The fade is one of the most adaptable men’s haircuts, and it never fails to add a dash of cool to its wearer. The fade haircut is characterized by a gradual transition of hair length from shorter to longer. It typically involves the hair being cut shorter at the sides and back of the head, while the hair on top remains longer. The term “fade” refers to the seamless blending of hair lengths, creating a smooth and gradual transition.
The fade haircut is achieved by using different clipper guard sizes or scissors to gradually taper the hair length. The stylist or barber starts with a shorter guard or length near the hairline and gradually increases the length as they move upward. This gradual blending creates a fade effect, where the hair appears to “fade” from shorter to longer without any harsh lines or distinct boundaries.
There are various types of fade haircuts, including high fade, mid fade, low fade, skin fade, and bald fade, each differing in terms of where the tapering starts and how short the hair is cut. Fade haircuts are often combined with other hairstyles, such as undercuts, pompadours, or quiffs, allowing for a wide range of personalized and stylish looks. The fade haircut has gained popularity due to its versatility, clean appearance, and ability to suit different hair types and face shapes.
It’s little wonder why fades are so popular among young males.
You may express your individuality through your appearance by experimenting with different top choices. The short sides of the fade provide a strong visual contrast that is both contemporary and invigorating. In addition, this stylish cut works well with almost every facial shape or hair type.
Since their widespread adoption in the 1940s and 1950s, faded haircuts have endured. Their fame is not going away anytime soon.
This cut has several advantages: it is tidy-looking, easy to care for and style, and has a wide range of styling options.
If you’re considering having a fade, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the many kinds of fades, how to tell which one would suit you, and what to specify when you visit the barber. Let’s back up a little and examine the fade’s origins first.
Background on the Fade Haircut
The fade haircut has a history that dates back several decades. It originated in the African-American community and gained significant popularity during the 1980s and 1990s. The style was closely associated with the hip-hop culture and was often seen among artists, musicians, and athletes of that era.
There were two major factors that contributed to the rise of fades. The first occurred in 1921 with the development of electric clippers. Electric clippers with detachable guards allowed for speedy, progressively shorter trims.
The second is the frequent use of the fading by military servicemen. The fade haircut was mainly influenced by the barbering techniques used in military haircuts, where the hair is tapered at the sides and back. Fades were popular among military personnel in the 1940s and 1950s because of their functionality. The military mandated that all service members keep their hair short and well-groomed. As a result of the fade, they were able to maintain some length in the top while having the sides and back cut shorter. However, the African-American community added their own unique touch to the style, creating a distinct look that became highly sought after.
In the early stages, the fade was known as the “low cut” or “shorty fade.” It was characterized by a low taper that started around the ear level and gradually faded into longer hair on top. This style provided a clean and polished appearance while allowing for individual creativity in terms of hair designs and patterns.
Over time, the fade evolved into different variations, such as the high fade, mid fade, and skin fade. The high fade involved tapering the hair much higher on the head, while the mid fade fell somewhere in between. The skin fade, on the other hand, created a more dramatic contrast by tapering the hair very close to the skin.
With the rise of hip-hop culture and its influence on mainstream fashion, the fade haircut gained widespread popularity beyond the African-American community. It became a popular choice among men of various ethnicities and was embraced as a stylish and versatile haircut.
In recent years, the fade haircut has continued to evolve and adapt to current trends. It has remained a popular choice for men seeking a modern and clean look. Barbers and stylists often incorporate creative techniques and variations to keep the fade fresh and relevant in contemporary hairstyling.
Overall, the fade haircut has a rich history rooted in African-American culture and has become an iconic hairstyle that has transcended racial and cultural boundaries.
Gentlemen’s Quarterly stated that returning servicemen and women of the 1940s and 1950s had “close-cropped hair” that was noticeably longer on top. The fade as we know it now has its origins in this description.
The fades of today are quite similar, but there are more options for both length and style. These cutbacks are no longer connected only to the armed forces.
A fade is available to everybody. Finding the right one for you is the most important thing. Read on to find out the benefits of getting a fade, the many options available to you at the barbershop, and some things to think about before scheduling an appointment.
Is it worth it to get a fade?
Don’t know whether you should get a fade? A fade would probably look fantastic on you. It only has to begin at a location on your head that is most complimentary. There are many reasons why fades continue to be fashionable even now. This is why you should think about having it done. There are several reasons why individuals choose to get a fade haircut:
Clean and Polished Look: A fade haircut offers a clean and polished appearance. The gradual transition from shorter to longer hair creates a neat and well-groomed look that can be professional and sophisticated.
Versatility: Fade haircuts are highly versatile and can be customized to suit different preferences and styles. They can be combined with various hairstyles, such as pompadours, undercuts, or textured tops, allowing for a wide range of looks that can be adapted to individual tastes.
