Haircut lengths can be tough to get to grips with. But get it wrong and the result could be a disaster. Here’s everything you need to know about the number 6 haircut.
Let’s get to it.
What Does A Number 6 Haircut All Over Look Like
The number 6 haircut looks like this:
It simply looks like a short men’s hairstyle. You’ve got enough length there to work with.
But a little.
You may have just enough length to form a very short quiff, for instance. You could spike it all up just a tiny bit.
But other than that, it’s a pretty “set it and forget it” haircut length that you really don’t really need to do much with in any case.
This simplicity is appealing to a lot of men. Washing and drying are very quick, as you’d expect.
It’s a good option for men looking to dabble in shorter haircut lengths without having to commit to anything as short as a #1, #2, or #3.
But those hoping to do some real styling with it would be much better off going for something longer to avoid disappointment.
I’ll finish off by mentioning that the number 6 haircut can add a small amount of height up top – something shorter haircut lengths can’t really do.
This can prevent the face from looking rounder or shorter than you might like – again, a problem that the flatness of shorter haircut lengths often brings.
Don’t get me wrong – you won’t exactly be styling a pompadour any time soon. But you’ve enough length there to add a bit of vertical height and this benefit shouldn’t be ignored.
How Long Is A Number 6 Haircut?
The number 6 haircut is 19mm long (3/4 of an inch) and is trimmed using the #6 clipper guard.
Many budget clippers don’t come with a #6 clipper guard. If you’re looking to DIY trim this length, it’s important to ensure that the clippers you buy come with a guard to let you do it.
While most budget clippers don’t come with a lever, if yours does, you’ve got even more control over the length.
Levers are most commonly used by barbers for fading these days, so I won’t go into it in much detail.
However, if you find that trimming the #6 haircut with the lever open is a little too long but the #5 seems too short, try trimming the #6 with the lever closed to see if you can get a nice halfway point.
It’s worth pointing out that while you could trim a number 6 haircut all over, most men choose to taper the sides and back a grade or two shorter.
This tapered appearance is often more appealing and actually creates a narrowing effect on the face, defining the jawline at the same time.
In addition, it helps the #6 haircut to grow out in a more attractive way and less like a “fuzzball”, which can often be a problem when clipping everything down to the exact same length.
The Number 6 Haircut With A Fade
The number 6 haircut with a fade consists of the number 6 length (19mm) on top, with the sides gradually increasing in length from bottom to top. The characteristic faded appearance is largely due to the blending of the different lengths without the presence of any harsh lines.
A fade would be a great way to make a number 6 haircut a little more interesting.
Yes, the sides and back would be shorter than the #6 length on top.
This contrast will usually produce a more aesthetically pleasing result than trimming everything down to a number 6 length (as I explained earlier).
But having the length gradually taper produces an even more impressive effect, simply because the fade is a pretty eye-catching look.
Unlike a #6 all over, however, the number 6 with a fade is pretty tough to DIY unless you’re unusually skilled with a pair of clippers. Get it done by a barber.
When asking for the style, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible to get the outcome you want.
Start by saying you want a number 6 haircut with a fade.
Then, let them know what type of fade you want. In other words, how high up the sides you want the fade, and how short you want the shortest length of the fade to be.
With the number 6 haircut and a low fade, the tapering begins around half an inch above the ear.
With the number 6 haircut and a high fade, the tapering begins around the level of the temples.
With the number 6 haircut and a mid fade, the tapering begins around midway between the top of the ear and the temples.
The higher the fade, the more obvious and striking the effect.
You’ll also want to let them know how short you want the fade. For example, in a number 6 with a skin fade, the shortest length is literally shaved.
In contrast, the number 6 with a 2 fade has the shortest length of the fade trimmed down to a #2 length, before it gradually increases in length as you go up the back and sides.
Putting that all together with an example:
The “number 6 with a low 1 fade” has the #6 length on top, with the sides a #1 length at the bottom before gradually starting to increase in length approximately half an inch above the ear.
The Number 6 Haircut On The Sides
With the number 6 haircut on the sides, the top is left long while the sides and back are clipped down to a #6 length (19mm). The top can be clipped, scissor-cut, or styled in many different ways.
As far as side lengths go, the #6 would be a pretty uncommon one.
19mm is pretty long for the sides when you’re leaving the top long.
It’ll often lead to too much fullness without that nice tapered effect people look for in more modern hairstyles.
You’ll still get it if the hair is especially long, but most men with short or medium length hair on top would benefit from shorter haircut lengths on the sides and back.
Number 3 or even a number 4 on the sides would usually be a better option and have a nice slimming effect on the face.
Face shape should be considered. Men with naturally narrow and slim faces may actually benefit from having a longer hair length like a #6 on the sides.
But men with rounder face shapes would probably find that having a long length such as the #6 on the sides would make everything look even fuller.
How To Do A Number 6 Haircut
Here is a step-by-step routine you can use for trimming a number 6 haircut all over by yourself.
