What Is the Mid Fade? – 85 Ideas You Can Wear in 2020

The mid fade. You’ve heard about it because everyone seems to mention it about every five minutes. There are countless YouTube videos on it and tutorials showing you how to do it, how to get it and how to style it. It even seems like every celebrity has decided to don a mid fade. Plus all your friends are talking about it, it’s trending on Instagram… but you just can’t figure out exactly what it is and whether or not you should jump on this trend and get one yourself.

Don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for. To tell you all about the mid fade. Where it started, how you can get one, what are the best ways to style it and if you have the right face shape for it or not!


The History of the Mid Fade

As you might have already guessed, the mid fade or medium fade as it is otherwise called, is a type of fade haircut. Think of it as being related to the taper fade, low fade, high fade, and skin or bald fade. That’s right. They are all one, big family that originated back in the 40s and 50s with the US military.

After that, the fade as a general haircut seeped into black as well as Hispanic barbershops. From there to popular or ‘pop’ culture, the fade only needed a little boost. It became a highly sought after haircut in the 70s and then again in the 90s. You might remember it as being worn by Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. If you’re not old enough to ‘remember’ seeing Will Smith on that show, you definitely know that haircut as a part of meme culture.

And since we’re addressing our younger readers, here’s an interesting thing for you. The fade in general and the mid fade in particular were not seen as an acceptable hairstyle during all those decades. Children and teenagers were not allowed to wear it in school and adult men could not even dream of sporting it in a professional environment. Unless you were Will Smith and your professional environment meant pretending you were a teenage boy in a sitcom.

The mid fade and all its brothers were seen as very edgy haircuts that belonged to a new, modern, and rebellious era. Only in the past few years, which means the latter half of the 2010s did the mid fade become an acceptable hairstyle that can be worn almost everywhere. Children still have trouble in school if they show up wearing it.

What Is a Mid Fade Haircut?

If you’re a newbie to the fade game, look at it this way. The name should give you the first clues as to what the mid fade consists of. A mid or medium – fade. In other words the fade has to begin somewhere in the middle on the side of your head. That should be a third way up from your ear or maybe even two thirds up.

The fade should start blending in with the top part of your haircut right above your eyebrow line. In this way, you can create a nice frame for your eye. It’s also the perfect length, especially if you have a longer face. Any higher than that and the haircut could make your face look even more elongated than it already is.

The important thing to remember is that there is no exact science to this. Your barber or stylist will decide precisely what you need based on the type of face you have and the shape of your skull. This is the main reason why you should never skimp and only visit skilled professional barbers.

How to Get a Mid Fade Haircut

Here are all the steps you need to follow in case you want to give yourself a mid fade haircut at home. Although, we should let you know that the best thing to do would be to visit a professional salon. A mid fade haircut is not easy to perform, especially on your own head. It takes a long time to learn and months of practice to get it right. However, if your mind is set on giving yourself a mid fade haircut, buy a mannequin head first and try to practice on it before taking the clippers to your own hair!

  • The first thing you need to do is give your central area a bit of texture. You can achieve that by using the technique called scissors over fingers.
  • Once you’re done switch to the shear over fingers technique than switch back. You can alternate a few times until you get the desired result.
  • The following step will be to use the scissors over comb method on the same area. You will need a special pair of barbers’ shears in a larger size.

Giving Yourself a Fade

  • Next focus on your back and sides. Use the blade on skin technique to cut all your hair in these areas. The blade you should be using has to be half an inch.
  • Once you’re done, go over the entire area once more using a 3/8 inch blade. Then again, this time with a 1/8 blade.
  • It’s time to cut the length down. Repeat all the previous steps using only the flat side of the blade.
  • With your adjustable clipper half closed, move to mid end and work on that area.
  • Repeat the step above but this time close the lever on your adjustable clipper.
  • You can now begin to wrap up. Use scooping motions.
  • Use a t-outliner to clean your neck, sideburns, and ears.

Cool Ideas for a Mid Fade Haircut

Let’s take a look at some of the best and most inspiring looks you can create with a mid fade.

Fade with a Side Part

Fade with a Side Part

This is a fantastic way in which you can blend an old school hairstyle with a new trend like the mid fade. The old school hairstyle is, of course, the side part. Men have been wearing it for at least 100 hundred years but it still hasn’t gone out of style. However, pairing it with a mid fade is a gorgeous way in which you can bring it closer to the 2010s.

Fade with Pompadour

If we were to ask you to name the coolest hairstyle you can think of, what would be the first one that came to your mind? Is it the pompadour? Because you’re probably right. Any hairstyle that was deemed good enough to be worn by Elvis Presley, James Dean, a young Frank Sinatra and, 70 years later, G-Eazy, has to be the coolest hairstyle ever invented. We’re talking about the greasy pomp, of course.

But not necessarily the classic, traditional kind like you might have seen on the King himself or on John Travolta in Grease. This is a modern approach that incorporates a mid fade, what else? As it turns out, it was a very good idea because the mid fade makes it look ever cooler. Who knew that was even possible?

Fade with Fauxhawk

Is it a fauxhawk? Is it a set of modern spikes based on the ones every guy used to wear back at the beginning of the 2000s? It’s difficult to tell. Perhaps it’s a little bit of both. Today’s hairstyling culture is actually made up of different bits and pieces that used to be trendy and hip at some point in the past. Men have taken them and reshaped them somehow and this is what we got. A fauxhawk meets modern spikes with a mid fade and a hair tattoo perfect for mirroring your real tattoo.

Fade with Wavy Top

If you have a medium or even long top, styling it can be easier than you think. Of course, it all depends on its texture. But these classic, Ivy League waves can be achieved even if you have straight or curly hair. Guys with straight hair need to add a bit of crunchiness and hold to their locks. Therefore, you should use some sea salt spray followed by a little pomade or clay.

On the contrary, if you have curly hair, you will have to straighten it first and then create these gorgeous waves. Finish everything off with some hairspray for extra hold!

Fade with Curly Top

If you have curly hair, you can celebrate it and make the most of what nature has bestowed upon you with the help of a mid fade. This type of hairstyle acts like a little trick. By trimming the excess curly hair from the lower part of your head, you make it more manageable and easier to work with. But, at the same time, you still have your whole mane of curls to enjoy. You know what they say – the curls that get the girls!

What about you?

Are you ready for a mid fade? If so, what kind will you get? A pompadour, a classic Ivy League wavy top, a trendy man bun or a simple curly updo? Let us know in the comment section below what you’re planning on getting!

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