Low Maintenance: Fade haircuts are often low maintenance compared to longer hairstyles. With shorter sides and back, there is less styling required, and it can be easier to maintain and manage on a daily basis.
Suitable for Different Hair Types: Fade haircuts work well with different hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly hair. The gradual tapering of the hair allows for a seamless transition and can help manage the texture of the hair more effectively.
Enhances Facial Features: A fade haircut can help enhance and highlight facial features. By keeping the sides and back shorter, attention is drawn to the hair on top and the overall structure of the face, creating a more defined and attractive look.
Trendy and Fashionable: Fade haircuts have remained popular and fashionable for several decades. They are often seen as modern and stylish choices that can keep up with current trends.
Personal Expression: Fade haircuts offer a canvas for personal expression and creativity. With the option to incorporate hair designs, patterns, or color, individuals can showcase their unique style and personality through their haircut.
It’s important to consult with a professional barber or stylist who can assess your hair type, face shape, and personal preferences to recommend the most suitable fade haircut for you. They can provide guidance on the specific type of fade and styling options that will best complement your features and lifestyle.
One of the Most Versatile Haircut
This is a haircut that can go from sleek and professional to edgy and trendy with ease. Maintain a short top for a neat and easy-to-care-and maintenance. A daring pompadour or quiff may be achieved by leaving the top hair longer.
The Ideal Haircut for the Hair Growing Out Process
Yes, a fade haircut can be an excellent choice when you’re growing your hair out. You should have a fade if you want to grow out your hair on top. This kind of haircut lets you keep your hair long on top while gradually shortening the length of your sides and back.
Fades are appealing regardless of the length of hair on top, so you may wait a few months for your top hair to reach the desired length with confidence. Here’s why:
Transitioning Lengths: As you’re growing your hair out, there can be an awkward stage where your hair is uneven and in-between lengths. A fade haircut can help ease this transition by tapering the sides and back, creating a more polished and controlled look while the top hair continues to grow.
Neat Appearance: Growing out hair can sometimes look untidy or unkempt. By keeping the sides and back of your hair shorter with a fade, you maintain a well-groomed appearance even as the top hair grows longer.
Reduced Maintenance: When you’re growing out your hair, you may want to minimize the time and effort required for styling and maintenance. A fade haircut with shorter sides and back allows for easier management and requires less styling, saving you time and effort.
Versatile Styling: While growing your hair out, you can still experiment with various styling options on the top, even with a fade. You can try different lengths, textures, or even tie your longer hair into different hairstyles while maintaining a clean and stylish look with the faded sides.
Gradual Transition: The fade haircut provides a gradual transition between the shorter sides and the longer top. This creates a smooth flow as your hair continues to grow, reducing the contrast between different lengths and helping your hair look more cohesive overall.
Remember, it’s essential to communicate your hair growth goals and desired style with your barber or stylist. They can tailor the fade haircut to your specific needs and provide guidance on how to manage and style your hair during the growing-out phase.
Suitable for every skin tone and hair type
Isolated on a gray backdrop is a portrait of a young white man who is wearing a gray sweater and has a short haircut.
Fades are one of the few hairstyles that can be worn by everyone, regardless of their facial shape or hair structure. There’s a fading out there that’ll look great on your round, square, oval, or heart-shaped face. This style works well with a wide variety of hair textures, including curly, coiled, straight, wavy, fine, and coarse.
Guaranteed to pass military grooming criteria
Men in the armed forces are required to keep their hair shorter than 4 inches at all times. Your ears, collar, and eyebrows are all off-limits. Fades as long as the top is the proper length; tick all of these boxes. To conform to these expectations, most people choose to have a fade rather than shave their heads.
Simple, clean, and fashionable
The classic fade haircut is low-maintenance. You can keep this cut looking great with regular trims every 4–6 weeks with your own clippers. The back and sides have become noticeably shorter.
That leaves only the area at the top for styling. This is considerably less difficult if the top is kept short. For men with curly or wavy hair, a little bit of style gel, pomade, or wax on top may be all that’s needed.
Types of Fade Haircuts
This tapered cut is great for a variety of reasons. Here we’ll examine a number of common fade options for your consideration. Traditional, low, high, drop, and skin fades are the most common fade haircuts. What you need to know about each kind is listed below.
The Classic Fade Haircut.
