Are You Asking For The Right Thing? Haircut Terminologies You Should Know

At least once in our lives we may end up hating our new haircut. While this could be the fault of the barber, you should also think about the probability that you asked for the wrong thing. There are hairstyles you should know before going to the barber if you want to achieve the look you are aiming. It’s not enough that you tell your barber you want a clean, short, or dapper look. You have to give specifics like you want a tamed taper cut with not-so-thin sides to avoid exposing your scalp.

The guaranteed way to nail the look you like is to give a reference picture to your barber. It’s a solid image you can simply pick from Pinterest or Tumblr. But take note that each look won’t be suitable for everyone. You have to consider your face shape, the thickness of your hair, and the skill of the barber.

So before you regret another haircut that will take months to grow back, get to know some barbershop lingo. This will also make your communication to your stylist or barber easier. You wouldn’t want to request for an undercut if you have a thinning crown, right?

The Haircut Lingo

Crew Cut

If there’s one haircut we consider timeless, it would be the crew cut. It has tapered sides with the volume on top. Take note that the top volume is uniform and not as much as what you’ll have in an undercut. Depending on what you like, you can ask the barber to trim the top to have a longer front than the back. This is so you can do a little styling if you want to.

In terms of maintenance, a crew cut is less demanding. You can finger comb it and you’re good to go. It’s one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber if you’re planning to explore different looks in the future.

hairstyles you should know before going to the barber


A buzzed haircut is usually the last resort of those with a thinning crown. It’s also known as the military cut as the hair is uniformly buzzed to the point that it’s showing the scalp. Take note that buzz cuts can vary in length and not just the extreme trim you can see in most military men. Most of the time, the barber would use a numbered blade with 0 as the shortest and 4 onward as the longest.

There’s not much to style on a buzzed cut especially if you opt for the super short type. It’s a haircut for those who want their hair to be the last thing to consume their time.


Often called as the businessman cut, peaked is the evolution of a pompadour. The sides are tapered and the top is obviously longer, approximately two inches in length. It’s usually tapered using scissors which gives its other name, the tapered cut. Take note that a peaked haircut would require volume and length to look good.

When it comes to styling, a peaked haircut could be a bit of a pain. But as you get used to it, a well combed and styled peaked haircut will make you look clean and professional. In case you have a thin face, you may want to ask your barber if it will suit you. It’s one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber.

Harvard/ Princeton/Brown

Have you seen the Ivy League guys’ haircut? It’s not short, but it’s not long either. This is the reason why there’s a hairstyle called Harvard or sometimes referred to as the Princeton Clip or Brown. Such cut is done the same way with crew cut but using higher blade numbers. It will have required a moderate volume.

Even without styling, the Ivy League cut will look good and it can even make a person look younger. It’s also very versatile for styling and the best choice if you want to try other haircuts next. This can go with or without a beard.


Imagine a crew cut with faded sides instead of tapered; this is exactly what this cut is about. The reason why it’s called “fade” is the manner of trimming the sides that already exposes the scalp instead of a gradual thinning effect. There are variations on this haircut where you have the choice to let the fade end high, low, or at the temple.

The fade haircut is excellent for those whose crown is starting to thin on the sides.  It’s not really difficult to maintain but the styling could be a little limited if you prefer the top to be a bit thinner than usual. Take note that it’s one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber and asking for it.

hairstyles you should know before going to the barber


Unlike the famous fade, a tapered haircut means the sides of your crown have a gradually thinning cut. This avoids the scalp from being exposed plus it lets the top complement to the side style. It’s usually achieved using shears and clippers that have guards of varying sizes. A tapered haircut is a stylish as the fade depending on the person requesting for it.

The styling of a tapered haircut has more allowance than the faded one. Those who have a considerable volume of hair on the sides would love this while those with a thin one should be careful since a tapered cut can accentuate the bald spots.


A sideburn refers to the hair between your face and ear. The cut on this one is very important and you simply can’t choose without checking if it suits your look. A sideburn cut can either be on mid-ear, top of the ear, or below the ear. Most of the time, those who want a clean look will prefer the mid-ear cut paired with a faded effect. Those with a beard would likely prefer the below the ear sideburns so it will connect to their other facial hair. It’s one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber if you have a beard!

If you want a natural look, ask the barber to maintain the normal length of your sideburns and just make a small trim.


