Consider adding a fade if you want to give your hairstyle a fresh and modern update. There are many different fades to choose from, and they can be adapted to suit your hair texture, length, personality, and style. The great thing about fades, which gradually shorten the hair on the sides and back of the head, keeping more length on the top, is that they can work with any haircut. From edgy and cool, like a mohawk fade, to a more subtle approach, like a crew cut fade. Fades add structure to your look, resulting in a polished finish. Or they can highlight the hair on top, making the illusion of thicker and fuller strands and creating contrast. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about all the different types of fades.
Types of Fades
1. Low Fade
A low fade haircut is perfect for a man who wants a versatile and masculine cut. It is a subtle and understated fade, focusing on the bottom inch of the hair, tapering down the sides, and lower on the head. The top is kept longer, and you can style it any way you want, allowing you to experiment with proportions. The appeal of the low fade is that it pairs well with many different looks, from the crew cut to the pompadour. Tailor your low fade to suit your personality and style.
2. Mid Fade
The mid fade haircut is, as the name suggests, between the low and high fade. It is tapered and ends between the temple and the ears, creating a sleek and professional appearance. It is the perfect option for men of all ages, and because of its versatility, it can be styled in various ways. These include a side part and mid fade, or slicked back, with the fade adding a modern twist to the classic, masculine looks. The choice is yours, so you can work with your barber to find the option that suits you best.
3. High Fade
The high fade haircut provides a close shave on the sides and back of the head. It is referred to as a high fade because it starts above or around the temples. The cut gradually goes from longer to shorter the lower down you go. The beauty of this fade is that it is adaptable and can be created on the hair of various types and textures. The hair on the top of the head is kept longer, but you can determine how long you would like it to be. The high fade can be styled in several ways; you can rock a pompadour, crew cut, or a comb over This is a stylish and sophisticated addition to any haircut, which is why it is one of the most popular men’s haircuts.
4. Taper Fade
One of the most popular fades is the taper, which involves cutting the hair from long to short on the sides and back while keeping the length on top of the head. The gradual fade begins from the middle section of the head. There are many different ways to style this look, and its adaptability to various hair textures and styles makes it an excellent option for any man who wants to add structure to his appearance. It can be sharp and neat but also stylish and cool.
5. Skin Fade
A skin fade refers to hair that is faded on the sides down to the skin, leaving longer hair at the top of the head. The combination makes for a stylish and structured appearance. It can also be more dramatic than other fades, resulting in more contrast. This is especially true if you have naturally textured hair and choose to keep it long. You can opt for a low, mid, or high skin fade and experiment with different styles on top. This is the perfect look for various occasions and can be masculine, cool, and polished. It will last around two to three weeks, depending on the speed of your hair growth, before requiring a touch-up.
6. Bald Fade
The bald fade keeps hair longer at the top of the head, with the back and sides shaved off. It is a versatile and masculine look paired with many different styles, some simple and subtle, others bold and adventurous. You can play around with various lengths at the top of the head, choosing to keep the hair short or leaving it longer, which will create more of a contrast. This fade is a popular option for men because it can add structure to your haircut and look sleek and stylish. It also makes styling easier and quick in the morning, appealing for a man on the go.
7. Comb Over Fade
The comb over fade is a hairstyle that first rose to prominence in the 20s but has continued to be a popular option for men because it helps achieve a gentlemanly appearance. This classic hairstyle is also adaptable, and many men have given it a more modern feel with how they choose to style their hair. You can experiment with different fades, selecting the right one to complement your face shape and reflect your style. Another pro of the comb over fade is its versatility; it can be worn on various hair textures and lengths and will suit young and old men.
8. Drop fade
The drop fade can add an edgy element to your hairstyle, making it more structured and precise. This fade drops low and behind the ear, creating an arc-shaped appearance. It can help draw attention to the hair at the crown and give the appearance of fullness and thickness. You can style it in various ways and short or long. The shorter the hair on the top, the less contrast between it and your chosen fade; this is something you should keep in mind. The finish is modern and cool, perfect for a man who wants something different but not too dramatic.
9. Temp Fade
The temp fade haircut or temple fade features a taper around the temples and is an excellent look for a man who wants something stylish. The great thing about this option is that it enhances the hairline and makes it more visible, but it is also versatile and can be adapted to suit your preference. Whether you want something bold or subtle, you can achieve this with a temp fade. Although the look does require some upkeep, you will need to visit the barber for touch-ups. You will find that it adds structure and helps achieve a masculine and cool appearance.
