Haircuts are just as individual as every man. Men’s haircuts are always given a haircut number to refer to the length of the trim.
Number 2 and 3 are relatively short haircuts, while a number 8 haircut refers to a hairstyle with slightly longer hair.
Number 8 comes with great advantages as more hair means you have a lot more flexibility in styling your hair.
In this article, we find out what length a number 8 is, and we also take a look at different number 8 haircut styles as well as fades.
What Does The No. 8 Haircut Look Like?
The best way to describe a number 8 haircut is that it is short but it doesn’t look too short.
If that sounds a little bit cryptic, here is a picture of a umber 8 style with longer hair on top and shorter sides.
This haircut is still short enough to be low maintenance. You don’t need to spend a lot of time washing and drying. This makes regular hair routine so much easier.
On the other hand, having slightly longer hair compared to different buzz cuts means that there are a lot more styling options.
Thanks to this flexibility you can can shorten the length in the back and on the sides to other various buzz cut lengths.
Saying this, even the number 8 haircut does have its limits when it comes to hair styling but you will still be able to do a subtle comb over or a small quiff.
Your hair with this style won’t be long enough for anything extravagant, like slicking it back all the way, but then that might not be your preferred option anyway.
It’s worthwhile pointing out here that although a no. 8 haircut is relatively easy to keep tidy, it still does require a little bit of grooming.
This means that it isn’t as low maintenance as a #2 or #3 buzz cut due to the slightly longer length.
Most men with a #8 cut want to make sure that they flatten strays or flyaways, and some also like running a comb through the hair to tame it somewhat.
The majority of men do not have a number 8 length all around. They usually just keep the longer hair on the top, and then trim the sides and back short.
While this is a popular choice, there are also plenty of other versions, such as butch cuts, crew cuts and high and tights.
All these styles involve having your hair longer on the top and keeping your hair shorter in the back and on the sides.
A big advantage of keeping your hair a number 8 length on top and trimming the back and sides is that it creates a neat look.
If you leave your #8 hair to grow, it usually produces a slightly fuzzy appearance which needs a fair amount of styling to get under control.
That’s why, it’s a good idea to keep it longer on top and taper the back and sides.
How Long Is A Number 8 Haircut?
A number 8 haircut is typically 1 inch (25mm) long. You can use achieve this length with a #8 clipper guard.
Traditionally, this is the longest length that most clippers allow you to trim down to. Unfortunately, this means also that not all clippers come with a number 8 clipper guard.
Most of the cheaper clippers, both electric or manual, come with clipper grades ranging from #1 to #4.
The reason for this is quite simple. The #8 length isn’t a common length that most men choose to trim their hair.
If you want to trim a number 8 haircut yourself, then you will need to ensure that your clippers come with the right clipper guard for this length.
The majority of clippers are used to trim all the hair down, like an induction-style buzz cut, or you can also use them to trim the back and the sides while the top is carefully cut with scissors.
If you want to clip everything down to a shorter buzz cut length, then you would normally use a #3 or #4 clipper guard.
The same rule applies when trimming the sides and back where you would also use a #4 or #3 clipper guard, and only trip the top with scissors.
If you do not feel comfortable trimming your longer hair yourself, then it’s best to pay a visit to your local barber who will also be able to give you some style tips.
Your barber may recommend tapering the sides and back for a more modern style, which means that you can easily maintain your shorter hair with clippers in future.
The Number 8 Haircut With A Fade
This is one of the most popular hairstyles for men with slightly longer hair. A #8 haircut with a fade leaves a number 8 length on top, and the sides and back are incrementally increasing in length from the bottom to the top.
You can see in this image that the faded effect works well because the different lengths on the side create no harsh lines.
This does not only keep it easy maintenance, but it also adds a lot more interest to your hairstyle.
When it comes to fading the sides and back, barbers can be very creative, and you will find a huge range of fades, from skin fades, to drop fades and other smooth lines to create this stunning effect.
Some of these effects even have different names for the same thing but all you have to do is to describe to your barber what you want your hair to look like.
Make sure that you mention how short you want the shortest length of your fade to be. This is the shortest bit at the bottom where the gradually gets longer towards the top.
You will also come across the term “skin fade” which means that the shortest length is shaved. This is usually done with a #1 or #2 cut on the side and back.
You will need to let your barber know how high you want the sides and the back to be for the transition.
With a high fade, the transition occurs around the level of your temples. In comparison, with a low fade, the transition starts around 0.5 inch above the ear.
For a mid-fade, the transition occurs anywhere between these two points.
It’s also worthwhile taking a picture of a hairstyle you like with you, so your barber can see what type of fade you want with your #8 haircut.
Why Fade A Number 8 Haircut?
We talked a lot about different fades so far, and you may wonder why you should fade your number 8 haircut at all. After all, it’s easy to just trim the back and the sides down without any transitions.
The simple answer here is that it comes down to your own preferences. Fades are often a lot more eye-catching than a simple buzz cut on the sides.
If you have tried a simple number 8 hairstyle for a while, and you are ready for a change, then a fade is a great option for something a little more daring.
The shorter the length of the fade and the higher up the transition starts, the more dramatic the effect.
For example, if you go for a #8 cut with a higher skin fade, then you are guaranteed to grab a lot more attention than with a number 4 fade.
The fade, and also whether you want a fade at all, is up to you and your personal preferences.
The Number 8 Haircut On The Sides
This style of haircut is a no.8 haircut on the top, which is cut with scissors, and then you use a #8 clipper guard to trim the sides and back down to a number 8 length.
