How To Do a Fade Haircut With Clippers

How to do Fade Haircut

Table of Contents

The fade haircut is a popular men’s style that can be tailored to any hair type or face shape. Fades can be high or low and blended with various lengths on the top of the head.

Knowing how to fade with clippers is essential for professionals and anyone who wants to cut their hair at home. Anyone can make perfect shaved-in designs and fades with the right tools and techniques.

We will cover everything from basic steps for beginners to advanced techniques for blending and detailing. We will also answer common questions such as what clippers, guards and blade size to use for a fade haircut.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced barber, this article provides the knowledge and skills to achieve a flawless fade haircut. Let’s get started!

What Is A Basic Fade Haircut?

The fade cut involves a gradual transition of hair length from the sides and back of the head to the top, where it is longest.

The perfect fade is seamless blending, which requires proper tools and techniques like clippers and scissors. It’s also important to communicate clearly with your barber or stylist to ensure you get the desired result. With the right approach, a faded haircut can create a clean, modern look that complements any style.

Types of Fade Haircuts

The fade can be done in three ways: a low fade, mid fade, or high fade, and each one features a distinct portion of contrast between the top and bottom layers of hair.

These can be paired with different hairstyles, such as a crew cut, quiff, or slick back. This duo means that the hair is not all buzzed to one length but instead has some variation of lengths blended in together. It creates a clean, sharp look that is both modern and stylish.

Low Fade

The low fade is a contemporary and sleek hairstyle that begins just above the ear and slowly grows shorter as it approaches the back of the neck. Its classical style looks versatile and suits men. This haircut highlights the longer hair on top, allowing it to take center stage in your overall look.

Medium Fade

The medium fade is a more prominent combination that begins at the neck’s back and grows shorter as it moves toward the temples. This versatile style offers a balanced and polished look, with the taper typically beginning just above the ears. The fade cut suits various face shapes and hair types, making it popular among those seeking a modern and trendy look.

High Fade

The most striking mix is the high fade, which begins high above the temples and gets shorter toward the back of the head, leaving longer hair on top for a stylish pompadour-like effect. It adds a modern touch to your appearance and provides a clean and edgy look.

Tools Needed For A Fade Haircut

You will need several tools and materials to cut fade, such as:

  • Clippers
  • Clipper guards
  • Scissors
  • A comb
  • A mirror
  • Spray bottle
  • Cape or towel
  • Hair clip

Clipper guards are used to controlling the length of the cut and ensure even fading. The top hair is then styled and trimmed using scissors, a comb, and a mirror to monitor the progress and ensure a level cut.

Hair Cutting Tool Kit

Hair Cutting Tool Kit

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How to Cut a Fade With Clippers

Before cutting a self-fade at home, go through all the steps to help you get the desired style.

  • Prepare your hair to clean the dirt.
  • Take your time deciding to start a fade line and mark it.
  • Consider your style preference and choose the right guard size for a short or long fade.
  • The fading process should start from the bottom with short strokes, moving the clippers up the sides and back of your head.
  • Replace the guards while moving upward with slow blending of your hair.
  • Pay special attention to the area around the temples.
  • Blend the top hair fade by passing your clippers across a comb.
  • Use the trimmers to clean the hairline and neckline.

How To Do Fade Haircut With Clippers – Step by Step

Clippers are the most important tool for a fade haircut, as they create a smooth shift between hair lengths. The different clippers in the market have their features, designs, and cordless or corded options. Each offers a level of ease and cuts hair thoroughly. You can check the best barber clippers for fades on this.

Here are the simple steps for doing your fade:

1. Washing And Drying Hair

First, wash the hair thoroughly to remove any dirt or product buildup. After this, dry the hair completely before beginning the haircut. Style your hair, as usual, to allow your barber or stylist to check how it falls naturally and reacts to styling products.

2. Determine Fade Length

Decide where the fade starts and ends to achieve your desired fade length. It’s also helpful to bring a picture of a faded haircut you like to ensure your stylist understands the desired style. Additionally, removing split ends or knots before your appointment can simplify the cutting process and improve the outcome.

3. Choosing the Right Guard Size

What type of fade cut you want decides the guide number. Lower size shows the short haircut and vice versa. Begin with the largest guard size and gradually work down to create a smooth fade. Use a smaller guard size to blend the hair between the longer and shorter sections.

Hair Cutting Guards for Wahl Clippers

Hair Cutting Guards for Wahl Clippers

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4. Starting the fade

Start at the bottom of the head with the longest guard size and work your way up gradually using shorter guard sizes. As you move up the head, blend the hair upwardly.

5. Blending the sides and top

Blend the sides and top of the hair using the clipper-over comb technique. Use a longer guard size to blend the hair from the sides to the top.

6. Detailing the haircut

Use a trimmer or clipper without a guard to detail the hairline and sideburns. Trim any longer hairs that were missed by the clippers using scissors.

7. Cleaning up the neckline and sideburns

Use a trimmer to clean up the neckline and trim the sideburns to your desired length using scissors.

Practice and experiment with different techniques to find the one that suits you best.

What Clipper Is Used for a Fade?

Several types of clippers are available, each with unique features that can affect the quality of the cut.

  • Corded clippers are powered through a cord, providing constant power for uninterrupted use.
    On the other hand, cordless clippers are battery-powered, portable, and convenient for at-home use or travel.
  • Adjustable clippers have adjustable blades, which allow for customization of the length of the fade.
  • Taper clippers have a tapered blade ideal for precision cutting and detailing.

The Wahl Professional 5-Star Series Cordless Magic Clip is a great choice. This cordless clipper is powerful, lightweight, and has adjustable blades, making it suitable for professional and at-home use.

