There aren’t many hairstyles that lead to as much confusion as this one. Unfortunately, this confusion often leads to poor communication between clients and their stylists. So, how exactly do you ask for a two block haircut?
Let the stylist know how short you want the sides buzzed down, in addition to how long you want the top left. It’s important to ensure you have enough length up top to flop over the top half of the sides. A photograph will always make things easier.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it.
Before going through the perfect step-by-step process to use when asking for a two block, it’s important to know exactly what a two block is in the first place.
Let’s get to it.
Know Exactly What A Two Block Is
A two block haircut is a style where the sides are completely buzzed and the top is left long, often flopping forward into a wispy fringe.
What defines the two block is how the long top covers the top half of the buzzed sides. This leads to a disconnected appearance at the sides due to the sharp transition from the buzzed hair to the long top falling over it.
This disconnected appearance is bold and striking – one of the key reasons why it’s grown in popularity in recent years.
It’s especially popular in South Korea but has recently gained global recognition.
While it’s slowly becoming more common in the Western hemisphere, barbers and stylists don’t really have to cut it very often.
In general, it’s best to go to a stylist and not a barber when asking for a two block. While a good barber would probably be able to get you a good outcome, a stylist would generally be better when working with long hairstyles such as this.
Essential Two Block Terminology
Here are some terms you need to be comfortable using when asking for a two block from a stylist.
- Buzzed – A.k.a “clipped”. Hair that’s cut very short and evenly using clippers, down to specific lengths using clipper guards.
- Shaved – Hair that’s cut using a razor (electric or manual). You can’t get much shorter than this. It’ll give you a cleaner finish than a pair of clippers.
- Fade – The sides gradually increase in length from the bottom to the top, producing a blended/blurred appearance. Two blocks usually don’t have the sides faded.
- Fringe – The forelock (i.e hair above the forehead) is allowed to flop forward, covering the forehead.
That’s really all you need to know when asking for a two block.
It’s worth digging into clipper guard numbers here. Remember, with two blocks, the sides will be “buzzed” from the bottom to the top.
This is simple enough, but it’s important to tell the stylist how short you actually want to go.
To do this, you’ll need to specify a clipper guard “number”. The most common lengths with two blocks are a #1 (3mm) and a #2 (6mm).
I’ve written about how clipper guards work in more detail if you’re interested.
How To Ask A Stylist For A Two Block (5 Steps)
Now that you’ve got the foundations down, it’s time to go through the perfect way to ask for a two block.
Using a stepwise process should ensure you get the best outcome, each and every time.
By the end of this, you should be able to request a two block in a way similar to this:
“I’d like a two block haircut like the one in this photograph, please. I want the sides buzzed down to a #1 all the way up. Just an inch off of the top, leaving enough to allow it to flop over half of the sides. I’d like the front styled into a wispy fringe.”
1. Ensure You Have Enough Length
You’ll need at least 3.5 to 4 inches of length to style a two-block.
Before you even visit a stylist, it’s important to make sure you have enough length to style a two block haircut in the first place.
The top needs to be long enough to pull this style off. If it isn’t long enough, the top won’t be long enough to flop over half of the buzzed sides.
Without this length, it actually won’t look anything like a two block.
If you don’t have this yet, give it a little more time before you visit your stylist.
2. Find A Photograph
There’s nothing more valuable than being able to show a stylist a photograph of the two block haircut you want for yourself.
While knowing the terminology and knowing what to ask for is helpful, having a photograph to back up your words is at least ten times better.
So, before you visit your stylist, find a photograph of the two block haircut you’re looking for.
Make sure it’s got the lengths you’re looking for – both on top and at the sides.
Search online, review some magazines – whatever you need to do.
A good stylist will take the time to really review the photograph to get a good understanding of what it is you actually want.
Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t a substitute for using your words. It’s just a way to enhance the process.
It’s also helpful because people often gauge length wrong. You may have thought you wanted a #1 at the sides, but the stylist may look at the photograph and figure out you actually want a #2.
3. State How Short You Want The Sides
Let’s assume, for the sake of this routine, you haven’t got a photograph to show the stylist and you’re relying solely on your words. Knowing what to ask for becomes even more important.
Let the stylist know you want a “two block” haircut and let them know how short you want the sides buzzed down. Remember, they’re going to be buzzed from the bottom to the top of the sides.
With two blocks, the most common lengths for the sides are a #1 and a #2. It really depends on how short you really want to go with it.
You could even go a step shorter by requesting a #0 – i.e the sides are buzzed down using the lone blade of the clipper with no guard attached.
4. Say How Long You Want The Top
You should have at least 3.5 to 4 inches of length for a 2 block. But you may want even more length up top.
It’s important to note, however, that the hair on top shouldn’t be so long that it’s allowed to cover up most of the buzzed sides.
The buzzed sides need to be partially visible at the bottom (underneath the long hair that flops over it) to produce the classic disconnected appearance of the two block.
So, let the stylist know that you want the top to be left long enough to flop over half of the buzzed sides.
Let them know approximately how much you want to be taken off the top (using your fingers to estimate), but confirm with them that you’d be able to produce the two block appearance at the sides with this amount of length.
This is where a photograph would come in incredibly useful.
5. Say How You Want The Top Styled
It’s also important to let the stylist know what you want to do with the forelock.
Remember, two block haircuts usually have the hair flopping forward over the forehead to produce a wispy fringe.
Let the stylist know you want a textured and wispy fringe to really complete the two block look.
At this point, you’re done. While it may seem like a lot of information, if you distill it all down, you should be able to request a two block in a few lines like the example written in italics at the top of this routine.
While the two block haircut isn’t the easiest haircut to request, when done in a logical and stepwise manner, it’s definitely possible to get the exact look you’re hoping for.
A photograph will always make things so much easier, but even if you didn’t have one, knowing some basic terminology and having a routine you can fall back on should see you through.