The world of cutting hair is complicated and has a lot of gadgets and gear. At the barbershop, we see all kinds of clippers, guards, blow dryers, and combs. It seems like a lot, and you might be asking yourself: what is necessary and what isn’t?
If you want to save money by cutting hair at home, you probably already know that hair clipper guards are essential.
After all, you want your hair to look good, even if you’re doing it yourself. However, how do you know the sizes of clipper guards? Which ones should you get?
Be Sure to Read First:
- Hair Clippers vs. Trimmers
- The 7 Best Professional Hair Clippers in 2022
- The 7 Best Hair Clippers in 2022
- The 7 Best Clippers for Fades in 2022
A Complete Guide to Hair Clipper Guard Sizes
If you are beginning to buy supplies to become a barber or just want to buzz your head, a set of hair clipper guards is essential. Unless you plan on one length all the way around, it’s probably smart to get several different sizes and style your hair in some kind of fade.
The sizes of clipper guards refer to different lengths of hair left after the clipper trims it – with the guards, you don’t have to worry about trimming unevenly or measuring how long the hair is. This is a complete guide to clipper guards: what they are, how they’re used, and which sizes are the most common.
What Are Clipper Guards?
A clipper guard helps keep the length of the haircut even all the way around. Each guard is set a different distance from the blade itself so the barber doesn’t accidentally cut some of the hair shorter than other parts.
We’ll go into an in-depth look at each clipper guard size later in this guide. Guards are usually numbered 0-12, with 12 being the longest. This system means that the shorter you want your hair, the smaller your number should be.
However, there can be a big difference between clipper numbers, so it’s essential you know the measurements for each size and brand of clipper guard. Unless you are planning on giving a buzz cut, you will need multiple sizes of clipper guards.
Very few people prefer their hair to all be one length, especially if it’s short enough to use clippers. A complete set usually doesn’t cost too much and can be compatible with any set of clippers.
Different Types of Clipper Guards
Clipper guards can come with a clipper set, depending on the manufacturer. Sometimes, the manufacturer-provided clipper set is perfect for your needs and you never have to worry about buying new clippers. However, this isn’t always the case.
Often, the clipper guards that come with a clipper aren’t very well-made. They might work for a while, but they will eventually snap or break (and no one wants that to happen in the middle of a haircut).
Even if you’re happy with the clipper sizes that the company sends, you might want to consider getting a backup set of clipper guards just in case. There are also different kinds of clipper guards. Some brands choose to color-code their guards to make it easier to switch between different sizes during one haircut.
Others have different ways of clipping in, such as magnets or snap-on plastic guards. Whether you use manufacturer or third-party clipper guards, your guards will do the same job. Your only concern is how well they do it.
The answer to this question depends on how well they fit with your clipper – were they made to be compatible, or do you need to get clipper guards of a certain brand?
Hair Clipper Guard Sizes By Brand
Even though sizes are mostly similar, brands vary slightly in clipper guards. This is because the brand’s guards were made specifically for the clippers of the same brand. While many will fit on other clippers, they might have a slightly different outcome.
Most of the differences are minuscule – any barbershop you go to, a 3 will still be a 3. However, if you want to know the exact sizes of each of the major brands, it’s good information to have for professionals.
Here are the three main brands of clipper guards and their respective sizes. Some brands increase the specificity of a haircut by offering half-sizes.
If you have extremely picky customers or like to adjust fades by increments, consider buying a set that includes half-sizes. These are only really necessary near the bottom of the number list, as half sizes become less noticeable the longer your hair is.
Wahl Clipper Guard Size Chart
|Wahl Clipper Guard Size||Inches||Millimeters|
Wahl clipper guards are popular because they are relatively inexpensive and excellent for beginning barbers. Wahl offers sizes 0.5-12, with a few half sizes and a few skipped sizes. For the most part, these are snap-on clipper guards.
