Razored, Blocked, Tapered: The Haircut Terms You Need to Know

We’ve all been there. Your stylist says something like, “How would you like your neckline cut?” And your thought is, “Um. Ah. Err?” But with just a bit of knowledge of these basic haircut terms, you can help your stylist get the right cut for you.


Blocked:  For a blocked look, your stylist will cut a straight line across your natural neckline. The result should resemble a square block. Guys with skinny necks can benefit from a blocked neckline; it gives the appearance of a wider neck.


Choppy:  A choppy cut involves your stylist “point cutting” different lengths into your hair. This helps product to do its magic, and can help your hair look fuller.


Clipper:  The electric razor that the stylist may use to cut your hair.


Layers:  This cutting technique is used to remove varying amounts of hair weight or volume. Longer layers leave more weight in the hair, while short layers take more out. A side benefit for men: if your hair is thinning, layers can give the appearance of thicker hair.


Nape:  Simply, the back of your neck. The nape is where your neckline cut choice comes to life.


Notch:  Your notch (or “arch”) is the space between your ears and your hairline. It can be cut in two ways: high or natural. A higher cut over the ears can make small ears look bigger, and vice versa.


Razoring:  Using a straight razor to trim the ends of your hair instead of scissors (don’t try this at home) helps hair lay flat and reduces puffiness. This is especially beneficial for guys with curly hair.


Rounded:  A rounded neckline is basically a blocked neckline (see above) with the corners taken off, making for a more -- you guessed it -- rounded look.


Shears:  The scissors your stylist may use to cut your hair. There are a few types of specialized shears, including the thinning shears (see below).


Taper:  A haircut style where the hair gradually gets shorter the closer it gets to the neckline or sides. This term can refer to both necklines and the sides of the head. It’s also known as a “fade.” Most men’s cuts have some kind of taper.


Texture:  Many modern styles incorporate some kind of texture or layering. Getting the right texture means knowing your hair type. Is it really thick and voluminous? Your stylist can help you tame it by thinning it out. Have curly hair? Razoring the edges (see above) can make your morning routine a whole lot easier.


Thinned:  Thinning is for men and women with extra thick, bushy hair. Your stylist will use thinning shears to remove some of the volume from your hair.

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