A 4 on the sides haircut is a popular and simple hairstyle that involves cutting the hair on the sides of the head to a length of 13mm. This hairstyle is versatile and can be customized to suit different face shapes and hair types.
In this article, we will explore the history and benefits of this popular haircut, provide some examples of how it can be styled, and offer tips on how to ask your barber for a 4 on the sides haircut.
What is a 4 on the sides haircut?
A 4 on the sides haircut is a basic hairstyle where the sides and back of the head are cut to a length of 13mm. This number 4 clipper guard creates a half-inch of hair length, giving a neat and polished look.
Men who prefer a professional or conservative appearance often choose this style. It differs from other haircuts, particularly those with shorter or longer sides and back.
History of the 4 on the sides haircut
The 4 on the sides haircut, also known as the number 4 haircut, has been around for decades. The hairstyle has its roots in military grooming standards, which required a neat and conventional look.
The number 4 haircut was a popular choice as it offered a clean and low-maintenance look while still adhering to these standards.
Over time, the number 4 haircut found its way into civilian life and has become a staple of men’s grooming. The hairstyle gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to iconic figures like Elvis Presley and James Dean who made the style famous.
Today, the 4 on the sides haircut has evolved to include variations like the tapered cut, undercut, and fade. Barbers now use clippers to give the sides and back of the head a uniform length while leaving the top slightly longer for styling versatility.
This versatile and classic hairstyle continues to be in demand by men who want a professional and clean-cut look.
Examples of 4 on the sides haircuts
1. Classic slick back with a 4 on the sides
The classic slick back with a 4 on the sides is a timeless and elegant style that is perfect for formal occasions. The hair on the top is left longer and is styled back with a pomade or gel, while the sides are trimmed to a length of 13mm.
This creates a sleek and polished look that exudes sophistication.
2. Messy textured hair with a 4 on the sides
The messy textured hair with a 4 on the sides is a modern and edgy look that works well for casual occasions. The hair on the top is styled in a messy and tousled way, while the sides are buzzed to a length of 13mm.
This creates a contrast between the textured top and the clean sides, resulting in a stylish and youthful appearance.
3. Undercut with a 4 on the sides
The undercut with a 4 on the sides is a daring and bold haircut that requires confidence and attitude to pull off. The hair on the top is left longer and is styled in a variety of ways, while the sides and back are shaved to a length of 13mm.
This creates a dramatic contrast between the long top and the short sides, resulting in a striking and eye-catching appearance.
Benefits of the 4 on the sides haircut
The 4 on the sides haircut is a versatile hairstyle that can be adapted to different styles and preferences. It can be maintained as a slicked-back style for a professional look or can be styled with a messy top for a casual look.
This haircut can also be paired with different facial hair styles to enhance its versatility.
The understated and conservative nature of this haircut appeals to certain personalities and professions. It can portray a clean and well-groomed image that is perfect for those in the corporate world.
With the 4 on the sides haircut, men can look professional and mature without being too flashy or over the top.
3. Complements longer hairstyles
The 4 on the sides haircut can work well in combination with other haircuts, such as a comb-over or a messy top. By keeping the sides short, it complements the longer hair on top and adds definition to the overall hairstyle.
This combination can give a more youthful and trendy look while still maintaining a level of sophistication.
How to ask for a 4 on the sides haircut
1. Tips for communicating with your barber
If you are planning to get a 4 on the sides haircut, it is essential to communicate effectively with your barber to ensure you get your desired style. Instead of just using words, show your barber pictures of the specific style you want.
Also, consider the difference between a cut and a style, and try to use the correct terminologies. Forget the number system but understand your hair type and what will work best for it.
2. How to prepare for your haircut
Before you head to the barber shop, make sure you groom your hair. It will make it easier for the barber to work with your hair.
If possible, wash your hair the night before your appointment. Also, wear something comfortable as you may be there for some time.
Finally, bring a photo of your desired style or any other necessary information your barber might need.
DIY guide: How to do a 4 on the sides haircut at home
1. Required tools and materials
To achieve a 4 on the sides haircut at home, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Large mirror
2. Step-by-step instructions
Follow these simple steps to achieve a professional-looking 4 on the sides haircut:
Step 1: Prepare your tools
Make sure your clippers are fully charged, your scissors are sharp, and your comb is clean and free of debris.
Step 2: Set your clippers to 4
Attach the appropriate guard to your clippers and set it to 4, which is equivalent to a 13mm length.
Step 3: Cut the sides and back
Start with the sides and work your way around to the back. Use your clippers to trim the hair to a uniform 4-length all around.
Try to keep the clippers level and avoid pressing too hard, as this can result in an uneven cut.
Step 4: Blend the sides and back
Switch to your scissors and comb and blend the shorter hair on the sides and back with the longer hair on top. Use the scissors to carefully snip away any visible lines or gaps in the hair.
Step 5: Style as desired
Apply your favorite styling product to the hair on top and style as desired.
With these simple steps, you can achieve a professional-looking 4 on the sides haircut right at home.
The 4 on the sides haircut is a versatile and subtle style that complements most face shapes without altering head shape. It is in high demand by men who want to look professional, conservative, and understated.
When communicating with your barber, use the correct terminologies to ensure you get the exact style you want. If you want to cut your own hair, use the correct tools, aim longer, chop vertically, and twist hair to cut your own bangs.
The number 4 on the sides is also ideal for fourth-grade girls who want a pretty and simple hairstyle for their return to school. Overall, the 4 on the sides haircut is an easy-to-manage style that offers a range of benefits, and understanding your hair can help you decide whether it’s the right fit for you.