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In the ever-evolving realm of men’s grooming, the choice of a haircut extends beyond mere aesthetics—it becomes a statement of personal style and expression. Among the myriad of styles, fade haircuts have emerged as a timeless and versatile trend, elevating the grooming game for men worldwide. Yet, within the realm of fades lies a crucial decision: low, mid, or high fade?

This blog explores the nuances of each, unraveling the visual impact they impart and guiding you through the process of choosing the perfect fade to complement your individuality. As we delve into the distinctive characteristics of low, mid, and high fades, we’ll navigate the realms of face shapes, hair textures, and styling possibilities.

Your journey to the ideal fade begins here—a journey of self-discovery and style refinement that transcends mere haircuts, embracing a form of self-expression that speaks volumes about who you are. Welcome to the definitive guide on “Low Fade vs. Mid Fade vs. High Fade: Choosing the Right Fade.”

What is a Low Fade?

Embracing the trendiness that withstands the test of time, the low fade haircut has become exceptionally popular. This particular cut commences just above the ears, gracefully curving around the hairline and extending down to the neckline. Renowned for its versatility, the low fade seamlessly complements various short or long men’s hairstyles, providing a polished and fresh appearance to the sides and back.

Diverging from the boldness of the high fade, the low fade adopts a more conservative approach akin to the classic taper fade. Its subtle charm makes it a preferred choice for professional business styles while also pairing well with a beard. Ideally, opting for a low fade works best when accompanied by longer or medium-length hair on top, such as the modern comb-over, quaff, pompadour, slick back, or faux hawk.

What is a High Fade?

For those seeking a bolder statement, the high fade haircut stands out as one of the shortest ways to sculpt the sides and back of your hair, injecting an edgy contrast. Characterized by a swift blending that starts high on the head, the high fade dramatically shortens at a faster rate than its low or mid counterparts. This accentuates the styling of the hair on top, ensuring it captivates attention in any setting.

A popular rendition of the high fade is the high skin fade, often accompanied by requests for a lineup or shape-up. This entails sharp lines and edges outlining the hairline around the temples, resulting in a stylish and alluring haircut that complements long, medium, or short hair on top.

What is a Mid-Fade?

Striking a perfect balance between the high and low fades, the mid-fade haircut has gained prominence for its subtle yet modern allure. Originating midway up the sides of the head, the mid fade offers a softer and more gradual transition, making it a versatile choice suitable for both office and casual environments.

To infuse a touch of boldness into the mid-fade, one can opt for a skin fade combination, delivering a polished and clean finish. For those seeking further clarity on fade variations, experimenting with the medium fade opens up opportunities to explore the latest and most appealing hairstyles.



Low fade vs. Mid Fade vs. High Fade

The key difference between low, mid, and high fade haircuts is the position of the fade line on the sides of the head. A low fade starts close to the ear, a mid fade falls between the low and high fades, while a high fade begins higher up on the sides, creating a more pronounced contrast with the longer hair on top. The choice depends on personal preference and the desired level of contrast.

This organized table highlights the key differences among low fade, mid fade, and high fade hairstyles, making it easy for readers to compare and choose the one that suits their preferences and style.

This organized table highlights the key differences among low fade, mid fade, and high fade hairstyles, making it easy for readers to compare and choose the one that suits their preferences and style.


Aspect Low Fade Mid Fade High Fade
Starting Point
Begins just above the ear area.
Starts at the temple, around four inches above the ear.
Starts at the temple or higher, around the parietal ridge.
Style Effect
Presents a formal and sharp look.
Offers a casual and trendy vibe.
Offers a bold and distinct appearance.
Yields a softer transition due to its lower start.
Results in a sharper transition as it begins higher above the ears.
Creates a noticeable contrast with a higher starting point.
Head Shape
Tends to create a rounder head appearance.
Tends to elongate the head’s appearance.
Tends to emphasize length and verticality in the head’s appearance.
Provides limited styling options.
Offers a broader range of styling choices.
Offers various creative styling possibilities.

how to do a low fade haircut

Achieving a precise and polished low-fade haircut may seem challenging, but the following steps can guide you through the process:

Commence with Clean, Dry Hair

Ensure your hair is clean and devoid of any styling products. Prior to starting the haircut, thoroughly dry your hair.

Determine Fade Starting Point

Decide the desired height for the fade. For a low fade, initiate the cut either at the bottom of the hairline or slightly above the ears.

Gradual Clipper Technique

Utilize clippers equipped with a guard attachment to gradually trim the hair at the nape of the neck, progressing upwards to your chosen starting point.

Seamless Fade Blending

Switch to a smaller guard attachment and work along the sides and back of the head. Blend the hair seamlessly, transitioning from shorter to longer. Maintain parallel clippers to the head and employ a scooping motion for optimal blending.

Top Hair Trimming

After achieving the desired fade, trim the hair on the top of the head using scissors or clippers with a guard attachment. Ensure the length on top is longer than the fades on the sides and back.

Detailed Fade Finishing

Use clippers without a guard or trimmers to detail the fade around the ears and the hairline for a refined finish.

Neckline Cleanup

Employ clippers or a trimmer to tidy up the neckline, creating a clean and well-defined appearance.

Hair Styling

Once the haircut is complete, style the hair according to your preference using a pomade or styling product.

Remember to take your time and proceed gradually when executing a low-fade haircut. If uncertainties arise during the process, seeking guidance from a professional stylist is always a viable option.

How to do a mid-fade Haircut

Versatility of Mid Fades

Mid fades, blended around an inch or more above the ear, offer versatility for short, medium, or long hairstyles.

According to Rodriguez, fewer restrictions apply to face shapes with mid fades, as the ample hair on top helps determine how the style complements the face.

Hair Care for Mid-Fade Maintenance

Basic hair care is essential to keep mid-fade haircuts looking sharp. Weekly washing and conditioning prevent buildup and maintain overall hair health. Consider using volumizing shampoo for fuller, taller styles on top.

Regular Trims

Schedule regular trims to remove dry ends and prevent the mid-length style from becoming long and scraggly.

Tailored Care for Different Hair Types

Different hair types require specific care. Consult with your barber to determine the best maintenance routine based on your hair texture. Minimize heat exposure and brush gently to promote healthy hair.

Mindful Scalp Care

While mid-skin fades don’t expose as much skin as high fades, they still reveal a significant portion.

How to do a High-Fade Haircut

This hairstyle involves removing a significant portion of hair from the back and sides of the head.

The outcome can range from a short buzz cut to a complete shave down to the skin. To achieve a high fade, begin with the lowest clipper guard settings, starting at the nape of the neck and progressing up to the temples.


Opting for a high fade contributes to a cleaner and more sophisticated appearance.

High fades complement square or round face shapes, as they create the illusion of elongating the face. For maximum contrast, consider a “skin fade,” where the hair is shaved down to the scalp, providing the most dramatic transition.


In comparison, a mid-fade is more noticeable than a low fade but doesn’t expose the scalp as extensively as a high fade. The fade initiates above the ears, offering a balance between a distinctive look and ample styling versatility.


In the end, this guide is an invitation to embark on a journey of self-discovery and style refinement—one that transcends mere haircuts and embraces a form of self-expression that speaks volumes about who you are. Whether you lean towards the understated elegance of a low fade, the boldness of a high fade, or the versatile charm of a Mid-Fade, the right fade becomes more than a grooming choice—it becomes a reflection of your identity.

Introducing Woodward Barbers

Woodward Barbers is the best barbershop in Colorado, United States. Visit us for a luxurious grooming experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and confident. Book your appointment today.