Nothing like getting a fresh fade haircut for the new season, right? Contrary to popular belief, fades are essentially really easy to style on the daily, especially in the case of up-to-the-minute looks like the side comb fade. They require very little to no touchups for the rest of the day. Once you’ve aced the right haircut from your barber—the biggest and most crucial step, in our opinion—everything else is gravy.
What is a Side Comb Fade?
Starting with some definitions: A side comb fade is a popular way to style a mid-to-high fade or tapered haircut. Some people refer to it as a comb-over; we like to think of it as an undercut hybrid.
In a side comb fade, the hair is clipped with a high taper starting from the parietal ridge (your skull bump) or even higher, like in a “high and tight” fade, with the hair fading out almost completely once you reach the neckline. The hair on top is left the longest—anywhere between two to four inches—and, as the name suggests, is parted and slicked to one side using a comb. Unlike a pompadour (which has the tops of the hair styled in an upwards direction), or a quiff (rougher and more mussed up), the side comb fade is a more refined, precise, neatly combed look that can transition perfectly from work to play.
How to Create a Side Comb Fade: Pre-Styling Tips
Copping the look is easy and after your regular shampooing routine, should take less than three minutes.
Step 1: Wash and condition hair with a refreshing shampoo and conditioner.
You want to keep your hair as clean, silky soft and frizz-free as possible—too much texture can result in you using a bit too much product, which can result in a greasy look. We love the classic, fruity scent of AXE Phoenix 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner.
Step 2: Do a quickie blow-dry. Just a quick rough-dry using your fingers, until your hair is more damp than dripping wet, should suffice. If your hair is on the coarser or more damaged side, try using a thermal protectant spray such as TRESemmé Platinum Strength Strengthening Heat Protect Spray before you dry to keep your strands from frying.
Step 3: Apply product. For a side comb fade, the hottest and trendiest look to go for these days is a glossy, molten finish—not too shiny, because then you’ll end up in slick-back territory. Keep it looking clean, healthy and most importantly, gentlemanly. Using a dime-sized amount of non-greasy gel like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Power Play or pomade like AXE Signature Smooth Look Shine Pomade, and rub the product between your palms and rake through the tops of your hair.
Step 4: Create your part. Using a rat-tail or any fine-toothed comb, create a hard part, respecting the direction of your cowlick. In case you’re not sure where your part is: If your cowlick swirl is clockwise, your part line is on the left, and hair is combed towards the right.
Step 5: Comb and refine in that direction till hair is perfectly in place with a healthy sheen. Clean up your look by matting down the back and sides if they stick out or have excess product. Done!