Today, the fade is one of the most ubiquitous hair styles in the black community and one of the most popular hairstyles for men around the world, remaining just as fresh, clean, and stylish as it did decades ago. Here’s everything you need to know about the fade:
1) Fade 101
The iconic “fade” refers to a tight taper with hair at the sides and back cut with clippers and tapers. The most popular hairstyle for men, there are 7 main styles of fade: high, medium, low, drop, skin, temple, and burst. Each has their own distinct look, but can be customized in hundreds of ways, mixed together, and feature different hair lengths, textures, and types.
Designating the style of fade that’s right for you is important. A high fade sits above the occipital bone and a low fade sits below it. Vertically, the sky’s the limit, as evidenced by the hi-top fade or “flattop” of the 80s that took the fade to new heights.
Medium fades, the most “classic” fade, start midway above the ears, whereas drop fades can be high, medium, or low, but must have the fade line at the back of the head brought down lower than on the sides. Skin fades can likewise be any type of fade, but will always have the hair shaved down to the skin at the shortest part of the fade.
Temple fades or “temp” fades are created by shaving the hair at the temples and using clippers to cut a line-up or shape-up design with the fade line continuing behind the temples. Finally, burst fades cut a semi-circle shape around the ear, with the fade line using the ear as the center point.
2) Mastering the Fade
If you want Grade-A fades, you need Grade-A blades! When doing any type of fade haircut, your clippers must be sharp, aligned, and have zero gap for total control and consistency.
Whether you use Wahl, Andis, Oster, or BaBylissPRO clippers, The Rich Barber 1-Min. Blade Modifier can sharpen your blades by up to 70%, allowing you to cut closer for designs and detailing while minimizing razor bumps. Use together with the 10 Second Blade Setter to quickly align your blades for zero-gap precision and elevate your haircuts with sharper lines, closer shades, and fresher fades.
Today, barbers and consumers alike add new dimensions to their fades through designs and cross-combinations. Young barbers are introducing new designs that incorporate patterns, script, and shapes to create all new looks.
Cuts like high drops, hi-tops with designs, military skin fades, medium drop fades, Caesar high skin fades, mohawk pointed drop fades, 90 degree temple drop fades, and coily high burst fades all demonstrate how versatile and flattering the fade can be for any number of head shapes and hair types. For the finishing touches, use the N’Hance Pro Barber Kit II to fade away gray hairs and patchy areas.
3) Why the Fade Never Fades
At The Rich Barber, we know that a fade is only as good as the barber doing the cutting. We’ve helped inspire barbers and customers get their freshest fades using our tools and given thousands of our clients every type of fade imaginable.
We’re looking forward to pushing the limits of the fade with new styles and designs and collaborating with established and up and coming barbers to feature exemplary new fades. As the fade continues into the future, we expect to see new images of this timeless look that will evolve to reflect popular culture, ever-changing and never fading from style.
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