Short Back and Sides: 10 Ways to Wear the Barber’s Cut

Short back and sides basically make up the description of the classic Filipino haircut, the Barber's Cut. But do you know what kind you're getting?

Short back and sides make up the quintessential men’s haircut. It’s a description that all barbers can create for their clients, so much so that, to Filipinos, it’s simply called the Barber’s Cut.

The Barber’s Cut Filipino Style is defined by the “2×3,” or the practice of taking off two fingers’ worth of hair on the sides and three fingers’ worth on the back. Sound familiar? It’s basically the short back and sides haircut.

short back and sides barber's cut
The Barber’s Cut can take many shapes and forms. Credit: Shutterstock

Then again, so are these other popular men’s hairstyles. In an ideal world, we would leave it up to the barber to take care of our hair. Since we can’t all be so lucky, find out for yourself which short back and sides haircut you actually want to get when you ask for that Barber’s Cut!

1. Pompadour

Asian man with barber's cut and pompadour hairstyle wearing a white polo
Wear this versatile look from day ’til night. Credit: Dennie Ramon

The pompadour features a great volume of hair, known as the pomp, on its top, but is made up of the fundamental short back and sides. These two hairstyles are complementary, thanks to contrasting hair textures, hair lengths, and hair heights to create a balance of sleekness and funk.

Editor’s Tip: Nail your pompadour by styling it using Axe Ice Chill Pomade. It gives you maximum control over your hair so you can create different looks, yet it’s easy to wash off at the end of the day.

2. Side Part

Asian man with short hair smiling and touching his hair
You can create a sleek, side-part hairstyle with hair gel or pomade. Credit: Dennie Ramon

Having a short back and sides is the foundation of the side part hairstyle. It looks good on almost all face shapes, too, so you can try this if you’re not sure how to style your barber’s cut.

3. Military Cut

Asian man with a buzz cut smiling and wearing a blue shirt
This type of barber’s cut needs no styling anymore. Credit: Shutterstock

The military cut is also sometimes called the buzz cut, which is a prime example of a short and back sides haircut. For a modern take, keep the top just an inch—or even a finger—longer than the usual buzz cut. Depending on your face shape, the buzz cut can highlight your features or complement some aspects with its height—or lack thereof.

Editor’s Tip: While the military cut is maintenance-free, improper hair care can lead to dandruff that will show up as crusty white flakes on your scalp. Prevent dandruff by using CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men to activate your scalp’s natural protective layer and keep it fresh all day.

4. Mohawk with Fade

Filipino man with a blonde mohawk fade barber's cut facing the side
Make barber’s cut trendy by going for a mohawk with fade. Credit: Michelle Pedron

Update a regular barber’s cut and try the mohawk with fade. This haircut features a thick top and short sides that are shaved or faded. You can go for a taper fade as well for a more dramatic look. Then, give this haircut more personality by coloring the top section with any of the best hair colors for men.

5. Square Cut

Asian man with a square barber's cut wearing a dark blue jacket
You can style your square haircut the messy way. Credit: Hariono Halim

Also known as the flair or shape up hairstyle, the square cut involves a straight line on top as well as the sides and back. It’s a simple and clean haircut that you can wear every day no matter the occasion. If you want to spice it up, you can grow the top a bit longer and style your hair in different ways, one of which is a messy, textured hairstyle.

6. French Crop

Asian man with a French crop barber's cut hair wearing a pink sweater
Add texture to your French crop to make it hip and edgy. Credit: Panadda Suwanjundee

Not everyone knows about the French Crop but barbers who keep themselves updated with styling know what you mean when you say this hairstyle. The French Crop is characterized by a fringe that sits on the front part of your hair. To make this look modern, you can ask your barber to do the tapered haircut to the rest of your hair.

7. Crew Cut

Filipino man with a crew cut wearing a brown polo shirt
The crew cut is one of the easiest looks to maintain. Credit: Jisa Atrero

Aside from being a popular barber’s haircut, the crew cut is also the one with the cleanest finish. With its tapered sides and longer hair at the top, which is great for styling, this haircut looks absolutely amazing on almost anybody. If you’re unsure of what haircut you want to get, try the crew cut.

8. Curly Short Hair

Asian man with curly hair wearing a dark blue polo
Although the front part is long, the sides and back are kept short. Credit: Hariono Halim

You can most certainly wear a barber’s cut for curly hair! You can wear the top longer than the sides so you can showcase your curls. Plus, you can also style it according to how you want it, but messy and defined curls are the best options.

Editor’s tip: A nice barber’s haircut is not the only way to achieve a great look. Equally important is having healthy, dandruff-free hair. That’s why it’s important to keep your mane healthy and clean by using CLEAR Deep Cleanse Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men to remove trapped dirt or grease from your scalp and protect your hair from dandruff.

9. Comb Over

Asian guy is wearing a blue sweater over his shirt and is slightly holding his cuffs as he smiles at the camera
Look handsome with the fade haircut. Credit: Natasha Estelle

The comb over hairstyle is a classic hairstyle for men because it suits almost any occasion and it never goes out of style. To style your barber’s cut this way, apply pomade, hair gel, or putty to your hair. Then, comb your hair either to the side or to the back. That’s it!

10. Spiky

Filipino man with short hair wearing a blue shirt
Add a bit of fun to your casual look by creating a spiky hairstyle. Credit: Michelle Pedron

You must have already heard or seen the spiky haircut. It was definitely a trend in the ’90s but this classic barber’s haircut never gets old! In fact, you can wear one now and you’ll look fab! The great thing about the spiky hair is that it makes you look younger, especially if you style it messy!

The barber’s cut is really nice and it is actually one of our fave men’s haircuts. But just like any haircut, you also need to maintain it. Don’t worry, though, as there are easy ways on how you can keep your barber’s cut look great. Here they are.

1. Choose the right styling tools

short back and sides: Asian guy is brushing his hair while one hand is on the side of his head
Brushing your hair regularly has its benefits. Credit: Hariono Halim

Maintaining your haircut isn’t always easy. In fact, you might have to invest in a few tools that can help you style and take care of your hair. For instance, you need to use a flat hairbrush when brushing your hair to remove tangles and promote good blood circulation in your scalp. However, you should use a wide-toothed comb when your hair is wet so as not to cause hair breakage.

Editor’s tip: Dealing with hair fall? Switch to CLEAR Anti-Hairfall Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men. Thanks to its Ginseng Strength Technology, your hair gets stronger while being protected from dandruff at the same time. 

2. Condition your hair

Asian guy is looking at the camera while his head is slightly tilted.
Hair conditioning is a must for men, too. Credit: Natasha Estelle

It’s not vanity when you use conditioner on your hair. It’s called taking care of it. Use a conditioner that is specifically designed for men’s hair because men and women’s hair have different needs. Conditioners nourish your hair and help keep it healthy and shiny.

3. Apply the right hair products

Asian man smiling and touching his hair
The right styling products can make or break your ‘do. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Familiarize yourself with the common styling products for men, like hair putty and gel. They help keep your hair in place or style them according to your preference. This way, you can experiment with different ways on how to style a barber’s cut.

4. Give your hair a day off

short back and sides: guy has one hand on his hair and he is smiling not directly at the camera
The barber’s cut is a clean cut. Credit: Hariono Halim

Even your hair deserves a break from styling and from various hair products. If you’re just staying home during the weekend, wear your hair au naturel so it doesn’t get stressed from all the styling that you usually do.

Now that you have these ideas on how to wear short back and sides, you can specify what you want when you ask for a barber’s cut. Bookmark this page so you can show it to your stylist on your next trip to the salon.

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