Barbershop Blog


July 12, 2019

It can be a wise move to let your Barber guide you when choosing a new hairstyle, it can also be handy to know the correct barbershop terminology used to describe that certain style you’d like.

Today we empower you with some of that common barbershop lingo, may you roll in like a boss and rattle it off proudly as you effectively communicate the details of that style cut you so desire.

Guard: This is the clipper number. The higher the number the longer the length. A number 5 leaves a decent length and a number 1 leaves very little at all, a zero means there is no grade on the clippers at all and they will trim down to the skin.

Tapering: Describes the gradual shortening of the hair length. Predominantly the length is tapered down the back and sides of the head. Most men’s styles involve some degree of tapering.

Skin Fade: This is the blending of the different lengths at the back and sides of the head. This creates an even gradient between the razor level and the longer locks left on top for styling. Taper, low, mid and high fade make up the four main styles, each fade starts from skin length at a different point on the head.

Hard Part: A line that accentuates the natural part and creates a clear separation between the top and sides of the hairstyle. The hard part is usually cut evenly along its length with clippers and or a strait razor.

Line Up: Straight lines and and sharp angles are cut at the edge of the forehead / temples, often blending into  the sideburns or beard.

Layering: Refers to the cutting of hair at different lengths to create the illusion of length while providing volume and texture, most medium to long hair styles involve some layering.

Razored: Is another texturing method, but instead of using scissors or clippers the hair is cut away with a strait razor, the effect creates a highly textured finish with thinner strands at the ends. This technique is is not recommended for curly hair and is an advanced skill.

Thinning: The scissors used to thin out thicker hair have teeth that allow some strands to be cut away while leaving others. This allows the Barber to control volume without removing extra length.

Point-Cutting: Can achieve both some texturing and thinning. The tips of the scissors are used at an angle to snip away hairs at varying lengths.

Scissor-Over-Comb: As you may have guessed, this one is when the Barber uses their comb to pick up the desired length and then cutting above with their scissors.

And that is all for today’s lesson, hopefully you can now put a name to some of the techniques our Barbers use when styling your hair. May you also roll up and request a ‘mid fade with some layering on top’ or a ‘guard 1 buzz cut’. Best not to show off too much, but nice to know the lingo when it is needed.

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