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The 5 Main Types of Fades in 2022

If you’re looking for an excellent way to kick your style into high gear, a fade could be exactly what you need. There are plenty of different types of fades to suit every taste and hairstyle, whether you do it yourself or with the help of a professional.

What Are Fades?

The fade hairstyle holds this name because it creates a fading effect between different hair lengths. It first came into fashion during the 1940s and 1950s. These styles were predominately worn by Black and Hispanic men and people in the military.

In the 1990s, the fade skyrocketed into fame, thanks to Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Today, fades are totally mainstream, and all types of people wear them.

They’re professional, eye-catching, and a great way to incorporate your personal style and tastes into your look. Whether you opt for an intricate design or a more classic fade, it’s essential to keep the hair blended seamlessly for a neat, deliberate look. 

Types of Fades

With so many types of fades available, there’s sure to be a great one for you.

1. Skin Fade

Guy with a skin fade for a piece on types of fades

Vikafoto33/Shutterstock

Skin fades are probably the most extreme versions of this hairstyle, where the hair is so short that it tapers down to the skin. Although you can start your skin fade anywhere on your head, the general rule is still the same: the hair eventually gets short enough so that you can see the skin beneath.

Skin fades are also an excellent way for you to show off some more detailed designs, making them popular for people who have the time and resources to go to the barbershop often.

Guy with a skin fade for a piece on types of fades

Vikafoto33/Shutterstock

You can also style the top hair any way that you’d like, giving additional depth and visual interest to the look. 

Pompadours are popular ways to accentuate skin fades, as the contrast between a luxe head of hair and the fade itself will look fresh and put together.

2. Taper Fade

Man with a taper fade, a popular type of fade

Vikafoto33/Shutterstock

As the name may suggest, taper fades are styles that taper off more gradually. You can do tapers on any part of your head, and they look especially good on those with receding or thinning hair, thanks to the additional texture. 

Taper fades are one of the most commonly recognized fades, making them classic, chic, and timeless. You can also style your taper fade with different types of facial hair. For example, taper fades look stunning with a full beard or mustache. 

3. Low Fade

Guy with a type of fade, a low fade, shown from the back

Rabizo Anatolii/Shutterstock

Low fades start lower on the head, generally right by the neckline or ears. Low fades are ideal if you want to experiment with fades but don’t want an extreme style right off the bat. You can also grow them out relatively quickly. 

Low fades tend to be understated and clean, highlighting your longer hair and working with all sorts of different styles like faux hawks or dreads. One of the best aspects of low fades is that you can wear them with virtually any hair length.

You can also add other elements to your low fade to give it some extra pizzaz, like fade lines or exaggerated pompadours. Since the low fade gives you a little extra volume, you can feel free to play with your hair, making the style as understated or extreme as you would like.

4. Medium Fade

Barber trimming a type of fade, the mid or medium fade with a hard cut, on a man

VladisloveM/Shutterstock

Medium fades are a small step up from low fades and the ideal choice if you’re looking for a hairstyle with a little extra sophistication and effect. Medium fades start higher than low fades, around the middle of your head in the back and on the sides.

Although you will have to maintain a medium fade more than a low fade, it’s still a very “set and go” kind of style. Medium fades highlight the rest of your hair and work well with messy, spiked, or afro styles.

Guy with a medium fade type of haircut

Vikafoto33/Shutterstock

They’re also wonderful with very wavy, curly, or kinky hair. Anything with a lot of volume will play off medium fades nicely.

Since all eyes will be on your longer hair, make sure that you use plenty of products to help it look its best. A medium fade can take years off your face and give you an understated sultry look. 

5. High Fade

High fade, a type of fade, on a guy with a combover in a barber's chair

Maksim Ladouski/Shutterstock

If you have short hair, high fades are your best friend. Although you can technically do this style with any hair length, it looks best when the fade itself is highlighted.

One of the biggest perks of high fades is that they tend to grow in evenly, reducing the number of visits that you need to make to the barber.

High fades are exceptionally low maintenance, and you can look put together in seconds simply by throwing some product into the longer hair around the fade.

Try an understated pompadour on the top if you have thick, straight hair. You’ll get a lot of volume without too much effort and look like a million bucks in minutes.

Ways To Make Your Fade Special

Once you have the basics of your fade down, it’s time to play with the style a little bit. Of course, you could always opt for the more classic fade, simply embracing the sleek lines of a high, low, medium, or tapered cut.

