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Decoding Barber Lingo: A Masterclass in Grooming Jargon

Welcome back, men! Now that most of us are back to work and real life, it's time to think about shaping up your style. But before you sit in that barbershop swivel chair, ready to communicate your hair vision to a modern-day Michelangelo, you must speak the same language. Understanding barber terminology isn't just about avoiding awkward misunderstandings - it's the key to getting the precise cut you envision. So, if you're not down with the basics of barber banter, fear not, for today we embark on a quest to demystify the enigmatic world of barber lingo.


Let's kick things off with the crown jewel of contemporary men's hairstyles: the fade. No, we're not discussing a Houdini vanishing act, we're delving into the art of transitioning from one hair length to another - creating a gradient effect that's as smooth as jazz on a summer evening. A fade is a cutting technique where hair is taken shorter down the sides before immediately fading into the skin. Think seamless, subtle, yet stylishly refined.

The Fade - Hairstyle

The Fade


While a taper and fade are often used interchangeably by the untrained masses, they are two different cutting techniques. A taper involves gradually reducing hair length down the sides to the neckline, giving you that polished look without the stark contrast of a fade. It's like blending colours on a canvas, except your barber is the artist, and your head is the masterpiece. Tapers do not fade into the skin, and unlike fades, are also less dramatic.

The Taper

Neckline Shape

Now, let's delve into the delicate art of shaping the neckline—a task not for the faint of heart. Gone are the days of rough, unkempt edges. Today, it's all about precision and attention to detail. Your barber can offer you a trio of options: the block, the tapered, and the round neckline. With its clean-cut, squared-off edges, the block is perfect for those who crave a sharp, defined look. The tapered neckline, on the other hand, gradually fades into the skin, offering a softer, more natural appearance. And then there's the round neckline, which follows the contours of your natural hairline, blending seamlessly with your overall look. It's like choosing the perfect frame for a masterpiece—each option lending its unique flair to your style.

 The V Fade Neckline


Ah, sideburns—the unsung heroes of facial hair. These bad boys have adorned the faces of gentlemen for centuries, framing jawlines and adding a touch of rugged charm. Sideburns extend from the hair in front of the ears, running down the sides of the face towards the chin (usually stopping in line with the ear lobes). Just like other facial hair, sideburns can make or break your look - so think like Goldilocks and get them 'just right'. Whether you prefer wild and untamed or trimmed to perfection, your barber possesses the skills to craft your sideburns into a work of art.

The Sideburn

The Hard Part

Ever heard of a hard part? No, it's not the latest fitness craze sweeping the nation. Rather, it's a subtle yet impactful detail that can elevate your haircut to new heights. Essentially, a hard part is a shaved line or parting that adds definition and character to your look. It's like adding a pinch of salt to your favourite dish—just enough to enhance the flavour without overpowering it. If you're keen on the hard part, you'll need to see your barber slightly more often. Hair will grow back at the part and must be maintained by a professional (read: please don't try shaving or re-shaving a hard part at home – it will likely end in disaster).

 The Hard Part


The arch is the space between the tops of your ears and your hair line. Depending on your preference, your barber can cut this to follow the natural line of your hair or go higher to achieve a more dramatic look.

The Arch


Now, let's move on to the mysteries of cutting techniques, shall we? Texturising is where your barber cuts your hair at different lengths, adding layers of depth to your hair and creating movement and dimension that catches the eye. Texturising can be done with a razor blade or special scissors – removing weight, adding volume, or giving your hair that naturally tousled look. It's the secret ingredient that transforms a basic men's haircut into a masterpiece of modern grooming.

Scissors/Clippers over Comb

Speaking of masterpieces, scissors-over-comb and clippers-over-comb are the tools of the trade for any self-respecting barber. Scissors-over-comb is where a barber will use a comb to guide their scissors – resulting in a more precise cut. The scissors-over-comb technique creates a softer look than a clippers-over-comb approach, which is used to blend hair so it looks more even as it's growing out. Both techniques ensure a flawless finish every time.

Point Cutting

But wait, there's more! Enter the world of point cutting—a technique that's equal parts art and science. By strategically snipping away at your hair ends, your barber can create texture and movement that breathes new life into your hair. It's like adding layers of intrigue to an already captivating narrative, keeping your look fresh and dynamic.


Last but certainly not least, let's talk about grades. No, we're not grading how well you paid attention to this blog - we're talking clipper attachments. In the barbering world, grades refer to different hair lengths that can be achieved using clippers. The smaller the grade number, the shorter the hair. Whether it's a close-cropped grade one or a longer laid-back grade five, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

So, gentlemen, the next time you find yourself in the hallowed halls of your local BarberShopCo, armed with nothing but a vision and a sense of style, remember the power of language. By mastering the lexicon of barbering, you empower yourself to communicate your hair desires with clarity and confidence, ensuring that you emerge from the chair not just groomed but transformed. To check out more of our sharp styles for the well-discerning gent, check out our Lookbook!