10. Burst Fade
The burst fade is defined by its semi-circular appearance as it tapers around the ear and the back of the head. It is versatile and cool and can be worn on hair of various lengths and textures. It can also be paired with your chosen hairstyle. The longer the hair is at the top, the more contrast you will achieve and create interesting proportions. The burst fade is a stylish and modern men’s hairstyle that will allow you to express yourself.
11. Skin Fade
Consider a skin fade if you want a formal and sophisticated haircut to make you look and feel good. The skin fade has a very masculine appearance and is defined by a cut that graduates from a longer length on the top of the head to completely shaved on the sides. It can combine with something classic or opt for a more contemporary and cool approach. Pair it with the hairstyle of your choice on top. The only downside is that the skin fade requires some maintenance; you will need to visit your barber regularly every two to three weeks.
12. Buzz Cut Fade
Do you want a minimalistic and cool haircut? Then look no further. The buzz cut is a popular military-inspired cut for men who want a no-fuss option that is easy to wear and requires very little grooming time. This short haircut is clipped short to the head, and the fade will be kept even shorter on the sides and back. The hair on top will gradually shorten downwards until it is completely shaved. It is important to remember that you want your scalp to be in great shape. Be confident with the shape of your head and any imperfections, for example, moles or scars, as these will be on display. It would help if you also considered your face shape and its proportions.
13. Mohawk Fade
The mohawk fade is one of the edgiest and most rebellious haircuts you can choose, making it so incredibly cool. The cut has roots in punk and alternative scenes, and although it was traditionally worn as a long strip of hair in the middle of the head and the sides completely shaved, there is a more modern approach to this look; a fade. Pairing your mohawk with a fade still makes a bold statement, but it is also easier to wear. This is because some hair is still on the sides, making the contrast less dramatic. If you want a more subtle approach, keep the hair on the top of your head shorter. Curly and wavy hair will also help to achieve a softer appearance.
14. South Side Fade
The Southside Fade might be worth considering if you’re looking for a new look! It originated in Houston, Texas, and is an updated take on the classic fade. The back and sides are cut short, leaving more volume at the top to create texture. Plus, it’s great for gents with thick or curly hair – plus those trying to cover up thinning locks – as they can enjoy this modern hairstyle that flatters all face shapes.
15. Long Hair Fade
Long hair challenges the outdated notions of what it means to be masculine. It is cool, has a stylish and relaxed aesthetic, and has many ways to style it. If you want an edgy addition to your long locks, a great way to achieve this is with a fade. The fade adds structure to your hair, creating an interesting contrast and making it more manageable. It looks especially good with texture on the top of the head so that it will work well with wavy or curly hair. That is not to say men with straight hair cannot rock this look too, but it would be best to add a styling product to your hair to give it a more windswept feel. Channel your inner Viking with this manly style and wear it with confidence!
16. Short Hair Fade
A short hair fade is an excellent option for a man who wants a simple yet stylish haircut. A fade on the sides and back of the head can make your overall look neater but also interesting. In addition to how it looks, fades are practical, making your hair much easier to style, and can be adapted to suit various hair types and lengths. Keeping the hair short on the top creates a seamless blend between it and the fade. This makes for a subtle and fashion-forward appearance.
17. Undercut fade
The undercut is a versatile look that can be created on hair of various types and textures. They are simpler than fades because they have one length on the sides and back. You can keep length on top and style it in a pompadour or fringe for a more voluminous appearance. This cut looks good, but it is also practical, removing weight from the hair and helping to cut down on grooming time. That said, undercuts do require some maintenance, and you will need to visit your barber regularly to keep it looking good. This will be around every three to four weeks, depending on your hair growth rate.
18. Military Fade
Military haircuts are known for being short and practical, but they can also be incredibly stylish. The military fade is a neat cut and will give you a polished appearance and is defined by the shorter shaved sides and longer hair at the top of the head. It is a low-maintenance option that lends itself well to various settings and is perfect for a man who doesn’t want to spend time or money — forget the styling products — on his hair. This look can be adjusted to various lengths; for those who want slightly more hair on top than the traditional approach, this will look just as stylish.