This isn’t the more contemporary way of doing it as this type of haircut isn’t common but it still can be done.
If your hair on top is particularly long, then you can also use the #8 clipper guard and shorten your hair slightly to the same length all around at first.
However, this only works if your hair is long enough as then this creates a slightly tapered look which has enough of a contrast to make your hairstyle look interesting.
Saying this, many men found that once they start clipping their hair to this length, you feel tempted to cut it even shorter around the sides and the back.
Keeping a number 8 haircut all around, you may likely find that the sides will look a little too full because it makes your face look rounder or wider.
If that’s the case, then you can always trim the sides in incremental steps with one clipper grade at a time. First use a #7 clipper guard for a section, then use #6 and #5 until you find the length that feels right for you.
These incremental levels will create a tapered look. You will also find that your face looks slimmer and your jawline will look sharper.
You may be already able to tell that this is not an easy DIY thing to do, so we would recommend that you check in with your trusted barber.
He’ll be able to give you a lot more tips on what length will suit the face of your shape, and he will also let you know how you can do this cut at home.
How To Trim A Number 8 Haircut
If you would prefer to trim the number 8 haircut yourself, then here is an easy, step-by-step guide on how to do a #8 trim all over.
You will just need a pair of clippers with a #8 clipper guard. Make sure that your clippers do come with this attachment, as some of the cheaper clippers do not usually come with a #8 guard.
Then, you will also need a fixed mirror, such as a bathroom mirror, and a handheld mirror to ensure that you get the back trim right.
Get The Clippers Ready
Your clippers are the most important tool when it comes to trimming your hair, so you want to make sure that you prep them properly.
While this sounds very serious, it’s really rather easy. All you have to do is make sure that your clippers are charged (if they are cordless), properly cleaned and oiled.
It’s important that your clippers are charged to ensure the blades get through your hair without any issues. When clippers run out of power, then the blades will start tugging on your hair which can be very uncomfortable.
Make sure that you also give your clippers a thorough clean each time after you’ve used them so they are ready for the next time.
Most clippers come with a handy, little brush which you can use to remove any excess hair. Alternatively, you can also use an old toothbrush.
Finally, make sure that the blades of the clippers are oiled well to avoid any friction between them. Most clippers come with their own lubricating oil but you can also buy clipper oil online.
Wash And Dry Your Hair
Just like most barbers, you will need to wash your hair first because clean hair is much easier to trim than oily, dry hair. This is especially important with longer hair.
It’s best to wash and dry your hair fully before you start clipping.
Trim The Sides And Top To No.8
Once you prepared your clippers and your hair, you are ready to start trimming.
Remember that in this instance, we will not create a layer effect in your hair. We will only trim your hair to the same length all round.
Start off with the top and the sides, as they are easier to trim than the back. Put your #8 clipper guard on your clipper and start trimming the sides and the top.
Make sure that you trim against the growth of your hair. This will be quicker and it will also create the most even trim.
This means that you need to trim upwards on the sides, and backwards on the top.
Trim The Back
Trimming the back is difficult because it is not easy to see, so you will need to grab your handheld mirror and use it with the fixed mirror to get a good view of the back of your head.
If you have anyone who would be able to help you with trimming the back, then this would make your life much easier. Alternatively, you will need to give it your best shot on your own.
The back of the head is a sensitive area with a lot of grooves and ridges, so it is essential that you move your clippers very slowly.
Make sure that you also go against the direction of growth on the back. The crown area is more difficult because hair typically grows into different directions.
Try to have a feel of this area first and then slowly go over it with the clippers making sure that you get an even trim.
Tidy The Neckline
The longer your hair, the more untidy your neckline will look after a trim. This means that a number 8 haircut needs a little bit of cleaning up around the neckline after the cut.
After all, you want to have a neat line in the back and not have the hair look like it’s crawling towards your back.
Similar to the trim in the back, rounding or squaring off the neckline without help can be tricky. Luckily, there are a lot of neckline templates available which can make trimming much easier.
These templates can help you shape a neckline that looks tidy. Make sure that you do not set the template too high. It’s best to start a little lower first, and ensure that it’s straight.
Once you trimmed the neckline, take the handheld mirror and take a look. You can also feel the hair to see if you have missed any spots.
If you missed any areas, then just go over them again with your clippers.
Once you are done with trimming, just jump into the shower and rinse off any loose hair. When your hair is dry, you can then review your handwork in the mirror.
Does The Number 8 Haircut Look Good On Balding Men?
The number 8 haircut is a particularly good trim for balding men with a receding hairline. This cut is short enough to make any obvious bald patches look less distinct, and it also covers any receding temples.
Although many balding men do often choose a number 3 or number 2 length for their hair, these are not the only options. The #8 haircut provides a great alternative when it comes to making thinning hair look a little fuller.
Many men find that they would not like to go for a shorter haircut because making balding hair even shorter doesn’t seem right.
However, trimming hair a little shorter means that the contrast between the balding spots and the hair is a lot less visible. In addition, it also makes the thinner areas look fuller.
Although a number 8 haircut hasn’t got short enough hair for the full effect, it still helps somewhat towards this.
The biggest advantage of this hairstyle for balding men is that you can use the longer hair areas to cover up receding hairlines around the temples.
This helps prevent a scalp showing throw in bright light. So, although the #8 isn’t the final solution for balding men, it is definitely a stepping stone to experiment with some shorter lengths.
The number 8 haircut may not be the most commonly used length for a trim but it has some great advantages.
Compared to other haircut styles, #8 cuts are a lot more versatile. They create a sleek, modern look, while being relatively low on the maintenance side.