You’re far from alone if you’re thinking about getting a fade haircut. Fade haircuts for men are more popular than ever before, considering a faded hairstyle can look sharp and help elevate just about any hair length, from short hair to long hair and everything in between.
The best fade haircuts take your head shape, hair length, hair texture and style, and lifestyle into account. So whether you opt for a faux hawk fade, classic taper, or anything in between, this guide can help you get the cool haircut of your dreams and look great long after leaving the barber.
Best Fade Haircut Styles For Men Overview
- What is a Men’s Fade Haircut?
- Types of Fades
- Other Types of Fade Haircuts
- How To Get The Best Fade Haircut For You
- Tips For Styling Your Fade
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Men’s Fade Haircut?
Let’s start with the basics. What are fade haircuts? At its heart, a fade haircut is a tapered and textured look designed to add a lot of dimension and interest to your existing hair. At the hands of a skilled barber, fade haircuts can make your locks look healthier and fuller and give you plenty of shape in the process.
Black-owned and operated hair stylists first popularised fade haircuts for men, using tapering techniques to create all manner of tapers and men’s fades. Fade haircuts rapidly became one of the most popular men’s haircuts, and more and more people started experimenting with them throughout the years. What we have now is one of the most modern ways to add volume to your hair, making the fade haircut a popular choice for men.
Types Of Fades
Understanding different types of fade haircuts will allow you to choose the right one for you. Talk to your barber about what kind of look you’re going for. They can generally help you to select a fade haircut that will amplify your face shape and look great with very little upkeep.
Although there are several standard types of fade haircuts, you can always customise your look. Remember, there are no fast and strong rules since everyone is different. Instead, you and your barber can work together to come up with the fade haircut that fits best with your face structure, style, and personality.
Bald Fade/Skin Fade
A Bald fade or skin fade haircut is a type of low skin fade that some people also refer to as a “zero fade haircut.” As the name suggests, your skin fade haircut goes right down to the scalp itself, making it one of the more dramatic skin fade haircuts on our list. The effect is dramatic and sharp-looking. These types of cuts are among the most popular fade haircuts for men.
If you want to accentuate and show off your beard, this type of skin fade could be right up your alley because it creates a definite line between where your haircut ends and your beard begins.
During your skin fade, your hairdresser or barber will use various types of clippers and shave off part of your hair on the sides. When finished, the skin fade should look neat, tapered, and have clear distinctions between different areas of your hair.
It’s all about experimenting here, whether you’re getting a high bald fade with curly and wavy hair or a low bald fade with afro hair.
The temple fade haircut – or temp fade – is a more effortless look to wear than the skin fade and can open up your face. This style was one of the fade haircuts popularised in the 1990s and also goes by the name “Brooklyn Fade.”
Your barber will fade the hair around your temples and ears to do it effectively. Temple fades are a type of low fade, and anyone with long or short hair can wear this look. You just need to make sure that you routinely visit your barber to freshen up your fade haircut.
Keep in mind that, much like all the other fade haircut styles on this list, there are then many different kinds of temple fades from low temple fades to high temple fades. You’ve got options, so make sure you have a barber you can trust.
A short fade haircut is slightly longer than your typical skin fade, and it’s a good option for people who are just starting to experiment with different fade haircuts. Your standard short hair fade has closely cropped sides that go almost right down to the skin. As a result, the hair on top is longer, and you can style it with gel, mousse, or other products.
David Beckham, pictured above, regularly rocks a short fade haircut and it’s become inseparable from the man’s signature look.
One of the key benefits of opting for a classic low fade style is that you don’t have to commit to a very dramatic cut. Instead, skilled barbers will just shape the hair right around your ears and the back of your head. You can also customize how short you want your hair to go and move incrementally, cutting more off as you see fit.
Low fade hairstyles also tend to grow out nicely and are less high maintenance than other fade haircuts.
Your mid fade haircut is slightly more dramatic than a low fade, and it requires a little bit more upkeep. Essentially, a medium fade haircut begins at your temples and gives you mild, gradual definition and depth. It’s one of the most versatile fade haircuts because it works on every hair length and texture.
If you love experimenting with style, mid fade haircuts could be suitable for you. You can dress these styles up or down, pairing them with a pompadour or simply going for a side part.
Michael B Jordan, pictured above, is almost always the poster boy for a great mid fade haircut style and can be seen making the most of it in Black Panther.
