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What is a Fade Hair Cut? 8 Different Types of Fades

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All You Need to Know About Fades

The fade haircut is a style that has been around for centuries but has only recently become popular in mainstream culture with shows like Peaky Blinders and movies like Fury, Nightcrawler, and so on.

Originally worn by the military in the '40s and '50s, the fade was popularized in the 90s by celebrities like Will Smith and, more recently, Brad Pitt. The fade is an edgy hairstyle that is perfect for those who want to make a statement.

With the resurgence of the fade in recent years, more people are embracing this style and rocking it in the workplace.

Whether you have short or long hair, a fade haircut will suit your needs. So if you're looking for a new hairstyle, consider trying a fade!

Here we will break down what's a fade, what the differences are, and what's right for you. In this article, we'll go over the following:

  • What is a Fade Haircut?
  • What are the Different Types of Fade Hair Cuts?
  • Taper Fade
  • Low Fade
  • Mid Fade
  • High Fade
  • Ultra-High Fade
  • How to Ask Your Barber for a Fade Haircut?
  • What Guard Setting Should You Choose?
  • Eight Different Ways to Style Your Fade

Let's get to it!


What Is a Fade Haircut?

Simply put, a fade haircut is a type of hairstyle that is typically characterized by shorter hair on the sides and back, with a gradual transition to longer hair on the top of the head. The fade level can vary, from a low fade that starts just above the ear to a high fade that starts at the temple.

Fade haircuts are popular because they can be customized to suit any guy's individual style and looks great regardless of their age and face shape. Whether you want a low-key look or something more dramatic, a fade haircut can be tailored to your preferences.

If you're thinking about getting a fade haircut, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Decide on the level of fade you want. Do you want a low fade, mid fade, or high fade (and even ultra-high)?
  • Choose the length of hair you want on top. Do you want it short, medium, or long?
  • How do you want to style that hair? Do you want it textured, messy, straight back, or something else?
  • Consider your overall style. What kind of clothes do you typically wear? If you're more casual, a low fade might be best. A high fade could be a good option if you like to dress up.

Once you've decided on these factors, you can talk to your barber about getting the perfect fade haircut for you.


What Are The Different Types of Fade Haircuts?

A fade haircut can essentially be pretty much split up into four main key categories based on how high the fade goes up the head.

Low Fade

The first and most popular type of fade is the low fade haircut. As the name suggests, a low fade starts just above the ear and tapers down in length as it reaches the nape of the neck. This fade looks great with any hair type and can be styled in several ways, making it a versatile option for many men.

Medium Fade

The next type of fade is the medium fade, which is also sometimes referred to as a regular fade. A medium fade sits slightly higher than a low fade and usually starts from an inch above the ear. Like the low fade, a medium fade can be styled in several ways and works well with most hair types.

High Fade

The third type of fade is the high fade, starting just below the temples. This fade is perfect for guys who want a dramatic look that will really turn heads. A high fade looks great with short, cropped hair on top and can be styled in many ways to create different looks.

Ultra-High Fade

Finally, there is the ultra-high fade, starting at the very top of the head. This fade is perfect for guys who want an extreme look that is sure to get noticed. An ultra-high fade looks best with very short hair on top and can be styled in many ways to create different looks.


What Is the Skin Fade?

The skin fade, also known as the bald fade, is a type of fade wherein the hair is taken down to the skin. This is typically done with a foil shaver (or even sometimes a straight razor) instead of a clipper to get that ultra-close shave.

A skin fade haircut can still be split up into the four categories above, so it's up to you and your barber whether you go for a taper, low, mid, or high skin fade.

Not all fades are skin fades, though a fade is just transitioning from one hair length to another. So, if you want a skin fade, make sure to specify that to your barber!


How to Ask the Barber for a Fade Haircut?

As we have mentioned in things to consider, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind when asking your barber for a fade haircut.

Just to recap, first, decide how high you want the fade to be low, mid, or high. You'll also need to decide what style you want on top and how short you want the overall cut to be.

Keep these factors in mind when discussing the style with your barber, so they can create a perfect look. If you're concerned that you can't remember everything or that you're not describing it right, don't hesitate to show the barber on your phone the haircut you want to go for.

If this is your first fade haircut, chances are you're not going to get it the right first time! You can adapt it, perhaps skin fade isn't right for you, and you might want more hair on top. You can work this in for next time.


What Guard Setting Should You Ask for?

When it comes to fades, you are often asked what guard setting you want when they are using their hair trimmer. Here's how to think that a 0 fade is essential without the guard and gives you the above skin fade.

Then you have 0.5 fade, which is just above, but there is some hair. Then the 1 fade that offers just a bit more. Generally, many people opt to go from 1 to 2 fade, and then if it is your first time, the 3 to 4 fade just to see a level that you are comfortable with.


8 Different Ways to Style a Fade Haircut

A fade haircut is a popular choice for many men, and it’s easy to see why. Fade haircuts offer a clean, fresh look that can be styled in various ways.

Whether you want a low fade, high fade, or even a mid-fade, there are plenty of ways to style this timeless cut. So here we thought we'd provide you with a bit of fade inspiration.

Here are 8 different ways to style a fade haircut.

1. Low Fade with Quiff

This classic hairstyle is perfect for those who want a stylish yet simple look. To style, simply apply some product to your damp hair, then use a comb to create a quiff at the front. The barber will then finish fading your hair down at the sides and back.

2. High Fade with Slicked Back Hair

This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a more formal look. Then to create the slick back, use a pomade of your choice and a comb to slick your hair back. Again, you will then have the fade down the sides and back to the fade level you asked for from the barber.

3. Mid-Fade with Side Part

This is the perfect look for you if you’re looking for a stylish yet professional hairstyle. Then, to create the side part, use some product for your hair and a comb to create a side part. Then, your hair will fade down the sides and back to complete the overall haircut.

4. Low Fade with Texture

One of our favorites and the haircut I often opt for. This is the perfect look for you if you’re looking for a casual yet stylish hairstyle. To style, apply some hair clay or paste to your damp hair, then use your fingers to add texture. Then as mentioned, it simply gets finished off by fading your hair down at the sides and back.

5. High Fade with Pompadour

A great look when done right. This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a stylish and timeless look. To style, start by applying some texture-based products like a pomade to your damp hair. Then use a comb to create a pompadour at the front. Combine this with the short back and sides, and you're done!

6. Mid-Fade with Messy Hair

Another go-to for when I have the to longer, This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a casual and effortless look. To create the messy look, when the hair is somewhat damp (not completely), add some hair clay or a textured passed and then mess with the hair to shape it up how you want.

7. Low Fade with Side Swept Hair

This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a soft and romantic look. As it is more formal, and the hair cut you classically see in the old military movies, you want a strong pomade to keep the side-swept hair in place.

8. High Fade with Curly Hair

This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a stylish and unique look and often helps if you have naturally curly hair. Apply a bit of product to your damp hair. Then use a diffuser to dry your hair, scrunching it as you go.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ritchie Hughie