Tutorial: How to Do Fade Haircuts at Home plus a Bonus Clipper Guide and Styling Inspo

The confusion ends here.

Still baffled by the mid-fade taper haircut? We can’t blame you for the confusion. What was supposed to be a pretty straightforward look—hair fading downward—has now gathered layer upon layer of complexity, depending on both the stylist and wearer. Thus, street trends have catered to this variance, coining up with new nicknames and buzzwords for a hairstyle that’s as old as time itself.

We know the fade haircut can be a tad confusing, but there’s no need to worry. We’re here to help you decipher the differences between fade variations. Plus, you’ll even learn how to achieve the style at home. And scroll down to the top ten bald fade haircuts you need to try.

Types of Fade Haircuts and How to Get Them

This easy-to-follow infographic illustrates the basic fade haircuts in current (re)rotation. For future reference, gentlemen:

fade haircuts easiest guide ever infographic

1. Classic Fade Haircut- Clipper guard: #3, #2, #1, 0

The classic fade haircuts leave a healthy length of hair up top (>3”) and taper down from one part line until it lightens up significantly towards the neckline. Some guys like to play with the back part, leaving a “tail” or tuft, versus an all-over taper.

2. High Fade – Clipper guard: #2, #1, 0

High fade haircuts or “high and tight” taper haircuts have strong military leanings. The “high” in its name comes from the somewhat high point on the head where hair starts to sharply thin out, as opposed to other, more gradual fades. This looks pretty crisp with a suit or a regular shirt.

3. Mid-Fade Clipper guard: #3, #2, #1

Guys with thick hair can go with a mid-fade as a starting point. You’ll want to keep some volume up top still—freeing you to play around with your pomps and quiffs as you wish—but will keep the sides precisely clipped. Mid-fades are also a great match for sharp temple edges, especially if you have an angular forehead—it’ll make your features look more chiseled.

4. Low Fade Haircut – Clipper guard: #4, #3, #2, #1

Try a low-faded version of the scissor crop if you want to update your textbook’s clean-cut style. Guys with curly, wavy, or otherwise kind of fluffy hair can also ask for a low-fade haircut to keep things neat on the sides. This will still keep some fun, malleable texture up top.

How to Style a Mid Fade Taper Haircut

Once you’ve got the fade haircut you want, it’s time to style! You don’t need to put any product on the fade part of the style, but depending on the length you have going on top, you might want to add in some product.

1. Wax

For a light texture and hold, we recommend adding some AXE Messy Look Wax. This is the perfect product to use if you want to add a lightweight hold to your look but doesn’t want to deal with a stiff, crunchy texture. Plus, this wax also adds a bit of shine to your hair.

2. Hair Glue

If your style requires a more intense hold, go for AXE Spiked Up Look: Extreme Hold Glue. This hair glue is a great option if you need your style to stay locked in place all day. Windy day? No problem! The glue will give you an extreme yet precise hold that you can count on.

3. Pomade

For those who want to create a natural texture, apply SheaMoisture Men Argan Oil & Shea Butter Waves Pomade. This pomade helps to keep your hair moisturized and soft while providing a lightweight hold.

Fade Haircut Inspiration

Now that you either have your new fade haircut or are ready to try one out, it’s time to get some style inspo. Keep scrolling to check out some of our favorite fade haircuts.

1. Mohawk Fade Haircut

fade haircut mohawk
Go out of your comfort zone with a mohawk fade.

Make a statement with a mohawk fade hairstyle. Achieve this by using Bed Head for Men by TIGI Power Play Firm Finish Gel. All you have to do is apply a small amount of gel to the longer lengths of your hair and style it in an upward motion.

2. Mid Fade Taper Haircut with a Full Beard

Man with beard and sunglasses + medium fade haircut
Style your beard with a medium fade haircut.

Is a beard your thing? Pair your signature facial hair with a trending fade haircut, and you’ll be the most stylish guy around. The medium fade haircut paired with a chic beard trim is bound to elevate your look all around.