This fade haircut for men is a little bit more high maintenance but is easily one of the more popular styles on our list. Men love this look because it allows them to show off style and flair without having to do much. This men’s fade haircut works exceptionally well with short hair, although you can pair it with longer hair for a little bit more drama and visual interest.
High fade haircuts might not be suitable for people who are just trying out the hairstyle because you will see tons of contrast between different layers of hair. If you’re unsure whether a fade haircut is for you, opt for a short hair fade, low fade haircut, or medium fade before going into the high fade territory.
Take Drake, for example, he often uses a high fade with a buzz cut to maintain his instantly recognisable haircut. It works for him, and a “Drake haircut” is now a very common request barbers around the world get from young men wanting to borrow some of the pop star’s ineffable swagger.
Other Types Of Fade Haircuts
The fade haircuts that we’ve covered so far are only the most popular ones. There are tons of variations and different types of styles that you can do with your unique fade haircut. Once you’ve selected your primary fade haircut style, start talking to your barber about what you can do to make it more unique.
Fade Boys Haircut
Fade haircuts are suitable for people of all ages, including boys. As with men, boys can get any type of fade haircut that suits their style and face shape. The only thing that you should really keep in mind is how much upkeep your chosen fade haircut will require and if you’re going to put in the effort to keep the look sharp.
Curly Hair Fade
Whether you have curly or straight hair, there’s a hair fade that will look great on you, but fade haircuts are especially good for men with curly or wavy hair because they make the most of your locks. Talk to your barber about your hair texture and how often you will maintain and style your hair to find the best fade haircut for you.
People with straight hair might want to consider going for a more impactful fade haircut, like a burst fade. Burst fades give you tons more texture, thanks to a muted circular design on the back of your head. You can make the burst itself as subdued or dramatic as you’d like, making this style one of the top fade haircuts for people who like different styling options.
This look works on people with both short hairstyles and long hairstyles.
Taper Fade Haircut
Taper fade haircuts are one of the most popular variations on the fade haircut theme, and it is a great style for people who are experimenting with different types of fade haircuts and new styles. In addition, taper fade haircuts are generally much less dramatic than typical fade haircuts, giving you an even shape all around your head.
One of the benefits of this type of fade haircut is that you don’t have to maintain it as often as you would a mid fade haircut or a low fade. Instead, your hair will look good if you let it grow in.
Taper fade haircuts look great on virtually everyone, and your barber can customize yours to flatter your facial shape. Get this fade haircut if you want to add instant polish to your look without having to spend a ton of time styling your hair.
Pompadour fade haircuts are a great style for men with straight hair. Although this fade haircut does require a little bit of extra styling, many people think that the end product is totally worth the effort. Basically, pompadour fade haircuts are all about the volume and contrast between the shaved sides and the voluminous pomp on top.
You can slick down your pompadour with a little bit of gel if it is too voluminous for you or tease it up for a fantastic look that will always be red-carpet ready.
Comb Over Fade
If you don’t mind spending a little bit more time on your hair, this type of fade haircut could be ideal for you. Comb over fade work with any type of fade but are most impactful with a low fade haircut or a mid fade haircut. They can also emphasize an undercut fade nicely by showing off your different hair lengths.
Scissor fade haircuts tend to be a little bit more subtle than other types because instead of buzzing off or clipping your hair, your barber will use scissors. Scissors make the fade lines less noticeable and give you a more even look overall. It’s similar to a taper fade haircut and works with all different styles and types of fades.
Basically, scissor fade haircuts are ideal for people who want to have a distinct look without drastically changing their style.
Undercut fades are great styles for men who want to look sleek and modern. Basically, it’s a high-intensity fade haircut that merges very short hair on the bottom and sides with longer hair on the top.
Although your undercut fade will look great as soon as you step out of the barber, it can be a more challenging style to maintain. So if you’re a wash your hair and go kind of guy, you might want to opt for a different fade.
How To Get The Best Fade Haircut For You
Before you even step into your barbershop and sit down, there are a few things that you can do to make your haircut a total success. Having the best experience ultimately comes down to trusting your barber and having a plan, but being flexible. Although it’s great to go in with an idea, you should also be open to other options. For example, while a closely-cropped skin fade might look good on some people, it could be overpowering on others.
There are so many options and fade haircuts for men out there, so it pays to be extra communicative and know what you’re looking for right from the get-go.
Bring A Picture
Do your research ahead of time and find some inspiration online. Then, if you can, find someone with the same facial structure and textured hair. It’s a good idea to bring in several different pictures so that you can your barber can discuss how to apply the look to you.
