Denzel Washington's Clipper Cut

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington - Photos by PR Photos
Q: What exactly kind of cut does Denzel Washington wear, 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
Clipper cutting hair at the nape of the neck
Clipper cutting - Photo: Hurricanehank/Shutterstock
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.
See also:
Clipper cutting techniques
Hair straightening and relaxing Q&A