Q: What exactly kind of cut does Denzel Washington use, specifically in movies like “John Q” and “Déjà vu”? How is it done and
what lengths do you suppose he uses (i.e. level 1, level 2, etc.)? What does a barber refer to in terms of inches when saying a level 1, level 2, etc. type level of hair?
A: In the films “John Q” and “Déjà vu” Mr. Washington seems to be sporting a standard man’s clipper cut, tapering from a length of
approximately one inch at the top and crown area and decreasing as you move downward to the perimeter on the sides and at the nape of
the neck. It should also be noted that his hair appears to have been treated with a mild relaxer to create a gentle waving pattern and
texture in the look of the hair.
With clipper cutting the hair, the lengths created by the various attachments and guides can vary
somewhat, but follow a general pattern. In most barber shops, a clipper cut length is generally referred to by the number of the
attachment used (thereby indicating a particular length of the hair after it has been cut). Here are the basic lengths designated for
a WAHL model clipper and its attachments:
• #0 (no attachment) – 1/100 inch
• #1 – 1/8 inch
• #2 – ¼ inch
• #3 – 3/8 inch
• #4 – ½ inch
• #7 – 7/8 inch
• #8 – 1 inch
There are also #5 and #6 attachments which are specially designed tapering tools. These attachments
don’t create an even length and are generally only used for blending the lengths of shorter clipper-cut hair.
As mentioned before, different manufacturers of hair clippers have slightly varying lengths
associated with their attachments. Some companies offer a smaller selection of clipper attachments that span a shorter range of
lengths, while others may offer a full range of lengths in 1/8th or even 1/16th inch increments. To be certain of the specific length
of your hair, you need to know the specifications of the clipper manufacturer.