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9 Types of Barbershop Haircuts (& Other Barbershop FAQs)

BY: Editors | Nov 29, 2017
There's something about a barbershop that makes it seem...well, extra cool. Maybe it's the often-tattooed or mustachioed barbers. Maybe it's the old-school charm of the straight razor shave. Or maybe it's the fact there was not one, not two, but three Barbershop films made starring Ice Cube. If you've ever been even slightly intimidated by these hotspots of masculine hairstyles, let this article be your guide. We'll answer your FAQs, starting with the nine basic types of barbershop haircuts you can ask for.
 
 

 

WHAT ARE SOME BARBERSHOP HAIRCUTS?


Buzzcuts

A buzzcut uses electric clippers to shave the hair to a consistently short length that's almost-but-not-quite bald.

Quiff

A quiff's most-prominent feature is its little mountain of hair at the front, combed upwards. Behind that, hair has been combed forward.

Pompadour

A pompadour is very similar to a quiff, but features the hair slicked upwards and back, with a pomp at the front. Think Elvis Presley's hair.

Photo provided by Instagram user pirate_paulus

Low Fade

First off, a fade is when the hair on the sides of the head gradually gets shorter the farther down it goes. A low fade is when the hair disappears more than a few inches below the hairline.

Photo provided by Instagram user thebarbershipster.

High Fade

In comparison to a low fade, a high fade is when the hair completely disappears within a few inches of the hairline.

Photo provided by Instagram user hair.by.ashmichelle.

Mid Fade

....and a "mid fade" is a term you can use if you want the fade to end somewhere in between a low fade and a high fade.

Photo provided by Instagram user georgee_dabarber.

High Top Fade

A high top fade is a special kind of fade—it incorporates a fade on each side with long-but-flat hair on the top.

Photo provided by Instagram user reuben_joseph.

Crew Cut

Like the buzzcut, a crew cut requires electric clippers to shave the hair shorter on the sides, but the hair is left longer on top.

Side Part

A side part cut is when a relatively short cut is clearly parted. There's some variety regarding length on a side part that you can discuss with your barber.

 

HOW CAN I FIND BARBERSHOP DEALS NEAR ME?


Click one of the boxes below to see barbershop deals near you:

 

HOW DO I ASK FOR A HAIRCUT?


Aside from simply bringing in a picture and asking for that same haircut, there are a few ways to describe which of the barbershop hairstyles you want. Try to use the following barbershop vocabulary:

  • Arch: The space between your ears and your hair. Some like a clean space in this area. To ask for this, tell your barber you want a "high arch."
  • Sideburns: The hair in front of your ears. Do you want them to go below the ear, to the top, or in between? Do you want them trimmed?
  • Grade: Some barbers use this terminology to determine how the length of hair, with Grade 1 being the shortest and Grade 8 being the longest.
  • Wax/Pomade/Gel: Three post-haircut additives to style your hair. Gels give the tightest hold, while pomades and waxes add a little shine and texture.
  • Straight razor shave: Where the barber uses special shaving cream, a razor, and a hot towel to shave your facial hair. Some men swear by it as a relaxing add-on. It will likely cost around $20.

 

HOW MUCH DO I TIP THE BARBER?


A good rule of thumb is to tip $5 if the haircut costs around $20 and if you feel like the service was good. About $3 is considered the minimum.

 

TAPER VS. FADE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?


We explained what a "fade" is in the types of haircuts section above. But you may run across a "taper" as well, and it might seem awfully similar. So, taper vs fade—which one should I ask for? Here's the difference:

  • A taper is when the hair changes in length over a space, but never completely
  • A fade is when the hair fades out, i.e. the hair eventually is reduced to nothing as it moves down towards the neck.

 

HOW AN OLD-SCHOOL BARBER STAYS CURRENT (VIDEO)


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