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Men's Haircut & Hair Style Terms - Page 4

Shaved - the hair is cut completely to the skin using a traditional razor blade or an electric razor. This should not be confused with hair that is cut using clippers. A crew cut or a buzz cut is not shaved.

Many people tell their hairdressers or barbers that they want part or all of their head shaved, when they actually want a tapered cut or some other clipper cut. This is why it is important to bring photos whenever possible to make sure that you and the hairdresser or barber are on the same page.

Short Back And Sides - a widely-used term used in Australia and New Zealand (especially before the 1970s) to describe a short tapered cut. Before the 1970's the most common haircut given in New Zealand was the "short back and sides" which is 1/8th inch on the back and sides (tapered 'round the edge) and reasonably short on top regardless of whether it is brushed back, flat top, side part, center part, or whatever. A male (regardless of age) would religiously get his hair cut every 2 - 3 weeks without fail and accordingly all that was needed on the top was a trim. A New Zealand written song uses as part of it's lyrics referring to the New Zealand male's haircut "a bit off the top and short back and sides".

Spikes - The hair is worn in a series of spikes that can be short or long. Spikes are different than a Mohawk with extends down the center of the head.

Square Back - the hair at the back is cut at the bottom as a defined straight line. The hair is left full and is not tapered at the back or the sides. A square back can be used with a range of styles, including a crew cut, an ivy league or college cut or a flattop.

Taper - the style of having the hair cut getting progressively shorter lower down towards the nape of the head. This is generally done with electric clippers and gives a crisper, freshly cut look. The degree of tapering can range from a slight taper to a style in which the hair around the nape and around the ears is completely shaven.

Teddy Boy Cut - a style worn by mods in England during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Typically the hair was cut relatively long (for the time), brushed back, and heavily greased. To read more about mods, teddy boys, including hairstyle information, read the article "Mod. The Life and How to Live It", which is part of an English website.

Temple Fade - see fade above.

TH Flattop and TH Clipper - see horseshoe flattop above.

Thinning Shears - scissors that are used to thin hair out. Instead of having two flat blades, like regular scissors, thinning shears have matching sets of "teeth" with gaps between them. When used to cut hair, some of the hair gets between the teeth of the shears and is cut, but most of the hair falls in the gaps between the teeth and is not cut. This allows some of the hairs to be cut short and other hairs to remain at the full length of the style. With some of the hairs cut short, this thins out the hair.

Under Cut - this cut is much like a bowl cut except the ridge of the bowl is not where the cuttings ends. The ridge of the bowl is lifted so the hair is clipper cut further up the side of the head an additional one to two inches. This allows the head to be shaken and the bowl look will always return to its regular shape. The sides may either be "white-walled" or cut to 1/8" length. The bottom of the back may be either faded or square cut.

An under cut differs from the bowl cut by the fact that the hair in clipped one or two inches underneath the bowl. The reason that someone might select an undercut vs a bowl is that the undercut retains its shape better when the head is moved.

Wedge Cut - similar to a bowl cut, except that the hair below the weight line is tapered instead of all being cut to the one length. The taper may be quite gradual and may not be very short or clean cut. In fact, the hair may even cover the top of the ears. This is not specifically a cut done by a barber and may be worn by men or women.

Dorothy Hamill made the Wedge famous. This style was actually invented in a barber shop but adopted by Vidal Sassoon and his gang. Over the years the Dorothy Hamill wedge has been lost and more modern, less defined styles have taken the place of the original Hamill Wedge.

Whiffle Cut - Another name for the induction cut.

White Walls - a flattop haircut in which the back and sides of the head are shaved clean using lather and a razor (see the flattop definition above).


If the latest Hollywood and New York movie premiere scene is any indication of new male hair tends, longer strands, sideburns, beards and mustaches appear to be making a big comeback for late 2005 and into 2007.

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