A Step By Step Guide On How To Give A Fade Haircut to Males

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The Fade Haircut has recently become a stylish choice amongst young men lending to its growing popularity in the world of men's grooming.

As a result of that popularity, whether you are a barber looking to enhance your skills or spmeone who wants to learn how to groom themselves, it is imperative you learn the ins-and-outs of the fade haircut.

To that end, this step-by-step guide is here to help you get started on your journey to better understanding, and then better developing the ability, to get a fade haircut.

Pretty soon you will be able to rock one as you please, and be confident in not only your looks but also your skills.

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1. Prepare The Tools

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The first step for getting a fade haircut, or any haircut for that matter is to prepare the tools you will need.

In general, the main five tools to get the job done are:

  • Clippers with Guard Attachments of Varying Lengths
  • Combs
  • Scissors
  • Mirror
  • Towel or barber cape

A spray bottle with water is optional but very much preferred.

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The first three are the main tools required to get the job done. Since a fade haircut means differing lengths of hair, the clippers, with its varying sized guards, are immensely important to achieve that.

Combs and scissors are also necessary in order to get to places the clippers can't, and for styling the top. The mirror's importance is obvious, and the towel is so the hair doesn't get to odd places or cause irritation.

Lastly, the spray bottle is to wet or damp the hair, which is necessary for most haircuts.

2. Choose the Guard Length

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Next, its imperative to choose the right guard length because a fade on hair requires varying styles of clipper guards.

The main reason being why is that the fade, due to its nature, begins longer on the top and gradually shortens as we go towards the ears and the neckline.

The first thing to remember when choosing the right guard size is that the higher the number the longer the cut and the shorter the number, the shorter the cut. As we will start from the top, first pick a higher guard number like #3 or #4.

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You use the higher guard number to shave around the sides and of the head and back, and then as you move down, you will switch to lower and lower numbers till you can get an even fade.

However, one must have already decided how long or short they want their fade to be before looking at the clipper guard sizes and lengths.

3. Damp the Hair

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Damping the hair may seem too innocuous a step to garner its own section, but it is one of the most important steps on this list of fade cutting hair.

The reason why the hair should be damp is because it makes cutting easier for damp hair can be pulled and tugged without harming the wearer much more than dry hair.

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When it comes to the fade, as you will be using a lot of the scissors, combs and clippers, the hair will get a lot of tension, so damp is best. However, this doesn't mean the hair should be completely wet.

If it does, its important to dry it slightly by taking a towel and patting the hair down. The word "damp" is key here.

The spray bottle comes handy here as using it is much better than washing the hair and drying it by hand or machine.

4. Decide Where the Fade Line Is

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Now, the next step is to decide where the fade hair line is, meaning where the hair will start transitioning from one length to another.

It doesn't need to be completely straight, and can dip, mostly around the back of the head, but what's most important is that it needs to wrap all the way around head, essentially going from ear to ear.

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The point can vary depending on what type of fade you want to get, with low fades starting closer to the ear, and high fades starting closer to the top. Essentially, it is a point of personal taste.

However, the fade needs to be over the top of the ear, and usually it goes 2 to 3 inches above. Lastly, there doesn't need to be only one fade line, and once you get more confident you can experiment adding 2 or even 3.

5. Part the Hair and Section off the Top Portion

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Since you have decided where the fader hair cut line is, now you need to part the hair and section off the top portion which will be untouched for now.

Here is where the combs come into place as you need to trace a rectangle around the round of the skull to seperate the longer top hair from the shorter hair on the sides and the back.

A great way to recognize how big the aforementioned rectangle needs to be is to use the eyebrows as a guide. The lines of this rectangle should line up perfectly with the outermost tipds of the eyebrows and include the entire crown of the back of the head.

Then, you need to use a clip or an elastic band to section it completely, so you don't accidentally cut this portion of the hair. Since you'll be using the clippers mostly from this point forward, the sectioning will come in handy to ensure your look isn't ruined.

6. Start Fading

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Here comes the most important part of fading hair, which is to start the actual fading.

First, you need to move the clips vertically by starting at the sideburns, moving the clips in an upward direction. A general rule of thumb is to use the clipper how you use you shave: the opposite direction hair grows.

Next, as you reach upwards, you need to switch directions and start moving the clippers sideways across the fade line. However, you don't physically move your clippers horizontally but keep them vertical, but angled, in a flicking motion.

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Now, you move to the back and start shaving in an upwards motion again. Overall though, the main thing to focus on is that your hand needs to be steady and move in small sections.

The worst thing to can do is to move in longer strides. Instead, just move short distances so you can control where and how much you are cutting.

As for behind the ears, you have to pull down the top of the ear and cut straight where the ear connects to the head.

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The most important thing to remember is to switch guards to continue fading the hair. As stated above, you start from higher numbers to lower numbers, and as soon as you switch guards, you continue the aforementioned process until you reach the fade you want.

But, don't keep moving to the fade line with each lower-numbered guard as you have to stop lower and lower to keep the fade going. The reason it is called a fade, after all, is because the hair keeps shortening.

7. Blend the hair

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After you've taken care of the preliminary fading cutting hair, next you have to blend the hair, meaning the top and the sides/back should align.

Using a comb alongside the clippers start cleaning up the fade. Here's how you do it:

  • Angle the comb at 45-degrees to the fade line
  • Comb upwards towards the top of the head
  • Run the clippers upwards over the comb from the fade line

Repeat this process all around the fade line, but make sure that the distance of the comb is the same all the way through. It's a bit tricky to achieve but if done well, your fade should be very seamless.

Unless you want a distinct fade line or are going for an undercut, this process is highly important. If you are going for a detached fade then you can skip this.

8. Taper the Edges

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Having taken care of the blending, now its time to go to the opposite direction and take care of the edges on the fading haircut.

Using the shortest guard, for example the #1, or even going as far as using no guard, create a clean and skin tight fade around the ears and neckline.

Be sure to be careful and not create a harsh line, and instead focus on smoothly transitioning from the hair to the skin. You want to achieve a short of skin-fade here.

After, you can use clippers or trimmers to really ensure that the fade is clean or to cut any remaining hair away. There may be bumps or skin problems, especially in the neck on the back, so go gently.

Another thing to note is that for people with beards or other sorts of facial hair, this step may not be necessary, at least for the sides.

9. Trim and Style the Top Portion

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At last, we now move towards the top of the head to focus on the top portion hair of the faded haircut.

You should use only scissors here if you have decided to leave it long, but can use clippers with a higher guard if you want a more buzzed look. The scissors are for if you want something like quiffs, pompadours, or a messy top.

As for the guards, use it for not only buzzed looks but crew cuts, caesars etc. The great thing about a fade is that it looks good no matter what style you choose so feel free to pick whatever style you want.

However, if you do choose a longer hairstyle, make sure to take the fade into account and cut the hair at an angle when moving towards the back so you can blend it better.

10. Making Final Touches

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The last thing you need to do is to make sure the overall look does not have any mistakes and looks good.

Some things you need to be mindful of are:

  • Make sure the skin fade at the bottom of both the sides and the back look good, use trimmers if not
  • Blur out any visible lines or patches of hair using clippers
  • Clean up the base of the neck as well as above the ears

And finally, you can apply styling products if needed or asked, all depening on the person's preference. Then, remove the towl or cape to brush off any loose hair.