However, Wahl just recently introduced a line of magnetic clipper guards. While most Wahl clipper guards work best with Wahl clippers, the company offers a universal guard attachment.
If you are willing to pay a little extra for it, you can use these clipper guards on any clipper you already own. It’s cheaper than buying a new Wahl clipper along with the guards (although if you are looking for one, Wahl is a great brand).
Read Next: The 7 Best Wahl Clippers
Remington Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart
|Remington Clipper Guard Size||Inches||Millimeters|
Remington is another popular brand of clipper and clipper guard. They offer sizes 0-8 without any half sizes. However, Remington clipper guards are known for being durable.
If you aren’t looking for anything out of the ordinary (larger than a one-inch guard), these clipper guards are an excellent choice. As with most clippers, they are interchangeable depending on the kind of clippers you have.
If you want to check which clipper guards with yours, you’ll have to look at your manual or the manufacturer’s website. Make sure you are following all instructions before clipping for safety reasons.
Andis Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart
|Andis Clipper Guard Size||Inches||Millimeters|
Andis clipper guards are popular because they are magnetic. Instead of snapping onto the blade and clipper, these guards have a tiny (but extremely strong) magnet that snaps onto the clipper.
It works with Andis clippers and other brands, as long as they have a corresponding magnet. Andis clipper guards work best on Andis clippers. While they can fit onto other blades, it is difficult because Andis’s blade size isn’t as uniform as the others.
If you don’t have an Andis clipper, you might want to consider a different brand. However, these clipper guards are excellent when paired with the correct hair clipper.
Read Next: The 5 Best Andis Clippers
What Types of Clipper Guards Are There?
There are two different categories of clipper guards: third party and manufacturer. Manufacturer clipper guards are what come with the clipper.
Often, they are brittle and break easily, because they aren’t as well made as third-party clipper guards. However, more expensive clippers can have nice guards. Third-party guards are what we are looking at today.
If you already have a clipper and didn’t come with guards (or came with low-quality ones), buying a set of third-party clipper guards will save you money and help your barber expertise increase.
The different types of guards depend on the brand. Some brands have magnetic clippers and others snap on. Some are color-coded, while others just depend on a numbering system.
However, they all are extremely similar other than these cosmetic differences. In the end, all clipper guards ensure that the hair is cut evenly.
What Size Clipper Guard Should I Buy?
The size of the clipper guard you need depends on what you want your hair to look like. Of course, you likely want more than one size for a fade or varying lengths on different parts of your head.
If you’re a barber or want to start cutting hair for others, you should consider buying a full set of clipper guards. Most of the time, a barber won’t need many sizes outside of the standard 0-8. If you do specialty trimming, you might need a half size or two.
However, it’s not often that customers request more than one inch of hair (that’s not doable with scissors instead of trimmers). Sizes above an 8 are rare and harder to use.
Clipper guards are useful because they make your singular clipper extremely versatile. With the different comb heads, you can cut anything from a short buzz to much longer hair.
If you only want to cut your hair and know exactly what you want, then go ahead and buy a few. However, an entire set might be worth your while. More important than knowing which clipper guards to buy, you should know how to use them.
Without the proper knowledge, the haircuts you give will turn out much shorter or longer than you intend. Before you use the new clippers, familiarize yourself with the lengths and what that will look like on someone’s head.
What Sizes of Clipper Guards Are There?
The sizes of clipper guards run from 0 to 12, with the most common sizes being in the 0–8 range. The smallest sizes have very little guard from the clipper and will cut the hair extremely short, while the longer sizes effectively comb through the hair to protect it from getting trimmed too close to the head.
Number 0 Clipper Guards
A #0 clipper guard is the shortest possible length – it doesn’t even have a guard comb and uses the clipper itself to cut the hair. Number 0 clipper guards give a close, but not smooth, shave.