The classic fade haircut is a timeless and popular variation of the fade style. It features a clean and gradual transition of hair length from shorter to longer, creating a classic and polished look. The top of the head is often left between 2 and 4 inches long in a classic fade. The classic fade typically starts with shorter hair at the bottom, near the neckline, and gradually increases in length as it moves up the sides and back of the head. The transition is smooth and seamless, with no harsh lines or distinct boundaries between the different hair lengths. The hair is tapered gradually, blending from shorter to longer lengths. The tapering can be achieved using various clipper guard sizes or scissors, depending on the desired effect. The tapering can start around the ear level or slightly above, depending on personal preference. The classic fade often leaves a longer length of hair on top, which allows for versatility in styling. The top can be left longer for a more textured or swept-back look or styled into a specific hairstyle like a pompadour or slicked-back. It is often considered a timeless and stylish choice, combining a clean and professional appearance with the flexibility to personalize the top styling.The classic fade is a versatile option that suits various face shapes and personal styles. Since they raise the top of the head, traditional fades complement round and oval faces especially well.
The Low Fade Haircut.
The faded (tapered) section of hair in a low fade begins lower on the head than in a standard fade. The hair in a low-fade haircut gradually becomes shorter, starting an inch or two above the hairline at the bottom. In a low fade, the hair is cut very short or even shaved close to the skin around the edges of the hairline, typically starting just above the ears and extending to the nape of the neck.The length gradually increases as it moves up the sides and back of the head, blending into the longer hair on top.
Since there is less room to work with, low fades often have a considerably steeper tapering, fading swiftly from short hair to the skin. Low fades are most flattering on those with oval, elongated, or heart-shaped features.
If your face is square or round, you shouldn’t get a low fade. It might make your jawline seem broader and add too much bulk to your sides.
A High Fade Haircut
When compared to a standard fade, a high fade begins it is tapering and fading significantly higher up. The hair in this style is gradually shaved shorter from the temples forward, following the natural curvature of the head and extends towards the crown of the head. The length gradually increases as it moves down towards the lower edges of the head, blending into the longer hair on top. The length is tapered off at the nape of the neck. The high fade features a more distinct and noticeable transition between the shorter hair on the sides and the longer hair on top. The transition line is often well-defined, creating a bold and striking look. Oval, round, heart-shaped, and square faces benefit the most from high fades. This style is more versatile than the low fade since it has longer hair on top. The high fade is often seen as a statement-making haircut that draws attention to the face and top hair. It can add a bold and confident element to one’s overall appearance.
The drop fade is an increasingly common alternative to the standard fade. Drop fades are characterized by a gradual tapering off towards the rear. A drop fade haircut is a variation of the fade style where the hairline “drops” down in the shape of a curve or arc at the back of the head. It creates a unique and visually appealing effect. The distinguishing feature of a drop fade is the curved or arched hairline at the back of the head. The hairline drops down, typically following the natural contour of the head, creating a smooth and gradual transition from the longer hair on top to the shorter hair at the nape of the neck. The longer hair faded out toward the back, creating a deeper crown or top region. Like other fade haircuts, the drop fade involves a gradual tapering of the hair length from the top down to the shorter sides and back. The transition is seamlessly blended, creating a clean and polished appearance. However, a drop fade may also be achieved with a high or low fade. Any face type can pull off a drop fade. Make sure the cut works well with your face shape by selecting the appropriate fade beginning point (low, high, or classic). The drop fade provides a clean and defined look with its distinct hairline drop and precise tapering. It adds a stylish and sophisticated touch to your overall appearance. The drop fade accentuates the natural curve of the neckline and can enhance the shape of the head. It draws attention to the back of the head, creating a visually appealing focal point.
The “Skin Fade”
The word “skin fade” simply refers to the smallest point of a fade being shaved completely off and may be done on any style of fade. You may notice dramatic skin fading. This would result in hair that is longer on top and shorter toward the skin, starting at the temples.
A typical skin fade would start about halfway down the skull and gradually become shorter and thinner until it had completely faded out. About an inch or so above the bottom hairline, a low skin fade transitions from short to skin.
Remember that skin fades to reveal a considerable amount of scalp. If your scalp is much lighter than the rest of your skin, a skin fade may not be for you because of the stark contrast it creates. The goal of a skin fade is to create a seamless blend between the hair and the skin. A skilled barber or stylist will use precise techniques to ensure a clean and smooth transition, eliminating any visible lines or abrupt changes in hair length. The skin fade provides a clean, sharp, and edgy aesthetic. It offers a modern and fashionable appearance that can suit various face shapes and personal styles. Fading skin makes you more susceptible to sunburns, especially on the scalp, if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Sunscreen should be used on your scalp’s exposed areas.
A Fade Haircut: how much?
The cost of a fade haircut in Singapore can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the reputation and experience of the barber or stylist, and the specific salon or barbershop you visit. Prices can range from around SGD 20 to SGD 80 or more.
In general, barbershops and salons in more upscale areas or establishments may charge higher prices compared to neighborhood barbershops. Additionally, the experience level and reputation of the stylist or barber can influence the pricing.
