Young Man With a Short Beard and High Fade Hair

What Is a High Fade

Fades refer to haircuts where the hair tapers down to a clean shave. Essentially, it is a style where the hair “fades” away.
One example is the high fade characterized by positioning the shaven portion high on the head.

Often this will be above the temples. Usually the hair would only go down one to one and one-half inches down the sides of the head.
The hair on top of the head can be whatever length and style you want.

Speaking of hairstyles, it would be a great idea to learn the best shadow fade hairstyles for any man at present.
Learning about the best types of high fade hairstyles is also a great idea.

5 Top High Fade Hairstyles

Taper Fade

Taper Fade

Photo @mehdi_farahh

The classic taper haircut is where the hair would gradually taper to a shorter length.
The taper fade is a shorter version where the hair seems to fade into the skin.

A high taper fade means that the taper starts above the temples. It would then fade into the skin above the eye.

Skin Fade

Skin Fade

Photo @barbersukraine

The skin fade is identical to the high taper fade. It is essentially just another name for it.
As the name suggests, the hair would gradually fade to the skin.

Most high skin fades have almost the entire sides and back of the head shaved clean.



Photo @erickgomezz1

The high fade undercut means that the hair on top of the head is long enough to cover part of the sides and back.
Technically, this would be as long as the top part of the hair is longer and the high fade haircut is an undercut.

It is also among the high-top fade haircuts that add volume, so if you have somewhat thinning hair this will help you out.

Temple Fade

Temple Fade

Photo @osman.karaev

The high temple fade is where the fade ends around the level of the temples. You can further accentuate this hairstyle with sharp hairlines. This can give it a more impressive-looking result.



Photo @mehdi_farahh

The classic pompadour benefits significantly from a high fade because it draws the eyes up the head and to the crown.
In this style, the high fade makes the hair on top seem more voluminous because the hair on the sides and back is so thin.

What Is a Low Fade

Unlike the high fade, the low fade has the hair fade away right around the ears. The taper can start as high as you want.
However, it does need to fade into the skin above the ears, at least. This is excellent news for men with thick hair and a bit of texture.

5 Top Low Fade Hairstyles



Photo @barbersukraine

This starts with a low fade right above the ear, and then a shock of rather long hair is on top.
To style the hair, apply a bit of mousse and tease the hair up, keeping it a bit messy.

Crew Cut

Crew Cut

Photo @barbersukraine

Typically, it is possible to pair up the crew cuts with a high or medium fade. Note, though, that it also works with a low fade.
The nice thing about this pairing is that you can keep the sides thin enough to create sharp edges.

Slicked Back

Slicked Back

Photo @mehdi_farahh

Pair a basic low fade with a long undercut top and then slick the hair back using mousse, pomade or whatever hair styling product you have. This is a perfect hairstyle for those with full beards as it helps balance the length of the hair on top.



Photo @ataev_edu

This hairstyle is similar to a pompadour. However, whereas only the front of the pompadour goes up, almost all of the hair on top goes up when you are sporting the quiff. You can achieve this look by getting a basic low fade and leaving the top untouched.

To style this haircut, you must use strong hair styling products to keep your hair up.


Undercut 1

Photo @barbersukraine

The undercut is also an excellent choice for a low fade. Keeping the sides short but not shaved, make the undercut with a low fade, a low-maintenance and clean hairstyle. Unlike high fades, you can let this haircut grow out and it would not look that bad.

How to Choose Between Low Fade vs High Fade Haircut

You need to consider a couple of factors when choosing a haircut. This is quite important when planning to go for a fade haircut as it involves lopping off quite a lot of hair.

To help you make the right decision, here are some things you need to consider before choosing a hairstyle:

Face Shape

A high or low fade can work in your favor if you have a round face. The lines and shapes created by this hairstyle will help make your face look longer. If you have a long face and want to keep most of the length of your hair on top, consider a low fade.

A high fade will only make your face look longer.


Choose a hairstyle that goes well with your usual style and clothes. For instance, if you work in a professional setting, like a bank or other financial institution, high fade and low fade haircuts can work for your style.

For instance, a high fade with pompadour works well when you wear a suit often.
The same is true for a soft side part as it is compatible with a suit.

On the other hand, a Caesar or faux hawk is better for people with a laidback lifestyle.


Maintenance is another crucial factor in your decision. This will come into play if you have a busy schedule.

For instance, if you do not have that much time in the mornings and you have to rush out of the door as soon as you can, you should choose a low-maintenance hairstyle. In that case, you should not choose a pompadour or a hard part hairstyle that takes a lot of time to style.

Meanwhile, a crew cut is already ready to go right after showering. This makes it ideal for those who do not want to be burdened by the need to spend time maintaining the style.


