The low fade haircut has taken the world of styling by storm. It’s a modern haircut that offers a lot of versatility and creativity and which can be combined with a plethora of other styles to get you looking your best. Therefore, it’s no wonder men have been so attracted to it in the past few years.
But what exactly is a low fade haircut and how do you get one? In this piece, we will explore the answer to those questions, and we will show you how to style a low fade. But, the best thing of all, we will run through all the different versions and variations of the low fade so that you can choose the one that suits you the most.
What Is a Low Fade Haircut?
As you might have guessed, a low fade is a type of fade where the hair itself begins to taper much lower on the sides than with any other version. This means that the fade itself needs to finish at about three inches away from where the hair was the thickest.
Just like with any of the other fades, you can pair a low fade with any type of haircut you want on top. Apart from that, the top half can be any length you want it to be.
Still, the main difference here is that a low fade will always give you a lot more freedom than all the other versions. The simple reason is that you have a lot more hair to work with seeing as the fade itself starts so much lower. Therefore, you can create a distinctive style and give your locks a lot more definition.
As an example, you can ask your stylist to create strands of ticker and thinner hair that alternate. You could never do something like that with a high fade. The lack of hair on the sides of the head would simply make it impossible.
Another main criteria that needs to be met so that you can truly be sure you’re getting a low fade is this. Your barber has to use a clipper. Other haircuts, such as the contoured one, may use scissors, but not the low fade.
How to Get a Low Fade Haircut
Here are the steps involved in getting a low fade haircut:
- Using a wall clipper, make a guideline right at the bottom. It will help you in the process.
- Always start with the fade, not with the part on top. If you know you have a high arch natural around the ears, that’s great! Use it as a type of pattern that will guide you to get the fade. If not, create it yourself using the electrical razor.
- Eliminate the guideline you created it first and blend it in with the second guideline.
4. Here’s a great tip – with every single guideline you use, always keep half to one inch all the way through. Remember that all the lines you create need to be proportional with each other. They cannot be separated. Otherwise the haircut will never look neat and clean.
5. Trim along the guideline. Keep it open half to one inch. This will help you find the first guideline you created easier.
6. Use a trimmer that is 2.5 inches. Move all around your head meaning the sides and the back. This will help you create one more guideline.
7. With the same trimmer create your low fade.
8. This time, set your trimmer to zero. As you do so, it will help you get the coveted low fade effect.
9. Always remember that the length in the back and at the sides needs to be the same at all times. Otherwise it won’t be a low fade.
The Best Low Fade Versions
Let’s focus now on some of the best and most beloved low fade versions out there. Here are some details that will help you tell your barber exactly what you want and then aid you in styling these haircuts all by yourself.
Low Fade with Long Top
This is a superb low fade with a long and blonde top. The haircut on top is simple and feathery but the effect is amazing. It contrasts with the model’s tanned skin and chestnut beard making each other stand out. It’s a great choice if you want a simple haircut that will allow you to just run your fingers through your hair to style it.
Low Fade with Pompadour
What could possibly be better than combining two of the hottest trends of the past few seasons? We are talking of course, about the low fade and the pompadour. You can clearly see the fade on the bottom with its equal size all over as well as the amazing pompadour on top. The pomp is super high in the front. Plus, we absolutely adore the fact that it has a few caramel and vanilla blonde streaks coming through right at the front. They will highlight your skin and eyes in the hot season when you’re tanned.
Low Fade with Man Bun
While it is true that the man bun has taken a back seat to some other, more modern hairstyles, that doesn’t mean you can’t still wear it if you like it a lot. It was a major fashion trend back in 2015 when absolutely everyone was wearing it, including celebrities. Did you know that Mattel put out a special Ken doll at the time which was wearing a man bun?
If you’re interested to know more about the history of the man bun and how to style it, we’re written a whole piece on it which you can read right here.
Low Fade with Hair Designs
Hair designs are also called hair tattoos because… well, we’re sure you get why. Because you can basically get them in absolutely any shape or design you want which makes them look a lot like tattoos. This is just an example of an abstract geometrical pattern. However, if you have a barber that’s very skilled with a razor, ask him to give you a hair tattoo shape like your favorite brand, the logo of the team you support or your girlfriend’s name. You can also get a cartoon character, a spider for Halloween and a Santa for Christmas. Let your creativity run wild!
