What is a Fade Haircut?
The basic description of a fade haircut is a hair style in which the base or beginning of the hairline starts at a significantly short length then gradually increases in length going up the side of the head. There are no visible lines or striations in the hair as this happens which gives it a fading effect from short to long. This hairstyle is also referred to as the taper, blowout, skin fade, crew cut and others, depending on subtleties in the rate of fade, how short the beginning length is and the overall shape of the hair in conjunction with the faded regions.
Not all fades are equal.
What is a bad fade?
People that wear the fade haircut will tell you first hand that there is nothing worse than a bad fade. While the hair cut will grow out in 2-3 weeks- one of the positives of this hairstyle- the victim of a bad fade must live with a haircut that is embarrassing. Common elements of the bad fade are:
- Lines- there are visible lines between the different lengths of hair along the fade; they look like steps. Lines often indicate the lack of a particular blade length needed to blend out that line. This is a very common issue. The seasoned barber or self-cutter will own every blade for cutting, blending, shaping, and then some.
- Poor blend at the top- at the very top of the fade, where the hair is longest before moving into what I call ‘top hair’, or the hair on the top of your head that gets combed, faders will neglect to blend this part out correctly. The top of the fade should not form a peak or corner. Trimming it down with a guard or a long comb takes care of this problem.
- Uneven fade heights- this describes the distance from the ear to the top of the fade, on each side. If one side is higher than the other, there will be a lopsided look to the hair cut when you look at the person head on or nearly head on. Extra care when doing the initial step prevents this.
- Going to high or not high enough- The pitfalls of not fading to the proportions of your head and head shape are immense. It will take some trial and error to get this just right, but when you do, it will become second nature knowing right where to stop each time you get a hair cut.
On the bright side, a bad hair cut only lasts as long as takes to grow your hair out to where you can cut it back down again. For most people this is 2-3 weeks. What a great opportunity to wear your favorite sports team hat or beanie.