You’ll need a pair of clippers that comes with a #6 clipper guard, as well as a bathroom mirror.
That’s pretty much it, but as always, a handheld mirror would be very useful for trimming the back.
1. Prep The Clippers
Before you start, make sure you prepare the clippers.
Clippers should be clean. Hair from the previous trim may be clogging up the blades and can lead to additional friction, tugging, and pulling during your next trim.
Usually, clippers come with a tiny brush to help clean around the blades. If you don’t have one, a toothbrush will do.
You’ll always want to oil your clippers too. Again, most clippers come with a tiny bottle of lubricating oil you can use. If you don’t have one, I strongly recommend getting some clipper oil separately online.
Well lubricated blades lead to a much more effective and even trim.
Finally, if your clippers are cordless, make sure they’re charged before you start trimming.
Low battery clippers will often lead to tugging, pulling, and a poor trim.
Once this is done, clip on that #6 clipper guard and prepare for the trim.
2. Shower And Dry Off
You’ll want to clean your hair before you start trimming. Oily hair is tough to clip.
Clean and dry hair is easier to work with – you’ll know exactly what it looks like when it isn’t all clumped together, greasy, or moist.
So, shower and towel dry/blow-dry until the hair is completely dry.
3. Trim The Sides And Top Down To Number 6
Start trimming. The sides and top are easier than the back, so it’s usually best to start with these.
Trim against the grain (i.e against the direction of growth).
For the top hair, this is backward for the most part. For the sides, in contrast, this is upward.
If you’ve got a decent pair of clippers, this shouldn’t take too long. Vary the angle of the clippers from time to time to catch the trickier hairs.
Pull the ears gently forward and carefully trim behind them. This area can be easy to miss.
From time to time, shake off the hair that accumulates along the clipper guard to prevent it from clogging or pulling.
4. Trim The Back To Number 6
The back can be tough to clip down, simply because the area isn’t easy to visualize.
A handheld mirror comes in handy because you can use it to actually see the back. Hold your handheld mirror in one hand, with the clippers in the other, and turn around so your back faces the bathroom mirror.
You’ll be able to see the back of your head as your bathroom mirror reflects off of the handheld mirror.
If you’ve got anyone you trust that can do the back for you, it may be a good idea.
If not, that’s fine – just start clipping and do your best to move the clipper over the natural grooves that people can have at the back.
The crown area can cause trouble because hair can spiral and grow in different directions. When trying to trim down to a #6 against the grain, this can be tough to figure out.
Generally, all you can really do is feel around the area and vary the angle of the clipper until you get as even a trim as possible.
5. Square Off The Neckline
With a number 6 haircut, the hair is long enough to benefit from actually sharpening up the neckline.
The neckline is the lowest line at the back – the border between the hair and the top of the neck.
A barber would straighten/square off/round off the neckline with no trouble for you. But when you’re doing it yourself, it can be tricky.
With DIY haircuts taking off, however, templates are now available that allow you to trim your own neckline.
Here’s an example on
You don’t have to sharpen up the neckline if you don’t want to. You could keep it looking natural and mildly untidy if you don’t mind this.
However, overall, with hair as long as the #6 length, it’s usually a good idea to do something with the neckline.
Using a template like the one above is often a good way to go. Just make sure you don’t accidentally trim the neckline too high. Also, make sure it’s completely straight before you do it.
It’s possible to mess it up, so go slow.
At this point, you’re done. Shower and wash off any excess hair. Dry off and take a look at the finished product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the number 6 haircut.
Number 5 Vs Number 6 Haircut: What’s The Difference?
The number 5 haircut is 16mm long (5/8 of an inch) and trimmed using a #5 clipper guard. In contrast, the number 6 haircut is 19mm long (3/4 of an inch) and trimmed using the #6 clipper guard
The two lengths are very similar in terms of their benefits and downsides.
You’ll most likely find that the number 6 is very slightly easier to style than the number 5 would be.
Overall, however, both lengths are very restricted in what you can do with them. They’re both incredibly simple and easy to maintain.
Is The Number 6 Haircut Good For Balding Men?
In my opinion, it’s not that great of a length for balding men or men with receding hairlines.
Sure, the number 6 is long enough to prevent too much scalp from showing through in the light.
But it isn’t as good as shorter haircut lengths at making balding or thinning hair less obvious.
For example, ultra-short hairstyles such as the #1, #2, or #3 are so short that the contrast between thin areas and thick areas is just less obvious. It all just looks short.
Because of this, thinning hair actually looks less noticeable. The same goes for receding hairlines – the transition from the forehead to the hair on top is more seamless than it would be with longer hair.
Again, this makes receding hairlines look less obvious.
While the number 6 haircut is still short enough to give you some of these benefits, it isn’t quite as good as shorter haircut lengths would be for this purpose.
The number 6 haircut may not be the most common length to clip everything down to, but it definitely has its benefits.
Hopefully, you now have a much better idea of what the length could do for you before you make your decision.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.