Fading your hair is one of the most subtle and stylish haircuts around. Despite what you might think, there’s a lot more to fading your hair than first appears. You have to decide how to fade your hair and whether you want a short, long or mid length fade. Also, once you’ve completed your cut, looking after your locks and the style on top requires a fair amount of care and attention.
Best Fade Haircuts
Although there are many different ways you can fade your hair, here are a few classic examples of faded hairstyles that have stood the test of time. Take some inspiration from here if you’re struggling to think of ideas for your look.
Fading your Own Hair
Although it’s tempting to cut your own hair and save money, most of the time it’s a bad idea. It’s generally quite hard to cut your own hair as you can’t see your whole head properly. Also, unless you’re a trained barber it’s going to be tricky to get your style right.
However, fading hair is a great place to start if you want to start cutting your own hair. You’re not necessarily confined to just one style either, as there are lots of looks you can create with clippers, ranging from standard fade cut to a fashionable undercut.
How to Fade your Own Hair
How to Fade your Hair with Clippers
- Thinning scissors
- Hair trimmer
- Handheld mirror
How to Cut a Fade
In this guide, we are focusing on the fade cut, which we think is the perfect style for beginners. The fade is a popular men’s hairstyle which can cover any kind of cut where the hair is short near the neck and gradually gets longer near the top of the head. Whilst we show you the basics on how to give yourself a fade haircut, make sure you do your research into what specific style you would like.
How to Blend Hair with Clippers
- Start with the sides; do one side and then the other (so you don’t forget what you just did) and then finish off at the back.
- The lower part of sides is usually slightly shorter. Use a lower number guard around the ears and sideburns.
- The back is always tricky, so if possible get some help. If you are doing the cut alone use an additional mirror and lay your weaker hand horizontally on the back of your head to prevent you from cutting too high or unevenly
- Once you are happy with length you can blend with the size above side size and below top size
Long Hair Fade
This is a really easy method and is suitable for hair at least half a centimetre or quarter of an inch. Slowly lift the clippers after each time you drag through the hair, which will ensure there is no visible line between to sizes. Work slowly and take care for best results.
Short Fade Haircut
This method is a little more complicated and requires more hair tools. It’s probably a good idea to get a barber to help you with this one. As there are more layers of hair with this style it’s important to keep your locks moisturised to help definition and styling. Use a brush or comb to neaten the fade and use some wax or clay to style the hair on the top of your head.
How to Bald Fade Your Hair
Probably one of the easier fades to do when it comes to knowing how to do a fade haircut bald fades taper down from the top, and the hair around the perimeter of the sides and the back of the head is completely shaved off. Although there is less you can do here in terms of styling it’s important to look after your hair and keep it as soft as possible for the style to look its best. Usually the fade starts from the temple, better known as a temp fade haircut, and gradually fades out the lower it gets.
Wash your hair with a good quality shampoo and apply conditioner afterwards. The type of conditioner you use can depend a lot on the texture and thickness of your hair, for instance, if you have very frizzy hair, using a non-frizz conditioner may be a good idea. Finally, use a comb to direct the hair on top of your hair forwards.
Taper vs Fade
Although they are extremely similar, a fade does still have distinctive differences from a taper hairstyle. The most obvious difference between these two styles is the harshness of the gradient that your hair shortens. With a taper, the hair gradually reduces in length down the back and sides of your head.
A men’s fade haircut is much the same as a taper in the sense that the hair gets gradually longer towards the top, however, the cut is much more dramatic. The back and sides are often shaved to baldness with a much more rapid transition to longer hair.
A taper is where the hair gradually reduces in length down the back to the nape of the neck and to the sides, and there is usually about 2-4 inches left on the top. This can be achieved by either the clippers or a comb and scissors combo and results in a well-groomed appearance, whilst still allowing you to keep some length for more styling flexibility. The hair around the perimeter is usually kept very short but intact, which is the most obvious difference from the fade.
How to Fade Your Own Hair
- Invest in good tools if possible; you will achieve a better cut and will make the money back over time by not going to the barbers.
- There are many variations of the haircut fade – do your research and choose the one you want.
- Cut in opposite direction to hair growth, this allows maximum traction.
- Create overall look before refining the detail.
- Always start with back and sides, and save the top until last.
- Care for your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
- Style your hair with some gel, wax or clay.
On That Note
Whether you’re going for a zero fade haircut or just want to know how to cut short back and sides, a fade style is one of the most classic and stylish ways a man can d0 his hair. This simple, neat and versatile look are great for any number of hair thicknesses and textures.