Help! Deciphering Clipper Settings for Boys Haircuts!
:eek: Okay, I took my 2-year-old son to Cool Cuts for a haircut. Not his first haircut, but the first time he's really had some hair to cut :rolleyes:

The "stylist" asked me what settings I wanted for the clippers...I didn't have a clue what to tell her, so I just repeated what my husband had told me-- 4 on top, 3 on the sides and back. Apparently he based this on the settings he uses to trim his moustache and goatee...good look on him, but not so great on my poor little son's head!!! He looks like he has a buzz cut, which wasn't what either of us had intended.

So, how in the heck do I figure out what to tell the stylist the next time? Is there some sort of magic formula to determine what the ending length of hair will be, based on this cryptic numbering system? :confused:

Thank you!
Kathy
Well I also did the same sort of thing I listened to my brother and my stepson ended up with a flat top which did not look good on him and he looked like he had a square head. So after that I just looked through the pictures to find the right look. Try that and then when you find the look just ask the stylist what that look is so you remember for next time.
Sadly, it's trial and error.

My son started getting a "Caesar" when he had enough hair to cut (I've attached a picture).

They used a FOUR on the sides/back and they didn't clip the top. If you're going to a hair place where they want to clip it all rather than using scissors, then find another place...that's just lazy!

Now, my son (age 11) gets a four on top and one on the sidesor more commonly know as a long high and tight. My husband has worn a zero on the sides two on top USMC Reg high and tight for ten yearsŅhe just recently started wearing it slightly longer.

Remember the key with clippers is start long/big - because you can go shorterbut donŒt start small, because you cant put it back when its gone.

Four on top is fairly long - so if thatҒs to short for you - a clipper cut isnt going to work out!

(Keep in mind, if youҒre going to an old barber, those old metal clipper guards that he might be using are MUCH closer than the plastic clipper guards used (and sold) now.
Funny....I never tell the stylist which settings to use. I say "George Clooney" or "BUZZ", or "Short and Spikey". LOL!

I always tell them not to buzz the top and use the scissors instead for that part and tell them I want it short but not shaved. They understand what I say as we've never had a problem.

Today my 9 year old wanted the "bald" cut and thank the powers of my hearing now that I actually heard him say that and said "NO NO NO!" We compromised and he got the buzz. Sigh...
Ditto to what Crick said. When I take my son to get his haircut, I just tell them a general description of what I want. ("I" being the key here. LOL)
Thank you all! Honestly, this "4" on top is not long at all--if I had to measure it, I'd say it works out to be about 1 cm long. Even if his hair was soaking wet I wouldn't be able to get it to look like a Caesar (or Russell Crowe, or George Clooney!) Smile

I'm going to start cutting out pictures from all these parenting and baby magazines I keep getting...at least I'll be better prepared for his next haircut...which may not have to happen for at least 6 months now Wink
Oh, and yes, I totally agree that she should have used scissors first and then just trimmed up with the clippers--it took less than 5 minutes for the haircut and cost me $17, and I don't even like the results!
I am clueless
Since I am so clueless on this topic, I usually go into the hair salon and say "Do whatever, just make him look good." He hasn't had a bad haircut yet, except for the time I tried to cut his hair myself using clippers. Poor kid had some bald spots on the back of his head...luckily he doesn't care.
I guess I wasn't called to be a hair stylist.
You should not be expected to understand clipper settings. But the stylist IS expected to understand them, and to pick the proper setting based on how long you want the hair to be.

The next time you're asked that, it's perfectly proper to say "take a quarter-inch off the top, and a half-inch off the sides" or "I want the top to be an inch long and spiked, and the sides to be shorter than that and lay naturally" or whatever else you want to say. Let the people earning the money figure out what setting that is!
Hopefully this helps
Guard 1- 1/16"
Guard 2- 3/8"
Guard 3- 3/4"
Guard 4- 1/2"
I would say, unless you like the military look, keep it at a 3 or 4. Or, just tell them cut it as short in the sides and back as you can with the scissors, and about an inch longer than that on top. No Clipper work please.
DianeS said...
You should not be expected to understand clipper settings. But the stylist IS expected to understand them, and to pick the proper setting based on how long you want the hair to be.

The next time you're asked that, it's perfectly proper to say "take a quarter-inch off the top, and a half-inch off the sides" or "I want the top to be an inch long and spiked, and the sides to be shorter than that and lay naturally" or whatever else you want to say. Let the people earning the money figure out what setting that is!


I agree with what you said, and yes, with those explanations, we would know what to do right away...but as a stylist, I take offence to a couple things....

1-"You should not be expected to understand clipper settings. But the stylist IS expected to understand them"
2-"Let the people earning the money figure out what setting that is!"

Actually....you should know! 4,3,2,1...it's not hard. It's actually pretty easy to say, 4 on the sides, and blend that into the top, rather than wasting my time, and yours. Work with us, not against us. Just sounds like a 'to hell with them' attitude to me. We ask for a reason, and certainly not because we don't know what we're doing.
Thank you!
Canadian84--thank you for giving me that quick reference chart--that's what I've been hoping to find! I even did a search on the internet the other day and couldn't find a thing, which is what prompted me to start this thread :D

I talked to my next-door neighbor today (she has 2 boys and takes them to the same Cool Cuts). Apparently, what I said to the stylist was correct (except that next time I will ask for the top to be scissor-trimmed), but the problem is the stylist--my neighbor has had similar problems with this particular stylist in the past and won't go to her. So, my husband is out of the doghouse now too Wink

Good thing my son is only 2, and I have time to work out all the haircutting details before he gets old enough to care about his hair!

Kathy
Canadian84, I did not mean what I said in any offensive way. I'm sorry it sounded like that.

I guess in the end it doesn't matter what one or the other (stylist or client) *should* know, but rather if the client doesn't have the asked-for information, or feels uncomfortable or uncertain about stating the knowledge they have, that it's perfectly all right to describe the end result instead of describing what they want to stylist to use to achieve that result.

Hope that's a better way to phrase it...
I re-read the post today Diane, and it wasn't as offensive as I originally thought. I just get hot headed when it comes to our profession, and tend to over-react, even towards clients around me. We're just such an abused group of people, that any comment almost sounds spiteful to us....lol, no hard feelings.
All times are GMT. The time now is 3:18 pm.
TOP