Modern Blue Tips
Do you remember when we were all kids, us millennials I mean, and every single boy growing up in the 90s had spikes and frosted tips? This is the modern version of that. So if you’re wondering what your desk mate from middle school looks like now, this is him. In other words, this is a low fade haircut with spikes on top that have blue tips.
The fade on the bottom half has also been treated to a hair design like the ones we detailed above. Of course, you can get absolutely any color you want, this is just an example. You can even go back to frosted tips if you’re feeling nostalgic for the 90s.
Wavy Low Fade
If you’re feeling like you should be a painter’s muse, this is the haircut for you. There really is no better hairstyle when sitting for an oil painting than a low fade paired with a set of neatly arranged faux curls and a dashing little beard. You can use a curling iron for your hair and some hairspray to make sure it doesn’t get floppy throughout the day.
Low Fade Comb Over
The comb over is a superb and classy hairstyle that will add a touch of elegance to your daily styling routine. It began as a way for men to hide their balding spots back in the 70s and 80s but it evolved beyond that. Today you can see comb overs on major celebrities such as George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Liam Payne. Most of them wear this awesome hairstyle on the red carpet.
Therefore, the pairing between a comb over and a low fade was only natural. It was a really cool way to extract this haircut from its sordid surroundings back in the 70s and bring it to the modern age where it’s so much more than just an utilitarian cut. Now it’s a way to express yourself in a really classy and casual way. It’s a type of class that you can take to the streets. Or to the office.
Low Fade Buzz Cut
So many things have been said about the buzz cut that it’s almost impossible to think that there’s someone out there who hasn’t heard of this haircut. It’s one of the most famous and iconic hairstyles in the world with an incredibly interesting background. It comes from the military, having been worn first by soldiers. But it quickly gained popularity with civilians as well who started wearing it on a massive scale.
But the main reason why we love the pairing between a low fade and a buzz cut is that it does wonders for both. It’s simply a win-win-win-win… type of situation.
First of all, it makes the buzz cut in itself a lot easier to take in. Needless to say, since it came from the force, the buzz cut can be a little hard around the edges both physically and figuratively. In other words, a man who wears a buzz cut can send a powerful message by being a little off-putting if not somewhat aggressive. However, when you add a low fade, it seems to sweeten the deal a little bit.
Second of all, the buzz cut makes the low fade look so much cooler than it already does. Overall, the two combined are a fantastic choice.
Low Fade and Long Beard
If you have decided to go for a low fade with a short top, there is a way to embellish that and pull it out of the ordinary. If you can, grow a spectacular long beard. It will compliment this hairstyle really well and make you look like a proud lion. However, keep in mind that the longer it gets, the more you will need to take care of it and groom it. Long, full beards and quite a handful, pun intended. Make sure you see your barber about it regularly and that you buy the necessary specialty products to keep it in check.
Low Fade with Mohawk
To be completely correct and objective, this is not actually a Mohawk. It’s what we would call a fauxhawk or a fake Mohawk. The reason is that it doesn’t really have the spikes we grew accustomed to seeing in the 70s and 80s when the Mohawk was truly popular. However, it is a Fauxhawk because it has the same shape.
It has also been paired with a low fade instead of shaved sides like the traditional Mohawk used to have. This modern version of the now classic haircut is far more suitable because it allows you to style it in more ways than one. It’s also a lot more work-appropriate in case you have a dress code.
Low Fade with Slick Back
If you want to copy this hairstyle, you will need two things. A comb and some pomade. You can choose any kind of comb you want, depending on the style of grooves you want the finished look to have. Remember that a fine-toothed comb will produce tighter grooves.
When it comes to the pomade itself, we recommend that you use one that is based on water as far as ingredients go. If you look at the list of ingredients itself, you will notice that some of them have wax, oils, vaseline or petroleum jelly in them. Try to stay away from them. Simply because they will be very difficult to wash out after using them. In time, the left in pomade will cake up, look bad and even start to smell. Use a water-based product.
Low Fade with High Top
It’s fairly obvious why this haircut is called the high top. But it’s an enormously popular one, especially when it comes to African-American men. Use your curly hair’s natural volume and body to create the high top. If you want to define and style your curls, you can always buy a special sponge. They’re very cheap and you will learn how to use them in no time!
