Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

The Best Guide to Hair Clipper Sizes (Guide 2021)

Haircut numbers and hair clipper sizes are essential to understand if you’re having a haircut at a hair salon. Clipper guards correspond to different men’s haircut lengths, so, people who are wishing to get a top cut need to know what each number stands for when asking for a specific hairstyle. For instance, although a number 2 or 3 fade feels like an unimportant difference, you would indeed be surprised just how much different 1/4 looks from 3/8 of an inch. That is why here we perform hair clipper guard sizes

hair clipper sizes
Hair clipper guard sizes determine how long the hair left on the head is.



Here is a list of the different hair clipper guard sizes (in inches of hair length):

  • Number 1 – one-eighth of an inch
  • Number 2 – one-quarter of an inch
  • Number 3 – three-eighths of an inch
  • Number 4 – one-half of an inch
  • Number 5 – five-eighths of an inch
  • Number 6 – three-quarters of an inch
  • Number 7 – seven-eighths of an inch
  • Number 8 – one inch
Hair Clipper Sizes: Comparative table


Below you’ll discover images of hairstyles that match with types of clipper sizes operated by brands like Wahl, Oster, and Andis.

Number 0 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 0 haircut is the shortest buzz cut possible because it needs no guard to be connected to the clippers. This number is generally a shaven head or a bold fade.

Number 1 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 1 haircut leaves 1/8 of an inch of hair on your head. Slightly longer than zero, # 1 guard is utilized for faded sides or extremely short crew cut. If you use this clipper dimension all over your head, be ready that your scalp will be seen.

Number 2 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 2 haircut is one of the most popular clipper sizes since it is consistently used for faded sides or just haircutting. A little longer than number 1, number 2 with its 1/4 of an inch in size is still very short yet does not expose your scalp. If you’re balding or have thin hair, # 2 clipper guard is a safe bet.

Number 3 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 3 haircut is another incredibly popular clipper dimension used. # 3 guard leaves 3/8 of an inch of hair, and is the highest possible number barbers will use to cut a fade. Typically, men will certainly ask for number 3 fade or buzz cut since it’s short and also low-maintenance, yet no scalp is shown. Such a haircut additionally works well both for thick and thin hair.

Number 4 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 4 haircut is made to get 1/2 inch of hair. # 4 clipper guard will not produce a very short haircut and begins to approach a brush or crew cut. As the middle length offered on the majority of clippers, number 4 guard supplies a sufficient length of hair for modern and traditional haircuts and designs.

Number 5 Haircut

Haircut numbers

At 5/8 of an inch, number 5 haircut leaves longer hair that can be styled as well as combed. It is an optimal setting to select if you wish to taper the sides of a much longer haircut without creating much contrast. Use # 5 clipper guard size for more classic and elegant cuts.

Number 6 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 6 haircut is for designs that need 3/4 of an inch of hair length. Like # 5, number 6 size is typically utilized for tapered sides. # 6 clipper guard no longer provides you a haircut closer to a crew cut, which is true for this level and above.

Number 7 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Number 7 haircut can be applied to get a cut with clippers. At 7/8 of an inch, # 7 guard is best for cutting your hair on top without the problem of using scissors. Just bear in mind to use the smaller clipper guard sizes to give you a clean fade on the sides.

Number 8 Haircut

Haircut numbers

Last but not least, number 8 haircut is the longest clipper guard for many brand names. At a full inch of hair, the eights hairstyle is ideal for trimming the longer hair on your head. Fading the sides with much shorter settings (e.g., # 1, 2, 3, or 4), when combined with # 8 guard, will undoubtedly help in providing your cut shape and also style.


If you’re cutting your own hair, it is essential to utilize the best hair clippers for men. While the majority of people need great hair clipper for home usage, others require professional-grade clippers to go through challenging thick hair.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for one of these top-rated men’s hairs clippers to shave your head, make a haircut, or mix different sorts of fades, below there are some of the highest-quality cutting tools barbers trust. With their powerful electric motor, sharp blade, the capacity to operate with wet or dry hair, and strong guards, these devices will cut through all hair types and won’t let you down!


Once you chose your clippers, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the different sized guards and learn how hair clipper numbers work.

Which Hair Clipper Size?

The most common clipper guard sizes that lots of people utilize will undoubtedly vary from 1/2 to 10. In general, the bigger the guard number, the longer the hair that remains on your head after your haircutting session, with 10 being the equivalent of one and a quarter inches.

Hair Clipper Guard Sizes: Wahl

For the most part, in addition to the guard number, you will also notice two other long measure signs on each clipper guard. The standard item will certainly show you the hair cut size in mm, and on the other side you will find its counterpart in the Imperial measuring system, or to put it, length in inches.

So, for instance, # 1 size of the Wahl clipper guards will show 1/8th of an inch on one side of the guard and also 3 mm beyond. Fundamentally this means that when you use number 1 guard for a Wahl branded clipper, your hair sticking out of your scalp after the cut would be around 3 mm in length.

Guard numbers usually represent the same hair length size on different hair clipper designs; however, there is no basic global unitary standard in this case. Consequently, each of clipper suppliers may have a number of multiple measurements for their unique clipper guard numbers.

When going to a new barber, it remains in your interest to speak with the barber on what you need before blurting out the clipper guard number, which you want them to cut your hair with.

Hair Clipper Guard Sizes: Table

Let’s sort it out in order!

If you have a hair clipper at home, take out all the guards that are included to the set and see exactly which number each one of them contains on it. The pictures below show you what you should be seeking.

Hair Clipper Guard Sizes: Wahl

Starting from zero and moving up the range from low to high, you will see that the lower equivalent number is, the shorter the guard teeth are, and as a result tighter to the head the cut would be.

Consequently, when you select a lower guard number, it is going to leave much less hair on the head. On the other hand, the higher the guard number goes, the more hair is going to be left on your head at the end of that cut.

11 / 161.6
21 / 83.2
31 / 46.3
43 / 89.5
51 / 212.7
65 / 815,8
73 / 419.0
87 / 822.2
101 & 1/431.7

You could also have discovered guards for hair clippers of various colors. These are described as color-coded guards for hair clippers, and also each color represents a different guard size.

Most professional barber hair clipper guards will be color-coded, which makes it easier for the barber to recognize the different sized guards by merely choosing the right color. This speeds up the whole process.

The Wahl has a particular design of hair clippers for home with color-coded guards. Not surprisingly they named it the Wahl Color Pro.


Hair clippers are pretty easy to use and safe even to cut children’s hair. However, if you’re going to check out some Do It Yourself hair cutting for the very first time, the chance you will ruin it in one way or another is dangerously high.

Do not surrender; however, you will get the hang of it at some point.

We do recommend you first to determine which are the ideal hair clipper guard sizes for the hairstyle you want, and then on your first try to go for a clipper guard, which is at least one size larger than you require. By doing this, you will have the opportunity to readjust where necessary by going through it once again with a shorter clipper guard.

Men’s haircut for the wedding

Oh, and by the way, if you’re doing it for the first time, we additionally recommend that you do not attempt to cut your hair before an important occasion, like your wedding ceremony!

In this situation it’s much better to leave it in the hands of professionals.


Author of article
Nancy Norman
Hi. My name is Nancy. I've been doing hairdressing for 12 years. I cut and cut from day today. And I like it. I love trying out new hair clippers. Search for new things, share opinions, and look for pros and cons. Recently, I came up with the idea to create my own website and share information with readers. I hope it will be useful.  
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