Or, add in something else for visual interest. The beauty of all of these add-ons is that they grow out quickly, and you don’t have to maintain them if you don’t want to.

Faded Beards

Guy with a faded beard, a unique type of fade, in a barber's chair

Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock

Don’t just limit fades to your head. Faded beards can look fabulous on just about anyone. You can get as subtle or extreme as you want with fade lines.

Fade out your beard a little bit around the edges of your face for a sophisticated look, or go for an intricate design that puts all eyes on your face.

Exaggerated Pompadours

Exaggerated pompadours can elongate your face and add elements of intrigue to your look. In addition, these styles are relatively easy to maintain with just a little bit of product and look amazing with any type of fade. 

Fade Lines

Guy with a type of fade haircut design with squigglies

Dmytro Kolesnikov/Shutterstock

If you want to make your fade exceptional, try fade lines on for size. Fade lines are designs your barber puts right into the fade itself, turning your hair into a masterpiece.

You can get lines, designs, or anything else that you might want to truly make your fade look special. Start small if you’re unsure if fade lines are for you. You can always add more as time goes on.

Temp Fades

Temp or temple fades shape your face and add a lot of dimension to your hair. These styles tend to look highly modern and can really shave years off your face simply by adding some texture. The only caveat to temp fades is that you can overdo them reasonably easily.

Start small, and add, then add a little more as you go. All of these types of fades are customizable and easy to adapt to your lifestyle. No matter what look you’re going for, there’s a fade that’s simply perfect for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Portrait of a man with a popular type of fade haircut in a canvas jacket

MDV Edwards/Shutterstock

It’s natural to have some questions before getting your fade. It’s essential for you to understand exactly what you’re getting into so that you can get precisely the results that you want.

If you’re going to a professional barber, communication is the key. Let them know your vision, and they’ll do their best to give you the perfect cut. 

How Do I Determine How Short To Go?

Think about how often you will realistically maintain your style and what sort of look you’re going for. As a good rule, you can always take more off later.

So don’t go too drastic if you’re not sure that it’s going to look good. You can also ask your barber for recommendations. If you trust them, let them put together a look that they think will look good with the shape of your head.

Also, do your research before visiting your barber. It will help both you and them, and you will feel more comfortable with the process. 

How Do I get the Exact Fade I Want?

Have some idea about fade terminology before you go in, specifically understanding the difference in types of fades. Then, if you and your barber are on the same page, you’ll have much better results.

You can also reference celebrities with the same, or a similar look, as what you’re going for. Your barber can make suggestions based upon your hair type, face structure, and maintenance routine.

What Equipment Do I Need To Do a Fade at Home?

Although you will likely get better results from a professional, you can technically do a fade at home. You’ll need good clippers, a razor, and a lot of patience to make your look work.

Ask a trusted friend to help you create or spruce up your fade. Unless you’re really good at hairstyling, don’t try to do any varsity level techniques, like fade lines, with an at-home cut. 

Do Fades Work on All Faces?

Fades work on all faces, but some face shapes take to certain fades better. For example, if you have a square, oval, or round face, fades will help you look leaner and more put together.

On the other hand, certain types of fades might not look great on very long faces. It’s a good idea to keep your face shape in mind when selecting celebrity pictures to show your barber.

What looks good on some people isn’t going to look good on you necessarily, so choose photos with similar face shapes for the best results.

How Often Do I Need To Get My Fade Touched Up?

How often you need to get your fade touched up depends largely on what style you opt for. Certain types of fades require regular maintenance. For example, fade lines and some skin fades should be refreshed every three weeks or so.

If you have a lower maintenance fade, you’ll only need to visit the barber every six weeks. Talk to your barber about the look that you want to achieve, and they should be able to give you a little bit of guidance. 

So, What Are Types of Fades?

Types of fades refer to variations on a popular hairstyle that looks good on virtually everyone. The standard fade styles are as follows:

  1. High fades
  2. Skin fades
  3. Taper fades
  4. Medium fades
  5. Low fades

You can customize your fade with faded beards, lines or designs, or temp fades. You can also style your remaining hair to emphasize the fade in exciting and fun ways.

Fades are a great hairstyle to showcase your personality and look your sharpest. If you’ve never considered a fade, it’s time to ask your barber about them today.