6 Best Fade Haircuts For Men, 2021!

Nothing says class like a man with a perfectly sculpted fade haircut. Short on the sides and back with a little party on top, the new age haircut has fast become the go-to hairstyle for men who like to keep things sharp. Whether it’s a high, mid, or low fade haircut, the versatile approach to the old short back and sides is universally loved and adopted by sports stars, Hollywood elites, and high fashion favorites. When it comes to choosing the best fade hairstyle for you, however, the ball is well and truly in your court.

What is a Fade Haircut?


For the uninitiated, a men’s fade haircut simply refers to a slightly more extreme variation of the classic short, back, and sides. Typically, the hair on top of the head is slightly longer than all other areas, however, with a fade haircut, the hair gradually shortens as you make your way down the sideburns and nape of the neck. France Khamees, director of BY FRANCE and 2018-19 Barber Brands International Barber of the Year explains that while certain elements of a fade haircut are uniform, there are variations depending on personal preference and hair type.

“A fade a is transition haircut starting at the lowest point of the sides and back of the head and fading up towards the top creating a seamless transition. Fade lengths may vary slightly depending on the density and color of the hair,” Khamees says. “While they have grown in popularity, more recently, people are going further and becoming more experimental with various fade styles.”

In many cases, the shortest part of the hair will be bald, slowly tapering up to the desired hair length on top. The level of the fade – taper, low, mid, or high is defined by how high the shortest part of the hair goes up the head and starts to transition into another longer length. A good fade is one where the transition is smooth and seamless.

While the fade is often touted as a modern hairstyle, the structure actually has its roots in the US military. Originally a requirement in the 1940s and 50s, the fade was seen as a regimented and uniform approach to dress that demanded consistent trimming and a certain level of physical pride. In the period immediately following the Second World War, black and Hispanic barbershops became synonymous with skin fades, elevating the hairstyle into popular culture with TV shows and movies like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Do the Right Thing.

More recently, men’s fade haircuts have had a serious resurgence, thanks to the rise of barbershop culture. Nowadays, there is a type of fade to suit every hair type and face shape, meaning if you prefer the short styles, you’re sorted.

Types of Men’s Fade Haircuts

While almost all variations of a fade haircut relate to a shorter section towards to bottom gradually increasing in length as it reaches the crown, not all fades are the same. For example, taper fades are more concerned with edging and line-ups, while high fades look to expose more of the scalp. Here is a list of common men’s fade haircuts.

1. High Fade Haircut

High fade haircut 1

Perhaps the most extreme variation of the hairstyle, the high fade takes the blending section to the highest natural point. In this instance, the majority of the sides and back of the head will be exposed with the point of connection between the top and sides occurring just above the temple. In many instances, the high fade is chosen to highlight the contrast between short and longer areas, and may also be referred to as a ‘quick fade’. Importantly, as this hairstyle will grow out quickly, it requires a large amount of maintenance and constant cutting.

Shortest length: Skin/bald
Blend point: High-temple
Styling: Minimal
Best for Pear, oblong, oval, and square face shapes

2. Mid Fade

Mid fade

A more contemporary take on the short, back, and sides, the mid fade haircut follows the same structure as the high fade but pushes the blending point lower. In most cases, the blend will occur in line with your temple, giving a more corporate aesthetic. Best of all, the mid fade works with almost any type of hairstyle on top, whether it be crop, a pompadour, or side part.

Shortest length: Skin/bald for sharp, #1 for conservative
Blend point: Mid-temple
Styling: Moderate
Best for Triangle, heart, oval face shapes

3. Low Fade Haircut

Low fade

A simple entry point for those new to the world of fade haircuts, the low fade keeps the blending point below your temple. Far sharper than the average short hairstyle, this cut will last you a little longer than normal and won’t significantly alter the shape or silhouette. If you want to change things up a little bit, without going overboard, the low fade is a great place to start.

Shortest length: Skin/bald for sharp, #1 for conservative
Blend point: Ear height
Styling: Moderate
Best for Round, oval and square face shapes

4. Taper Fade

Taper fade

A taper fade is a type of haircut that reduces the fade section purely to the sideburns and nape. In this style, the hair gradually fades out to nothing with the blending point occurring just at ear height. While not significantly different from a standard cut, this variation not only looks sharper but will last longer and will grow out more naturally. Importantly, it won’t be as drastic as some of the other fade you’ll see and can be altered in order to suit any hair length on top, making it not just one of the best fade haircuts you can ask for, but also the most versatile.

Shortest length: Skin/bald for sharp, #1 for conservative
Blend point: Sideburns
Styling: Moderate
Best for Round, oval and square face shapes

5. Burst Fade

Burst fade

A burst fade is a style of haircut that keeps the hair around the ears short while dropping the blending point at the back of the head slightly lower. In some cases, you may see a circle-like bald section over the ear leading to a mohawk-like nape. More challenging for the barber, this men’s fade haircut is decidedly more contemporary and suits those with wider face shapes towards the top. Keeping the blending point at the back lower will help elongate triangle, heart, and square face shapes, giving a better overall profile.

Shortest length: Skin/bald for sharp
Blend point: Temple height, rounded towards the nape
Styling: Moderate
Best for Triangle, heart, square face shapes

6. Undercut Fade

Undercut fade

In essence, an undercut is two hairstyles in one. An undercut is a section of hair that has been disconnected, meaning that there is a distinct contrast between long and short areas. Most notably, you will see fades on the sides, where the hair gradually goes from skin or #0 up to a #3, while the hair on top is far longer. This hair may be styled to sit on top, similar to a slick back, or fall naturally over the faded area.

Shortest length: Skin/bald
Blend point: Disconnected
Styling: High
Best for Round, oval and square face shapes

Shambhavi Singh

Hi! My name is Shambhavi Singh and I am from Lucknow, UP. I am completing my graduation from the Amity University at Noida with a B. Des in Fashion Design! Hook 'em ;) No matter what brought you to my blog, I am so glad you are here. I really want this to be a space where I can create content that will reach and relate to other people in a positive way.

Leave a Reply