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.
Types of Fade Haircuts and How to Get Them
In this easy-to-follow infographic, we illustrate the basic fades haircuts in current (re)rotation. For future reference, gentlemen:
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.
How to Style 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 AXE Messy Look Wax. This is the perfect product to use if you want to add a lightweight hold to your look, but don’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.
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 you’re 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
Make a statement with a mohawk fade hairstyle. Achieve this by using Bed Head for Men by TIGI Power Play Gel. All you have to do is apply a small amount of gel to the longer lengths of your hair and style in an upward motion.
2. Mid Fade Haircut with a Full Beard
Is a beard your thing? Pair your signature facial hair with a trending fade haircut and you’ll be the most stylish guy around.
3. Blonde Number 2 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 further switch up your typical fade style, opt for a bright blonde look!
4. Dreadlock Fade
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!
5. Facial Hair Mid Fade Haircut
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 seamlessly blend into facial hair.
6. Deep Part Fade
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.
7. Layered Fade Haircut
Add layers to make a typical haircut like this stand out. A layered style like this adds a bit of edginess to your cut that you wouldn’t typically have in a fade hairstyle.
8. Slicked-Back Style
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
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.
10. Sleek Hairstyle
A sleek style like this instantly looks super professional. You’re ready for anything that comes your way.
11. Choppy Mid Fade Haircut
A choppy twist to this hairstyle helps add extra dimension. Plus the mid fade 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
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.
13. Fade with an Undercut
Want to take your style a step further? Shave the bottom section of your hair to add an undercut to your fade.
14. Medium Fade Hairstyle on Natural 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 a great option 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
If your hair is long enough, you can even sport a ponytail with your fade. Wearing a ponytail like this helps emphasize the shortness of your hair on the sides and around the back.
16. Voluminous Curly Style
Let your curls be the center of your style! We love a fade haircut on naturally curly hair because it allows you to still show off the volume and texture of your hair without worrying about your strands feeling like they’re a lot to take care of.
17. Fade Hairstyle for Curly Hair
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.
18. High Fade on Natural Hair
Want a look with some height? Try a high fade! This style works really well on natural hair and allows you to show off the volume your hair already has.
19. High Fade Hairstyle
Play around with various lengths throughout your style. This will help create a unique look!
20. Classic Fade Hairstyle
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.
Whether you have dreadlocks, curly hair, or fine straight hair, there’s a fade style out there that’ll work for you!