19. Faux Hawk Fade
The mohawk is known for being rebellious and edgy. It makes a statement, and it demands attention. And then there is the faux hawk, the alternative cut, which is just as cool but far easier to pull off and style. Typically, the faux hawk has less length, creating a look with less volume on top. It’s perfect for men with medium length hair. There is still a strip of hair in the middle, allowing you to play around with texture, but there is only a slight length difference between the top, sides, and back. Instead of shaving off the sides and back of the hair, adding a fade to your look creates a more blended appearance.
20. Long Afro Fade
A long afro fade is perfect for men who want to embrace their natural hair. It gives you all the benefits of an afro, allowing you to wear your hair with pride and show off the volume, but it also adds structure. The fade keeps the sides and back of the hair short. This modern update to the afro hairstyle will help you achieve a slight contrast, which is interesting and balances out your look. This is the perfect combination of smart and cool.
21. Short Afro Fade
If you are a man who wants to reduce his style time but still wants a look that shows off his hair texture, then look no further than a short afro fade. Keeping the afro hairstyle short makes styling much easier, and this is a practical option that is still voluminous and textures. If you want to add structure to it, or give your haircut a slight edge, then pair it with a subtle fade. Keeping the sides and back shorter allows you to draw attention to the hair at the top of the head. it can also create a sleek finish.
22. Pompadour Fade
What is not to love about the pompadour? It is a hairstyle that is all about volume but still looks structured. It was first popularized in the 50s and remains relevant today because it is highly adaptable. The cut can suit various hair textures and be changed to make it more modern, such as a fade. Faded sides and back give the pompadour structure, graduating to a shorter length above the ears. This also makes the top of the head appear fuller and thicker, giving it even more height.
23. Quiff with Fade
The quiff was a hairstyle popular in the 50s, traditionally featuring some length on the back and sides of the head, with volume at the top. The great thing about this look is that it plays up the dimensions and is a timeless classic that can easily be adapted. One such way would be to opt for a fade. It will gradually shorten the sides and back of the head. This will draw the eye to the forelock, making it appear even fuller and creating a subtle contrast. Some men may also wish to add other details, like a razor parting, to suit their style. To complete your look, use a high-shine gloss for a sleek finish.
24. Wavy Hair Fade
The appeal of wavy hair is that the texture makes even the most simple cuts interesting. This is especially true if you pair it with a fade, highlighting your texture on the top. There are many different fades to choose from, but the general concept is that the hair on the sides and back will gradually shorten, leaving more length on the top. When paired with wavy hair, it creates a contrast. It can also help make your cut look neat. Plus, it will reduce style time because of the practicality of the fade. Add a curl-defining product or sea salt spray to your hair to enhance the texture, as it will become the focus of your look.
25. Curly Taper Fade
Curly hair is versatile and sexy and can be styled in so many different ways. The texture can add a softness to your appearance, and there is something incredibly charming about men with curls. Opt for a curly taper fade if you want a stylish and practical way to style them. The combination will make you look polished. Or it could highlight your hair curl pattern and make it the focus of your look. Depending on how dramatic you want your appearance to be, a lot of volume with a fade will create a striking look that will make a statement. At the same time, keeping the curls short is an easier way to wear them and an excellent option for taming them and reducing the risk of tangles.
26. Blowout Fade
Blowout hairstyles with a fade are the perfect match. It is a combination that adds a modern touch to the blowout and can draw attention to the fullness of the hair on top. The blowout is defined by the hair being brushed back on the top. The sides and back are kept short and taper off. It is less structured than a pompadour and often easier to wear. It can also be adapted to suit various hair textures and types, and you can put your own twist on it. For example, adding a razor part or playing around with varying lengths; the longer, the more dramatic the finish.
27. Flat Top Fade
There are many different versions of the flat top, an angular hairstyle and shorter hair on the sides and back, with the volume on top. It is a haircut that was popular in the 50s, then again in the 80s and 90s, but it has made a comeback because it can be adapted to suit your style. The military flattop is the way to go for those who want a straightforward and masculine option. It is worn with a high fade, creating an interesting contrast between the sides and back of the head and the hair on top. This look is less about volume and can be worn with hair of various textures.
28. Man Bun Fade
The man bun is one of the most popular looks for men with longer hair. It is stylish and cool and can be created with shoulder-length hair or longer. It is also one of the easiest updos to create, with little skill, and perfect for all hair textures. You can pair the man bun with a fade to give the man bun a fresh update. Shortening the sides and back is a great way to achieve a fashion-forward and cool look. It will also remove weight from your hair and is practical. Now you can keep the hair out of your face and create a unique appearance.
