Haircut numbers and hair clipper sizes

Haircut Numbers And Hair Clipper Sizes | A Simplified Guide 2023

Haircut numbers and hair clipper sizes are all the same. They are used to determine the length of the fade and the haircut you want. 

The numbers on your clipper guards can be easily referenced to get your desired haircut. 

Of course, it takes a lot of skills to get the perfect fade but these clippers definitely help. 

How many times have we gone for a haircut and completely hated it because the hairdresser just didn’t get it right? 

Knowing these clipper sizes can really help you convey the kind of fade cut you want and give you satisfactory results. 

If you are new to this, it might get a little confusing to get started with it. 

A hair clipper set usually comes with a lot of accessories and fittings like different guard combs, a clipper oil, a styling comb, a cleaning brush, etc. 

In this article, we have taken a deeper look into the usage of hair clippers and how to find the right clipper size for you. 

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What are clipper hair guards?

Haircut numbers and hair clipper sizes

Clipper hair guards are usually available in the hair clipper kit. 

These are extensions that can be manually attached to the blade and it cut your hair in various lengths. 

Each clipper guard leaves a specific hair length after trimming the hair. 

They are also popularly known as guide combs or attachment combs. With the help of these guards, there is literally no room for error. 

You can even cut your hair yourself in the comfort of your home. 

Clipper guards make it so much easier to get fades. 

You can change the guide comb sizes to get your desired length for the fade. The clipper guard sizes are generally measured in inches (“”) or millimeters (mm).

The clipper guards are labeled in different numbers that range from 0 to 12. 

But you have to understand that these numbers do not depict the actual length of the guard. This is simply a label that has its standard measurements. 

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For example, the number 3 clipper size is usually 10 mm or ⅜ inch in size. 

If you want to know more about these clipper guard numbers and their standardized sizes, take a look at the table below. 

Haircut numbers and hair clipper sizes

Clipper guard size chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
Number 0 (or 1/2 for Wahl Clippers)1.51/16
Number 131/8
Number 261/4
Number 3103/8
Number 4131/2
Number 5165/8
Number 6193/4
Number 7227/8
Number 8251
Number 10321.25
Number 1237.51.5

This information may vary depending on the brand you are using. Certain brands have a few extra clipper sizes other than the sizes shown above. 

For example, brands like Wahl, Andis, Babyliss, etc have a few extra sizes like #0.5 and #1.5. 

The most commonly used clipper sizes in barbershops are #1, #2, and #3. 

To get better clarity about the clipper sizes and their measurements, you should refer to the user guide that comes with the hair clipper kits. 

Let us take a detailed look into the various clipper sizes and how these numbers help in determining the hair cut lengths.

Common hair clipper guard sizes


Number 0 to 0.5 guard combs

These are also known as ½ in certain brands like Wahl. The #0 and #0.5 cut the shortest amount of hair. 

This is a great option if you are looking for a clipper that can give you extremely short hair like stubble. 

You have to remember that when you use these clipper sizes, your scalp will also be revealed. 

So go for it only if you want the shortest strand of hair. You do not have to use a guide comb with it since it has to trim the hair very close to the skin. 

This clipper gives accurate and even results even without using a guide comb. This clipper guard size is perfect if you are looking to get haircuts like the bald cut, short buzz cut, and a skin fade. 

After getting this cut, your hair will be approximately 1.55 mm or 1/16” long. 

This is also one of those clipper guards that require the least maintenance since it is very easy to clean.

Number 1 and 1.5 guard combs

These clipper sizes give leave a slightly longer hair length than the #0 guard comb. 

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The # 1 guard comb leaves approximately 3mm and the #1.5 guard comb leaves 4.8 mm of hair after trimming. 

You will be able to see a slight view of your scalp since your hair is neither too long nor short after using this clipper size. 

This clipper size is perfect for a buzz cut and will give you neat and even results. You can combine the #1 and #0 on your hair to get a neat fade. 

Number 2 guard combs

The number 2 guard comb is a perfect choice for getting a neat fade. If you don’t want to expose any amount of your scalp, you should go for this size. 

Using a #2 guard comb gives a perfect haircut that looks both formal and casual attire. 

If you are going to use this guard size, you can expect at least 6 mm or a quarter-inch of hair on your head. 

Although your hair might look a little short after using #2, it also makes your hair voluminous and full. 

This is one of those haircuts that will work for people with all hair textures and volumes.  

Number 3 guard combs

The number 3 guard comb is also a great choice for a neat buzz cut. You can also try out a crisp fade using this clipper size. 

The #3 clipper size is one of the most commonly used guard combs for fades because it leaves just about the right amount of hair. 

You can use the #2 and #1 guard comb with the #3 to get the perfect fade haircut. After using this guard comb, you can expect about 10mm or about ⅜ inch of hair. 

This guard comb leaves a decent amount of hair on your head without exposing your scalp. 

Number 4 guard combs

This clipper size is perfect for those looking to maintain medium-sized hair. Your hair will be similar to a buzz cut but slightly longer. 

If you want to get a crew cut or a brush cut, this clipper size would be perfect. 

This haircut will look good on people with different hair density so it is a foolproof choice. Your hair will be about ½ an inch long after using this guard comb. 

Number 5 guard combs

The Number five guard cob is perfect for those who want a taper fade. 

A taper fade is maintaining long hair on the top while leaving it short on the sideburns and neckline. 

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You can combine this guard comb size with the smaller sizes, to get a great transition from the top of your head to the neckline. 

It is also common to combine the #5 and #6 guard combs. You will have 16 mm of hair after using this guard comb size. 

Number 6 guard combs

The number 6 guard comb is also a great choice for tapering your hair. You will have at least 19mm of hair after using this guard comb. 

But one drawback for this haircut is that your hair is pretty long with this one so you will have to trim it frequently. 

If you want something that requires low maintenance, I would suggest you try out the other clipper sizes. 

Number 7 guard combs

The number 7 guard comb is best suited for people with thick voluminous hair. 

Like the #6 guard size, the #7 also leaves a long length of hair after trimming which means that it needs frequent maintenance. 

This clipper size is ideal for people who want a voluminous crew cut. This is often combined with the #8 guard size to get a thick voluminous look. 

You will have approximately 22 mm of hair after using this guard comb. 

Also, you can combine the smaller guide combs while getting a trim with the #7 to get a neat fade. 

Number 8 guard combs

The number  8 guard leaves you with long hair. If you are someone who lives to try out different styles with your long hair and use different hair products like mousse, hair gels, hair waxes, etc, the number 8 guard comb will be a good option. 

If you want a long taper fade, you can ask your barber to use a number 8 guard comb. 

For most of the hair clipper brands, the number 8 is the longest clipper guard size. 

Number 10 and Number 12 guard comb

The number 10 and number 12 are the least commonly used clipper sizes. 

These are also the longest clipper sizes, however, it is only found in a few brands like Wahl, Oster, etc. 

The number 10 will leave about 1.2 inches or 32 mm long hair and the number 12 will leave about 1.5 inches or 38 mm of hair. 

This is again one of those haircuts that needs regular trimming since your hair is pretty long even after getting the cut. 

Now that you know so much about clipper sizes, you can simply tell the haircut number to your barber to get the desired look. 

This makes things so much easier for both parties and helps in avoiding confusion. 

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