What Are the Different Types of Fade Haircuts

A fade is one of the most requested haircuts at the barbers in the UK and a key style we teach students at The Barber School of Wales. But what are the differences between the fade haircuts and where did the fade haircut originally come from?

Let’s Talk Skin Fades

Simply put – a skin fade haircut starts from the skin at the top, and very slowly fades away towards nothing at all on the sides. A skin fade can be high, low, or mid but just always remains skin-close on the top.

A skin fade is going to give you a clean look – think about what your hairline looks like when you’ve shaved it completely for sports? It gives off a similar effect. But if you’re not ready for that yet, you can always settle for a high skin fade.

All the same as a skin fade but with hair left at the top of your head – that way it leaves room for styling and still looks great. Although it’s good to let your barber know if you want skin close on the sides, otherwise they might keep it low.

A skin fade is also known as a skin taper because like we said, there’s no difference between skin and skin-close fades except how much hair is left at the top. You can use a product in your hair to make sure all those hard-earned hairs stay up there!


What is a Mid Fade Haircut?


A mid fade haircut is a cut that starts on the upper half of the side of your head and fades down to around an inch or more. There can be some length left

at the top, but there should not be much volume at all.

This cut usually requires a bit more maintenance than high and low fades and it’s often worn with facial hair (either stubble or a beard). Popular haircuts for mid-fade include quiffs, comb overs and Mohawks.


different kinds of fade haircuts


Mid fade vs Hi-Lo Fade: What’s The Difference?

Hi-lo fades are similar in style to mid fades, but they don’t start as high up on the side of the head. They’re different because they’re designed for men who want to keep their hair on the longer side.

This is because they start higher up than mid fades and these cuts mean that there will be more length left on top. This means you’ll need to get regular trims, so it doesn’t look unkempt.


Low fade vs Mid Fade: What’s The Difference?

A low fade haircut starts below the temples and gradually gets shorter as it reaches the ears whereas a mid fade stops around halfway down the sides of the head.

The main difference between low and mid fades comes in how much hair is left on top. With a low fade, there’s usually enough hair left at the top to style into a quiff or comb over.

With a mid-fade, there’s usually no volume left on top, so it requires very little styling and is perfect for those who like the neat and tidy look.


High Fade vs Mid Fade

A high fade haircut starts above the temples and gradually gets shorter as it reaches the ears, whereas a mid fade stops around halfway down the sides of the head.

These two haircuts are extremely similar but there is a slight difference.

Due to the high amount of fade, there’s usually no volume left at the top with a high fade because it gradually gets shorter towards the crown. This means that these cuts require very little styling and they’re perfect for those who like a neat and tidy look.

To create a mid-fade haircut, you need to shave your head in a straight line from either side. The length of this cut can vary depending on how long orFade Haircut short you want your hair to be when you turn around. A mid-fade will leave between one inch and three inches of hair on top so if you style it into quiff or comb over then it’ll be a good length for that kind of style.

If you want a low-fade then this will require that you shave your head in a straight line from the bottom of either side. There’s usually enough hair left on top with a low fade to style into quiff or comb over but make sure to get it cut regularly so it doesn’t look messy.

A high fade is very similar to mid and low fades because it starts above the temples and gradually gets shorter as it reaches the ears. For this haircut, however, there won’t be much hair left at all on top because the fade goes right up to where your head starts on top.


Where Did the Fade Haircut Come From?

The fade haircut is believed to have originated in the barbershops of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is widely known that African American barbers were cutting designs into men’s hair before it was fashionable for men to get their hair cut.

Most likely these cuts started with short clipper cuts and evolved over time into longer styles that are still popular today.


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We hope this article has helped answer any questions you had about fade haircuts and makes your next trip to the barbers easier. If you want to learn how to give the perfect fade, enrol on BSW’s level 2 barbering course and unlock an exciting new career path.