Terminology, Know what to ask for! Get the perfect cut.



Whether it’s a weekly, fortnightly or monthly trip to the local barbershop there’s often times when we may feel lost in all the ‘barber talk’. I mean, we all know what haircut we want but do we know how to ask for it properly? Do I want faded or tapered sides? Which hair clipper guide is right for the length I want? Should I get my hair thinned?


Well were here to shed a little light on what all this terminology means so you can get exactly what you want from your next barber visit.



Taper vs. Fade – There is not much difference between the two with the main difference being that the transition of a taper doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a fade. With a fade there is a quicker transition to the longer hair whereas a taper will gradually reduce in length to the nape of your neck and the sides.


Undercut fade – Originally fashionable in the Edwardian Era, the Undercut has also enjoyed popularity during the 20s, 30s, 40s and has returned to modern times, this style adds stark contrast between the top of the head and the back and sides, typically with the hair longer on top and the back and sides extremely short. The result is a hairstyle with sharp angles and plenty of volume and the undercut can be as sharp or as subtle as you like.


Hair clipper grades (numbers) – this refers to the length the clipper guard will cut your hair in 1/8 inch increments (so a number 1 is 1/8th of an inch long and a number 8 is 1 inch long)


Neckline – Refers to how the back of your hair will be cut, and this decision can make or break the overall look of your hairstyle. A blocked neckline is clean and tidy on day one but requires frequent touch ups to maintain and is achieved by a sharp, straight line across the neckline. A rounded neckline is much the same as a blocked neckline but without the abrupt corners, but again needs frequent touch ups to maintain. And finally the tapered hairline (my personal favourite) follows the natural shape of your neckline and remains neat and tidy as your hair grows out.


Textured cut – A textured style consists of different length hairs to add an extra dimension to how the hair looks. For choppy texture, ask your barber to point cut the top, the hair will be scissor cut at a 45 degree angle to add volume and texture or if you prefer all the hair to be cut the same length then ask your barber to blunt cut the top.


Layers – A layered cut is essentially asking for the hair to be cut in different lengths, which allows the longer hair to sit on top of shorter hairs to add depth and volume to your style. This is best for longer hairstyles and helps add a casual look and creates the illusion of thicker hair as well as accentuating your facial shape.


Thinning – Very useful for those of us with thicker hair, thinning scissors are used to remove weight from the hair and make it easier to manage. This is particularly useful for those of us with thick and unmanageable hair but be careful, as if thinned too much, the hair can become lifeless and lacklustre.


So now you can speak the language of the barber, you’re equipped with all the necessary lingo you need to ensure you get exactly what you ask for on your next barbershop visit. And don’t forget your Black Label products to ensure you’re perfect haircut is perfectly styled!



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