It’s become frequently more fashionable for men to look back at the hair archives in order to find inspiration. So it’s no wonder that retro ‘dos like the high top fade are back!
With this style having seen a huge resurgence on the runways, it’s time that every stylish fella worth his salt starts rocking this dapper ‘do. Feeling unsure about what a high top fade haircut is and how to get it? Then keep reading – we’re spilling all.
What is a high top fade?
The high top fade (AKA ‘hi-top fade’) is a hairstyle that was really popular with black men in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. The cut includes a high fade (a gradual fade on the sides and back of the crown) with – and like the name suggests – most of the height on the top of the head.
Essentially, the high top fade is the cooler cousin of the flattop – without the military background. Instead, its roots are based in contemporary America, during the golden age of hip-hop and rap.
1. High top fade haircut
If you need some visual inspiration, take a look back at Will Smith’s hairstyle in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – the high top fade was his signature ‘do. Christopher Reid, from the hip-hop duo Kid ‘n’ Play, also rocked a pretty great version, while Bobby Brown and Tupac Shakur tapped into the trend with asymmetric styles and graphic partings.
2. Tight fade
The comeback of this haircut is mostly due to its popularity with NBA players. Orlando Magic’s Brandon Jennings and Norris Cole (the point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans) are just a couple of the cool guys bringing this retro hairstyle back into the limelight.
3. Curly high top
If you have naturally curly, coily, or kinky hair, it’ll be easier for you to achieve gravity-defying heights. If you have fine or straight hair, you’ll need extra support from firm hold hair products.
4. High fade
Also, remember that to successfully rock the high top fade, you’ll need to grow your hair on the crown of your head. So, if you have really short hair, bear this in mind and pencil in some time to let it get longer before you take the plunge.
Editor’s tip: Clarify your scalp and remove product build-up with the TONI&GUY Deep Clean Shampoo.
This hair detox shampoo can be used in alteration with your usual shampoo or with every wash.
5. Subtle taper fade
Worried about looking like you’ve just stepped out of a Public Enemy music video. The classic high top fade can be easily adapted to meet today’s trends. How? Just restrain the height of your high-top (anywhere between 1 and 3 inches is good) and ask for softer edges that will make it less boxy.
You can also make it look more modern by showcasing your hair’s natural texture, so the top isn’t just a clean, straight line.
6. Simple high top fade
As mentioned before, the NBA is mainly responsible for the high top fade’s revival. So take a look at Iman Shumpert from the Cleveland Cavaliers – he’s a real devotee of the haircut.
Or just check out Jaden Smith, who has definitely drawn inspiration from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days of his father and does a great job of modernising the hairstyle.
For a no-frills high top fade hairstyle look no further than this classic. Credit: @jesta_king
7. Square top fade
Make a statement with this high top fade style, complete with a flat top finish for a cool ’90s retro feel. Credit: @_osnap_
8. High top fade with twists
Twisted styles are a popular look with black men and look great teamed with a high top fade. Credit: @sleepy_cuts
9. High top fade man bun
Give your man bun a fresh feel by teaming with a faded cut and beard combo. Credit: @__punkin_
Editor’s tip: Wash away the day withTONI&GUY Cleansing Beard Shampoo. Massage a small amount into your beard to create a lather and rinse.
10. Box cut fade
This guy looks the epitome of cool with his box cut fade and ’70s-inspired facial hair. Credit: @mrnickloche
11. High top fade with shaved designs
Let your barber get creative with the clippers and stand out with a cool shaved design. Credit: @tiffthebarber
12. Precise shave high top fade
Geometric patterns a tad too much for you? Try out this precise curved shaved design for a more subtle finish. Credit: @sweenytomuk