Whether you’re a man or woman, the first time at the barber shop can be a bit intimidating—especially if you don’t know your way around the lingo. Don’t let that be a reason to walk out looking like whodunnit. Here’s a super basic guide to asking for the haircut you want.
Bald Fade – Cuts hair down to the skin and can be low, medium or high. Also known as a skin fade.
Baldie (Shout out to Onyx) – Exactly what it sounds like. No hair, no cares.
Buzz Cut – Almost a baldie, but not cut all the way to the scalp. Also known as a military cut.
Blowout – The haircut made (in)famous by Pauly D.
Dark Caesar – A popular go-to cut for men with textured hair. Keeps hair even all around, barely revealing the scalp. Ideal for rocking waves and making folks “seasick.”
High Fade – Like a regular fade, but the hair fades down to the skin higher on the scalp. Can be combined with other styles such as locs or a high top.
High Top Fade – Three words: Kid ‘n Play.
Light Caesar – Think dark caesar, but lower (and… lighter). Ideal for hot climates and people who like to get up and go.
Low Fade – This cut fades lower on the scalp.
Regular Fade – Seen just about everywhere. Sides and back of the head are buzzed in a tapered fashion, allowing hair length to gradually decrease—or “fade” out—down the scalp. Sometimes referred to as a bald fade.
Skin Fade – A haircut that blends/fades to the skin on the side. Can be rocked with parts for added drip.
Temple Fade – A low fade haircut that fades the hair on the forehead’s hairline. Also known as the temp fade, Brooklyn clip, or Bronx fade (and the blowout fade in Jersey).
Other Things to Know:
Clipper vs Razor – When it comes to really low haircuts (think baldies), both will get the job done, though a razor will give you a cleaner finish.
Haircut Grades – Grades are the different lengths to which you can have your cut. The lower the grade, the shorter the cut. Grades may vary a bit depending on the clippers, but as a general rule of thumb:
- Grade 1: One-eighth of an inch
- Grade 2: One-quarter of an inch
- Grade 3: Three-eighths of an inch
- Grade 4: Half an inch
- Grade 5: Five-eighths of an inch
- Grade 6: Three-quarters of an inch
- Grade 7: Seven-eighths of an inch
- Grade 8: An inch
Nape/Neckline – Know how you want your neckline to look. You can have your neckline cut into a blocked, rounded, or tapered shape. It all depends on your style.
Pictures – When in doubt, bring photos for your barber if you’re not quite sure how to explain the cut you want with words. Yes, you can get the same exact cut as Drake.
Taper vs Fade – They’re basically the same thing, but a taper may not be cut as short as a fade and usually starts closer to the ears.