Ask Rogelio – Hair Clippers, Hairstyle & Curly Hair

Today, Rogelio answers a question from a curly dude on hair clippers and the High and Tight hairstyle for kinky hair (Type IV). The High and Tight hairstyle is a superb hairstyle requiring a minimal haircut and suiting men with all kinds of curls!

 

First of all Rogelio, you’re a legend dude! Thanks for having a website like Manly Curls, my mates and I have been following this blog for quite some time as we coincidentally all have curly hair (different types though, we are quite a varied bunch). 

I read your article on the high & tight hairstyle and it motivated me to get one done. I too have kinks for my hair so I thought this would be a good hairstyle to change my image and sure it did. I have one centimeter of my Type IV curls on the top and the rest is shaved, so far I really am liking it and I have had positive comments with this change of hairstyle.

I forgot to ask the barber what length he used with the clipper and having read more on hair clippers, I would like to ask you about the lengths that are used. What does a #2 mean, for example and how are they used? I would like to buy a hair clipper for myself to maintain my high & tight, I just hope my barber doesn’t notice my decrease in visits!!

Thank you for replying.

Dedrick (Manchester, UK)

 

Dear Dedrick,

I am glad my High and Tight hairstyle article helped you get yourself a cool hairstyle that suits your curly type and image. After all, curly hair should be regarded as an asset to one’s image so make the most of it while you can!

With regards to your question, hair clippers are powerful versions of electric shaving razors. They work and look very similar, with hair clippers being bigger in size and allowing for more available clipping lengths. I own several of them as I have played around for years with hairstyles for my coils and kinks and hair clippers are great for giving yourself some cool hairstyles.

 

A hair clipper which can be used for men with curly and kinky hair
Hair clippers are a must for curly men who desire flexibility when it comes to their hairstyles and haircuts

Source: Wikipedia

 

Hair clippers use different lengths (known as guards) to clip the hair. These clipper guards are numbered in intervals of 1/8 of an inch as follows:

#1 Guard Length: 1/8 inch (3.2 millimeters)

#2 Guard Length: 1/4 inch (6.3 millimeters)

#3 Guard Length: 3/8 inch (9 millimeters)

#4 Guard Length: 1/2 inch (12.5 millimeters)

Be aware that the specific lengths may differ slightly between brands but the above is a guide that most manufacturers abide by.

There is also a #0 for guard length which is the length between a #1 and a shave. The #0 is equivalent to about 1/20 of an inch (1 millimeter aproximately) and will leave a stubble-like hair length. There is even smaller lengths than the #0 but these tend to be only in professional hair clippers and are only valuable for very specific haircuts for the most part.

My advice is to go with a quality hair clipper that has a guard length range between, at least, #0 to #4. Purchase your hair clipper regarding it as an investment for the cheaper versions break down and overheat very fast (overheating in hair clippers is a common problem). A good quality hair clipper will be extremely useful for your High and Tight hairstyle and will be of special use when it comes to retouching the haircut or changing to other hairstyles. Likewise, good quality hair clippers will last you years and don’t have the issue of overheating.

As I explained in my article on the High and Tight, if you want to do your sides and back with a guard length lower than a #2, make sure you build up a skin tone on the sides and back of your head which simulates the one in your face. You do this via initially clipping to a #2 and holding it there for 3 or 4 weeks so as to ensure your scalp tans to the same skin tone as your face. After the stipulated 3-4 weeks of sporting a #2, proceed to go with a #0 or #1 (or even shave) on the sides and back of your head as by now the contrast of your face’s skin tone and the sides and back of the head will be minimal.

The High and Tight hairstyle is a great style for men with curly hair and it is one of my favorites; I have sported it throughout different times of my life and all it required was mastering the use of the hair clipper and suitable guards. In fact, if I were to cut my shoulder length curly hair, I would probably opt for the High and Tight. Once you feel comfortable enough with the haircut required for the High and Tight, you can move it a step up and go for the High and Tight Recon hairstyle which is an extreme form of the High and Tight and for which all you need is a good quality hair clipper (no scissors involved). Whatever you do though, just keep those curls rocking!

All the best.

Rogelio

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Rogelio

Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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3 comments for “Ask Rogelio – Hair Clippers, Hairstyle & Curly Hair

  1. muško brijanje
    June 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

    You can save a bundle by becoming your own family barber with a do-it-yourself hair clipper. The best models are virtually identical to those used in barber shops and salons, while cheaper clippers are fine for occasional trims.

  2. Joshua Mendes
    May 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I always wondered what the numbers were too. I normally ask the barber for a number 3 but wasn’t aware of what it meant in length terms.
    Cheers from Melbourne

    • Rogelio
      May 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Glad it was of use to you Joshua, the more you know the better, even if it is trivial stuff as this is!

      All the best.

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