How to Cut a Fade How to Cut a Fade

What You'll Need
Hair Clippers with a variety of gauge sizes

Knowing how to cut a fade will let you integrate layers of hair in a style that is popular among men and even women. Typically longer layers at the top of the head are tapered into a short cut at the neck. It is definitely not a cut that you should attempt on yourself as it is virtually impossible to execute the fade correctly on the back of your own head.

Step 1 – Plan the Cut

It is important that you plan the cut and know where you are going to put each of the fade lines before you begin cutting. Remember, you can always trim a little extra off but you can't put it back on. Normally the first fade on the back of the head is roughly level with the tops of the ears.

Step 2 – Begin with the Longest Layer

Attach the longest gauge to the clippers and begin cutting upwards from the bottom of the hairline. When you reach the point where the first fade should begin, curve your wrist towards you to cut the ends of the hair off at an angle. The motion is similar to lifting a drink or ice-cream to your mouth. As the hair is cut at an angle, it prevents a solid line from forming between the layers. It is likely to take you a bit of practice to consistently cut the fade in the same place. Repeat this action across the width of the head.

Step 3 – Progress through Shorter Layers

Once you have completed the longest layer across the width of the head move on to a shorter gauge comb on the clippers and repeat the process using the next fade point you planned. Continue to cut the hair in progressively short layers until you reach the bottom and the shortest gauge. Once you become more confident in the technique you may wish to use the scissors and comb to fade the layers in rather than just the clippers.

Step 4 – Tidy Up around the Ears

Use the scissors and comb to trim the hair around/over the ears as required. If trimming around the ear remember to hold the ear down and cut behind it rather than just cutting around the top as this will leave a bald patch and look odd.

Step 5 – Straighten the Hairline

Using the scissors and comb or (if you feel confident) the clippers without a gauge straighten the hairline at the back of the neck as the final stage in a nice, neat cut. It is also possible to get a professional trimmer to use for the final line on the sideburns, around the ears and neckline.

Although these instructions detail how to do a fade cut from top to bottom you can also modify them to cut the fade from front to back or back to front. If you have a subject that is willing to let you experiment then the only limit is your imagination!


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