A comb-over is a known trick to hide a receding hairline or a bald spot. It’s also an excellent haircut for those who want a clean and professional look. This haircut usually fades on the sides with a lavish top that will be combed backward and a bit to the side. Although a popular hairstyle of the older generation, youngsters can also have a chic look with a comb-over if they will slick it back instead of doing a full parting.

Styling a comb-over for those with thick hair is a very versatile task. With the volume you have on top, you can experiment different looks.


A Caesar hairstyle is like a crew cut but with a bit longer sides and a top that’s one-inch longer than the rest of the crown. It’s usually trimmed and the hair is usually tousled to create an intentionally messy look. This can also be combed down to put some hair on the front and make it look richer, especially for those with a receding hairline. No part of the crown is tapered and the leveling of the hair only differs on the side and top.  If you want to look younger, this is one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber.

This haircut doesn’t require too much volume so those with thin hair can have a better look. Just be careful on the cream you use or it will be weighed down and expose your scalp.

hairstyles you should know before going to the barber

Shape up

A shape up also called square cut, is easy to identify due to the straight and solid line it creates in the hairline. It’s called a shape up because there is also an outlining happening in the sideburns and the neckline. When it comes to the length of the hair, it’s usually uniform but you can always ask your barber to maintain a volume on top for a variation of the flair haircut.

This haircut looks good but the downside is it will need a lot of maintenance since the hair will grow back and the lining will start to look uneven. A few touch-ups are needed regularly.


Long top, short sides, no taper. An undercut is a trendy choice for younger men since it allows them to accentuate their angles. The hair on the sides and back are usually thin and doesn’t have any taper or fade. It makes the hair on the top isolated from any other part of the crown. There would be clean lines and solid angles on this hairstyle that adds a clean and handsome vibe to the person.

Styling an undercut is very experimental since you can have it slicked, swept, or quiffed. It can be transformed to the High and Tight cut once the hair grows back. An undercut can be a fun choice and it’s definitely one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber.

Faux hawk

A Mohawk is a very intimidating haircut due to the spiky nature it bears. If you want to borrow some edge to this look but avoiding the impression that you’re a creepy goth, you can try the faux hawk. With this, the sides would be cut short with a narrow fade while leaving two to three inches of hair on the top. This can be styled in a mild spiky way to resemble the Mohawk look.

It can look more creative if you connect the fade to your beard. It will require more maintenance but it will be an awesome option. Anyway, consider other hairstyles if you have a thinning top.


Those who want a bolder look will likely try the Asymmetrical style. But before you go to the barber and ask for the lopsided option, take note that styling this would entail its own risks and rewards. Your hair would be longer on the other side which will take a lot of creativity to make it look good on you.

You can choose how different the other side will be depending on how bold you want it to look like. Those with thick hair will love this look since they can style it with a little curl or a suave side brush. Just avoid going too short on the other side so the cut won’t look awkward.

hairstyles you should know before going to the barber

Long side swept

A side-swept haircut is for those who want to grow their hair or those with curly locks. The crucial part here is the deep side part that will do the actual “sweep”. This is usually anchored on the hairline or more so for those with a widow’s peak. Maintaining the top part of the swept hair loose and dry-looking will make this hairstyle awesome. For those with thin tresses, they prefer to have a weighed down look which can be equally fabulous too.

In case you want volume, you can ask your barber to do layers on the top part. Why is it one of the hairstyles you should know before going to the barber? It may take a few months to achieve if you’re starting from an Ivy League look and the likes.

Long and slick

This long and slick hairstyle is suited for people who want to have a hip look. This requires the same long hair from a swept haircut where the top will retain its normal length. The sides can be trimmed but not tapered or somewhat too short than the top. It works best for those with curly locks in shoulder length so there would be no needed styling to add volume.

The basic concept of this haircut is to maintain the length of the top hair so it can be pulled back or styled as needed.


The neckline cut refers to how you want the back of the head trimmed. There are many neckline options but it’s important that you choose one that suits your head’s shape and the look of your nape. It could be blocked, rounded, or tapered depending on what you want or what your barber will advise.

It’s important to check these hairstyles you should know before going to the barber. It will save you time and from the risk of hating your hair. You don’t want to go home looking like an over shaved shrub, right?

Are You Asking For The Right Thing? Haircut Terminologies You Should Know

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