The fade haircut is the most popular and best way for men to cut their hair short on the sides and back. Easy to get and simple to style, fades complement all hair types, lengths, textures, and hairstyles. Cool and short, barbers use clippers to gradually taper your hair short to shorter for a clean, blended finish.
While there are many different types of fades, the most common kinds are the high, mid, and low fade haircuts. To ask your barber for a fade, guys should start by describing where they want the fading to begin on the sides of the head. Tailor the cut by adding taper, skin, bald, burst, or drop fades.
With a number of different fade haircuts to choose from, it’s important to see examples before deciding on a specific cut for your hairstyle. To inspire your next visit to the barbershop, explore all the best types of fades for men to get right now!
The low fade haircut is a short cut on the sides and back that starts just above the ears and neckline for a classy style. Versatile and stylish, low fades work with all the best men’s hairstyles.
Low Taper Fade
The low taper fade haircut is great for business professionals who want to maintain a clean-cut yet fashionable look. The low taper fade is cut very short, but still leaves hair at the lower levels. Perfect with a comb over, side part, faux hawk, crop top or messy hairstyle, this type of fade styles nicely with everything, classic or modern.
Low Skin Fade
The low skin fade blends hair into the scalp all around the sides and back. Also known as a low bald fade, this haircut adds an edgy touch to an otherwise smooth, handsome hairstyle. As one of the coolest cuts to get, low skin fades are a barbershop favorite around the world. From a buzz cut to a slick back, try short to medium length styles with this faded down cut.
Low Drop Fade
A low drop fade is a cool haircut that starts lower on the sides and back, and then curves around the head along with your hairline. The drop fade adds a unique flair to a classic cut, and creates a bold tapered look. Guys can combine a low drop fade haircut with a taper for an elegant texture or a skin fade for a very short style.
The medium fade haircut is cut somewhere between a high and low fade. Starting in the middle of the sides and back, mid fades offer the most flexibility with styling. Whether you want a mid skin fade to highlight your hairstyle on top or just a tapered buzz for a fresh trim, the medium fade just looks good.
Mid Taper Fade
The mid taper fade provides the perfect short sides and back haircut for a sophisticated chic look. This medium taper and line up complement the longer hair on top. Mix in a hard part and beard for an extra rugged finish.
Mid Bald Fade
This mid bald fade haircut highlights the trendy messy and spiked hair on top. With a cool shaved hair design and a well-groomed beard, a medium skin fade just elevates this cut. Guys with thick, wavy, or curly hair will appreciate the sleek finish and how easy it is to wear this type of faded style.
Mid Drop Fade
The mid drop fade gets you some unique flair to an otherwise classic faded cut. Drop fades curve around the sides and down the back to the neckline. This medium drop skin fade haircut creates a dramatic look around the hairline, and simultaneously focuses the eyes on the bold sexy hairstyle.
The high fade is one of the best fade cuts for guys with short hair. High fade haircuts are generally bold, manly and super low-maintenance. With a very short haircut on the sides and back, high fades produce plenty of contrast for short, medium length and longer hairstyles. Similarly, guys with thick, straight, wavy and curly hair can get the cut to take their hairstyle to the next level. Plus, if you have a receding hairline or bald spots, high faded styles and shaved sides can be used to hide these areas.
High Taper Fade
This high taper fade is paired with a slicked back pompadour hairstyle on top. The sides are tapered and the cut is defined by the longer hair and beard. Unlike a skin fade, this high taper blends and leaves very short hair. Style the look with a strong pomade or mousse to maintain the shape all day. Use a matte product for a textured finish or give your hair some shine for a wet, retro hairstyle. The full facial hair adds to the rugged style.
High Skin Fade
As a cut that looks great with most short men’s haircuts, you can’t go wrong with a high skin fade. Versatile and stylish, high skin fade haircuts buzz your hair quickly down for a high-contrast, shaved cut. The style looks soft and smooth, especially when combined with a beard fade. For guys who really want to feature a short or medium length hairstyle, skin fades are an excellent choice.
High Drop Fade
A high drop fade can look dashing and unique, making your fade pop for a greater effect on your style. This high drop fade comes with disconnected longer hair on top, a line up along the hairline, and gets faded down to the skin at the lower levels. Brushed up with a strong hair styling product for volume and height, this is a men’s hairstyle that women love.
As the perfect mix of modern, trendy and classy, the taper fade cuts the hair short on the sides and back. Tapered cuts get gradually shorter, but do not fade into the skin. Because of this elegant clean-cut finish, taper faded haircuts are safer looks for business professionals, older men, and gentlemen.
Comb Over Taper Fade
As one of the most popular gentleman’s haircuts, the comb over taper fade is timeless and charming. Guys can add a cool shaved part and grow a full beard. With the right length, your cut can also be transformed during the week to style a number of other on-trend hairstyles. Styling a comb over fade is as easy as sweeping your hair over to one side and leaving it loose or neat.