3. Blonde Number 2 Fade Haircut

Man With Blonde Fade Haircut
Ring into warmer seasons with this blonde medium fade haircut

A number 2 fade haircut is when the sides and back of your hair are cut to a 1/4 inch length using the #2 setting on your clippers. If you want to switch up your typical fade style further, opt for a bright blonde look!

4. Dreadlock Fade

Man With Dreadlock Fade
The medium fade haircut looks great on locs too!

When you think of a fade hairstyle, most people don’t think of dreadlocks. But it’s totally possible to pair this style will your dreadlocks! Whether you have baby locs, faux locs, or growing locs, the medium fade haircut is a great way to transition between looks.

5. Facial Hair Mid Fade Taper Haircut

Man With Facial Hair Fade Haircut
Facial hair paired with your medium fade haircut can go a long way.

Not sure what style to pair with your facial hair? You can never go wrong with a fade. This mid-fade haircut starts thinning out between your temple and ear, which makes it the perfect haircut to blend into facial hair seamlessly.

6. Deep Part Fade

Man With Deep Part Fade, medium fade haircut
Take your medium fade haircut to the next level with this side part.

Need to change up a classic style? Add a deep side part! It can seriously make such a huge difference. Plus, the side part instantly gives your hair a put-together look. The perfect look for the dapper man looking to take his look to the next level

7. Layered Fade Haircut

Man With Layered Fade Haircut
Standout in the best ways by adding layers to your medium fade haircut

Add layers to make a typical haircut like this standout. A layered style like this adds a bit of edginess to your cut that you wouldn’t typically have in a traditional fade hairstyle. This is also a great way to trim grown-out hair without causing significant changes to the growth of your hair.

8. Slicked-Back Style

Man With Slicked-Back Style
Slick back your medium fade haircut

A slicked-back fade style is a great option to go with if you want your beard to be the focus of your look. Slicked-back also instantly gives you a professional look, perfect for going from work to a night out.

9. Textured Medium Fade Haircut

Man With Textured Fade
Add sone texture to your medium fade haircut

Have curly or wavy hair? Let your texture shine with this style. Use AXE Messy Look: Matte Wax for a lightweight hold that will last all day. Simply run in the product for the edgy yet dreamy look that lasts all day.

10. Sleek Hairstyle

Man With Sleek Hairstyle
The modern take on the medium fade haircut

A sleek style like this instantly looks super professional but is also perfect for everyday wear. You’ll be ready for anything that comes your way. Not to mention, this medium fade haircut works great for anyone looking for a low maintenance style.

11. Choppy Mid Fade Taper Haircut

Man With Choppy Haircut
Get nostalgic with this 2000s-inspired choppy medium fade haircut

A choppy twist to this hairstyle helps add extra dimension. Plus, the mid fade taper haircut is a great length to try if you’re new to the fade style. This cut will gradually start getting thinner between your temple and ear, making the change noticeable but not too drastic.

12. Accent Color Style

Man With Accent Color Style
Add some flair with a hairstreak.

If you like to be daring with your hairstyles, try dyeing the front section of your fade. This will make your style stand out in the best way possible. Not to mention that blonde or single streaks have been making a major comeback among hair trends in the past year.

13. Fade with an Undercut

Man With Fade with an Undercut
Add an undercut to your fade to achieve a classic medium fade haircut

Want to take your style a step further? Shave the bottom section of your hair to add an undercut to your fade. This classic take on the medium fade haircut will have you yearning for this to be your signature hair look.

14. Medium Fade Hairstyle on Natural Hair

Man With Fade Hairstyle on Natural Hair
The Medium fade haircut looks stellar on textured hair.

For guys with natural hair, a fade is a great option if you like to keep your hair on the shorter side. By opting for a medium fade, your hair will begin to thin out and get shorter between your temple and ear. This is great if you’re just starting out with a fade cut. That way, you don’t have a drastic change right at first.

15. Ponytail Fade

Man With Ponytail Fade
This ponytail fade will continue to keep look better overtime with growth.

You can even sport a ponytail with your fade if your hair is long enough. Wearing a ponytail like this helps emphasize the shortness of your hair on the sides and around the back. This style also looks great when worn as your hair continues to grow out over time.