29. Crew Cut Fade
One of the most simple and masculine looks is the crew cut fade, which traditionally features tapered sides. It is typically short, sleek, and perfect for various occasions, including more formal ones. The fade is usually quite subtle, with a slight length variation between the hair on the top and the back and sides. This makes for a wearable look that is practical and stylish without being too dramatic. It is the perfect option for men of all ages and can be adapted to suit various types of hair. It is one of those get-up-and-go styles, which is another reason it is so appealing.
30. Dreadlocks with Fade
Dreadlocks are braided hairstyles that can be worn with pride. They allow you to express yourself, highlight your hair texture, and be worn in various lengths and styled in various ways. This can be achieved with a fade for those men who want to add structure to their dreads. The fade keeps the hair on the sides and back shorter, giving you more freedom to style your dreads on top. It can also be faded to any length, depending on your preference and how much contrast you wish to create.
31. Caesar Cut Fade
A Caesar cut fade combines two looks to create a modern and super wearable hairstyle. The Caesar is traditionally the same length all over the head, with short, straight bangs. Pairing it with a fade, such as a taper fade, will leave the hair gradually shorter at the sides and back. The top will have more length, which can be attractive, especially for men with textured hair, as it will highlight this. That said, it can suit hair of all types. This is an easy-to-wear option that puts a twist on a timeless classic.
32. Line Up with Fade
Pairing a line up haircut with a fade creates more volume at the crown and will highlight the shape it makes even more. The fade will gradually shorten the sides and back of your hair, while the line-up draws attention to the temples. The pairing is great and will focus on the details around the hairline. Work with your barber to achieve the look that best suits your hair texture and length and reflects your personality. If you need to wear this cut confidently, it will get you some serious cool points.
33. Slick Back with Fade
The slick back is a classic men’s haircut that has long been a favorite because of its versatility and handsome, manly appearance. it can be adapted to suit various hair types and lengths and is perfect for several occasions, including more formal ones. If you want to breathe new life into this timeless men’s hairstyle, then do it with a fade. It can be about creating contrast depending on the fade you choose, as the hair gradually transitions from longer on the top to shorter on the sides and back. Pick a drop fade, a bald fade, or a taper fade for a combination that works well and is modern and easy to wear.
34. Hard Part with Fade
The hard part refers to the clean line that is shaved into the hair. It is created by shaving down to the scalp, resulting in a smart and trendy appearance. It is also incredibly versatile, pairing well with different hair textures and styles. The hard part can also create a neat and polished appearance and pair well with fades, such as a high fade. This fade starts around the temples and has shaved sides and back, with more length on top. You can combine your hard part with various styles and fades, though. Work with your barber to find the option that best reflects your personality and complements your face shape and features.
35. Bowl Cut with Fade
The bowl cut was an 80s favorite, but some men are put off by the traditional, very rounded appearance. The good news is that this cut has been adapted, featuring more texture on top and paired with interesting details like disconnected sides or a fade. The great thing about a fade is that it can soften the lines of the cut, leaving you with a fashion-forward and cool look. it is perfect for a younger man. Experiment with the fade that best suits your style because the beauty of the bowl cut is that it works well with fades.
36. Hair Design with Fade
What is not to love about hair design? This is a wonderful way to have fun with your hair and show the world your playful side. The hair design and a fade are a combination that goes hand-in-hand and will help you find an edgy and cool look. There are many different options to choose from; simple details like shapes or interesting angles to more detailed artworks like a diamond or geometric design. A hair design makes a statement and will instantly draw the eye to your head; it is, therefore, best to ensure that your scalp is in good condition. If you have any imperfections or discoloration, you also want to know that this will be highlighted.
37. Fringe with Fade
A fringe with a fade creates an interesting contrast. Depending on the length of your fringe, the fade can help highlight it and make it look even more full and thick, adding to the volume on the top of the head and crown. It can also play up the proportions. There are many pros to getting a fringed cut, which can be done on various hair textures and lengths. It would be best to consider your hair type before deciding on a fringe, as some work better with straight hair. At the same time, others are fantastic with curly locks. Fringes can frame the face, highlight your features and give you a youthful or fashion-forward appearance. It is not hard to see why this would appeal to a man who wants to stand out from the crowd.
