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In this article, we will be discussing the 3 on the sides haircut, a short and sweet style that can be styled in a variety of ways and can be worn by anyone.
There are many choices for the 3 on the sides haircut. You can choose to have short or long hair on top, and either fade the sides or go for a disconnected look. So, if you’re looking for a versatile haircut that you can style in many different ways, the 3 on the sides haircut is a great option.
If you want to know everything about the 3 on the sides haircut and see some amazing variations of this trendy hairstyle, read on!
Table of Contents
What is A 3 on the sides haircut?
The 3 on the sides haircut is a haircut where you trim the sides and back of your hair with the number 3 clipper guard to 10mm (3/8 inch). The result is short but not completely shaved hair on the sides and back. With the top hair, you can do anything you like, and this is why I told you it can be styled in many ways.
If you want a bolder look, you can leave the top longer and style it into a quiff, pompadour, or comb-over. If you want to keep things simpler, you can go for a short length all over.
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What does the 3 on the sides haircut look like?
Now that we have covered the technicalities of the 3 on the sides haircut let’s take a look at a picture to get an idea of what this haircut looks like.
This photo shows a guy with a 3 on the sides with wavy hair on top. As you can see, the sides have been buzzed short with a number 3 clipper guard, and the top has been left longer. This gives him a relaxed look that is perfect for men who don’t want to have to worry about their hair.
Related Article: 5 On The Sides Haircut: Styles, Length, and More [With Photos]
Top 3 on the side haircut styles
If you want to see some more examples of 3 on the sides haircut, then check out the following haircut styles:
3 on the sides all over
This haircut is actually a buzz cut with the number 3 clipper guard all over, and it’s ideal for guys who want a low-maintenance but stylish look.
We have chosen to start with this hairstyle because it is a great low-maintenance option for guys who want a 3 on the sides haircut. With this buzz-cut hairstyle, all of your hair will be at the same length giving you a super simple look that is easy to style and doesn’t require any special products.
Related Article: Buzzcut Lengths
3 on the sides with 4 on top
This is another look for guys who want a low-maintenance hairstyle but with some height on top. In this style, the sides are buzzed short with a number 3 clipper guard, and the top is trimmed with a number 4 clipper guard to half an inch.
This simple and minimalistic hairstyle is perfect for guys who don’t want to spend a lot of time styling their hair because the hair on top will be so short that you won’t be able to style it even if you wanted to.
3 on the sides with a quiff
This is a more stylish and trendy version of 3 on the sides haircut. In this style, the sides are trimmed with a number 3 clipper guard, and the top is left longer to allow you to style it into a quiff.
This is a great choice for guys who like to experiment with their hairstyle and want a stylish and trendy look.
The only “downside” of this hairstyle is that it will require some styling time in the morning to achieve the quiff.
Related Article: 4 On The Sides Haircut: Everything You Need To Know [With Photos]
3 on the sides with a fade
If you are into fades, then this is the style for you. In this style, the fade starts with a lower number clipper and gradually blends into the number 3 length.
This is a great choice for guys who want a haircut with a bit of an edge.
You can choose any height from low, mid, or high fade; also, the hair on top can be styled in any way you want. So, as you can understand, we are not talking about just one style, but many different ones depending on your preferences.
Related Article: Number 3 Fade: Top Styles [With Photos], Length, and More
3 on the sides with a man bun
The man bun is a trendy hairstyle, and it looks great with the 3 on the sides. In this style, the sides are trimmed with a number 3 clipper guard, and the top is left long enough to be pulled into a man bun.
This is a perfect style if you want to rock the man bun but don’t like showing your scalp on the sides.
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How to get the 3 on the sides haircut?
In this section, we will show you how to get the 3 on the sides haircut. We will also give you some tips on how to style it.
First, I would like to recommend that if you are thinking about trying this haircut at home, go for a simple style like the 4 on top with 3 on the sides. This will be a good starting point because it is not too difficult to do and doesn’t require special skills or techniques.
If you want a more complex style like the quiff or the fade, I recommend going to a barber or a hairstylist. They will be able to give you the haircut you want and show you how to style it properly.
OK, now let’s get into the details of cutting the 3 on the sides haircut.
- Prepare your clippers
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your clippers. You will need a pair of clippers with the following guards:
– Number 3 guard
– Number 4 guard (optional)
If you don’t have a number 4 guard, then you can just use the number 3 guard all over. Just make sure to have a clean and fully charged pair of clippers before starting trimming.
- Start with clean and dry hair
It is always best to start with clean and dry hair. This will make it easier to see what you are doing and avoid any mistakes. So wash your hair and then towel dry it until it is damp.
- Start trimming the sides
Now it is time to start cutting the sides. Put the number 3 guard on your clippers and start cutting from the bottom up.
Be extra careful around the ears and take your time. You can move on to the top when you are done with the sides.
- Trim the top hair
I will only talk about the 4 on the top haircut, so consult a barber or hairstylist if you want a different style.
To do the 4 on top, put the number 4 guard on your clippers and start cutting your hair from the front to the back. Be careful around the temples and take your time.
- Finish with the details
After cutting the sides and the top, it is time to finish with the details. Look for any hair that may be longer than the others, and use your clippers to even them out. Finally, have someone to help you with the neckline because it can be tricky to do it yourself. You can use a template to achieve a clean and sharp look if there isn’t anyone around.
* Neckline templates are rubber bands that you can place around your neck to guide your clippers.
That’s it! You now know how to cut the 3 on the sides haircut. Just remember to take your time, be careful, and use sharp clippers for the best results.
Related Article: 1 To 2 Fade Haircut: 10 Different Styles With Photos
How to ask a barber for a 3 on the sides haircut?
If you want to get the 3 on the sides haircut but don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself, then you can always go to a barber.
When you are at the barbershop, you should not just tell the barber that you want a 3 on the sides haircut. As you know, this haircut has many variations, so you need to be very specific about what you want.
Here are some tips on how to ask your barber for the 3 on the sides haircut:
- Tell him exactly what to do with the sides and back of your hair. This is pretty straightforward; you just need to tell him whether you want a uniform length or a fade. If you go with a fade, tell him exactly how short you want it to be and at which height you want the transition to happen.
- Tell him exactly what to do with the top hair. Don’t just tell him to “leave the top longer.” You need to tell him exactly how long you want it to be and whether you want a uniform length or a gradient. The best way to do it is by showing him a photo of the haircut you want.
- Don’t forget about the details! When you tell your barber what to do with your hair, don’t forget that the little details can make a big difference. For example, tell him whether you want a hard or soft line on the sides, how you want your neckline to be, and if you want him to style the top hair with a product or not.
These are just a few tips to help you get the most out of your next barber visit. If you take the time to communicate your desired look and maintain open communication with your barber, you’ll surely walk out of the shop looking sharp!
Related Article: 1 On The Sides Haircut: Everything You Need To Know [With Photos]
This is everything you need to know about the 3 on the sides haircut. Just choose a style you like and experiment until you find the perfect one for you. And don’t forget if you visit your barber, be specific about what you want!
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.