In a world where trends are more prioritized than timeless pieces, an untouchable force remains the fade, a haircut that comes in various forms. Truth be told, in contrast to most hairstyles that are currently taking the town by storm, the fade, otherwise known as a fade haircut, is perhaps the only option that provides flexibility.
A fade haircut involves creating a disconnection that more often than not, involves a guideline. The high contrast look provides more than just visuals that run on presentability, enhancing the density of the hair at the same time. Additionally, a fade haircut also reduces tension from the scalp, allowing cuticles to rest with ease.
Forming one of the various species of the fade can be easy as long as the necessary tools are used. However, in order to fully perfect the art of wearing any design involving a fade, you need to be wary of which one suits you best. Since learning about them all is mandatory, let this guide walk you through all the genres that shape a fade haircut.
Table of Contents
- The Starters, Substitutes, and Reserves: Creating A Fade In 9 Different Ways!
- Low Fade
- Mid Fade
- High Fade
- Taper Fade
- Drop Fade
- Temple Fade
- Burst Fade
- Skin/Bald Fade
- Shadow Fade
The Starters, Substitutes, and Reserves: Creating A Fade In 9 Different Ways!
During its formative years, the skillset of a fade haircut was quite limited, being distinguished based on the position that it secured. Currently going by the names of high, medium, and low, each fade is known to offer a different set of advantages.
A high fade, similar to how it sounds, offers more contrast, while a medium fade offers more length with the same amount of concentration towards the shadow. A low fade, on the other hand, covers less ground, but is known for being the perfect tool for maintenance and a scruffy beard for those with long to medium-length hair.
A taper fade is the brainchild and successor of the former 3, as it can be positioned anywhere. The design follows more guidelines, however, reducing the length of the fade in with precision and a touch of elegance. In contrast, the rest of the fade might seem too clean in some places, looking unnaturally short or outgrown in the upper half of the compromised area.
Amongst the newbies are drop fades, temp fades (otherwise known as temple fades), burst fades, skin fades, and lastly, shadow fades, all of which are subcategories of the previously mentioned lineup.
A drop fade possesses a concentrated separation in the midsection of the temple, while a temp fade strictly forms a curve-shaped design which can either shave the area to the skin, or create blends.
A burst fade is as dramatic as a traditional fade, and abides by no guideline, regardless of where it’s implemented. A skin fade, on the other hand, leaves no length behind, typically requiring a skull shaver to get the job done.
Ending this portion is a shadow fade, following an ascending pattern, where the lower half starts off light, growing in size as the fade reaches the upper portion of the layout.
Short, neat, and as sturdy as can be.
Lacking size but not impact, a low fade mainly prioritizes giving a slight lift to the density of the hair, often morphing itself with the help of the sideburn area. The size of the fade differs, while the positioning remains firm.
In order to install a low fade, the guideline needs to start from the right place. In other words, you must ensure the positioning is parallel with your eyebrows, and ends right at the bottom of the temporal area to prevent a botched cut from coming into place. Once again, a clipper with an open blade comes in handy, creating the guideline with tons of visibility.
From blends to a bald fade, anything can be added to the design, as long as it aligns with the wearer. The base needs to be crisp, while the midsection needs to compliment the lower half. So, remember to use a pair of scissors for a natural texture, but resort to clippers if it pairs well with your preferences.
Mostly used for maintenance, a low fade finds more comfort when collaborating with bro flows, wolf cuts, shags, and so on. It not only rejuvenates the follicles on each side, but also gives the hair newfound life and more structure. Due to its positioning, a low fade tends to shed light onto leaner faces, highlighting the jawline in the best possible manner.
Chubby faces are once again at a disadvantage, since a low fade increases signs of bloating. Since the future of this design is shaped by the growth of the sideburns, a low fade, too, requires regular maintenance, preferably with razors, to serve the wearer for a couple of weeks at a time.
Low Fade Variations
A low fade provides a detachment that can help long to medium-length hair gain more shape with an incredible lift. Though the previous stance remains a fact, a low fade can also work with texture, irrespective of size.
A tousled top is great with the design for the contrast it generates, while a faux hawk tends to look more rugged under the assistance of a low fade. But if you don’t believe us, give the following list a view!
Tousled Top with Low Fade
Bleached Faux Hawk Cut with Frosted Spikes
Polished Comb Over with Low Fade
Unruly Quiff with Low Fade
A mid-fade finds the shaver adjusting the hair from the surface of the temple to the bottom half, using various guards to form a natural design with a gradual change. While it, too, removes hair in ascending order, a mid-fade comprises qualities of a low as well as a high fade, providing enough space for a jarring separation, and the benefits of a low fade.
Creating a mid-fade carries an easier creative process as opposed to its counterpart, starting slightly above the occipital bone, at the top of the temporal bone. The guideline is often morphed with a number 1 guard, before the remaining strands underneath are chopped with a zero guard trimmer. It comes in various forms just like its peers, adapting well to the abilities of any guard length, as long as the size of the strands adjust accordingly.
Short, neat, and as sturdy as can be.