Mohawk Taper Fade
If you want more than a faux hawk but don’t want to shave the hair on your sides and back, then ask your barber for the mohawk taper fade. The mohawk works great with short and long hair in the middle of the head, and the taper fade cuts the sides short enough to focus all the attention on your hawk. When you don’t feel like styling your mohawk, leave the hair messy and flat for a more relaxed hairstyle.
Blowout Taper Fade
The blowout haircut has been trending in recent years. But gone are the days of the hard-gelled blowout. Today, the blowout taper fade is clean and chic with just the right amount of volume and flow. Curly, wavy or straight, the blowout taper styles well with all hair types.
The skin fade is a cool haircut that cuts the sides shorter and shorter until it blends the hair into the skin. Skin fades can start high, mid or low, and be combined with other types of fades to create a unique cut. Also known as a zero and bald fade, skin fade styles will continue to be popular in barbershops!
Skin Fade Comb Over
A comb over with a skin fade on the sides balances modern and classic styles. With longer hair on top, this low skin fade haircut is paired with a shape up and hard part for an edgy cut. To do this comb over hairstyle, brush and part your hair to one side and then sweep the front vertically back.
Pompadour Skin Fade
The pompadour fade is the modern version of the classic pomp. The skin fade keeps the look bold and hot, while the modern pompadour is styled textured and effortless. Men can also try a disconnected undercut on the sides for a similar cut. Apply a matte pomade, clay or cream to form and shape your pomp.
Buzz Cut Skin Fade
The buzz cut and fade fit naturally together since the very short haircut requires contrast to stand out. The skin fade takes the style a step further without shaving the sides and making it a straight-up military hairstyle. With a edge up to define the hairline and a healthy thick beard, this buzz cut example is worth replicating. Experiment with giving yourself a buzz cut at home with just clippers.
The drop fade is a fresh way to cut a faded haircut by dropping the taper line in the back. Drop fade haircuts create a cool look by curving the hair around the head. Guys can drop any type of fade and design a distinct cut that instantly stands out.
Bald Drop Fade
This bald drop fade is cut very short and blends seamlessly into the skin. The dropped back adds a unique styling to the haircut while also creating a clean neckline. With thick hair brushed back and a long beard, this hairstyle really comes together.
Drop Fade with Dreads
Highlight your dreads with a daring drop fade. Dreadlock styles have become more fashionable, and this drop fade haircut with an encompassing shaved design shapes the look. Tapered with short dreads, good haircuts for black men can really transform your appearance.
Afro Drop Fade
The Afro is a black men’s hairstyle that will never go out of style. True to form, this Afro looks hot with a drop fade and goatee. The bald drop fade haircut keeps all the attention on the puffed out big Afro on top. Then a sharp line up forms the hairline for a clean finish.
The temp fade is a cool faded cut that starts and shapes men’s temple areas. Also called a Brooklyn fade or uptown fade, a temple fade haircut works with all types of styles, but is particularly requested with hairstyles for black men. From the buzz cut to the dreadlock, wave, afro, and mohawk, temp fades are sleek and refreshing.
Temple Fade Afro
This temple fade Afro showcases just how flattering and exceptional this cut can look. With an edge up and thin mustache, the details of this style contribute to the overall effect.
Temp Fade Waves
The waves haircut is a style for black men that takes kinky curls and defines your hair into deep ridges and spirals all around the head. With a temp fade, these 180 waves look exceptional and sharp. The line up and long full beard provide additional ruggedly handsome features.
The burst fade is a type of fade haircut that curves around the sides and into the back, leaving your tapered hair longer at the neck. Burst fades are rounded and have a similar profile to the drop fade. Most guys get the burst fade mohawk or a mullet since the cut naturally caters to these hairstyles.
Burst Taper Fade
This burst taper fade on back and sides enhances the mohawk haircut on top. Mohawks are edgy and badass, and can be styled with wavy, curly, thick and straight hair. The shape up and short beard further cement this bold look.
Low Burst Fade
While the burst fade is inherently audacious, guys can ask their barbers for a low burst fade for a slightly less dramatic cut. With a line up and short spiky hair on top, this low burst fade mohawk delivers a killer hairstyle. Perfectly groomed and styled, this is a clean men’s style worth copying.
Burst Fade Mullet
The modern mullet features a tail with a fade. This burst fade mullet is very different than the classic version, and has become a trendy hairstyle in parts of the United States. Paired with spiked up hair and a unique design, this mullet actually styles quite well.
The bald fade is the shortest haircut you can get on the sides and back. Also known as a skin fade, the bald fade haircut cuts your hair down to the skin. Like other types of fades, bald faded styles can start high or low on the head. From short to long, this fade can be combined with the best men’s hairstyles to create a popular short sides, long top look.
