9 Types of Barbershop Haircuts (& Other Barbershop FAQs)
WHAT ARE SOME BARBERSHOP HAIRCUTS?
A buzzcut uses electric clippers to shave the hair to a consistently short length that's almost-but-not-quite bald.
A quiff's most-prominent feature is its little mountain of hair at the front, combed upwards. Behind that, hair has been combed forward.
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.
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.
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.
....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.
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.
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?
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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.
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