Now it is time to briefly compare the two types of fades – the high fade and the low fade. What makes a high fade different from a low fade? The most apparent difference between the two haircuts is the amount of hair removed.

In most cases, more hair will have to be removed if you go for the high fade.

Pompadour Low Fade Haircut

The hair line in high fades starts around the temples and is usually clean-shaven below.
The fade starts around the ears in a low fade haircut, so you will still get a bit of sideburn.

This is also great for people with round faces as the lines created by the low fade will help make the illusion of length.

How to Get the High Fade

Step 1 – Brush

Brush your hair along the grain. Drape a towel over your shoulders to catch the hair clippings.
Brush your hair to roughly get the style that you want it to have.

Step 2 – Trim

Trim the hair on top. Put a guard on the clipper that corresponds to the length that you want your hair to be.
Make sure that the hair on top is uniform in length throughout.

Step 3 – Start trimming from the back of the neck

Remove the guard from the clipper and set it to the lowest setting. Start trimming the hair up until an inch or two above the temple.
Repeat the process on both sides of the head. Make sure that both sides are level.

Step 4 – Mark where the fade will end

Set the trimmer to the thinnest level and use it to draw a line around the head where you want the high fade to end.
For a high fade, the line should be above the temple. You should then bring it around the head.

Take your time with this because a mistake here will be hard to fix.

Step 5 – Shave everything underneath the line

Using a safety razor, shave everything that is underneath the line you made earlier.

Step 6 – Taper the portion above the fade

Increasing levels on your clipper, gradually taper the hair over the shaved portion. If you have facial hair, search for and follow some tips and tricks for a beard fade, so you will end up having one that perfectly fits with your haircut.

How to Get a Low Fade

Step 1 – Mark where the fade will end

Set the trimmer to the thinnest level and use it to draw a line around the head where you want the low fade to end.
For a low fade, the shaved portion usually starts right underneath the top of the ear.

Step 2 – Shave everything underneath the line

Using a safety razor shave everything that is underneath the line you made earlier.

Step 3 – Taper the portion above the fade

Increasing levels on your clipper, gradually taper the hair over the shaved portion.

How to Maintain

Step 1 – Shave regularly

The key to a fade hairstyle is the contrast between the shaved area and the portions with the tapered hair.
Unless you have premium hair clippers and the skills to use them properly, you should not attempt the taper.

Hairstylist Washing Man's Hair and Beard

Step 2 – Use conditioner

You should not shampoo every day as this will dry out your hair. Aside from that, it may cause your exposed scalp to dry out.
Instead of shampoo, which you should only use every two or three days, use the best conditioner for men.

Step 3 – Don’t use harsh styling products

Choose hair styling products that do not contain harsh ingredients. Also, only use extreme hold products occasionally.
I suggest using light hold pomades or mousse for that everyday look to keep the hair and scalp healthy.

You can also try the world’s best hair clay.

Step 4 – Get touched up every two weeks

How much do barbers charge per haircut? You better consider that when getting a fade haircut because you will visit one regularly.
If you want to maintain your fade’s crisp and clean look, you need to see your barber once your hair starts growing too long.


What is the difference between a low fade and a drop fade?

The most apparent difference between the low fade and the drop fade is the drop at the back of the head.
As the name suggests, a drop fade drops at a steeper angle than a low fade. The creative V-shaped haircuts are usually drop fades.

Where should high fade begin?

Typically, a high-fade haircut starts at an inch above the temples. Sometimes it will be a bit higher, depending on the hairstyle.

What is a burst fade?

A burst fade is one where the fade seems to radiate from around the ears. Instead of a straight line, the fade looks like an arc around the head. If you like being the center of attention, get burst fade haircuts to help you stand out.

Are low fades attractive?

Low fades look great because they are not quite as extreme as the high fade, where almost the entire side of the head is shaved.
This makes haircuts with low fades a bit more conservative. It also promotes ease in styling. High fades are a bit niche.

In most cases they are reserved for the younger crowds.

Why are fades so popular?

Aside from looking nice and clean, the short sides and back also make fade haircuts easier to maintain.
This is ideal for people constantly on the go because they only need to style the hair on top and not mind the sides.


Both the high and low fade haircuts come with their own sets of pros and cons.

Saying that one is better than the other is impossible as there are many factors you need to consider when choosing which shaved sides hairstyles would suit you.

Hopefully this taper vs fade guide was able to help you choose your next haircut.
If you still have trouble choosing, it would be great to consult your barber for recommendations. Note that they know what is best for you.

Michele Antunes

About the author: Michele Antunes

Michele Meesh Antunes is the lady of the Beardoholic writers team and a genius when it comes to hair and beard styles that suit any face shape. She’s been a barber for years now and, no matter your personal style, she knows exactly what beard, hairstyle and length suit you. She brings the women’s perspective on beards, beard care, haircuts and hairstyles and male grooming.

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