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3 On The Sides Haircut: 16 Unbelievable Styling Ideas

The 3 on the sides haircuts focus mostly on keeping the laterals trimmed down to 10 mm, with a longer top.

And when we say an extended top, we mean anything that can cross your mind: comb-overs, dreadlocks, long curls, waves, or even braids.

The goal for this short trim that use a no. #3 clipper is to create contrast with the top and to draw all the attention to those strands however they’re styled.

Number 3 On The Sides Haircuts for Men

To discover the best ways you can style your hair with the number 3 haircut on the sides, use these examples!

1. Side Fade

haircut with 3 on the sides

The high side fade creates a smooth transition to the longer top with extended bangs. The fringe is lifted so it doesn’t touch the forehead, giving that section just a pinch of volume.

The hairstyle has a natural aspect, making the hair look unpolished and unstyled, but so damn cute. 

2. Wavy Man Bun

man bun with 3 on the sides

Even if you have long hair and an undercut, you can still look professional. If your hair is naturally wavy, you will want to highlight that texture.

Use a curling mousse and pin the hair in the back, in a bun. Make sure it’s not too tight so you can see the waves. 

3. Spiky Top

spiky hairstyle with 3 on the sides

Spiky tops do exactly what their names say: keep the crown hair lifted and in the center of attention.

The 3 clipper trim on the sides gives the look a formal and professional aspect, as does the short, groomed stubble beard. 

4. Long Top

curly hairstyle with 3 on the sides

If you want a number 3 on the sides haircut with a long top this messy hairstyle is perfect for you. The short sides and long top combined with a scruffy beard will provide you with a carefree vibe.

5. Electric Ginger Mohawk

redhead guy with 3 on the sides haircut

Mohawks want to be seen and admired, even if they are lifted, flat, or styled with waves, like the example above.

The hairstyle features shorter sides, with hair dyed in a vibrant ginger copper color. Also, the eyebrows are painted to complete the entire look. 

6. Wavy Pompadour

3 on the sides haircut with fade

If you love combining different hairstyles, and even certain decades, eras, or periods for your look, then you’ll love this example. Opt for a low 3-clipper fade for the sides and a curly, wavy pompadour

The moustache is the pièce de résistance, with its its turned, retro tips. 

7. Thin Dreads

dreadlocks with 3 on the sides

When you have 3C curls or more, you know that dealing with your locks can be quite a struggle.

Dreadlocks are low maintenance and easy to style so they can be easily combined with a short trim for the sides.

The top is parted in two, one section in the forehead area, and the other in the back. Wear the first part on the forehead, just like bangs, and pin the other in a ponytail. 

8. 3 On the Sides 8 On The Top

3 on the sides haircut for men

French crops use a side fade that starts with a 3-clipper trim and gradually offers more length to the upper hair. The top has the same length as the fringe.

It is styled to cover the forehead and the beard has a full look, with a mustache and an extended goatee. 

9. Metallic Pink Side Swap

colored hair for men with 3 on the sides

If you’re not afraid to shine, you can always use colored hair spray or semi-permanent hair dye that reveals your personality and adds a pop of color to your overall look. 

Opt for a long top that you will swipe to the side, highlighting it by creating a contrast between the two different lengths. Choose a 3 guard for the sides and opt for a completely shaved face. 

10. Long Crew Cut

crew cut with 3 on the sides

A long crew cut features short sides trimmed with a 3 guard and a slightly longer top, for which you’ll use the 4-clipper. 

Your beard should be as short as the laterals, connected to the haircut, and with defined edges for a more polished looking aspect. 

11. Comb Over

slicked back hairstyle with 3 on the sides

A beard that is connected to the 10 mm trim from that side will give your look more unity and shape. 

As for the top, keep it long so it provides numerous styling options. For sleek looks, apply hair gel and comb it to the back. 

12. Side Swept Fringe

silver hair highlights with 3 on the sides

If you have olive skin and dark hair, a no. 3 copper for the sides will help you emphasize the top.

Make it look spectacular and create more contrast by adding some gray highlights. Swipe the top to one side and casually mess it up.

13. Number 3 Top

buzz cut with 3 on the sides

This is one of the most low-maintenance number 3 on the sides hairstyle. The hair is evenly trimmed with No. 3-guard trims for a 9.5 mm buzz cut.

Shave your cheeks and sideburns regularly but keep a thin goatee beard on the chin. 

14. Wavy Side Part

3 on the sides haircut for Asian men

For this hairstyle, you’ll need to do a side part and bleach the hair to obtain that golden look. On the sides, opt for a brown ombre and a high fade.

Wave the top and lift the roots so it gains more dimension. Keep your sideburns long, reaching the ear lobe, and a daily shaved face. 

15. Dark Violet Pompadour

faux hawk with 3 on the sides

Pompadours are all about getting attention and compliments, especially for that grandiose top. The sides are shortly trimmed with a no. 3 guards while the top has great length.

The hair is styled up, using a rounded brush, a hair dryer, and a spray that is used to arrange the strands from the sides, better defining the shape. 

16. Modern Mullet

mullet with 3 on the sides
hair_by_ariannac/Instagram

Mullets seemed like a trend that would never get back, but in recent years, Gen Z and Millenials propelled this haircut’s popularity, making it one of their favorites. 

However, at least it has a modern twist! To create it, trim the temple area and keep the top and back longer and layered. 

How to Get 3 On The Sides Haircut

If you’re looking to get a pretty short haircut on the sides, a number 3 guard on your clippers will get you a nice, uniform 3/8ths of an inch off.

Before you start trimming, take a comb and brush out your hair to get rid of any tangles. 

Now grab your clippers, pop on that number 3 guard, and we’ll get to work. Starting at the bottom of the sides and back, run the clippers up and outward.

Make sure to overlap each pass a little bit – this helps get an even cut all around.

Work your way up the sides and back, clipping against the direction your hair grows in. Take your time. Don’t worry about getting every single hair, we can clean up any uneven lines at the end.

Once the sides and back are clipped down to a number 3, take a comb and check your work.

See any stray hairs or uneven lines that need tidying up? Grab some scissors and carefully trim those up for a sharp finish.

After you are done with the sides, style the top however you’d like, and you’re rocking a fresh new number 3 cut.

So, choose the 3 on the sides haircut of your choice from the list and rock it like a pro. Always use a sharp clipper to avoid uneven cuts on the sides.

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