you a neat and crisp look. It is usually accompanied by a taper fade and a blunt line of bangs. 

You can cut the front part of your hair using the number 6 clipper guide and then cut the rest of your hair with shorter sizes of clipper guides. 

Number 7 Haircut

The number seven haircut leaves 7/6th of an inch of your hair after trimming. 

If you have thick hair, this haircut will be suitable for you. It mainly helps in achieving the crew cut. 

This clipper is also helpful in trimming your hair at the top of your head instead of using scissors. 

If you are looking forward to getting a crew cut, make sure to use smaller clipper sizes for the sides. You can style the crew cut sideways or upwards. 

Number 8 Haircut

This is the longest clipper size made in the United States and leaves 1 inch of your hair after trimming. 

The length of this haircut lets you style it in numerous ways.

If you are using a number 8 clipper guard size to trim your hair, you can do your sides with a number 1, 2 or 3 clipper guards to get your desired shape and fade.

Haircut numbers and hair clipper guard sizes have always been confusing for many guys to understand. 

I hope this guide clears things up for you! With this newfound knowledge of haircut numbers, you can clearly tell your barber the hairstyle you want.

If you’re cutting your own locks at home, this guide will help you choose the right clippers too!

Also Read:

Best clippers for black men

Best Wahl clippers

Best taper fade haircuts for black men

Best men’s fade hairstyles

Mira

Mira

Mira is committed to bringing you the latest popular hairstyles, hair care tips, and hair-related products. You can check more of her work on besthairlooks to find fashion inspiration, product reviews, tutorials and more!

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