16. Fade Hairstyle for Curly Hair

Man With Fade Hairstyle for Curly Hair
Embrace your waves and curls with the medium fade haircut

This type of style is perfect for curly hair because it makes your strands a lot easier to manage, and they won’t feel overwhelming. If you are worried about cutting too much curl off, opt for a short or medium-fade haircut.

17. High Fade Hairstyle

Man With High Fade Hairstyle
create some layers in your fade hairstyle to add extra volume to your hair.

Play around with various lengths throughout your style. Adding layers to your high fade haircut is not only a great way to help create a unique look! However, it is a great way to create the appearance of volume within your look.

18. Classic Fade Hairstyle

pompadour fade short
Even if you have short hair, you can sport a pompadour.

Lastly, you can never go wrong with a classic fade. This style is sure to be around for many more years. Plus, with a little bit of wax or pomade, you can easily achieve the flipped-up front style.

Lately, the bald fade is the biggest style in the game. It’s a classic look that just about any guy can rock, and contrary to popular belief, it’s very versatile to style. Check out some of our favorite bald fade hairstyles and try one out for yourself:

9 Bald Fade Styles You Need To Try This Season

1. Buzz Cut

bald fade buzz cut
A buzz-cut fade is perfect for maintaining extra curly hair.

If you’re just looking for a fresh cut that’s easy to maintain, then a buzz cut with a bald fade is the best way to go. This cut is simple, clean, and perfect for going days without having to do any excess styling.

2. Taper-Fade

bald fade taper fade
Get a clean cut with this taper-fade combo.

A Tape-fade combination is great for having a sleek, clean style to your fresh cut. Style your hair with AXE Urban Look: Flexible Paste to give your hair a messy and sexy look. Adding in a side part is a great way to sleek out the look as well.

3. Curly Fade

fade haircut
If you like to keep your hair short, play it with some facial hair.

For those of you with curlier hair, a simple bald fade is perfect for maintaining a simple and clean cut without having to style it all the time. Just a simple shave of the sides is all you need to get this look.

4. Chin Strap

bald fade curly fade
If you have curlier hair and don’t want to go too short with your hair, this fade is perfect for you.

Combining a bald fade with a chin strap is a great way to add some spice to your style while looking modern and fresh. Or if you really want to go all out, try growing a beard and styling it with beard oil and balm.

5. Afro

bald fade afro
A bald fade into an afro is the perfect way to freshen up your look. Photo credit: Dvora

If you go minimal with the hair clippers, an afro with a bald fade is the best stye for you. This look is funky and fresh, and your hair will stand loud and proud against everyone else’s basic styles. Tame any frizz or puffiness with AXE Clean Cut Look: Classic Pomade for the ultimate styled afro.

6. Combover

bald fade comb over
This isn’t your grandpa’s combover.

When you think of combover, you usually don’t think of “sexy.” But, when there’s a will, there’s a way to make any cut look good, and the comb-over has definitely gotten an upgrade. Just style it with AXE Smooth Look: Shine Pomade for a sleek finish to your hair.

7. Side Bang

bald fade side bang
If you want a more drastic look, go for this side-bang style.

If you have long, naturally straighter hair, a side bang is a great way to incorporate a bald fade into your style without cutting off most of your hair. This big, bold bang is easy to style and gives off a rocker feel.

8. Grown Out Curls

bald fade grown out curls
Let your curls flow free with this style. Photo credit:

If you’re tired of going to the barber all the time, let your curls grow out and do their thing. Just trim the sides to a bald fade into your curly hair and let those curls loose for the perfect medium fade haircut look.

9. Bowl Cut

bald fade bowl cut
Go against the grain this winter with this blast from the past haircut.

This cut was a big trend back in the day, and now it’s making a daring comeback. This style is not for the weak, and if you style it with AXE Natural Look Softening Cream, you can upgrade this look.

If you’re looking for more ideas to change up your hair, then check out these high-top fade styles we’re obsessing over. Whether you have dreadlocks, curly hair, or fine, straight hair, a fade style out, there will work for you! Also, for more haircut inspiration, be sure to check out and subscribe to our newsletter below!

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taper fade haircut

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