Number 0.5 Clipper Guards
#0.5 is only a fraction of an inch larger than 0. It also doesn’t have a guard comb and is mostly used for skin fades (in conjunction with 0, 1, 1.5, and 2).
Number 1 Clipper Guards
The first size with an actual comb, a number 1 is still very small (only an eighth of an inch). They are most often used for buzz cuts and skin fades.
Number 1.5 Clipper Guards
Like 0.5, 1.5 sized clipper guards are generally used for tight fades and skin fades. When paired with the numbers around it, this clipper guard gives a great natural look.
Number 2 Clipper Guards
Number 2 clipper guards get used for fades most often because they cut hair very short without exposing skin. The standard size is ¼ inch.
Number 3 Clipper Guards
The longest of the “fade guards,” Number 3 is often used for short haircuts on men with thinning hair. This is because it leaves enough hair to thicken what’s already there and keep the buzzed look.
Number 4 Clipper Guards
As we move up the list of numbers, we also move up the list of haircuts. Number 4 isn’t on the fade list but gets used for crew cuts. It has a little bit longer comb (½ inch) and leaves more hair on the head.
Number 5 Clipper Guards
Number 5 is often used with number 6 for tapering a longer haircut. The two are of such similar lengths that the difference they make is minuscule. However, when used together they can create a stunning final effect.
Number 6 Clipper Guards
As with number 5, clipper guard #6 is for longer haircuts. It gives a guard of ¾ inches, decently long compared to many other numbers. Barbers use it to taper and trim the edges.
Number 7 Clipper Guards
Men with thicker hair often choose a crew cut from number 7. The thickness of hair matters when it comes to clipper guards–the length will affect how the head looks. Some people can pull off a longer crew cut, while others need a shorter cut to look their best.
Number 8 Clipper Guards
Number 8 is the last of the common sizes of clipper guards, coming in at a full inch. It’s used for longer crew cuts or tapering but doesn’t often come out otherwise. Number 8 clipper guards work for a “long” short haircut–manageable with gel and hairstyling product but not neatly trimmed back.
Numbers 9-12 Clipper Guards
Even though eight is the last of the ordinary sizes, some specialty barbers carry these larger sizes. Only Wahl carries clipper guards up to size 12 because they are only used for specialty customers.
Most barbers would turn to scissors after a size eight clipper guard, but sometimes larger sizes are necessary. Numbers 9-12 continue to grow by 1/8th inch increments, with size twelve being an inch and a half long. 9 and 11 rarely appear, while 10 and 12 are more common.
Buying Clipper Guards: Things to Consider
When buying clipper guards, you have to be aware of several things. The most important is the size of the clipper guard and your needs with it.
However, there are several other factors to consider. Whether you decide to get Andis, Wahl, Remington, or another brand, keep these questions in mind as you shop:
- What size clipper guards do I need?
- How many different sizes do I need?
- What is my brand of clipper?
- Which clipper guards are compatible with my brand of clipper?
- Do I want color-coded clipper guards or numbered clipper guards?
- Do I want magnetic or clip-on clipper guards?
- How much am I willing to spend?
- How long will I be using these clipper guards?
- Is there one size I will use more than others (should I get two of that size)?
- Are there sizes I won’t use and don’t need to buy?
These questions should help narrow down how many clipper guards you need, what type, and which brand to get. With the information from this list and the brand of your clipper, you can decide what your best purchase will be and order it online!
So, What Are Hair Clipper Guard Sizes?
There are anywhere from 12 to 15 hair clipper guards sizes, but the most common sizes are between the ranges of 0 and 8. The haircut numbers represent how close a shave the guard gives, and every brand has different offerings and compatibility.
With this information, you should be able to make an educated decision on what kind of clipper you will buy (if you haven’t purchased it yet) and which sizes of clipper guards you’ll need.
You are almost all set to cut your hair, save money, and maybe even make a little on the side. Following our complete buying guides will help you get a leg up on the competition, or at least on your wallet!