A mid-fade gives enough room to narrow down wider faces, reducing signs of bloating to provide a leaner face shape. The circumference provides enough room for creativity as well, accommodating designs whenever required. Adding more richness to the strands and a shining detachment, a mid-fade is indeed a man’s best friend.
When it comes to the variations it can serve, the list appears to be endless. From buzz cuts to faux hawks to bringing out the best possible visuals on a mullet, a mid-fade goes above and beyond to pair well with any trendsetter in the hair industry. However, just like some of its peers, a mid-fade struggles to find chemistry with layered cuts, classic slick backs, and options that require tapered lengths.
Mid Fade Variations
A mid-fade is the perfect look for short hair, but no so much for medium-length or long hair, especially because of how artificial the visuals become right after. If your hair lacks volume, however, a mid-fade can secure tons of elevation around the roots, which, in turn, can revitalize the cuticles with tons of density. From accommodating Caesars to displaying the best visuals of a short side-part, here’s what a mid-fade can do if you invest in its abilities!
Sturdy Caesar Cut
Gentleman’s Slick Back
A high fade involves following guidelines to crop the surface of the parietal bone, gradually moving onto the sideburns to create a clean and presentable shave. This design is a common find among stylists with short hairstyles, being a specialist in adding to the thickness of the hair and offering more screen time for distinct facial features. When implemented on a buzz cut, it can also hide signs of aging and hair loss in men battling with male pattern baldness.
A disconnection for your beard and facial features.
Perfecting a high fade can lead to a remarkable change in one’s social life, but also takes tons of practice, since the final outcome needs tons of guidelines for obtaining ideal results.
The first step of the process is to create a guideline from the occipital bone to the temple, preferably with an open guard. This is absolutely necessary, as it brings the starting point and shapes the concluding results.
Once obtained, shaving in an upward motion, with a number 1 guard, is advised. Doing so removes any awkward pieces, bringing forward a clean-cut appearance. You may also remove the base around the bottom to make things easier.
For a cleaner disconnection at the bottom, use a head shaver. If you don’t have sensitive skin, use a razor to cross the finish line.
The advantages of a high fade involve more natural volume towards the top, in addition to hiding signs of thinning hair. The design also allows more control over the hair, preferably when forming angular options involving side-parts, comb overs, pompadours, and so on. It also allows balding men restore their esteem, preferably pairing effortlessly with sharp textured hairdos of short length.
The only problem that renders a high fade from living up to its fullest potential is the maintenance it requires. On average, bi-weekly cleanups are mandatory in order to preserve the shape and structure of the fade, which can prove to be costly in the long run.
High Fade Variations
Listed below are some of the best ways to pull off a high fade. When push comes to shove, it’s easy to see how beneficial it can prove to be for disconnected hairdos with hard-parts, as well as masculine looks involving minimal size such as a buzz cut or a crew cut. Be sure to inspect each option closely regardless, as any of them can save your self-confidence and thinning hair!
Organized Butch Cut with Triple-zero High Fade
Snipped Crew Cut with Razor Decal
Glossy Hard-part Side Part
Matte-based Crop Cut
Known as the fade that brings the primary members together, a taper fade is a design that only possesses a blended structure. While the lower half can be morphed into a pattern that looks similar to hairless sides, a taper fade mostly uses just one of the many guards to form its shape.
The look brings out the best in one’s hair and face, working with any hair length and clipper size. Blends tend to give more angles to the hair, giving soft faces more structure, while a taper with some contrast enhances distinct features and compliments square, diamond, and heart-shaped faces.
A fade that serves everyone!
A taper fade is all about making the hairstyle look as authentic and minimal as possible, which is why it sticks to following a guideline that is less intense. Instead of using a closed lever for one and a 3 guard for the next, a taper fade follows a descending or ascending order when picking attachments and generating a fade across the side of the scalp.
The flexibility of a taper fade moves in monumental ways, mostly enabling those growing their hair to avoid bad hair days. While it mostly adds a subtle division between the hair and face, a taper fade can also adapt to visuals that are lighter and shorter to rejuvenate one’s esteem. Since the pattern is rather minimal, one can even install razor decals to heighten the impact of a taper fade.
Taper Fade Variations
A taper reduces bulk without making things dramatic, which not only generates natural visuals, but also makes it easier to deal with the selected hairdo. The weight it takes away not only eliminates split ends, but also reduces friction, preventing hair loss in the long run.
Listed below are some of the success stories that a taper fade allows. It not only provides a great lift to a mushroom cut, but also adds more texture and volume to natural hairdos!
Mushroom Cut with Low Taper Fade
Rugged Curly Top
Sponge Curls for Natural Hair
Combed-out Afro with Angular Taper
Solely working with the infra-temple area, a drop fade is another remarkable design one can resort to reenergizing their existing hairstyle in quick fashion.
The look mainly takes help from a bald fade, which ends abruptly to accommodate the rest of the look. The top of a drop fade remains unchanged, although many prefer using a scissor cut for a natural transition.
Blends at the center, hairless at the bottom.
A drop fade typically pairs well with edgy hairdos involving texture, color, and so on. When paired with vibrant looks, a drop fade naturally elevates the visuals, offering healthy strands as a result.