Platinum Blonde Low Fade
Extreme blondes were the big shot trend last season and the one before. Wherever you went you could see both men and women sporting this color as well as many of its variations. They included shades like arctic blonde, iceberg blonde, vanilla, chai, bleach blonde and so on. Of course, this doesn’t mean at all that you can’t wear them still. After all, when has blonde ever been out of fashion? Just dab some on your pompadour with low fade and be on your way.
Tip – please do not attempt to bleach your hair at home. It’s a dangerous process that can result in burning your scalp or your hair falling off. See a professional, especially if you have long or medium hair and you want a full bleach job.
The Greaser Pompadour
Do you know why they called it a greaser hairstyle? Because the young men in the 40s and 50s who belonged to this subculture used different types of pomade based on vaseline or oil to style their hair into a pompadour. They would slick it back and spend hours in front of the mirror doing it. A perfect example of a greaser is John Travolta in, you guessed it, Grease. A modern day version of the same type of greaser pompadour with a low fade can be seen worn by rapper G-Eazy.
Celebrities Wearing the Low Fade
One thing is certain. If a celebrity wears a certain haircut, you can be sure it will become a major Instagram hit in a matter of months with thousands of people simply crowding to get it and then take selfies. Apart from that, the great thing about it is that you can use it as a source of inspiration. Celebrities have the best stylists in the world who make sure they look perfect at all times. This is why a celebrity will always be the best person to go to for guidance when it comes to hair tips. So let’s see what famous men have been spotted rocking the low fade!
This actor, TV presenter and funny man all around surely looks good in a low fade. And, if we were to analyze his facial structure, we could see why he has chosen a buzz cut as well. That’s exactly what we are going to do because it will help you in choosing the best haircut for your features.
Nick has an oval and rather elongated type of face with beautiful accentuated cheekbones. However, because of the elongation, he would not have benefited from any kind of height in a haircut on top. Therefore, he went for as simple a haircut as possible with just a touch of pizzazz – the low fade.
Michael B. Jordan
This superstar actor has a diamond face shape so he chose the buzz cut as well. But when it comes to him, the actor actually wanted to add some equilibrium to his face which, as you can see, is a lot wider at the top, in the forehead line than it is at the bottom near the chin. He also has prominent cheekbones, hence the diamond shape. He got a buzz cut with a low fade to slim down the sides of his face, his temples, and his forehead. But he also sports a goatee which makes his jawline look more accentuated and a bit wider.
Tom Hardy is a bad boy and his hairstyle actually reflects that. He has a messy comb over with a very small low fade and a tiny amount of shiny pomade to tie everything together. The style is super easy to copy and even easier to wear. Plus, it will make you look like a casual James Bond who just came back from a mission.
There is, in fact, no hidden reason why singer Zayn Malik decided to pair his low fade with a buzz cut as the other examples above. The former One Direction member has what we would call a ‘perfect’ face. In the sense that it is oval and has outstanding symmetry. In fact, Malik’s face was studied by a team of scientists and was proved to have what is referred to as ‘the golden ratio.’ This means that he can wear absolutely any hairstyle he wants and look fabulous!
He has one of the most beloved and copied hairstyles of the past five years. Connor McGreggor loves to wear his hair in a very short but stylized comb over with some gelled spikes at the front. It pairs incredibly well with his ginger beard.
After so many years, the world discovered Ricky Martin once again after he appeared in the hit TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace. And the world simply could not get enough of him. Why should we? He has one of the most handsome faces of all time plus a super cool haircut that reminds us so much of the 2000s.
Nothing much could have been said about Justin’s hair styling choices back when he was famous with his boy band. He had the infamous ‘ramen noodle’ blonde hot mess of a haircut. But, luckily for all of us, mostly for himself though, he grew out of it. Nowadays he wears this superb comb over with a low fade a la George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Low Fade with Side Part
This hairstyle is a work of art. It’s a variation on the haircuts of old when men wore finger waves and classic side parts. If you already have wavy hair, this is going to be very easy to style. If not, you should invest in a curling iron right now!
What do you think of the low fade?
After looking at so many versions and variations, have you found ‘the one’ for you? If so, show the picture to your barber to make sure you get exactly what you want. Also, if you have any questions for us regarding the low fade, please let us know in the comment section below!