Fade Haircut for Men: High, Low, Temple and Top

The Fade haircut is a popular men’s hair style that has enjoyed plenty of popularity through the years. Learn in this Fade haircut guide all about the different types of Fade haircuts in yet another spectacular hair guide by Rogelio!

Fade Haircut: Regular, High, Low, High Top and Temple Fade

The Fade haircut is a men’s haircut that relies on having the hair on the sides and back of the head tapered in length gradually until no more hair is left on the skin. The Fade haircut doesn’t require a specific length on the top of the head; a male can have as much length as he may wish to, which gives rise to a lot of hair creativity with a Fade haircut, plus the fade can also be implemented as a haircut to complement plenty of men’s hairstyles. Lastly, the Fade is very commonly seen in military haircuts as it satisfies the requirement of keeping the hair very short.

A black male with a fresh fade haircut

A Fade haircut

The Fade haircut should be performed by a skilled barber or hairdresser as a fade is one of the hardest haircuts to get right. To do the Fade haircut, the hair on the back and sides is clipped in layers and the layers are then smoothed, which gives a nice and gradual reduction in hair length. The hair always ends at the skin (i.e. fades), which is known in barbershop jargon as “done/clipped to skin”); this means that the hair’s length becomes progressively shorter until the hair is not visible any more.

There are several types of fade haircuts, and the only commonality between them is that the hair on the sides and back of the head decreases in length until there is no more hair (i.e. the skin shows).

The 5 types of fade haircuts

A Fade can be done in different ways although there are three main types of fade haircuts: Regular, High or Low. On top of that, a Fade haircut can also be coupled with a specific haircut on the top of the head, giving rise to an extra two types of fade haircuts: High Top Fade and Temple Fade.

If you are unsure about what type of fade haircut you want, I advise you to simply go for a regular fade haircut first and then, if you don’t like it, ask for a low fade haircut. If you continue to not like the results of the fade, then ask for a high fade haircut; if you don’t like the high fade haircut, you will have to end up clipping all of your sides and back to a zero or without a guard!

Fade haircut

The Fade haircut as a generic name refers to the hair on the sides and back being faded right until the hairline, so it is at the hairline of the sides and back of your head where the hair “disappears”. A Fade and a taper haircut are usually interchanged (and usually part of short hairstyles) but a taper need not end with no hair at the hairline, so be careful when asking your barber or hairdresser for a Fade and/or Taper haircut! The Fade haircut can also be referred to as a Regular Fade when distinguishing from the other types of fades.

A white man with a fade haircut

High Fade haircut

A High Fade haircut has the hair disappearing anywhere within a two-inch-high area below the top of the hair (many times even lower than two inches), hence the adjective “High” before the “Fade” term. A High Fade haircut is usually asked by black men at barbershops as a High Fade requires the scalp to be of a natural tone and color as the skin on the face. In white men, the scalp is usually paler than the skin on the face so a High Fade haircut for white men doesn’t usually look very good for the first couple of days as the scalp takes time to tan naturally to the same skin tone of the face.

A black male with a high fade haircut

Low Fade haircut

A Low Fade haircut has the hair disappearing lower than a High Fade haircut but higher than a Regular Fade haircut. The hair for a Low Fade haircut usually disappears half way through the sides and back of the head and about an inch before the natural hairline of the sides and back of the head; the actual line of fading is up to the preference of the male getting the haircut.

A black man with a low fade haircut

High Top Fade haircut

The High Top Fade haircut is a High Fade haircut with the hair on the top of the head trimmed vertically so that the hair (on the top) lays vertically to the scalp and has no sharp edges around the circumference of the head. The High Top Fade haircut used to be a very-popular haircut among black men in the 1980s but it lost its popularity in the late 1990s. A male who help popularize the High Top Fade haircut was Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The High Top Fade haircut is an excellent haircut for men with curly hair and with curl types IV and V as such tightly-coiled curls have no problem standing vertically at medium and even long lengths.

Nerlens Noel sporting a High Top Fade haircut for his kinky hair.

Temple Fade

The Temple Fade has the hair disappearing low (i.e. Low Fade) but with the transition between hair lengths being more abrupt. The Temple Fade has the first one inch of scalp around the hairline of the sides and back being faded from skin (starting from the hairline) to about half an inch in length (at the end of the one-inch distance), and then the hair is rapidly tapered up in length (i.e. increased in hair length) to about one inch to two inches (again, the final length is decided by the male getting the haircut). Sometimes, the Temple Fade may include the fade being done on the hairline of the forehead too.

The Temple Fade is also known as a Blowout, Afro Blow Out, Brooklyn Fade and Temp Fade, and, as with all haircuts, the actual jargon used to denominate a Temple Fade will vary according to the region and barber and/or hairdresser doing the haircut. Bear in mind that the Temple Fade can also be mistakenly assumed for a Low Fade, and this is especially so with barbers and hairdressers who are not acquainted with the Temple Fade.

Pauly D with a Temple Fade aka Blowout haircut

Pauly D popularized the Temple Fade (or Blowout as he called it) through Jersey Shore

A black male with a Temple Fade haircut

The male above has a Temple Fade haircut with the forehead hairline also being faded. Notice how the hair is faded at the hairline and then rapidly increases in length in a matter of a one-inch distance approximately

Hair products for the Fade haircut

As with all clipped haircuts, the most important asset to own is a heavy-duty hair clipper; without one, you run the serious risk of either having the machine getting seriously overheated or the battery dying half way through your haircut (has happened to me personally and I had to shave all the hair with razors as I could not turn up to work the next day with only half my head buzzed). Likewise, because the Fade haircut requires a skilled element and solid accuracy, you need a folding mirror so that you can see the sides of your head (and back) with a mere flick of your eyes. In terms of hairstyling, wax, pomade or hair gel will do if you want to keep the hair on top of your head short.

Conclusion to the Fade haircut

The Fade haircut has five types: Regular Fade, High Fade, Low Fade, High Top Fade and Temple Fade. Regardless of the type, the Fade haircut has the same function of a gradual decrease in hair length ending with the hair clipped to skin, but, as you have learnt in this Fade haircut guide, there are certainly plenty of ways to go about the Fade!

All the best

Rogelio

P.S. Feel free to ask questions below about the fade haircut

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Rogelio

Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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4 Responses to Fade Haircut for Men: High, Low, Temple and Top

  1. ogunwolu saheed on June 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    looking for a job, am a good barber please I need your help

  2. Hugo on April 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hi there Rogelio.
    I would really like to have some tips from you about my hair.

    So that’s my hair right there, its natural and very curly as u can see.
    I want to cut it, I have it like that for 6/7 years now, and I got tired of it.

    Was thinking of doing a normal buzz cut just like this:

    I’ve been wondering if with this type of hair it will look like there. I’d like to know too what clipper is that one, is it a 1?
    Are there any other haircuts I could get? nothing too eccentric.
    thanks!

  3. Sean Ngorima on January 17, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    i luv dat haircut, i only wish in Zimbabwe are done

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