clipper guard

Clipper Guard Numbers: What Are They and What Do They Mean?

Imagine as if you are trying a new haircut. Your old barber is out of the town and you decide to visit a new hairdresser. You sit on one of those waiting benches, scrolling through your phone. The new barber comes along and tells you it's your turn.

The new barber brings a hair clipper since your special haircut requires its usage. The barber asks you about the clipper guard number and that's where things become confusing for you. Your old barber knows the exact number whereas for a new barber, you cannot put a finger on it. You end up skipping the haircut and just wait for the old barber to return. Not the weekend you were looking for, were you?

Come to think of it, what exactly are the clipper guard numbers? What do they mean and how can different clipper guard sizes determine your haircut?

What Are Clipper Guards and How Do They Work?

Assuming you know nothing about how hair clippers work and what instruments your barbers use, let's take it from the beginning. Imagine a lawnmower. You are supposed to use it to mow the lawn and cut the grass evenly everywhere. You wouldn't want to reduce the grass down to nothing and leave dirt everywhere, would you? Your lawnmower has special adjustments that help you determine the length of grass that needs to be cut.

Hair clippers are a lot like that, but for your hair. They are tools that determine how much of your hair remains standing on your head. Here's a breakdown:

  • Clippers: Special power tools with sharp blades that whiz around your hair, cutting the unwanted part.
  • Guards: Often shaped like combs, these snap onto clipper blades. Their purpose is simple – to prevent your hair from being removed beyond the required length.

Understanding Clipper Guard Numbers

The meaning of clipper guard numbers is straightforward. A lower number means shorter hair, and a higher number means longer hair. Here's a handy haircut clipper guard chart for reference:

  • #0: 1/16 inch (think "freshly shaved" short)
  • #1: 1/8 inch (classic buzz cut length)
  • #2: 1/4 inch (still short, but a touch more length)
  • #3: 3/8 inch (good for blending fades)
  • #4: 1/2 inch (a common crew cut length)
  • #5: 5/8 inch
  • #6: 3/4 inch
  • #7: 7/8 inch
  • #8: 1 inch (offers a decent amount of length)

Choosing the Right Clipper Guard

The best clipper guard for a buzz cut, a crew cut, or any short haircut depends on your desired length. Experiment to find what works for you! If you want a fade, you'll likely need multiple guards to achieve that gradient look – this is where knowing how to fade hair with clipper guards becomes important.

Tips for Clipper Guard Success

  • Can you use clippers without a guard? Absolutely, but this gives you a skin-close shave. Be careful!
  • How to use clipper guards is easy – they simply attach to the clipper. Your barber will do this for you.
  • Clipper guard measurements refer to how much hair they leave on your head.
  • Invest in best clipper guards for beginners – these are often well-labeled and easy to use.

The way it all works is that shorter number means shorter hair, and longer number means longer hair. It’s quite simple. Remember this the next time you visit your barber. 

Reading next

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Free shipping

Worldwide free shipping for order over $50.

Customer service

Email us and we will reply you wihin 24 hours.

Refer a friend

Refer a friend and get 10% off.

Secure payment

Paypal & Visa & Master card are accepted.