High Bald Fade
This high bald fade rides up near the top and is tapered with very little hair left on the sides. The trimmed hairline and short hair enhance the cut. Fresh and good-looking, the styling options are limitless. Guys can spike up, brush down, or side sweep their hair to fashion various styles.
Medium Bald Fade
A medium bald fade is an excellent haircut idea if you want to keep things short and manageable without shaving off too much hair. Razor faded at the bottom levels, this mid bald fade cuts and tapers the hair smoothly for a very natural transition. As one of the coolest fade haircut styles to try, this cut will continue trending strong for years to come.
Low Bald Fade
The low bald fade is a kind of faded cut that incorporates some flair in an otherwise regular haircut. Subtle yet dapper, low bald fade haircuts increase in length very gradually up the head, shaping a soft blurry taper with effortless transitions. Versatile enough to work beautifully in your professional and persona life, low fades are an excellent choice for men with wavy, thick, straight and curly hair.
The razor fade is a type of bald taper fade haircut where a part of your sides and back is shaved, often with a straight razor. Razor fade cuts help guys pull off daring, almost bad-boy hairstyles. As a high-contrast look, this version of a skin fade enhances your style with a cool trim only a skilled barber can do.
Low Razor Fade
If you like the idea of a razored cut but want to experiment first, a low razor fade is short but doesn’t expose too much scalp. This faux hawk fade just looks better with low razor faded sides, a hard part line at the top, and a maintained beard.
High Razor Fade
This high razor fade makes the messy quiff on top the focal point of the style. Textured and spiky, the styling is chic yet appears carefree. The featured razor fade is also easy to maintain, and gives you the benefit of enjoying different stages of length as it grows out.
Mid Razor Fade
The mid razor fade is a great way to get a bold cut without completely shaving the sides. This crop top fade is one of the most popular short haircuts for guys with thick hair. The blunt fringe and messy textured styling add depth and pizzazz.
An undercut fade is a trendy men’s haircut that combines two of the best cuts for the hair on your sides and back. Posh and exciting, undercut fades disconnect from the hairstyle on top but then taper down. The result can be paired with a comb over, slick back, pompadour, and various other styles.
Short Undercut Fade
This short undercut taper fade haircut cuts under the longer hair on top. Tapered down for a classic look, the comb hairstyle is uniquely styled with a brushed back wavy fringe. Cute and universally handsome, this modern variation of the undercut fade works well in formal and informal settings.
Disconnected Undercut Fade
This undercut fade haircut comes with disconnected sides and a long pompadour on top. The tapering starts quickly and then transitions into a shaved cut. The shape up creates sharp lines in the hairline, and the trimmed facial hair let’s you know this guy is serious about maintaining the perfect beard.
The shadow fade is a cut that goes from short to shorter without exposing the skin and scalp. Generally considered a light fade given its blurry nature, a shadow taper fade haircut is clean, understated, and smooth. It can be faded high, medium or low, and then blends into longer hair on top.
The zero fade is one of the shortest types of fade haircuts you can get since the sides and back are effectively tapered into the skin. Zero fades often looked clean shaved because your barber will probably use a foil shaver for a very close cut. Refreshing and awesome, the end result is basically the same as a skin or bald fade.
Low Zero Fade
A low zero fade is a natural choice when you want a buzz cut on top. Faded into the skin for a smooth blend, this military-inspired hairstyle is easy to get and simple to style.
High Zero Fade
If you want lots of contrast for a masculine haircut, the high zero fade can help you buzz the sides. The zero cut makes sense with this curly hair side part since guys will want to minimize maintenance here.
All Around Fade
The all around fade is a haircut for men that keeps the tapered line level all around the sides and back of the head. Unlike a burst or drop fade, an all around taper fade won’t curve down, giving you a distinct uniform cut.
The blurry fade is cut so clean and smooth that the blending process is hardly noticeable. This blurred fade contrasts the dyed hair coloring, fringe haircut, and black beard.
Fade designs are lines, zig zags, shapes, logos, and other cool haircut designs that are shaved into your fade. Daring fade hair designs are only limited by your creativity and how talented your barber is. If you want your cut to stand out, this look can deliver.
Haircut numbers reference different guards or comb attachments, which attach to hair clippers to cut different hair lengths. Fade numbers determine how short your hair will be buzzed on the sides and back. Similarly, these fade levels will dictate how much tapering you want. You can ask your barber for a number 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 fade. Common barbershop requests include the 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 fade.
Best Fade Clippers To Use
Cutting a fade requires the right hair cutting tools. The best fade clippers come equipped with sharp blades, a powerful motor, long-lasting rechargeable battery that provide cordless trimming, and a full set of guards. Trusted by barbers and stylists around the world for their performance and durability, the best hair clippers for fades are the Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip Cordless Clipper, Andis Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper, and Wahl Professional Super Taper II.