Let Me Get a Fade

Contribution by Barber Instructor Chris Jones | @chrisjones600 | Chris Jones teaches barbering at our Milwaukee campus, The Institute of Beauty and Wellness

“Let me get a fade,” is something you’ll hear every day as a barber. Growing up, I remember going to the barbershop and there were three different kinds of haircuts you could get. You had the Caesar, the Afro and, most popular of them all for a kid, the bald fade. The bald fade was most parents’ choice for their kids because it lasted longer and it was three haircuts in one. As a kid, I hated the bald fade because people saw it as a freebie to slap you in the back of your head. Man, I hated that! Now, the bald fade has evolved into an innovative haircut, a barbering trend worn by many, with different ways to cut it. You have the high fade, mid fade, low fade and burst fade. Let’s take a look at the differences between these modern variations of the classic bald fade.


A bald fade features bald sides and back with longer hair on the top. The faded part of the cut refers to the smooth transition between the various lengths. Unlike traditional styles, which fade down to shorter hair, a bald fade cuts down to the skin of the head. The result is a smart yet striking haircut with plenty of definition. I’ve noticed that a lot of people come in the shop and ask for a bald fade, high fade or a skin fade – the three names all refer to the same haircut. So you can feel confident knowing that whether you ask you barber for a bald fade, skin fade or a high fade, they’ll know what haircut your looking for.


The mid fade haircut offers a perfect balance between a low fade and high fade. A medium fade is a taper cut that is cut below the temples and above the ear, right in the middle of the head. Mid fade haircuts, like other fades, come in many of styles and looks. For example, some men opt for a mid-skin fade, while others seek a razor fade for a disconnected look. If you think the mid fade is for you, know that it is a flattering choice for most because it doesn’t add any width at the sides. That makes the mid fade even more flattering for men with round faces, and it also works well on thick hair.


The low fade is a simple technique used to give a touch of class and elegance to any man. With a low fade, the hair on the sides tapers down, and that tapper occurs lower on the head, hence the name “low fade.” The low fade is incredibly versatile. Because low fades are versatile and very defined, they can be added to any men’s haircut: short, long, curly or straight. This haircut is for all – it’s up to you to choose.


The burst fade is fairly new to the haircut world but it came to renovate the bald fade. The burst fade tapers the line of the hair right behind the ear, leaving hair longer by the neck. The shape is round like a sun rising behind the ear. From some angles, the burst fade can look like a drop fade, or even a mohawk haircut. If you’re looking for the new haircut that is worn by most athletes and pop/hip hop stars, then why not try the burst fade? It will probably change your life.

Next time you walk into the shop and ask for a fade, you now know four to choose from. Comment your favorite fade below!

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