In addition to finding your dream fade, you’ll also want to think about how much effort you’re really going to put into maintaining your look. It’s easy to get overly ambitious, but it is essential to stay pragmatic. If you’re a low-maintenance kind of guy, a mid fade will be a better option than a high skin fade because it requires far less upkeep.
Trust Your Barber
Suppose you have a barber who you trust; great. If not, it’s essential to do your research and find one that has excellent reviews and also specialises in the specific fade style that you’re looking to achieve. Don’t be afraid to check references or ask questions. After all, you’ll have to sport your hairstyle every day.
You can always ask for a consultation prior to your appointment if you have time. That way, you can vet your barber on the fly and make sure that they know exactly how to style your hair. Vetting your barber is even more critical if you’re getting a more dramatic fade, want sharp lines, or a design in your look.
Check out the following lists of the best barbers in Australia so you can find the right barbershop for you.
Listen To Your Barber
You might think that you know everything about what you’re looking for, and while you might have the perfect vision for your ideal fade, it might not work for your look. A good barber can see the bigger picture, including your facial shape and maintenance routine, and come up with a plan that’s right for you.
The flip side of finding a barber that you like and trust is giving them a little bit of creative control. However, if you have a serious difference of opinion, perhaps it’s time to find a different stylist whose vision is more closely aligned with yours.
Tips For Styling Your Fade
While some types of fade haircuts are a little bit lower maintenance than others, you will still need to do some styling to make your fade look as fresh as possible. These simple tips will help you to make the most out of your new haircut and look amazing every time that you leave your house.
Expect Regular Maintenance
This tip is especially true if you’re opting for a dramatic style like a high fade haircut which can grow out very quickly. Unfortunately, more intense-looking fades can grow out in a matter of days, but that doesn’t mean that you need to have your barber’s number on speed dial. Instead, you can do some light trimming and shaping on your own.
If you’re going to have a fade haircut, especially something like a high fade haircut, get some at-home tools and learn how to use them. Clippers and razors can be your best friends and help you get through those periods when you can’t or don’t want to visit the barbershop.
Work With Your Hair Shape
Working with your hair shape and style can save you a lot of headaches down the road. You will need different products for long hair than for shorter hair. If your hair is pin-straight, you could wind up having to cut and shape it more often as well.
When working with curly hair, try to eliminate as much tension as possible and cut your hair when it’s dry. Talk to your barber if you’re not sure how to work with your specific hair shape and texture. There’s a good chance that he or she has some pointers to impart to you.
Use The Right Products
Just like you have to work with your hair shape and texture, you’ll need to use the right products to keep your fade haircut looking fresh and not overly styled. In addition, different fade haircuts require other products and more care. For example, a high skin fade is slightly more time-intensive than a low fade haircut.
If you have a pompadour, you will really need to invest in some good gels and creams. Take your hair texture into account, the size of your pomp, and how long you need it to stay up. Waxes and pastes can keep your pompadour high and dry, but you might have too much product build-up in your do over time. The following products are great for pomps and high-impact hairstyles.
- Styling clay
- Hair Wax
Again, it’s a good idea to talk to your barber ahead of time to get a good idea of what type of product you should be using. You can also experiment with different products and find the best one or a combination of ones that work for you.
RELATED: 11 Best Hair Products For Men In 2022
Whether you opt for a low fade, undercut fade or anything in between, there’s bound to be a fade haircut out there that suits your needs and personality. Some people get nervous about getting their first fade, and that’s totally understandable. On the other hand, some styles, like high fade haircuts or undercut fades with a pompadour, can be highly dramatic. If you’re unsure about what will work best for you, it’s always good to start smaller and work your way up.
Use this guide as a good jumping-off point and as a way to have that initial conversation with your barber. Then, the two of you can chart the best course of action and get you a look that will be fresh, modern, and easy to work with.
Best Fade Haircut Styles – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three types of fade haircut styles for men?
The three main types of fade haircut styles are low, medium and high fades, distinguished by how high the fade is on the head.
What are the most popular types of fade haircut styles?
The most popular types of fade haircut styles for men include the bald fade (or skin fade), temple fade, short fade and the low, medium and high fades.
How di I get a good fade haircut?
It’s all about finding the right barber, really. Then it’s all about communication and experimenting to see what works. To help, always take a photo of the kind of haircut that you want to rock. If you’ve chosen your barber well, they’ll know exactly how to work your hair to bring it closer to your ideal look.