It’s recommended to research and compare prices from different salons or barbershops in your area to get an idea of the average cost. You may also consider reading reviews or seeking recommendations from friends or family to find a reputable place that offers quality fade haircuts at a fair price.
Small-town and rural residents should anticipate paying a little less than $20. Costs might be higher if you are located in a major city or if your barber has much experience.
How Should I Describe a Fade to My Barber?
You need to be able to tell your barber or stylist exactly what you want from a haircut, regardless of where you go. If you’re not familiar with barber lingo, it might be frightening to ask for what you need. Your bases are covered!
- Specify the Fade Type:
There are different types of fades, such as high fade, mid fade, low fade, or skin/bald fade. Indicate the specific fade you want to ensure your barber understands the desired level of tapering and where you want the fade to start.
Determine your preferred fading style before beginning. How low, in the middle, or high up on the temples do you want it to begin? This is the deciding factor between a high, medium, or low fade.
You may always ask your barber to start the fade at a certain spot if you’re unsure. Before they start chopping, make sure you’re on the same page. Now picture the fade the way you want it to appear.
Do you like the top and crown to recede somewhat towards the rear, with some longer hair left behind? If so, you should request a drop fade. You may direct your barber to stop the descent at a certain point.
Is skin-level fading what you’re after? Tell the barber if you want a low, high, or classic skin fade if you do. Again, pointing out to the barber the precise spot where you want the fade to end up is quite beneficial.
Length of Top, Transition and Guards
Let your barber know how long you want the hair on top to be. You can mention a specific length in inches or provide a general description, such as “long enough to comb over” or “short and textured.” You should also let the barber know how short you want the hair on the sides and back to be, in addition to how long you want it on top. This cut is best done using clippers, which most barbers utilize. Describe how gradually you want the fade to transition from longer to shorter hair. You can request a subtle or more noticeable transition, depending on your preference.
If you have a particular preference for the clipper guard lengths used during the fade, communicate this to your barber. For example, you might request a #2 guard on the sides or a shorter #1 guard for a closer fade. The distance the clipper blades are held from the head is controlled by the clipper guard. These guards are numbered from 1 to 12 according to their varying lengths, which start at around 1/8″ for the shortest guard and extend to about 1.5″ for the longest guard.
Typically, guards 1–8 are included in at-home clipper kits. This is why the phrase “number 3 cut” or something like it is occasionally used. A cut made with a 3/8-inch (3 mm) guard is called a “number 3 cut.” The 1, 2, 3, and 4 clipper guards are often used to create a fade.
A skin fade requires the barber to go very close to the skin, either by removing the clipper guard or by shaving the area of the head where the fade transitions to skin. Clippers are a common tool for both professional and at-home haircuts, so you’ve undoubtedly used them before.
Describe to the barber the length you want the hair on top to be and how short you want the fade to be. Specific instructions for the barber are appreciated, such as “leave it long enough to side part it” or “long enough to slick back.”
It would be great if you could specify the size of the clipper guard you would like. However, you may always allow the barber to determine which clipper guards to use based on how short you want to go.
Speak About the Details
If you like, you can give your fade a bit more definition. Consult your barber before having any patterns, lines, or letters cut into your hair. Clipper cuts, sometimes known as shaved lines or side portions, are a specialty of certain barbers.
Mention how you would like the sideburns and neckline to be shaped and trimmed. Specify if you want them to be squared off, rounded, or tapered.
Decide if you want a more gradual blend for a softer look or a sharper, more defined line for a bolder appearance. This will help your barber understand the level of blending you prefer.
Hairline: If you have specific instructions regarding your hairline, such as a natural or shaped hairline, communicate this to your barber.
If you have a specific hairstyle in mind, such as a pompadour or a textured crop, let your barber know. This will help them understand how to shape and cut the hair on top accordingly.
Others, though, may feel awkward about taking that step. Avoid misunderstandings by being specific about where and how you want something placed or designed. Bear in mind that shaved patterns can soon grow out, so if you like them, you’ll need to have a touch-up every two weeks or so.
It’s also helpful to bring reference pictures or examples of the fade style you desire to ensure clear communication with your barber. This allows them to visualize your vision and ensure you are both on the same page. Remember, effective communication is key to getting the fade haircut you desire, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or provide additional details if needed.
The Fade: What Is It Exactly?
You’ve learned about the several kinds of fades available, how much they’ll cost, and how to communicate your preferences to your barber.
If you want a perfect haircut, finding a professional barber is essential. This is particularly true with a fade, however. These are difficult and require expertise.
You may officially claim to be an expert on the subject now. In honor of your increased understanding of the fade, we recommend scheduling an appointment or visiting your local barber shop.