Men’s Guide to Professional Haircuts

Men’s Guide to Getting a Professional Haircut

mens guide professional haircut

A great haircut does not have to be difficult. Often, a little communication with your barber goes a long way. Sometimes, though, you may not know exactly what to ask for when you need a professional style. You may be looking for a professional haircut for any number of reasons: an interview, a new job, starting your own business, after a botched haircut or even as you make major career or geographic changes.

The professional appearance you choose might vary based on your current career goal and the climate. However, these tips should help you decide according to your needs and teach you how to communicate them clearly to your hair-care professional. Some of the most popular professional haircut styles include clipper cutting, razor cutting, scissor over comb, fading, texturizing, blending, flat tops, point cutting and razor shaving. You should understand the options and benefits of each, so your next professional haircut or hairstyle choice is an informed one.

A good cut works best on healthy hair. The hair products for men that are available in many large retail stores do not help promote the best care. To combat the damaging effects of cheap and ineffective products, we will also look at different fixes you can use for dry, damaged, oily or dandruff-prone hair. These hair remedies increase the health and hydration of your hair, so your professional haircut stays looking strong and healthy.

ribbon scissors divider


Clipper cutting refers to the process of using clippers to cut your hair. This process is generally quick and affordable. Clippers can only work for creating short hairstyles, and a stylist often uses them to clip hair to one consistent length quickly. Clipper cutting styles are best for men who want a simple, easy-to-style look. Barbers use clippers to create buzz cuts, a style favored by military personnel, to ensure a short and uniform appearance. You can also request a fade, which refers to progressively shorter hair in a specified direction.

professional hairdresser cutting mans hair

Clipper cuts are best for military personnel, blue-collar workers and young professionals looking to shed quite a bit of hair quickly, as well as men who like the shape of their head. When you request a clipper cut, you won’t have to choose from many style options. The clippers cut your hair to specific lengths based on how far the guard sets the blade away from your head, and that sets the limit for how long or short your stylist can cut.

ribbon scissors divider


If you decide that a clipper cut is the right one for you, there are many different ways to ask your stylist to style your hair with this technique. Generally, you’ll ask for a number and specify instructions. You might want a pretty short haircut. If this is the case, tell your barber, “Give me a two all over.” When you ask for this, you are asking your barber to use the second razor guard of an assumed eight-guard set, which should leave you with hair that’s a quarter of an inch long.

The eight numbers refer to different lengths, with one as the smallest at 1/8 inch and eight measuring in at a full inch. Each subsequent guard provides an additional 1/8 inch of length. You can combine different lengths to create a style known as a fade. You can request for the popular fade known as a “high and tight” by asking your barber to use a two on the sides fading into a three on top. This instruction tells your stylist to trim the sides to 1/4-inch lengths while cutting the top slightly longer at 3/8 inch. Your stylist should only perform a clipper cut on dry, clean hair. For best results, you should ask your hair stylist for customized suggestions.

ribbon scissors divider


Razor cuts refer to the process of using a straight razor to transform wavy, curly or otherwise textured hair into an artfully-designed style. A razor cut style tends to work best with texturized hair and lends well to some very trendy hairstyles. A razor can also fade hair into shorter styles. However, rather than indicating a number for length, you should state where you would like the fade to begin, usually low, mid or high.

Razor styles are highly customizable to your preferences. In addition to fades, you might ask for a comb-over, pompadour, part, quiff or slicked-back style. Where clipper cuts are straightforward and highly consistent, razor cuts are the opposite. Razor cuts might be best for professionals who work in a highly-visible profession and prefer a trendier look. Razor cuts are great for men with textured hair, trendsetters and those who prefer to keep some length. Razor cuts can also be combined with other methods to add fades to any hairstyle.

ribbon scissors divider


Just like it sounds, this style refers to the process of using barber’s scissors over a comb. This method might be the most popular with men working as business professionals. The choice to use scissors over comb allows your stylist to combine consistency with style. Your stylist can create clean, crisp and classic hairdos easily with this method.

mens haircut closeup

When asking for this method, find a trained stylist you trust. This method will allow your stylist to shape your hair to your scalp and soften edges for a hairdo that can grow. One of the main benefits of this popular method is the increased length of time it can leave between cuts.

Even if your hairdo gains its shape primarily through another method, your stylist can use scissor over comb during the final stages of your cut to address the sections of your hair that may not grow evenly as your hair grows out. Scissors over comb can prevent the awkward mushroom shape that occurs as your hair gradually lengthens.

ribbon scissors divider


Your stylist might create fades through multiple methods. The term fade refers to the process of progressively blending hair from a longer length to a shorter one. A fade starts at a distinct point on the scalp, and different types of fades might transition to longer hair lengths at specific intervals. When requesting a fade, you can ask for it to begin high, mid or low. These designations refer to the height on the side of your scalp at which the fade starts. Your stylist creates the fade effect using clippers, a razor or scissors.

Low fades start their taper at the area around the ears. Low fades might be suitable for professionals with long or texturized hair. You might also ask for a low fade if you’ve never tried one before or if you feel particularly nervous about your stylist and want to leave some room for error.