The pattern of a drop fade caters to any face shape, but looks best when there’s a stubble or some kind of facial hair attached to the haircut. Messier beards look better than those in shape, since the former gives a better aesthetic.
A life savor for medium-length to long hair.
A temple fade, also known as a box cut, only adjusts and trims the frontal part of the temple, in order to give the hair some separation to work with. Doing so gives the strands new life, and makes it easier to reduce signs of thinning.
Often securing a low positioning, a temp fade also gives a lift around the roots of the hair, preventing the strands from looking flat. The design narrows down an out-of-shape chin, giving it the same visuals as an oblong-shaped structure.
The structure of a temp fade is usually curated with a head shaver, or a number 1 guard at most. The pattern follows a curvy design, for which a guideline is necessary. Since its outlook is razor-edged, many prefer wearing textured options and disheveled haircuts with this option.
When push comes to shove, a temp fade is mostly found on afro-textured hair. It elevates natural hair almost immediately, giving the strands a platform to carry more plump without any friction. It is also used as a direct remedy to awkward phases, mainly on medium-length hair.
A dramatic contrast with a clean-cut structure.
A burst fade is as explosive as it sounds, carrying multiple components that join forces to form a crystal-clear design. The design offers components of a tight bald fade at the bottom, gradually working its way to the top to feed the hair more fullness.
Creating this option requires assistance from an expert, since various guards need to be involved to generate this option accurately. The lower half are shaved with a zero guard clipper, before the remaining flyaways and baby hair are erased using a shaver.
A 1 guard is subsequently used right above the newfound bald fade, to bring in a sense of organization, and allow the disconnection to look as natural as possible. The temple is then shaved with a 3 guard and a 1 guard, both of which require closed levers, before subsequently being adjusted with a closed 0.5 to a trimmer with an open blade. Don’t forget to add a lineup across the nape line and a shape up around the hairline to complete the look!
Finding a burst fade on mullets, shags, and wolf cuts is perhaps rather common. Occasionally, a burst fade also pairs well with an afro-textured blowout, adding more bounce to the natural pieces.
A burst fade minimizes the visibility of frizz and hair damage, which can increase one’s confidence. Due to the equipment and technique required, a burst fade costs a tad bit more than its counterparts.
No hair left on the targeted region.
A skin fade, also known as a bald fade, involves shaving the sides and back repeatedly until a hairless, gleaming design comes into existence. In order to be formed with perfection, a skin fade requires a clipper with a closed lever, and a 0mm guard. For a concentrated disconnection, many also use razors in addition to head shavers.
The visuals of a skin fade is for everyone, but not for every hairstyle. The razor-sharp appearance of a skin fade typically meshes better with buzz cuts, crop cuts, and caesars, rewarding the wearer with masculine features as a result.
The creative process of a skin fade requires precision, but is rather time-friendly, especially if the right guards are used. Since the main objective is to wipe the hair out completely, many use a default ceramic blade found on most trimmers, before eliminating the subsequent pieces with a foil shaver.
Due to offering no length on the sides and at the back, a skin fade typically looks good on those with leaner face shapes, from heart-shaped structures to diamond-shaped chins. Although oblong faces can also benefit from a skin fade, the design might widen the dimensions of a chubby face.
A skin fade takes its time, requiring more than a month to lose its shape, proving to be the ideal companion for those with hectic schedules. A skin fade also adds a boost to the cheekbones, and allows a beard and any haircut to take up the spotlight without clashing against one another. It’s not always perfect, however, especially when working with long to medium-length hair.
A subtle trim for weightlessness.
With sharp angles and tight borders, a shadow fade focuses more on blending the temple of the hair more than anything. Used as a maintenance cut, a shadow fade reduces body from the hair to allow more fluidity and weightlessness.
From being easy to create with shaping tools to accommodating short, medium-length, and long hair, a shadow fade adds to the texture of the hair, being great for choppy options. Alongside strengthening the jawline, a shadow fade also creates a disconnection that gives a 5-day stubble the fullness it desires.
A shadow fade can be dramatic, as well as natural, based on the guard that is used. Many side with obtaining a bald fade before creating the shadow, however, since the final contrast is favorable for all hair types. Clippers with closed levers and head shavers, a shadow fade follows a guideline with hairless portions at the bottom, and tapered outgrown hair at the top.
There aren’t many issues that one tends to face with a shadow fade. However, since the shadow tends to lose shape rather quickly, this variation of fade requires tons of maintenance to look sound.
While natural tapers are definitely purposeful when one’s aim is to grow the hair, when carrying out experiments, the fade is definitely the better counterpart, offering various options that dip their toes into every pool.
The big three of the fade haircut are definitely based around high, medium, and low fade; each of which offers tons of creative freedom in addition to accommodating various styling concepts. Don’t forget about the taper fade, either, mostly known for giving the hair a lift from any position. The subcategories of the fade involve the drop, temple, burst, skin, and shadow fade, which often come into existence once the positioning is secured.
The saying, “to each their own ” is something that we wholeheartedly believe in. However, if you’re seeking an overnight transformation, exploring the planet of the fade is something you shouldn’t sweep under the rug.