38. French Crop with Fade
The French crop is a low-maintenance haircut for men that has withstood the test of time. This classic haircut is defined by short hair on the back and sides, slightly longer on top, and a subtle fringe. When paired with a fade, this will create more contrast between the top and the sides, which will gradually shorten. Depending on how much of a statement you wish to make, you can also opt for more daring approaches like the burst fade or high fade. Pairing a fade with the French crop gives it a modern update that is easy to wear, simple to style, and masculine.
39. Ivy League with Fade
The Ivy League haircut has a preppy aesthetic. It earns its name because its roots are traced back to American Ivy League students. It is a simple and polished look defined by the volume at the top, and the sides are kept short and neat. Pairing it with a fade makes the look a little more interesting and adds a slight contrast. The great thing about the Ivy League is that it can be adapted to your personal preference. Gentlemanly but also cool, this is a fantastic option for men of all ages.
40. Spiky Hair with Fade
Spiky hair has a very 90s feel, but the modern approach is more subtle, producing a textured look that is not as defined and easier to wear. The goal of spiky hair with a fade is to keep the length on the top of the head, with the back and sides shorter. This draws attention to the spikes, making them the focus of your look. The style can be achieved with different hair types but is best suited to naturally textured hair; this option will require far less product and produce a more natural and effortlessly cool appearance.
Taper vs. Fade
A fade is a cut that is short on the sides and back, defined by the smooth gradient from longer to shorter. There are several different fades to choose from. They start at various points on the head and are subtle or more daring. It can be an edgier choice than a taper. A taper fade features hair that gradually shortens on the sides and back of the head, with more length on top. It will highlight your neckline and your sideburns. It can be low, mid, or high and tailored to suit your hair texture and length.
How To Ask Your Barber For a Fade Haircut
If you have decided on a fade haircut and want to ask your barber for it, it is best to explain the look you want in as much detail as possible. It could be helpful to bring a picture or several pictures to indicate what you are looking for clearly. If you are unfamiliar with all the styles’ names, an image will clear up any confusion. It is also worth discussing your hair length and texture so that you can work to tailor your look to suit you. You should also talk about how you can maintain it. Some fades are subtle, while others produce an interesting contrast. The more dramatic your fade, the more maintenance it will be.
How to Maintain Your Fade Haircut
The fade you choose will determine how much maintenance it will be; less subtle ones will require more regular trips to the barber. Fades can be incredibly flattering and can add a stylish and structured element to whichever hairstyle you choose. However, they do take some maintenance. If you do not feel confident touching it up with your razor in the comfort of your own home, visit your barber every three to four weeks. Or depending on the rate of your hair growth. Some cuts can last up to six weeks.
Fade Haircuts for Men FAQs
What is a fade haircut?
A fade is a short haircut with clipped and buzzed sides to create a smooth gradient effect from longer to shorter. There are several different types of fades, which are named for the point at which the transition starts – high up on the head, at the temples or middle section, or low down near the ears. Drop fades curve into an arc rather than a straight line, and skin fades – also known as bald fades – where the hair is transitioned to a clean shave.
What does a fade haircut look like?
A fade is most visible from the side. From this angle, the haircut looks like a gradient of longer to shorter hair, usually with some skin visible. A fade from the front may give you a look similar to a high-and-tight or short-back-and-sides. However, fades have a cooler, more edgy, modern look than these traditional cuts.
What is the best fade haircut?
The best fade haircut for you depends on your hair’s thickness and face shape. Generally, men's most popular fade haircuts are the low, mid, and high fades.
How do you cut a fade haircut?
Plan your style before starting to achieve a fade haircut, which features short hair near the neck that gradually becomes longer toward the top of the head. Once you’ve decided where your fade will start, use clippers to trim your hair. Change the guard as you go to create a gradual fade that alters in length between the top, sides, and neck. Afterward, check your cut and ensure that it is even and well-blended. Alternatively, use a combination of clippers and scissors for a longer fade.
How to Choose a Fade haircut?
Select a mid fade or taper fade for a classic and flattering appearance.
Choose a high fade or skin fade for a bold and fashionable appearance.
Try a low fade or subtle temp fade for an understated take on this hairstyle trend.
Tailor your faded hairstyle to suit your face shape by opting for a significant contrast between the top and sides if your face is round or minimal contrast if it is long.
Pair your fade with an interesting hairstyle such as blowout, pompadour, or quiff.
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