Cuts and Style

Mid Fade vs Low Fade – What are the Differences?

Mid Fade vs Low Fade - What are the Differences?

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Whether you’re stepping into a barber shop for a fresh cut or just looking to switch up your style, knowing the mid fade vs low fade is crucial. These two popular haircuts are trending everywhere, from Instagram feeds to high-fashion runways.

In this article, we’ll look at what sets a mid fade apart from a low fade, how each looks, and the best hairstyles to pair it with.

By the end of this read, you’ll learn the key differences and decide which haircut perfectly matches your style and face shape.

Get ready to change your look and feel more confident about your hairstyle choice!

What is a Low Fade?

A low fade haircut features a fine transition from longer hair on top to shorter hair at the sides, starting just above the ears and blending down towards the neck. This style is less striking than higher fades and maintains a clean, polished look with neatly tapered sides and back.

Best Hairstyles with Low Fade

  • Quiff with Low Fade: Combines longer, voluminous hair styled upwards with a clean, tidy, low fade on the sides. This hairstyle increases the visual impact of the quiff while maintaining a classy, understated appearance.
  • Pompadour with Low Fade: This hairstyle integrates a low fade with a swept-up style from the forehead over the top. The low fade highlights the pompadour’s volume, adding a modern twist to the classic style and making it versatile for various occasions.
  • Slick Back with Low Fade: This slick back features hair combed back smoothly with a low fade that minimizes side hair, offering a polished and professional look suitable for business settings.
  • Side Part with Low Fade: This haircut merges a distinct side part with a low fade, combining traditional elegance and modern neatness. It is adaptable and shifts smoothly from formal to casual environments.

What is Mid Fade?

A mid-fade haircut begins tapering around the temples, providing a noticeable contrast without being too dramatic. This balanced style is ideal for those seeking a distinct appearance that isn’t overly bold.

It seamlessly changes from longer hair on top to shorter hair near the earline, improving the top hairstyle by drawing attention to its styling.

Hairstyles with a Mid Fade

  • Buzz Cut with Mid Fade: A mid fade gives a simple and low-maintenance buzz cut a contemporary edge, making it suitable for various settings.
  • Classic Mid Fade: The classic is known simply as a mid fade, starting midway up the sides of the head. It accommodates both short and medium-length hair on top, offering a versatile look that fits professional and casual environments.
  • Pompadour Mid Fade: This style updates the classic pompadour by using a mid fade to sharpen the contrast between the voluminous top and the trimmed sides. It is ideal for making a refined style statement.
  • Textured Top with Mid Fade: It is best for naturally textured hair, and leverages the mid fade to boost volume and movement, creating a dynamic yet low-maintenance appearance.

Comparing Mid Fade vs Low Fade

The primary distinction between a mid fade and a low fade is where the tapering begins on the head, which significantly influences the hairstyle’s overall style and appearance.

Starting Point

The low fade begins just above the ear, offering a slight alteration that blends smoothly into the hairstyle without drawing excessive attention to the sides. While, the mid fade starts around the temples, making it more noticeable and providing a sharper contrast between the top and the sides of the hair. It is suitable for those seeking a defined, edgy look.

Style and Appearance

Low fade is preferred for its versatility and fine enhancement of the natural hairline. It is ideal for professional environments or those desiring an understated style. It elongates the face and maintains more hair on the sides, helping balance facial features.

The medium fade makes a bolder statement by emphasizing the hairstyle’s volume and styling at the top, drawing more attention upward. It is ideal for underlining hairstyles like pompadours or textured quiffs.

Which Fade is Easier to Maintain? – Low vs Mid Fade

The low fade requires less frequent touch-ups than the mid fade, as its slighter conversions grow more gracefully. It is more simple to style daily, blending naturally with the rest of the hair and requiring less effort to maintain its stylish look.

Conversely, the mid fade demands more precise styling, especially with voluminous or textured hairstyles to retain its distinct appearance.

Choosing the Right Fade for Your Face Shape – Mid Fade vs Low Fade

Selecting the proper fade can raise your appearance by complementing your face shape:

Hair Volume and Texture

Consider your hair’s volume and texture. Mid fades reduce bulk on the sides for thicker hair, while low fades suit thinner hair, retaining more volume on the sides.

Hairline Analysis

For a receding hairline, a low fade blends the hairline mildly, whereas a mid fade can be styled to divert attention from the hairline with appropriate top hairstyles.

Style Preferences

Reflect on your style; choose a mid fade for a bolder statement or a low fade for a more understated look. Consult an experienced barber for advice tailored to your facial features and hair type, ensuring the chosen fade suits your appearance and lifestyle preferences.


Which is better, a Low Fade or Mid Fade?

The choice between a low fade and a mid fade depends on your style preferences, hair type, and the look you’re aiming for. A low fade is finer and mixes evenly into the hairstyle, making it ideal for those who prefer a classic, understated look that works well in professional and casual settings. A mid fade, on the other hand, offers a sharper, more defined shift that stands out more, suitable for those who want a trendier, edgier appearance.​

Can a Low Fade Work with Curly Hair?

Yes, a low fade can work excellently with curly hair. The key is to leave enough length on top to allow the curls to express their natural texture, while the faded sides help to handle bulk and maintain a neat appearance. It’s a great way to highlight the natural beauty of curly hair while keeping the sides clean and controlled.

Is a Mid-Fade Suitable for a Professional Environment?

Yes. It can be right for professional settings if styled appropriately. Keep the top well-groomed and choose a standard length to ensure the style remains refined and office-appropriate. The acceptability of a mid-fade in such settings often depends on the overall styling and workplace culture.​

Should I Get a Mid or Low Fade?

A low fade is preferable for its traditional and clean appearance, making it ideal for formal settings.
A mid fade is suitable for a more noticeable style that makes a fashion statement. Low fades are easier to maintain, requiring less frequent touch-ups than mid fades. They complement square faces well, softening angular features, while mid fades can widen the appearance of round or oval faces, enhancing their shape.

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.
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