Still baffled by the fade 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. Street trends have thus catered to this variance, coining up with new nicknames and buzzwords for a hairstyle that’s basically 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 the variations of the fade. Plus, you’ll even learn how to achieve the style at home. In this easy-to-follow infographic, we illustrate the basic fades haircuts in current (re)rotation. For future reference, gentlemen:
Fade Haircut Breakdown
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 still keep some volume up top—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
If you want to update your textbook clean-cut style, try a low faded version of the scissor crop. 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.
Styling Products for a Fade 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.
For a light texture and hold, we recommend adding some Bed Head for Men Press Up Body Building Foam.
If your style requires a more intense hold, go for AXE Spiked Up Look: Extreme Hold Glue.
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.