High fades are often very distinct. They occur high on the side of the head, around the area where the scalp begins to curve and form the top section of the head. High fades are suitable for square or long faces, as they provide a lengthening appearance. High fades can be very trendy or appear harsh, like a military cut.

Mid fades generally occur, as you might expect, somewhere in the middle of the head. They provide a balance between the distinctiveness of high fades and the subtleness of low fades. Discuss with your stylist what fade style might work best for you.

fade levels graphic

ribbon scissors divider


Texturizing refers to the addition of texture to your hair. Textured hair looks different depending on the type of hair that you have, the method used and the goal of the process. Texturizing may mean reducing the excess bulk present in thick, curly, wavy or long hair. Texturizing might also suggest adding volume to thin hair.

Your stylist might texturize your hair using a razor or scissors. Clippers cannot produce textured hair because they cut hair at one specific length. Hair can be texturized with long layers to encourage volume and movement. Hair stylists receive training on how to correctly texturize hair according to different styles and preferences. For thick, wavy or curly hair, the result of texturizing can often be unpredictable. Careful planning and repeat visits with a trusted professional can lead to better results.

ribbon scissors divider


Blending is similar to fading in that it involves trimming hair shorter in one specific direction. However, unlike fading, blending doesn’t involve cutting hair close to the skin. Instead, blending creates a subtler effect that isn’t quite as immediately noticeable. There is no set designation, such as high or low, when requesting blended hair since the effect is subtle. You might instead request that your hairstyle blends into your closely trimmed facial hair for a clean, neat appearance.

ribbon scissors divider


This term refers to a style that is flat on top and cropped close on the sides. Military men generally prefer this style, and your stylist can create it with clippers. When using clippers, put in a request for a specific hair length for the flat top by indicating a clipper guard number.

clippers cutting mans hair closeup

ribbon scissors divider


Point cutting adds layers to your hair to achieve a desired shape. This process texturizes hair. It can be dramatic or understated based on your needs and preferences. Talk to your stylist to see if point cutting would be right for you, whether you want to add texture or break up some bulky volume.

ribbon scissors divider


A comb-over with a fade is both trendy and functional. To create it, your stylist leaves long hair on top with a deep part. As the name implies, you can comb the hair to one side, often with the help of a gel, cream or molding wax to hold it in place. A pompadour also leaves long hair up top, swept upward away from the face. This style, popularized by big names such as Elvis Presley, favors smooth, sleek hair.

man trendy hairstyle

A part hairstyle is a classic hairstyle that has never been too trendy nor gone out of style. If you’re not sure what to ask for, this style would be an excellent choice for both work and play. This hairdo can vary slightly in length and style, but, as the name implies, it needs a well-defined part. This part might follow your natural one, or your barber can add it in for you.

A quiff is a trendy hairstyle characterized by long hair on top. People generally associate this style with ’50s subcultures, so it may not be suitable for all professional workplaces. This style is susceptible to surges in popularity, so it’s a good idea to get a feel for the current wear and usage of the quiff before picking it.

A slicked-back style, like the part, tends to work in both trendy and professional work environments. Like the others, this style involves longer hair on top that slicks back toward the rear of your head. A styling product often helps to hold the hair in place or achieves a wet look, and it generally invokes feelings of professionalism. While this style is often seen or worn straight and simple, rising trends have included bigger, textured versions in this style.

ribbon scissors divider


Razor shaving can be performed by a trusted professional to help shape, tame or encourage facial hair growth. Barbers often offer razor shaving as a relaxing luxury service with warm towels and extra care. The process might be achieved with clippers or a straight razor depending on your preferences or needs. These services often include intense moisturizing for your skin. If you have ever struggled with razor bumps or dry skin, it might be especially helpful for your skin to undergo this service.

shaving beard in barbershop

Until recently, facial hair hasn’t received much acceptance in the professional world. If you are self-employed or work for a more inclusive company, then go for it! Otherwise, take your cues from the other employees before waltzing into a new job with a face full of hair.

ribbon scissors divider


If your hair needs hydration, moisturizing, hold or texture, you can use products with Moroccan oil. These products leave hair soft and supple while providing superior hold. Moroccan oil also adds shine and strength to hair. If your hair is damaged because of harsh chemicals, color treatments or even environmental causes, Moroccan oil can help heal your hair by introducing hydrating, all-natural oils. These products are suitable for all hair types.

If you’ve chosen a longer or more styled hair length, you should talk to your stylist about selecting the right tools for your new look. Appliances might include a blow dryer to speed drying and styling times. You might also want to use heat-styling tools, such as a straightener or curling tool, to guide difficult strands to the right spot.

right tools quote

Whether or not you need an appliance, the right style of brush should be used depending on your hairstyle and hair texture. There are brushes designed specifically for wet or dry hair, curly or straight hair and thick or thin hair.

As important as choosing the right cut and method for your hairstyle might be, finding the right tools and techniques for caring for your style once it is complete can also help you achieve lasting results. As always, consult with your hair specialist for customized care and suggestions.

admin - Author