Because a Caesar cut in Topeka can vary an inch or two in length from a Caesar cut in the Bronx.

The right terms that work in any shop:


High, mid, or low fade: This refers to how high above the ear the shortest part of the fade will extend before graduating in length. The higher the fade, the more severe the transition.
Skin fade: The sides of your head start at shaved (the lowest setting on your barber’s clippers), with the length gradually increasing as you go up. If you want to start with more length, ask for a guard (see below) and for him to fade up from there.


The lower the number of the guard, the shorter the hair.

One: One-eighth of an inch of hair is left on your head—which is down to just that sandpaper feeling.

Three: Three-eighths of an inch of hair is left on your head. Usually what the barber will use if you ask for “short, but not too short.”


Connected (or blended): The length on the sides blends smoothly into the top where your head begins to round off.

Disconnected: The sides are shaved or faded without any blending into the length up top, creating a drastic overhang of longer hair. If you like to sweep hair to the side or back and have a little more length to play with near the front, ask for just a slight disconnection.


Tapered, natural, or faded: All interchangeable ways of saying you want the hair to gradually get shorter down the nape of your neck. Preferred for shorter cuts.

Square: Good for longer cuts. The length at your nape is squared off and stays only as short as the rest of the hair on the sides.

Rounded: Like a square neck but the corners of the neck line are lopped off for a more traditional, preppy look.