Hair (= fur) is a protein filament that grows from follicles_ found in the skin. Hair is made of keratin, similar to nails_. Wool is a kind of hair.

A bristle is a stiff hair found on animals such as pigs.

Human hair grows on average? 6 inches a year.

Human hair is approximately 0.1mm in diameter.

Hair naturally sheds, forming dust.


1   Function

Hair protects the skin from ultraviolet rays.

Hair provides warmth. Wool can be woven to form clothing.

Humans have air in their ears and nose.

The hairs of Angora rabbits, sheep_, goats_, and camels are used to produce clothing.

Hair signals health and youth.

2   Grooming

2.2   Men's haircuts

Men should see a barber for their haircuts. A barber is a person who is trained to cut with clippers_, the main tool in cutting a man's hair. A cosmetologist is trained to use scissors, with an emphasis on women's hairs, including styling, coloring, and perming, which men do not need. [2] Additionally, barbers are usually interesting people with interesting stories to tell. [2]

If you form a relationship with your barber, you can rely on your barber to get a consistent, sharp haircut every visit. This enables you to go in for a trim before a job interview or date without gambling on your appearance.

If you aren't happy with your current barber situation, ask people you know for recommendations, especially men who always seem to have good haircuts. [3]

Barbers without experience or confidence will do exactly what the client says, even if what the client asks for will look bad. A good barber will take his appearance seriously, i.e. be well-groomed, because he is in the image of helping men with personal and professional image. [3] A good barber will ask questions like "What do you like about your hair?", "What don't you like", "Do you want to change your style?". Good barbers will ask for your feedback during the haircut to prevent any disasters. Bad barbers won't ask until they swivel you around to look in the mirror, but by then it's too late.


  • Tell your barber exactly how much you want taken off. If you are vague, the barber may cut it too short or leave it too long. If you don't know exactly how much you want taken off, let your barber know you don't know.
  • If you use clippers, memorize the numbers of the guards you use.

A fade is ...

A taper only is sideburns (top of ear) and neckline blended into the rest. [4]

A fade goes all the way around the head. [4] When doing a fade, create a multiple "guideline".

A taper is a gradual change in hair length from the top of the head down to the nape of the neck. The length of the taper can vary; you can have a long taper or a short taper. Except for buzz cuts, most men's haircuts involve a taper. [1]

A neckline (or nape) is a style for hair around the back of the neck. There are three options: blocked, rounded, and tapered. [1]

A straight line across the natural neckline. A blocked nape can give the appearance of a wider neck. Block napes will appear untidy as the hair underneath the neckline grow out, and require weekly trimming. [1]
A rounded neckline takes the corners off a blocked nape finish. It has similar properties. [1]
A tapered neckline follows the natural neckline and gradually shortens the hair as it gets closer to the bottom of the neckline. As hair grows out, the neckline remains blended and neat. [1]


An arch is the space between your hairline and you ears. There are two ways to trim arches: a high arch and a natural arch. A high arch is an arch with space between your hairline and ears. It can make ears appear larger, but will look messy as hair grows out. A natural arch is just short trimming. [1]

Sideburns can be trimmed to one of three lengths: top of the ear, mid-ear, or bottom of the ear. [1]


Barbers use point cutting to achieve choppy hair. This involves picking up the hair at different lengths and cutting it at a 45 degree angle. This adds volume. [1]
Longer hair resting on top of shorter hair creates layers. Layers can create depth. [1]
A barber razors hair by using a straight razor to the trim the ends instead of scissors. This helps diminish bulk. [1]
Thinned out
If you have tick hair, ask the barber to use thinning shears to take out some volume. Men with normal hair thickness will be okay getting hair thinned out every other visit to the barbershop. [1]

After you've told your barber what you want, listen to your barber's suggestions. Your relationship with your barber should be a two-way street. A good barber will ask you if you're happy with how your hair looks as he goes along. [1]


Clipper guard number is roughly the multiple of 1/8 the length of hair on the head.

Taper starts at short hair while fade stars at skin.

3   History

The 1880s to the 1940s were the golden age for barbershops. During this time, men socialized in all-male hangouts, and barbershops rivaled saloons in popularity. Visiting the barbershop was a weekly, and sometimes daily habit. Men would stop in not only for a haircut and a shave, but also to fraternize with friends. [2]

During this golden age, barbershops were classy places with often stunning surroundings. Marble counters were lined with colorful glass-blown tonic bottles. The barber chairs were elaborately carved from oak and walnut, and fitted with fine leather upholstery. Everything from the shaving mugs to the advertising signs were rendered with an artistic flourish. [2]

The first blow to barbershops came in 1904 when Gillette began mass marketing the safety razor. Their advertisements touted the razor as more economical and convenient than visiting the barbershop. The use of safety razors caught on, and during World War I, the US government issued them along with straight razors to the troops. Having compared the two razors size by side, upon returning home from the front many soldiers discarded both the straight razor and their frequent trips to the barbershop. Going to the barber for a shave became a special occasion instead of a regular habit. [2]

In the decades after WWI, several other factors combined to weaken the place of the barbershop in society. Companies like Sears began selling at-home haircutting kits, and mom began cutting Junior’s and Pop’s hair. Then the Depression hit, and people cut back on discretionary spending like barber shaves. [2] Then in the 1960s pop and hippie culture seized the country, and hairstyles began to change. Men started to grow their hair longer and shaggier, and their visits to the barber became infrequent or non-existent. [2]

Even when short hair came back into style during the 1980s, men did not return in large numbers to the barbershop. Instead, a new type of hairdresser siphoned off the barbers’ former customers: the unisex salon. Places like "SuperCuts" which were neither beauty salons nor barbershops, catered to both men and women. [2]

Blond hair in humans developed only 11,000 years ago as an evolutionary response to the lack of sunlight in Northern Europe to enable more Vitamin D synthesis.

