2023 Guide: 3 on the Sides Haircut Trends & Styles

The 3 on the sides haircut, also known as a fade, has gained popularity in recent years, thanks in part to its low-maintenance nature and ability to make the face appear more defined. This haircut involves using clippers that are 3/8 inch long on the sides, resulting in a short, clean, and stylish look.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 3 on the sides haircut and how to get it.

Are you tired of the same boring haircut? Check out this Youtube video: “Number 3 on SIDES ONLY Haircut” and learn how to spice things up with a stylish and trendy 3 on the sides haircut.

What is the 3 on the sides haircut?

The 3 on the sides haircut is a popular hairstyle for men that involves using a clipper guard size that is 3/8 inch long to trim the hair on the sides of the head. The haircut leaves the hair short but not as short as a buzz cut, and can be used as a fade or the back and sides can be tapered to different lengths depending on the desired style.

It provides a low-maintenance look that can be easily styled without requiring too much time or effort.

One of the best things about the 3 on the sides haircut is how versatile it is. It can be combined with a variety of different haircuts, such as a slicked back top, a messy fringe, or a textured crop.

This means that it can work with a range of face shapes, hair types, and personal styles. It’s also a great haircut for summer or warmer months as it helps keep hair cool and reduces the chances of overheating.

Overall, the 3 on the sides haircut is a classic look that has stood the test of time. It’s a great choice for men who want a stylish, low-maintenance haircut that can be customized to suit their look and lifestyle.

Keep in mind that the 3 on the sides haircut is best achieved by a professional stylist, so it’s recommended to visit a barbershop or salon for this service.

Top 3 on the sides haircut styles

The Classic Side Part

The number 3 on the sides is a perfect clipper setting for the classic side part hairstyle. This is a popular men‘s haircut that features a clean, sharp part on one side of the head, with the top hair combed over to the other side.

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This look is both professional and sophisticated and is suitable for all face shapes and hair types.

Classic Side Part

The Undercut

The number 3 on the sides is also a common choice for the undercut, which features short sides and a longer top. This versatile style can be worn in many ways, from slicked back to messy and textured.

The undercut is a bold and trendy choice and is favored by men who are looking for a minimalistic but edgy look.

The Undercut

The Textured Crop

The textured crop is a modern, low-maintenance hairstyle that is perfect for men who want a short but stylish cut. The number 3 on the sides provides the perfect blend with the longer textured top, creating a natural-looking transition.

This style works well with all hair types and face shapes and can be easily personalized with a fringe or other finishing touches.

The Textured Crop

How to get the 3 on the sides haircut?

DIY Route

If you want to do the 3 on the sides haircut yourself, it’s important to have the right tools. You will need a set of clippers, a handheld mirror, a regular mirror, and a comb.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for getting the 3 on the sides haircut:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair.
  2. Attach the #3 guard to your clippers.
  3. Begin at the bottom of your head and move the clippers upwards, stopping at the point where you want the fade to end. Be sure to create a straight line around the head using a comb and scissors, if necessary.
  4. Use the comb to blend the hair on the sides to the top of your head.
  5. Repeat on the other side of your head.
  6. Use a handheld mirror and a regular mirror to check the back of your head.
  7. Make any necessary adjustments and touch-ups.
  8. Clean up around the ears and neckline using the clippers and scissors.
  9. Style the remaining hair on top of your head as desired.
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Barber Shop Route

If you want to get a 3 on the sides haircut from a barber, it’s important to communicate clearly about what you want. Here are some tips for achieving the perfect cut:

  • Show your barber a picture of the style you want.
  • Be clear about how high you want the fade to go and where you want it to end.
  • Communicate how much hair you want taken off the top of your head.
  • Ask questions and give feedback throughout the cut to ensure you are happy with the result.

Remember, a good barber will be able to tailor the cut to your specific hair type and face shape, so don’t be afraid to ask for their professional opinion.

How to style and maintain the 3 on the sides haircut?

Product Recommendations

To maintain a perfect 3 on the sides haircut, you will need to invest in some high-quality grooming products. Here are some recommended products that can help you style and maintain your haircut:

  • A high-quality clipper to maintain the perfect length of the haircut
  • A hair styling product like pomade or wax to style hair on top
  • A hairbrush or a comb to style the hair on top
  • A dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and to make the hair look fresh between washes

Maintenance Tips

Here are some tips to keep your 3 on the sides haircut looking great for weeks:

  • Visit your barber every 3-4 weeks to maintain the length of your haircut
  • Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo every 2-3 days to keep it clean and healthy
  • Use a conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and smooth
  • Apply a styling product to damp hair, then style it with a brush or comb
  • Blow dry your hair on a cool setting to set the style and to add volume
  • Use a dry shampoo on the roots of your hair to absorb excess oil and sweat between washes

The Dos and Don’ts of the 3 on the sides haircut

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One major mistake to avoid when getting a 3 on the sides haircut is to not communicate with your barber properly. Make sure to clearly communicate the length and style you want, using descriptive phrases or pictures as necessary.

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Additionally, avoid DIY haircuts or going to an inexperienced barber. The 3 on the sides is a popular haircut, so it’s best to seek out a professional who has experience with this style.

Another mistake to avoid is choosing a 3 on the sides haircut that does not match your face shape or hair texture. It’s important to consider what will flatter and enhance your natural features, and to ask your barber for recommendations if unsure.

Tips to Enhance Your Haircut

To enhance your 3 on the sides haircut, try adding some texture or volume to the hair on the top of your head. This can be achieved with a styling product like a pomade or texturizing spray, and can create a more dynamic and interesting overall look.

Another tip is to regularly maintain the length of your haircut, as the 3 on the sides can quickly grow out and lose its shape. Schedule regular appointments with your barber to keep the length looking fresh.

Finally, experiment with different variations of the 3 on the sides to find the perfect style for you. Try incorporating an undercut, fade, or hard part to add some edge and personality to your haircut.


The 3 on the sides haircut is a versatile and stylish choice for men of all ages and hair types. With the right cut, styling products, and maintenance routine, it can be the perfect hairstyle for any occasion.

Whether you’re going for a classic or modern look, the number 3 clipper guard provides just the right amount of length on the sides and back, while still allowing for creativity on the top. To keep your 3 on the sides haircut looking sharp, be sure to visit your stylist regularly and invest in quality hair care products.

With a little effort, you can rock this trendy and timeless haircut with confidence.


Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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