The Andis Master Corded Clipper is another excellent option. It has adjustable blades and is designed for professional barbers, making it durable and providing consistent power for uninterrupted use.

The Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper is also a great choice. Its powerful motor and versatile use for various hair types make it ideal for professional barbershops.

How to Blend Fade Lines with Clippers

Blending is the smooth transition between two hair lengths, creating a seamless look. In a fade haircut, blending is essential for a seamless transition between the longer hair on top and the shorter hair on the sides. After shaving the fade lines, use the clipper over comb technique sweepingly to blend the sides and top of the hair. Work in small sections and blend each section before moving on to the next.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Fading Hairs

  • Lack of correct hair blending is among the most frequent errors made while performing a fade haircut. The cut may appear uneven, creating a hard line between the various hair lengths. Another error is failing to pay attention to little features, such as the hairline and the nape of the neck, which can lead to an uneven or subpar cut.
  • The hair is cut too short is another error that can lead to a severe or unnatural-looking fade. When cutting hair, it’s crucial to work with the client’s natural head shape and consider their tastes and lifestyle. A bad outcome might also emerge from using low-quality clippers and improperly maintaining them.

How to Tell Your Barber to Fade Your Haircut?

Communication with your barber is key to getting the haircut you want. By communicating clearly and effectively, you can ensure that your barber understands your desired style and can execute it properly.

Here are a few tips for effective communication

  • Bring a Picture: Bringing a picture of your desired style can help your barber understand your desired look.
  • Use Specific Terms: Use words like “fade,” “taper,” and “blend” to describe the style you want.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask your barber for clarification or advice.

Specific Instructions for Fading Your Haircut

  • Start with Length: Let your barber know the length you want on top and the sides.
  • Choose a Fade Style: Decide between low, mid, or high fade styles.
  • Determine the Starting Point: Tell your barber where the fade starts, such as above the ear or at the temple.
  • Gradual or Sharp Fade: Decide if you want a gradual fade or a sharp, distinct line.
  • Detailing: Tell your barber if you want any detailing around the hairline, sideburns, or neckline.

What Blade Size Do You Use for a Fade?

Achieving a faded haircut involves using various blade sizes to create a gradual change between hair lengths. The choice of blade size depends on the length of hair at the start of the fade and the desired length at the end. Starting with a #1 blade and working up to longer blade sizes as they become more comfortable with the technique is better for beginners.

Blade sizes are numbered to indicate the hair length remaining after cutting. A lower number indicates a shorter hair length. For instance, a #1 blade leaves hair 1/8 inch long, while a #3 blade leaves hair 3/8 inch long.

Wahl Professional Balding 6X0 Clipper Blade

Wahl Professional Balding 6X0 Clipper Blade

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Different Blade Sizes

Common blade sizes used for fades:

  • #0.5 leaves hair 1/16 inch long and is the shortest.
  • #1 keeps hair longer to 1/8 inch and is often used to start the fade.
  • #1.5 blends the shorter hair lengths into the high length, leaving 3/16 inches.
  • #2 is for 1/4 inch hair and blends the top of the head into smaller hair lengths.
  • #3 shows 3/8 inch hair length after cutting.

Recommended Products for a Fade Haircut

The care and style of a fade haircut may be accomplished using several items.

For men’s hair, using a high-quality, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is crucial to maintaining the hair’s health and nourishment.

A pomade or wax is a styling aid that holds the hair in place and helps create diverse appearances. You may also use a mild-hold hair spray to keep the hair in place all day.

You may also apply hair oil or serum to hydrate and add shine. Investing in a high-quality hair trimmer or the best clipper made especially for men’s hair is crucial to acquiring the best results from your cut.

Hair Pomade Wax for Men with High Shine and Strong Hold

Hair Pomade Wax for Men with High Shine and Strong Hold

Victory's Pomade Wax creates a smooth and shiny wet look with a firm hold on your hairstyle. Its raw honey and tobacco ingredients give a pleasant aroma.
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Are clippers important for achieving a fade?

Yes, the type and quality of clippers used can significantly affect the final result of a fade haircut. It’s recommended to use clippers designed for fades, which are more powerful and have precise blade adjustments.

Do you need special clippers for a fade?

While it’s not necessarily mandatory to use special clippers for a fade, it’s highly recommended. Clippers specifically designed for fades typically have more powerful motors, adjustable blades, and other features that make them more suitable for achieving a smooth and seamless fade.

How to do a fade with no guard?

Achieving a fade without a guard can be challenging but possible. Start with the clipper’s lowest blade setting and gradually work your way up, blending the hair with a flicking motion. Trim the hair on top with scissors and blend it with the fade. Take your time and work slowly and methodically to achieve the desired result.


A fade haircut with clippers is a versatile and stylish haircut that can be achieved by following a few simple steps. Preferring suitable clippers with adjustable guards for precise trimming is important. Next, decide on the desired fade style.

Remember to blend the different sections seamlessly for a natural-looking result. With some practice, you can master the art of the fade haircut with clippers and create various stylish and timeless styles.

Cuts and Style
Cuts and Style
At Cuts and Style, we help readers create personalized hairstyles and self-grooming using the best haircut tools. With a deep knowledge of the barbering industry, we bring our expertise on day-to-day tools to meet the needs of wise hair-clipper users. We are offering insights and advice beyond the ordinary. Whether it's sharing advice on the latest trends, hacks, tips, or a selection of top hair care products, we are dedicated to guiding those seeking the perfect blend of style to look good and, in turn, feel good. Join us on this journey where cutting and styling hair is a skill.