4   Products


The two main characteristics of hair products are hold and shine (= finish).

How flexible one's hair is after applying the product. A product with high hold keeps hair stiffer and in place.
The appearance of one's hair after the product is applied. High shine means hair will appear glossy or wet. Low shine (= matte finish) will appear as if no product is in your hair at all.

The main types of product are gel, wax, paste, pomade, clay, and cream.

Hold Shine Low Medium High
Low Cream    
Medium   Wax, paste, pomade Pomade
High Clay   Gel
Applied to damp hair.
High shine, medium hold. Creates a "slick" look. It comes in two-basic categories: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based pomades can clog the pores and are often difficult to wash out of your hair.

5   Further reading

6   References

[1](1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) Brett McKay. Augst 25, 2010. Get the Perfect Haircut: How to Talk to Your Barber.
[2](1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Brett McKay. May 20, 2008. Why Every Man Should Go to a Barbershop.
[3](1, 2) Brett McKay. May 27, 2018. How to Pick a Barber.
[4](1, 2) Andy Tran. 2018-09-10. Fade vs Taper. What's the Difference?
[5]Faheem Alexander. 2020-04-13. How to Cut 12 Types of Fade Haircuts.

9/1 - Used a 3 and had scissors on top from Aveda Institute. Asked for buzzer on side and scissors on top. Hair on side was too long, and on top it was cut in a sort of mo-hawk style, debatably also too long. Paid $8. ?? - Asked for short on side and scissors on top, didn't like the end look-- top had too much Paid $12, think she used 3's on side. Need shorter sides I think, but she was clearly afraid I would look weird 11/4 - Fooled around with scissors. Accidentally took off too much, but learned a few things.

  • Top of head should be longer to short from front to back. - Ask for extra short on crown I think. (crown is top rear portion) - Thinning - "removal of some hair, usually on the top, to reduce thickness or volume"
  • My bangs of today reach my eyes. (One even in it.)
  • My sideburns should be lined up with the middle of my eye.
  • I think I want to try a tapered nape next time. - Tapered vs blocked - blocked means cutting the hair straight across in a definite line where the hairline meets the back of the neck (tha nape). Tapired means a gradual decrease. I think the back of my hair is too long, and definitely has always been block, so I want to try tapered.
  • A lane of scalp running parralel to side of head is called a "part". Usually, part is on the left side, but can be on right or middle.
  • Styles I like:
    • CAESAR CUT? (George Clooney)

11/?? - Been fooling around with the scissors more. Definitely look better with crown cut to reduce volume. Also have shaved sideburns to be at the very top of the ear, which I think looks good. Additionally, by accident, I cut the line along my face on the left and it looks interesting, though would require maintenance. 11/22 - Brad mentioned he gets a 1 on the sides and back, and was even thinking a 0 for the back 11/27 - Got a haircut today at Aveda with Cloe. Got a 1 on the sides and back, neckline thing kind of high (didn't get dimensions), asked only to reduce volume on top but keep length. Very happy. I'm curious how it would look if I went even shorter. Also, remember to ask for Student Discount. 12/2 - It's been a few days since my cut, and it's grown in really badly. First, the back looks kind of shitty because it's not tapered. There is just a discrete edge. Also, the sort of merging of the sides and top is all wrong. I also feel like she took off too much length. For next time: - Do not get top and side merged. Ask for a sort of discrete edge. - May be worth investing in my own buzzer. My hair grows too fast and the look absolutely needs the sides short. - Top of my hair needs to get longer. It's not obvious how to part it. 12/22 - Got my hair cut pretty similar to last time (1mm on sides, nothing on top). Looks good again. Note that until it was cut, my hair looked pretty bad, which puts the need for a cut from 6 weeks down to 3. May be worth purchasing a buzzer, though Brad indicated it is kind of hard to cut the back. Also, I recently started using conditioner to hold my hair in place. I think it is a good investment so long as I care about the people I am hanging out with. 3/25 - 1 on the sides, less volume on the top, _not blended_ (well, a little), and a little cut from the top.

Get a haircut at 8:00 A.M. You want to be the first appointment of the day. That’s when your barber or stylist is fresh, and by definition, can’t be backed up with other appointments that ran long.

[1]: "Hair cuts"

Try water based pomade for a Ralph Fiennes hairstyle.

Purchased "BluMaan Monarch Matte Paste" at the recommendation of my barber. It comes in a 2.5oz (74 ml) container and describes itself as "High Hold, Matte Finish".